When I started writing The Cunnilinguist, my first venture into non-fiction, most of the lesbian and bi friends I spoke to were fairly well-versed in the subject of cunnilingus however what they weren’t so well-versed in was the subject of safer sex and how to make safe sex sexy. Hell, most of them had never even seen a dental dam, never mind used one.

So when I was invited to write this post I thought I’d take a dive into something that’s not overly talked about in the lesbian community and share a few tips about how you can practice giving (or receiving) safer oral sex without losing sex appeal.

safe oral sex cunnilingus and dental dams
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What are the risks in giving (or receiving) cunnilingus?

Although considered one of the safest forms of sex, cunnilingus doesn’t come without risks—any genital contact, or even mouth-to-mouth contact has a degree of risk, especially if there are open wounds involved such as ulcers or bleeding gums. Some of the STIs you are putting yourself at risk of transmitting or receiving are herpes, chlamydia, HPV, and syphilis. Remember; Low risk doesn’t mean no risk.

8 simple tips for making cunnilingus safer

Before we begin, remember that the safest sex occurs within a faithful, monogamous relationship whereby you know the STI status of your partner. The more partners you or your partner have, and the riskier those interactions, the higher the risk of transmitting or receiving an STI.

  1. Analyse the risk and be prepared. If you haven’t talked about fluid bonding and STI status with your partner, or you have any uncertainty of their status, you have to be prepared to play safe. If you think your evening with that partner, or any unknown partner, might include cunnilingus, have a dental dam or two at the ready. More on that later.
  2. Trim your nails. Ok, we’re talking oral sex here, but your hands are going to get involved too. Clean, trimmed nails are a must. No one likes having their delicate bits handled with snagged or rough nails. You don’t have to cut them super short, but do keep them trimmed and buffed.
  1. Remove your rings. Especially if they have stones or carvings; It’s better to go ring-free so that you don’t accidentally injure the person you’re trying to pleasure. Jewellery also harbours bacteria and dirt, which can lead to infections. Just like you need clean nails, you don’t want to introduce germs to the party through your jewellery.
  2. Practice good oral…hygiene. The vagina is cleaner than the mouth. Yes, it’s true. If you can give your mouth a quick rinse with a non-stinging mouthwash or even chew a piece of sugarless gum, do so. It helps to neutralize bacteria. This can help prevent infections and will get your saliva going, which will be a big plus. Just don’t do anything that might cause bleeding, such as brush too hard or floss.
  3. Reduce fluid transfer. Whilst STIs can be transmitted through contact alone, transfer of vaginal fluid and blood increase the risk. If your partner is menstruating or if you have any open wounds in your mouth or fingers the risks are increased. Consider a bit of mutual masturbation or toy-action instead.
  4. Don’t blow. Not really to do with STIs, but never blow into your partner’s vagina. It’s dangerous. Across the clit and vulva, yes. In the vagina, no!
  5. Be honest. Several years ago, my partner and I had a friend with whom we had a bit of fun occasionally. One night, after fun was had, she informed us she was carrying an infectious virus. Talk about putting a dampener on things. Not only did we never have fun with that person again, but it took years for the friendship to recover and our trust in other people was also lost for some time.

OK, so those were the obvious ones. Now what about those dental damns and some sexy tips I hear you say? We’ll, let’s begin.

5 ways you can use a dental dam to enhance pleasure

Firstly, for anyone who doesn’t know what a dental dam is, it’s a thin, square sheet of latex that you use to cover the area your mouth is about to come in contact with. Go for the largest size as they can slide and remember to rinse the powder off before use.

how to use a dental dam for oral sex
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How to use a dam for oral sex – source CDC.

I’ve been with my partner for a long time, double-digit years, yet we still occasionally use dental dams together. Why? Because latex is sexy and fun, and dams open other opportunities.

  1. Sex on fire. If your partner is the type who likes warming lube or tingling lube or any sort of lube you don’t fancy having in your mouth, then a damn can facilitate an experience that might not otherwise be possible sans-barrière.
  2. Spread the love. For those who have a sensitive partner, a damn allows you to give licky-licky action that is distributed more evenly across the vulva area. Even if they are not the most sensitive, the latex spread and sensation can be deeply satisfying.
  3. Saving tongue. Use the dam to tease your partner by sliding it across their clit or lips. Not only does this feel great, but it gives your tongue a break without causing your partner frustration through stopping. This is another reason for buying the largest size.
  4. Bubble pop. If you want to try something different, suck some air into the dam, creating a bubble, then ease it back and forth with your tongue until it dissipates. This can be quite a tease if you get it right. Either way, it’s fun to break the ice.
  5. Bottoms up. Ever wanted to venture into ass-territory but scared of all those germs? A dam is your friend. Make sure you use a clean one and don’t place it near the vulva/vagina after. Now you can get rimming without fear.

The secret to sexy safe sex is to prepare your dam(s) in advance. This might not sound terribly sexy but it will help reduce any anxiety you may have when things are about to get down and dirty. And remember, much of the awkwardness around dams and safe sex is perception; don’t apologize. Be confident and you will put your partner at ease; safe sex is as much about protecting them as it is about protecting you.

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