Most folks I know in my age group or younger are adamant about safe sex. We pride ourselves on the precautions we take for sexual safety. Those of us 40 and under grew up during the dawning of HIV/AIDS. We know how important condoms are and we would never dream of engaging in unprotected intercourse. Never, ever, EVER. It’s just not in our vocabulary.
We know about the risks of HIV, herpes, syphilis, chlamydia and a host of other STI’s. We’re also so up on the latest news that we’re aware STI’s are no longer called STD’s. We go to the doctor regularly, we get tested.
Did you hear the latest news?
HPV now tops cigarette smoking as the top cause for throat cancer. 64% of throat cancers result from an HPV infection. 80% of women will have at least 1 strain of HPV by age 50. Also, it’s suspected half of all men are currently infected with the HPV virus.
Did you also know HPV tests for men don’t exist nor will insurance cover the cost of male vaccinations? Insurance won’t cover the cost of vaccinations for women outside of the 12-26 age range either. For those of us lucky enough to get vaccinated, the vaccines don’t guard against all strains. Women over 30 are routinely tested for HPV during their pap smears but unfortunately, the tests have a pretty significant level of inaccuracy. The high risk cancer causing strains of HPV show no symptoms.
The experts tell us to use unlubricated condoms and dental dams for oral sex. We all nod our heads, “Oh yes, of course, of course . . . safe oral sex. It’s a must! What do you think I am? CRAZY? Ha! Of COURSE I have safe oral sex! Always!” And we’re all blatantly lying to each other. Picture the cat that ate the canary . . . except the cat is you and there is an unwrapped dick in your mouth.
Who are we kidding? None of us are having safe oral sex. Don’t worry; I’m not here to preach to you about how you’re putting your life at risk. I’m not going to give you advice on how to position that awkward, uncomfortably small dental damn and lubricate it on the underside so she might feel something. Nor will I tell you how to put a condom on with your mouth. Why? Because I know you’re not doing it. Either am I.
We’ve all justified our lack of protected oral sex. The risks of contracting HIV, while possible, are pretty miniscule from oral. Almost everything else we can get an antibiotic for, right? And we’ve all collectively decided to just forget about herpes. Herpes who?
Adult sex educators routinely give us tips on how to make unprotected oral sex safer, which we interpret as an endorsement. Don’t brush your teeth within two hours of oral so you are less likely to have fresh mouth cuts and scratches. When it comes to semen, follow this simple rule: “swallow or spit, just don’t let it sit!” We always have condoms in our pockets and purses but we save those for “real sex.”
I’m just as devastated as you are. I love oral sex. And like most of this country’s teenagers, I don’t really see it as “real sex.” If you give me your lunch money, I’ll totally give you a blow job on the back of the bus when the driver isn’t looking. Yes, kids ARE doing that. And no, they aren’t packing rubbers in their lunchboxes.
I need to make some serious changes, you need to make some serious changes. I’m not happy about it and either are you. Actually, I’m more than not happy, I’m completely crushed. This is going to ruin sex forever. I need to throw myself on the floor and sob for a while. This feels like that diet I don’t want to go on. I’ll start this new, ‘responsible person’ behavior next week. Until then, I’m going to eat every pussy in sight.
Sucking on condoms sucks. Am I the only one afraid I’m going to A. swallow it down like a long spaghetti noodle or B. suck too hard and make a reverse bubble in the back of my mouth?
And I can’t even begin to comprehend eating a pie without tasting the pie. Dental dams are so small and just like condoms, the taste is less than desirable. They say you can cut a condom or latex/vinyl glove in half and use that but that really isn’t much bigger or palatable.
Saran Wrap has been thrown out as a solution to either place over a vagina, anus or wrap around a penis. This seems like the only solution I might be able to get used to. Saran Wrap is large, thin and easily moldable. Turns out though, Saran Wrap is somewhat permeable and tears pretty easily. It’s not very safe or the ideal material but it is better than nothing.
Perhaps this HPV scare will lead to people using more toys and manual stimulation? Maybe that isn’t so bad? I’m all for handjobs and toys— Hey! Fucksaws for everyone! The jury is still out on that one though, too. There is also evidence HPV can also be transmitted through kissing and manual skin-to-skin contact. Fucking hell. Really!?
I’m not sure what the answer is here. I am pretty certain, however, we’re not going to be able to figure it out until we start admitting we aren’t having safe oral sex. The first step to recovery is acknowledging there is a problem. How can we change our behaviors to include livable, real world alternatives for safe oral sex if we can’t even admit we’re having unprotected oral sex? Say it out loud. Tell people. I did. You can too.
Unfortunately, we can’t continue to close our eyes, bury our heads in a delicious lap and pretend the risk of disease isn’t there. It’s not working with herpes and it certainly won’t work with HPV.
What’s your take on this? Are these new findings going to change your behaviors? Are you having safe oral sex? No? What will it take to get you to start? Or will you?
*post contains affiliate links, mama needs to buy a bunch of Saran Wrap ;)