Is Oral Sex Safe?
With almost 90 percent of sexually active adults and more than half of those aged fifteen to nineteen participating in oral sex, it can hardly be considered an exotic sex act anymore, prompting the question, "Is oral sex safe?" The answer depends on your definition of safe sex.
- Oral sex and pregnancy. Oral sex is safe if your primary concern is pregnancy. While it's possible to think up highly unlikely scenarios of fluid exchange where semen is deposited in the vagina during male on female oral sex that follows a round of female on male oral sex, you're better off spending your time worrying about being struck by lightning in the middle of a cloudless day than worrying about getting pregnant from unprotected oral sex.
- Oral sex and STDs. It is possible to contract sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from oral sex. While HIV transmission rates are lower with oral sex than they are with vaginal or anal sex, experts believe that anywhere from five to fifteen percent of new HIV infections are caused by unprotected oral sex. It is also possible to spread herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and the human papillomavirus (HPV) through unprotected oral sex.
- Oral sex and prophylactics. It is possible to perform "safe" oral sex with the use of condoms for female on males and dental dams for male on female oral sex. While these prophylactics do reduce the risk of spreading STDs, it is still possible to spread both herpes and HPV through oral sex with condoms or dental dams even if the devices don't fail. Neither condoms nor dental dams prevent exposure to all possible infected genital areas.