To be honest, I’m not really one of those women that enjoys oral sex. This isn’t due to any issues with my boyfriend’s technique, but really just down to my personal preference. This makes me part of the minority though. As according to a sex survey, around 75% of all women enjoy oral sex. But how does a woman protect herself during oral sex when she is the recipient? There’s actually a solution on the market for stress-free oral sex – the dental dam! I tried it out.
Experience with Dental Dams: Dental… uh, what?
Dental dams are thin sheets of latex that are placed over the female genitals or the anus during oral sex, thus offering a barrier against diseases and infections. The sheets were first used in dental medicine, which explains the medical sounding name. Unlike other countries, they’re not really that common in Germany yet. For example, in neighboring France, dental dams go with oral sex like baguettes with breakfast.
Pills, condoms… do we really need anything else?
To make a long story short, yes! This is particularly true for new sexual partners, or those you don’t really know that well and would usually use a condom with. Dental dams are not only great for people that don’t like the taste or texture of bodily fluids, they’re also important protection against STIs (sexually transmitted infections or venereal diseases). These are easily transmitted by oral contact during fellatio. Even if the risk of many sexual transmitted infections is reduced with oral sex rather than penetrative sex, there is still a danger. Bacterial pathogens including chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis or even fungal infections can be transmitted during oral sex.
The same applies to viruses like HIV, genital herpes, HPV and hepatitis A, B and C. HIV, for example, is mainly found in seminal fluid and blood, but can also be found in low concentrations in saliva. In the case of minor scratches in the genital area, the virus can also be transferred via blood during oral sex. Incidentally, the risk is lower for the person receiving oral stimulation than the person giving it. Hepatitis A is especially concentrated in feces and is therefore often on the seemingly “clean” skin around the anal area of a person with the infection. A dental dam can protect you against intestinal bacteria and parasites commonly found in the anus.
For me, there are already enough reasons to try the dental dam for yourself. Here are some of the main pros and cons:
At first glance, dental dams look like a bisected Trojan condom. For a second I wondered if my vagina is really that big but then I realized that the sheet is meant to cover the entire genital area. The size makes sense – if it was a bit smaller and slipped during oral sex, then any protections would be non-existent. Just like its counterpart, the condom, a dental dam is available in different styles – from extra thin to raspberry flavored. There are even different sizes on offer. For those with the feeling that it needs to be smaller or a bit larger, there are always more options available online too.
Dental dams are so thin that you can barely feel it on your skin. In fact, it even feels quite pleasantly soft – like velvet. Dental dams almost remind me of the taut surface of a balloon and it kind of smells like that too.
Flavor – it tastes like it smells
…and yes, to be honest, it’s an acquired taste. As with condoms, there are a range of choices from chocolate to cola. My boyfriend chose wild berry for our experiment. The berry is mainly reflected in the purple color of the material but the sheet itself doesn’t taste as artificial as condoms – it’s actually a lot more neutral. For me it was fine, and as for my boyfriend, he thought the dental dam reminded him of his work as a physiotherapist.
Easy to use and tear-resistant
When I think about how others use cut-up condoms, rubber gloves or cling film as protection, the dental dam seems like a great choice to me. It is already designed to fit and doesn’t wrinkle. The material was also actually strong. We pulled on it, bit into it and not even my gel nails could damage the sheet. Impressive! It really makes me feel a lot safer.
My boyfriend’s review:
My boyfriend had some serious reservations but was pleasantly surprised. Sure, like all externally applied contraceptive methods, the dental dam is a bit off a turn-off as you need to press pause during sex to use it. Other than that, it is really easy to use and barely interrupts the action.
My Experience with Dental Dams: Conclusion
Despite not being a “fan” of oral, I was pretty impressed by the dental dam! I must say that I find the price per pack (4 sheets for just under 10 euros) a bit steep – especially considering the average German has oral sex 5 times a month. However, the simple application is pretty persuasive. It’s much easier than putting a condom on a penis. The sheet is simply placed on you – regardless of how turned on you are, without any complicated coating and without risk of tearing. This makes dental dams already less of a mood killer than condoms. Even so, it’s not a competition here, because after all, prevention is about protecting our health and that is what dental dams do. I give it two thumbs up!