Blush: Rim shot

A couple of weeks ago, an article popped up on my news feed (I like to write posts about topics that come up in conversation online or in person, especially if they are ones that I don’t know much about, so I feel like I’ve said this opening sentence often) and out of curiosity, I clicked on it to read it. It was about a gastro parasite contracted by rimming. Here it is, in all it’s graphic detail.

Image from youtube video screenshot.

So there’s a couple things that I’d like to talk about in this article.

The first thought that came into my head as I was reading was, “I’ve only really thought about STIs being transmitted!”

The second thought, almost immediately following the first, “It makes complete sense that bacteria could be transmitted as well. Why isn’t this discussed more often?”

And third, “Why wasn’t this guy using a dental dam?”

I’ve talked about dental dams before, so I won’t repeat myself. However, I hadn’t mentioned that they are a good barrier method for oral-anal (or analingus) sex. I’ve now done some research, and yes, they are safe (and recommended!) to be used on the anus.

My search history is quite varied and unusual.

My first attempt at finding out more information on bacteria transmission via analingus didn’t turn up anything about bacteria. I found a lot of confirmation (references #1-6) that dental dams are safe for anal use, but only that they protected against STI infections.

Reference #7 finally mentioned bacteria, but only in reference to anal sex, and didn’t go into any detail about it.

Finally, references #8-10 discussed the topic I was interested in, and I was able to learn a bit more about what the original article described.

Parasites in the gastrointestinal tract invariably leave it in one direction: via the anus. Cleaning, even as thoroughly as one would before sex play, will NOT get rid of all the bacteria. Any time anal play is involved, protection should be used, even in an exclusive relationship.

(Side note: reference #9 suggests plastic wrap as a barrier method – THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! Plastic wrap is porous, and is not a viable method of protection.)

The fact that it was so difficult to find references (at all, not just good ones) on the subject means that very few people have considered the consequences of not using protection while rimming. That’s kind scary.

To sum up, use protection!


References

  1. https://www.optionsforsexualhealth.org/sexual-health/sexually-transmitted-infections/barriers/oral-dams
  2. https://www.islandsexualhealth.org/2006/06/dental-dams/
  3. https://www.islandsexualhealth.org/sex-safety/using-oral-dental-dams/
  4. http://hshc.ca/dental-dams/
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/Dental-dam-use.html
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm/stdfact-stdriskandoralsex.htm
  7. https://www.webmd.com/sex/anal-sex-health-concerns#1
  8. http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/does-good-washing-anilingus-remove-bacteria
  9. http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20188681,00.html
  10. http://www.healthcommunities.com/anal-health/index.shtml

    If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Blush: Oral Sex

So far we have received almost three digits worth of questions, but I’m greedy, and I want more! Ask us your anonymous questions here!

I thought for a long time about whether I should include topics like this one. Then I realized that this is the entire point of this project. We need to discuss topics that make us uncomfortable in order to erase the stigma that surrounds them. And oral sex needs to be discussed especially, because of the dangers that come with it.

Representing cunilingus: a cream pie.
Representing cunnilingus: a cream pie.
Representing fellatio: the peeled banana.
Representing fellatio: the peeled banana.

Question

What’s so dangerous about oral sex?

Answer

Oral sex is dangerous if you don’t use protection. People are less likely to use protection for oral sex because you aren’t going to get pregnant. Barriers like condoms and dental dams protect against more than pregnancy though; they protect us from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Not all STIs show visual symptoms, including HIV. Until you and your partner are certain that neither of you have an STI (testing is fairly simple in North America), use a barrier to prevent transmission.

Question

What sort of barriers are you talking about? I hate the taste of latex – I don’t want to use it!

Answer

Condoms (for fellatio) and dental dams (for cunnilingus) are standard use items. If you don’t happen to have a dental dam handy, a condom can easily be turned into one using some easy steps. A natural rubber latex sheet is also safe to use, as are latex gloves.

I’m resisting the urge to say that if you don’t like the taste of latex, don’t give oral sex. No-one is forcing you to give oral, and if they are, you should reconsider being with that person.

However, here are some actual tips:

  1. Buy flavoured condoms or dental dams. Dental dams are fairly new to the market, but they still have one or two flavours. Sex shops might have them in more.
  2. Use flavoured lubricant. You should be using water-based lube on the side of the latex that it touching skin anyways, and you can add some on the other side to remove the taste of the latex (somewhat. It’s not perfect.).

Do NOT flip the dental dam over and use the other side once it has been used on one side. I think that goes without saying, but there you go. I said it anyways.

DO hold the dental dam in place with your hands. It doesn’t do you any good if it moves around.

Be safe, and have fun.


References

http://www.sexualityandu.ca/stis-stds/how_do_i_protect_myself_from_stis_stds/dental_dam
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/oralsex.html