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Uppers, Downers & All Points in Between

Goin' Down:
Busting the Myths of Oral Sex
Author: Vanessa Carter

ďIf you have oral sex, are you really having sex?Ē 
This is one of the most common and controversial 
questions about sex. Many people think that if you are 
having oral sex, youíre ďnot really having sex.Ē But, 
letís face it, oral sex is having sex.
Considered taboo by some and casual by others, oral 
sex is an issue that most people donít 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. Thatís a huge number of people who 
are doing something they donít really know a lot 
about. That said, letís talk about oral sex so you can 
educate yourself, know the risks of oral sex, and then 
decide if itís right for you.
The facts:
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 ďsafeĒ sex because 
there is no pregnancy risk, few seem to realize that 
even though you canít 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 ďhaving sexĒ 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. Letís 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 ďone-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 donít even know you have them most of 
  the time.
- 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 
dental dam.
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. Itís important to have respect for yourself.