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Love oral sex but not sure about protection? Here are some answers

By Faeza
15 March 2017

ORAL sex has become an important ingredient of our sex lives and sexologist, Dr Babalwa Funda kaMabhoza, says it’s easy to see why oral sex is popular. “The tongue is easy to manipulate and reaches more areas,” she says, adding, “Lips also have a lot of nerve endings and can also be easily manipulated to the correct fitting and create the planned

suctioning effect which the woman’s private part muscles can also do with experience

and practice.”

SAFETY FIRST

When it comes to sex, the rule of thumb is to protect yourself and keep it healthy, which doesn’t just apply to vaginal or anal sex. “The risk of infection is the same as it is with penetration,” says Babalwa, “We need to remember that diseases are mainly exchanged through bodily fluids even though some fluids carry greater risk. The mouth is one of the

most infectious areas in the body, with a lot more micro-organisms than most parts of the body. So it’s imperative that couples maintain a very good oral hygiene that includes visiting their oral health practitioners to maintaining a healthy oral lifestyle.” Even though protection is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about or experiencing oral sex, Babalwa warns that it should be, telling Move!, “There is additional risk of throat cancer due to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which causes genital warts and cervical cancer in women. There is also other genital infections that can now be found in the oral cavity, like herpes.”

MYTH VERSUS FACT

Myth: Oral sex will not lead to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections so you don’t need any kind of protection.

Fact: Oral sex can pass on STIs that include gonorrohoea, syphilis and chlamydia. To protect yourself, use a dental dam. This is a rectangular piece of latex used to cover the genitals so the mouth doesn’t come into direct contact with the genital area. You can buy

them at a pharmacy.

Myth: Oral sex cannot result in an orgasm.

Fact: It’s estimated only 30 percent of women reach an orgasm through penetration and that the remaining 70 percent need manual and oral stimulation to get there. For sex experts like Dr Ian Kerner, oral sex is the key to orgasms, with him advocating that couples should treat oral sex as a main event instead of spending a few minutes on it before moving to penetration.

Myth: Swallowing semen is harmful.

Fact: Semen is harmful if he has STIs.