It comes in many names (no pun intended): fellatio, cunnilingus, going down, third base, blowies, bj’s and eating out. Let’s talk about oral sex. Safe oral sex is awesome. It’s a great way to have an orgasm and to get to know your body and your lover’s body. Sadly, many people believe that you cannot contract STDs from oral sex. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and Planned Parenthood, that’s just wrong! Now it’s time for an oral exam!
Answer the following questions. Don’t worry — it’s open book.
Can HIV be transferred through oral sex?
YES. Although oral sex is relatively less dangerous than vaginal and anal sex, STDs like HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can still be transferred. Use latex or polyurethane condoms, female condoms or dental dams when going down on your lover and when your lover is going down on you. You should know that the risks of HIV increase if ejaculate comes in contact with any cuts or sores in your mouth. Keep that in mind if your lover wants to blow bareback.
Can I get herpes through oral sex from a mouth sore?
YES. Let’s talk about oral sex and herpes. Although oral and genital herpes are caused by two different types of herpes, it is still possible to get either type in either place. So, if someone wants to go down on you, they have a cold sore and they’re like, “Baby, it’s cool. It’s not that kind of herpes.” They are half right. No, it isn’t that kind of herpes. BUT, it is not cool because that cold sore can end up on your vagina. Also, condoms don’t completely protect from transmitting and receiving herpes.
How about the gonorrhea? Can I get “the clap” from oral sex?
YES. Gonorrhea (“the clap”) can be transferred if oral sex is performed on a penis. Throat infections from the clap are super duper hard to treat. The clap is virtually impossible to get from cunnilingus (going down on a woman) because the infection site is on the cervix. Condoms and dental dams are effective in not transmitting this disease.
Can I get chlamydia from oral?
YES. You can if you’re giving a blow job. Chlamydia can be transmitted to the giver and receiver of fellatio. There is little info on whether you can transfer it via cunnilingus, but the chances are probably the same as gonorrhea.
Am I safe from syphilis if I have oral sex?
NO. You are not safe from syphilis (“syph”) if you do oral. It is actually really easy to transmit it via oral sex. In fact 15 percent of all syphilis cases come from oral sex, according to the CDC. Syphilis can be transferred only when symptoms are present; secondary symptoms (painless sores) are harder to find.
What about hep B? Can I get that from oral?
MAYBE. There’s no data about hepatitis B (“hep B”) and oral sex, but if you practice rimming (oral sex on the anus). Contact your physician about getting the hepatitis vaccination.
Can I get HPV from oral sex?
YES. HPV can be transmitted orally. Like smoking, HPV is a major risk factor for throat cancer. Dental dams and condoms may reduce HPV in the throat.
I know this information may seem like a total downer but oral sex does not have to be scary, but actually fun if it’s done safely and correctly. Get tested with your partner, and share your results before you have sex. Also, get your throat checked. Stay tuned next week, and I’ll show you how to have oral sex safely.