Busting the Myths of Oral Sex
“If you have oral sex, are you really having sex?”
This is one of the most common and controversial
questions about sex. Many people think that if you are
having oral sex, you’re “not really having sex.” But,
let’s face it, oral sex is having sex.
Considered taboo by some and casual by others, oral
sex is an issue that most people don’t know a lot
about, and are embarrassed to talk about. But,
according to a study conducted by the University of
Georgia, a whopping 75 percent of teens had or are
having oral sex. That’s a huge number of people who
are doing something they don’t really know a lot
about. That said, let’s talk about oral sex so you can
educate yourself, know the risks of oral sex, and then
decide if it’s right for you.
Oral sex is the act of stimulating (kissing, licking,
or sucking) sex organs with the mouth and/or tongue.
While many people view oral sex as “safe” sex because
there is no pregnancy risk, few seem to realize that
even though you can’t get pregnant from oral sex, you
can get Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) such as
herpes, gonorrhea, HIV and AIDS plus many others.
Whether you consider oral sex “having sex” or not,
when you engage in oral sex, you are putting yourself
at risk with the same physical and emotional
consequences as vaginal or anal sex. Here is an
example of an emotional risk of oral sex. Let’s say
you decide to have oral sex with someone you really
like. To you, the sex may be a way of expressing how
deeply you care for that person, but to your partner
(the person receiving the oral sex), it could just be
a quick, no-strings-attached way to get sexually
satisfied. That person might not even call you again
because they thought of you as just a “one-night
The physical risks:
Although the risk of infection with oral sex is not as
high as vaginal and anal sex, there are still risks.
Make yourself aware of them so you and your partner
stay safe. Here are some of the physical risks
involved with unprotected oral sex.
- With either vaginal-oral contact, penile-oral
contact, or anal-oral contact, STDs can be passed by
having small cuts in the mouth. These cuts are so
tiny that you don’t even know you have them most of
- During vaginal-oral sex, if the woman receiving the
oral sex is menstruating (on her period) the risk
for infection is much higher than normal.
- During penile-oral sex, if the penis if thrust
deeply into the throat, it can cause rips in the
throat tissue, and can possibly lead to infection.
- If your partner is infected with an STD, and you are
giving him/her unprotected oral sex, you run the
high risk of contracting an STD.
- Vaginal fluid, semen and menstruation fluid can be
carriers of the STD, so when you swallow that fluid,
it can go into your body and infect you, too.
- Many STDs, such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, have no
visible symptoms. Someone could be infected with an
STD and have no idea and pass that STD to you during
unprotected oral sex.
If you decide that oral sex is right for you, be smart
and be safe. Use a condom during penile-oral sex. It
can be a flavored condom or a regular condom (without
spermicide, which may taste awful). All the regular
rules apply (ie, only use a water-based lubricant,
etc.) when using a condom for oral sex.
Using protection should also apply when having vaginal-
oral and anal oral sex. You have an option of cutting
a regular/flavored condom into a square shape and
stretching it out so your mouth only touches the
condom and not the actual body part, or you can use a
A dental dam is a rectangular piece of latex that is
stretched over the vaginal or anal area so there is no
direct contact between the sex organs and the mouth.
Dental dams come in different colors and flavors and
you can order them online at a lot of different
Now that you know all the facts, you may want to think
twice before giving oral sex to someone just to please
them. It’s important to have respect for yourself.