Sep 2012 30

Everyone talks about condoms as a form of protection and recently there has been more discussion on the female condom (Ayyyee!! But that might be a topic for another blog), but it seems that little attention, if any is paid to dental dams.

The lack of discussion about dental dams is such a shame. For one, they are fairly easy to come across and dental dams are another barrier method that can protect you and your partner(s) against STIs like herpes and HPV.

So what is a dental dam?

Basically a dental dam is a square piece of stretchy latex or polyurethane that can be used on the vagina or anus as protection during oral sex. And while it is true that oral sex is a low-risk sexual practice, if individuals have been diagnosed with STIs that are easily transmitted through skin to skin contact (the first ones that comes to mind are herpes and genital warts, which is caused by HPV) dental dams can provide you with protection while allowing you to have some fun!

Where can I get a dental dam?

Most good sex stores have dental dams in the condom section. Other places to get dental dams include local clinics and Planned Parenthood in the Flint area. However, there are ways to create dental dams from condoms or things from the kitchen.

With condoms, creating a dental dam is simple. Unroll the condom (unlubricated condoms work better) and using scissors remove the ring at the opening. Then take the scissors and cut or tear the condom down on side. And there. You’ve just created a dental dam.

If there are no condoms in sight…not to worry, walk into the kitchen and locate some plastic wrap (as much as you need). Just make sure it’s not the microwavable kind, because that can have holes in it and STIs or other pathogens can go through the holes.  Usually it’s the cheaper/store brand that don’t have “microwavable” written on it that work best!

Other quick tips about dental dams:

  • Remember dental dams are normally used for vaginal-oral and/or anal-oral sex play
  • You can add lubrication to each side of the dental dam to make the experience more enjoyable for ya’ll!
  • A new dental dam should be used for each sex act

Remember what side you are using! You can do this by writing a letter that is not symmetrical like B, Q, R, P, L, D, F…that way you are always aware of what side you started on.

I know…you’re thinking –  isn’t this gonna be kinda awkward…using this dental dam!? Well, like everything new, it just takes some getting used too. I mean, practice makes perfect…right!?! Not to mention, you have the added bonus of knowing that you’re protecting yourself and your partner(s)!


References: Palo Alto Medical Foundation 

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