Dr. Trager's Oral Sex Guideby The HealthCentral Editorial Team
Understanding Oral Sex
_**_Here are some terms you may hear when people talk about oral sex:
Fellatio -- This is when a guy's penis is taken into a partner's mouth and licked or sucked. The testicles can be orally stimulated also. The guy can ejaculate inside the partner's mouth (followed by a spit or a swallow) or ejaculate outside it. Lots of guys love a good blowjob, and they love to watch their partners do it.
Cunnilingus -- This is oral stimulation of the female's genitals. There can be licking and sucking of the clitoris and labia minora and thrusting of the tongue into the vagina. Some women also like having a finger inserted into the vagina or anus for extra stimulation. For some women, this is best or even the only way for them to have an orgasm.
Analingus -- This is licking the anus. There are lots of nerve endings in the anal area that make licking that area pleasurable.
That's what oral sex means -- now see what it means for you:
If you don't have oral sex, maybe it's because:
· You're not ready for it.
· It doesn't turn you on.
· You think it's nasty and the thought of it makes you want to vomit.
· You don't like the taste or odor of your partner's genitals.
· You're dying to do it but the opportunity hasn't come up yet.
· You're afraid of catching a disease.
· Your genitals are so sensitive that it's uncomfortable or even painful to have them licked or sucked.
If you have oral sex, maybe it's because:
· It's just something to do with a guy or a girl.
· All of your friends are doing it.
· Your partner expects you to do it.
· It's a great way to relieve sexual urges quickly.
· You think it's a great way to get or keep a guy or girl.
· It's a great way to stay a virgin and still engage in an intense sexual act.
· You think it's a loving way to share your body in an intimate relationship.
· You are pressured into doing it.
· You are forced into doing it.
Find yourself somewhere in there? Have different thoughts of your own? Whatever the case, a few things are important about you and oral sex:
· It is a loving way to share your body in an intimate relationship, but if you're not ready for it, don't do it.
· If you think it's a way to get or keep a girl or a guy, forget it. There's more to it than that.
· You are right to be concerned with catching a disease.
· Sexual pressure is incredibly common -- and sometimes subtle -- among teenagers. You may not even realize that your partner is pressuring you to perform a blowjob as he slowly but firmly lowers your head toward his crotch and inserts his penis into your mouth.
· Sexual coercion -- or, being forced to do something sexual -- is never right. Get away from that relationship and situation as quickly as possible.
Nasty Genital Germs Really -- what could you catch from oral sex? Unfortunately, a lot. Here are the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that could be transmitted to you from an infected partner if you give oral sex:
HIV -- This virus can pass from a guy's ejaculate or pre-ejaculate (the liquid that leaks out from his penis before he ejaculates) or a girl's vaginal fluid through small cuts or sores in your mouth and into your bloodstream. Small tears in a partner's anal area may also expose you to HIV if you lick his or her anus.
Herpes -- Genital herpes can be passed right from a partner's genitals to your mouth or lips. Remember, a person can be contagious even between herpes outbreaks. That's because herpes virus is shed from the genitals even when there are no obvious sores.
Genital warts -- This viral infection can pass from a partner's genitals or anus to your mouth or lips.
Gonorrhea -- A bacterial infection of the urethra (urine tube), cervix or anus, gonorrhea can be transmitted to your throat and cause a severe throat infection.
Syphilis -- A highly contagious bacterial infection that can be transmitted from a partner's genitals to your mouth.
Hepatitis B -- This is a viral infection of the liver, which is spread by contact with an infected person's blood. Small tears in the anal area could transmit this virus through cuts or sores in your mouth into your blood.
Hepatitis A -- This viral infection is transmitted by fecal-oral contamination so this could happen from licking a partner's anus.
Molluscum -- This STD shows up as smooth, skin-colored bumps and can be spread to the skin around your mouth from a partner's genital skin.
Can you get an STD from receiving oral sex? The answer is yes, it's possible. Diseases like herpes, syphilis, and gonorrhea -- which can infect a partner's mouth or throat -- could be transmitted to your genitals by receiving oral sex. It's also possible that HIV and hepatitis B could be transmitted this way, especially if your partner has cuts or open sores in his or her mouth.
Remember: Most of the time, STDs have no symptoms at all. That makes it hard for you and your partner to recognize an infection.
Going Undercover For a lot of teens I talk to, the idea of sucking on a condom-covered penis or licking a latex-covered vagina is so ridiculous they don't want to hear about it. And that's despite lots of media attention on the health risks of oral sex.
But the truth is, if you really want to cut down on your risks of getting -- or giving -- an STD, then that's what you'll need to do, or don't have oral sex at all.
Unless you absolutely know for sure that both you and your partner have no STDs (which may be difficult) and are both HIV-negative (and could not have been recently infected) you can take precautions to make oral sex safer.
You can use a:
Dental dam -- This is a piece of latex that is placed over a partner's vagina or anus during oral sex. You lick or get licked through the dental dam, but the tongue never actually touches the vagina or anus.
Latex condom -- A non-lubricated latex condom can be worn on the penis during a blowjob. This keeps the pre-ejaculate and ejaculate out of the partner's mouth. A flavored condom is good for this. Don't use the same condom for vaginal or anal intercourse. A non-lubricated latex condom can also be cut into a square and placed over a partner's vagina or anus just like a dental dam.
Plastic food wrap -- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that plastic food wrap can also be used as a barrier during oral sex.
If you use one of these barriers:
· Don't reverse it.
· Don't re-use it.
· Don't transfer it from anus to vagina or vice versa.
· Try some lubricant on the partner's side to enhance pleasure.
Talk Before You Go Down Communication is everything when it comes to a relationship, and that's so true when it comes to oral sex.
Discuss with your partner whether you want to have oral sex or not. Discuss each other's sexual history and history of STDs. Get checked out by a doctor together. Go for an HIV test together.
If you decide to have oral sex and you want to keep your risk at a minimum, discuss using a barrier method before you get to one of those adolescent moments of truth.
And if you don't want to do something sexually, say so! Otherwise your partner may keep you going down for more.