BSAB: Oral Protection

Why Is It Bad?

I’m going to make a little confession. Every time I sit down and open the week’s submission of bad sex advice my immediate reaction is “Just No!” Then I put myself in the shoes of someone who hasn’t had as much sexual education as myself and I am able to write a message to you all.

This week’s submission is a real challenge though, because it’s simply incorrect. You can definitely pass on sexually transmitted infections when engaging in oral sex. Believing otherwise, and acting on it, will leave you at a much higher risk of becoming infected and passing that infection on to other partners.

What Can You Do Instead?

Instead of denying the realities of STI risk, we should be learning about them and making informed decisions.

Learn about the various STIs, ways they are transmitted, their symptoms, and ways to prevent their spread and transmission.

Once you have an informed perspective, you can make a decision on what your safer sex practices will be.

There is no 100% full proof preventative method. In other words, there is some risk to any sexual activity. There is also risk to walking outside of your house, but that doesn’t mean we should live like we have agoraphobia. For some perspective, you are much more likely to be in a car collision than ever diagnosed with an STI. Yet, I’m quite certain most of you will cross a street today.

Learning about the various infection and preventative methods, like use of barriers and regular testing, will give you an idea of what you can do to have safer sex. Then you can create your own set of safer sex practices. I won’t pretend that everyone I know uses barriers for every single sexual encounter and activity. Some do. They always use condoms for penetration, condoms or dams for oral, and gloves for manual. Others are comfortable performing oral and manual without protection as long as their partners get tested regularly (every 3 months in some communities, every 6 weeks in others). Others are completely fluid bonded (no barriers) with all their sexual partners, but they will first make sure that those partners are tested often, and they might have an even more in-depth vetting process around sexual awareness. I’ve even heard of some people, who prefer fluid bonding, reaching out to previous partners of people they are considering sleeping with to check how they react to STI scares.

As you learn more about STI prevention, you will begin to understand what safer sex practices you want to follow. I’ve only brought up a few examples of safer sex practices here. There are a plethora of tools that weren’t even mentioned, including Prep and internal condoms, that can also be included in your own safer sex practices.

What you might have noticed is the amount of communication going on in these relationships and sexual encounters. That’s the real key. If we can’t learn to talk about sex comfortably and in an informed way, then it will always be a big scary thing, instead of the experience of pleasure and connection that it should be.

See you next week.

-Lex

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