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Monday, 6 January 2014

Vulva Uses a Dental Dam?

Lube, Vulva & Dental Dam!
Have you ever been to the dentist? You know when you have a cavity and they clip a rubber like sheet to your teeth and proceed to drill away at them? Well, that sheet is called a dental dam. In dentistry they are used to isolate the tooth with the cavity from the surrounding oral environment to provide a safer way of preventing bacteria inside the cavity from spreading while operating on it. In safer sex practices a dental dam works in the same way! This thin rectangular sheet of latex (or silicone) is used specifically as a barrier between one persons mouth and anothers vulva or anus during oral sex to reduce the chances of passing on a sexually transmitted infection (STI) through bodily fluids and skin to skin contact. 

Unpackaged Dental Dam

Oral sex which includes cunnilingus (eating pussy), fellatio (sucking dick) and anilingus/rimming (eating booty hole) is the action of pleasuring or stimulating the genitalia  using the mouth, lips, tongue, teeth or throat. If you have a super flexible spine you can do it to yourself (autofellatio or autocunnilingus), or for those who are not so malleable someone else can definitely help you out! Oral sex is 
classified as 'low risk activity' And what does that mean? Well, the term 'low risk' suggests that the chance of contracting an STI through this activity is significantly lower than other 'high risk activities' such as penetrative vaginal or anal sex. The terms 'high risk' and 'low risk' are a bit sticky for me and I don't use them often because I believe that it asserts that 'high risk activites' are wrong/bad/dangerous such as; barrier free sex (without condoms, dental dams etc.) or anal sex. Which I find to be very sex negative because it shames people for having the kind of sex that they are into. BUT personal politics aside, when giving and receiving oral sex it is possible to contract an STI. For example is possible to transmit oral herpes (cold sores HSV-1) to genitals (HSV-2) and the other way around through skin to skin contact. Through bodily fluids (such as blood, semen-including pre-cum, vaginal fluids, and anal fluids) it is quite circumstantial. Remember that an STI must be present in these fluids for it to be transmitted from one person to another. So if someone is giving oral sex and has cuts or open sores in their mouth and one (or all) of those fluids with an STI present comes in contact those sores/cuts there is a possibility that an STI can be transmitted. So what can we do? Well getting tested and knowing our + our partners HIV and STI status is one way, but sometimes that isn't an option. We could also get excited about using dental dams!

How can we safely practice safer oral sex with a dental dam?
1. Ask your partner if they are into you going down on them, if they say yes proceed to step 2
2. Check the expiry date if it is still within the date open the package!
3. Spread some lube on one side of the dental dam, this will make sure it sticks better on the vulva or anus and it is more pleasurable for the person receiving! Note: Use water based lube! It won't deteriorate the latex! Also unless your into eating lube, the side without the lube should be facing you.

Dental Dam w/ Lube

4. With two hands stretch lubed dental dam over vulva or anus. Note: I folded the dam in the image below for sizing purposes, do not fold yours

Dental Dam Stretched Over Vulva
4. Enjoy! and eat to your partners content! Note: One side one use! Try not reuse or flip over the same dental dam, throw it away after one use, grab another one and repeat!

Dental dams are kind of hard to come by for a variety of reasons, and if you find yourself without them you can try these options as alternative solutions and use them in the same way as a regular dental dam;
1. NON-MICROWAVABLE saran wrap. The microwavable type is not suggested because they have tiny holes in the them that fluids can seep through and that defeats the purpose of it being used as a safer sex barrier.
2. Cutting an external condom into a dental dam. Without unrolling it, use a pair of scissors to snip off the tip. Cut the side of condom. Unroll! You should have a ready to use sheet of latex!
3. Cutting a latex glove into a dental dam. With a pair of scissors cut the four fingers off the top of the glove. Then cut down the side of the glove - leaving the thumb intact. You can use the thumb to insert your tongue or finger into your partner!
You can always prepare your barriers in advance and store them somewhere where they won't get damaged by heat, pierced by other objects, or get covered in dirt or dust. For example in a Ziploc bag!

Working safer sex barriers into our sex life can be challenging for different reasons, not everyone has the space or safety to negotiate the use of barriers, some people might not know how to use them, or sometimes for personal or religious reasons barriers are just not for everyone. Their use is highly dependent on personal preference and beliefs, social realities, issues around access to barriers and so on. So wherever and however you are situated, do what is right for you and always prioritize your safety first - whatever that may look like. Furthermore, don't worry about barriers being unsexy! You can use all kinds of barriers as a chance to get kinky with safer sex! You can try role playing and maybe be a sexy nurse/doctor coming to treat a patient(s) that has been very naughty? Do what works for you, work within your personal boundaries, stay safe, and have fun!

Questions or concerns? Don't worry! Just send me an email and I'll respond as I can!