For many oral sex just isn’t sex, but the fact of the matter is it is a form of sexual intercourse that have its own set of risks of disease associated with it.
More than half of 15 to 19-year-olds are doing it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but many believe oral sex is not the same as vaginal or anal penetration and are more inclined to go down on their partner.
Many think oral sex is safer than vaginal or anal penetration, however herpes, HPV, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV can be transmitted through oral sex.
Although genital herpes and oral herpes are caused by different strains of the virus it is possible for either virus to infect either area. While herpes is highly contagious, you person could have herpes without showing symptoms.
HPV can be acquired while performing oral sex and is considered a major risk factor for oral and throat cancer.
Gonorrhea can be transmitted in both directions when oral sex is performed on a man, and throat infections with gonorrhea are hard to treat. It is extremely easy to transmit syphilis through oral sex.
HIV transmission is relatively low, but it is still recommended to use condoms or dental dams to reduce the risk of contracting HIV or other STDs.
Genital sores, discharge and odors are good reasons to avoid oral sex with a certain partner.
Don’t floss or brush before oral sex. It could damage your mouth’s lining—increasing exposure to viruses. Deep thrusting can not only damage the throat, but increase possible exposure to gonorrhea, herpes and abrasions.