From awkward sex ed at school and racks at medicinal stores to viral advertisements with Bollywood stars, everyone today (thankfully) knows what a condom is. However, have you ever heard of dental dams?
If the answer is no, you're not alone. Dental dams are, in essence, mouth condoms. They're used during cunnilingus and anilingus (oral sex with vaginas and anuses respectively. Usually made of a piece of latex or a cut condom, a dental dam is held against firmly against your partner's hole while you go down on them. I know, sounds unsexy, but it's safe to say the risk of STDs is unsexier.
Oral Sex and STIs: What's the Catch?
"But why do I need protection during oral sex? It's perfectly safe, anyway, right?"
Wrong. Several STIs can be transmitted through the mouth, including chlamydia, syphilis, and even HIV. Herpes, gonorrhoea, and syphilis are more commonly caught through oral sex, but chances of transmission still exist at a smaller scale for several other infections.
Not only genitals, but the mouth and throat can be infected by STIs as well. Sometimes, these are easier to treat, but prevention is definitely preferable to cure. By not practising safe sex, you put yourself as well as anyone else you're intimate with at risk as well. Dental dams can help prevent all these diseases just as condoms do.
Where to find dental dams
Due to the lack of awareness, dental dams aren't as readily available as condoms at pharmaceuticals. However, there are multiple ways around that.
The easiest way to acquire dental dams is to just order them off of Amazon (no, we're not affiliated and this isn't a promotion. Use other online stores if you like.) If that isn't possible, make a DIY dam with a condom. Simply cut the tip and the rolled section, cut along one side and roll it flat. It's that simple!
In a pinch, you could use a clean plastic sheet or wrap although this isn't recommended as it may not be as effective, and the thicker material may inhibit pleasure.
Oral sex is an essential part of intimacy for most people, and it definitely feels damn great (pun intended?). Just make sure to protect yourself and your partner(s) as well. Oh, and spread the news.