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Should I Use a Condom for Oral Sex?


Should I Use a Condom for Oral Sex?

Using a condom for oral sex can help protect against STDs.

Question: Should I Use a Condom for Oral Sex?

We all know that it is wise to use condoms for sex. But does that extend to oral sex as well? Here a gay teen who is thinking about having sex for the first time asks if he needs to use a condom for blow jobs.


A teen writes:

"Help, I need to know some things. I've been yearning to have sex with a guy since I was about 14, yet I never have. I have met a guy recently that i may try it with. He brought up the idea of just trying oral to try things out for me first. Is there anything I should know and also should he where a condom? Thanks for any and all help. I'm really excited."

Many people enjoy oral sex, but a lot of teens (and adults) wonder if you really need to use a condom for oral sex.

Partly due to this uncertainty, plenty of folks don't bother doing so. But it is actually a really good idea to use a condom for oral sex. This is because you can actually contract almost all of the same sexually transmitted infections from oral that you can get from anal and vaginal sex! Plus, both the person giving oral sex as well as the person receiving it can be exposed to a variety of infections.

However, it should be noted that the risk of certain infections, particularly, HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) is actually significantly lower from oral sex than it is from vaginal or anal sex. But since transmission is still a possibility, that's a risk a lot of young people don't want to take.

Now for the specifics:

Oral Sex on a Penis

Oral sex on a penis, (often called a blow job), is lower risk for HIV transmission than is vaginal or anal sex. But blow jobs can put people at risk for infections like herpes and gonorrhea.

Condoms offer great protection from infections. People who don't use condoms for oral sex can help reduce their risk by not having a partner ejaculate in their mouths.

Oral Sex on a Vulva

Performing oral sex on a vulva, (or going down on someone) is a really low risk activity for HIV. But this sex act can still put people at risk for infections that can be passed through skin-to-skin contact. Some examples are herpes, HPV and even syphilis.

People can reduce their risk, by using a latex barrier (often called a dental dam) over the vulva.


Analingus (often called rimming) refers to using your mouth on a partner's anus. HIV transmission is not usually a risk from oral / anal contact. But this form of sex play can expose you to a number of parasites and can put you at risk for a serious viral infection called hepatitis.

Use a dental dam over the anus to help reduce risk.

Deciding to Practice Safe Sex

Everyone has their own comfort levels when it comes to safe sex. Some people insist on having themselves and their partners tested for STDs before becoming intimate. Others use condoms or dams for all sex play where body fluids could be exchanged. And many folks practice safe sex for some forms of sex and not for others.

This is a personal choice, but it is one that should be made with the knowledge of what you might potentially be exposing yourself to.

There are many ways to express your sexuality and a lot of teens find that they can actually enjoy sex more when they have the security of knowing that they are being as safe as possible.

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