Is Oral Sex Safer than “Real” Sex ?

Every generation likes to think they invented sex. Some countries even call first dibs on certain sexual practices like French kissing and the Indian Kama Sutra. This means we may never know who or what nationality first discovered oral sex. 

These three words are often used to define oral sex: 1. fellatio (oral sex performed on a penis) 2. cunnilingus (oral stimulation of a vagina). and 3. analingus (use of the mouth and tongue to stimulate the anus). Some studies have shown that oral sex is increasingly more popular than regular intercourse. Moreso many women have confirmed that they are more likely to engage in oral sex than intercourse. While many men say they are more likely to engage in oral sex with significantly more partners than they would intercourse. This just goes to show that oral sex has gotten very popular among young people.

The influences of music, TV, movies and pornography on our generation, have gotten the credit for the increase in oral sex popularity and social acceptance. Another popular reason is the modern view that women should also receive oral sex and not just give men oral sex. So, these days men are encouraged to give as often as they receive. A popular sex position for this is known as the “69”. (Yes it means what you’re thinking).

Among men and women who do practice oral sex,  one of the reasons given is because “it’s not really sex”. This is a common reason among women who may or may not be virgins. This is because it seems to preserve the desire of the person to avoid problems like an unwanted pregnancy. Among men, the reason given is similar. it’s not really sex, or it’s less-commitment sex. Also, of course, you can’t catch STIs through oral sex? But is this really true?

Here are two experiences with oral sex:

  1. Vincent is a hottie who doesn’t believe oral sex is real sex. During his NYSC camp days, Vincent had more than 15 girls “go down on him”. It was one of the best moments of his adult life. When it’s time for real sex, Vincent is always careful and uses a condom every single time. Since he didn’t have ‘real sex’ in camp why w0uld he bother? Some weeks after NYSC Camp, his Penis began to burn and sting. After a few days, he had bumps around it and the most painful ones appeared in between his buttock cheeks. Vincent wanted to die from the pain, itching, and discomfort. He’s been to the doctor. If you want to know his diagnosis, keep reading.

2. Ayomide is a really shy person; she’s been married for 3 years but has never experimented with oral sex. She thinks she’s ready now. Her husband was so excited when she told him over the phone and couldn’t wait to get home to ‘eat’ her. Before the act, Ayomide noticed her husband’s lips have blisters at the corner. “It is fever blisters, now I think I almost got malaria and my body fought it back,” he tells her.

She knows many people who have had these blisters. Her parents used to call it Ishinu in Yoruba. Sometime later, Ayomide notices a wound form in her private parts, it started off looking like a group of tiny pimples. She is so embarrassed, that she does not go to the doctor or tell her husband. But, after one week of enduring the pain, Ayomide fesses up and goes to the hospital. Here’s what her doctor says:

A doctor’s View of Ayomide and Vincent’s problems

Both Ayomide and Vincent probably have herpes.

Herpes is an infection caused by a virus. It has two common types. The one that appears on the mouth is known as oral/labial herpes which people often nickname as fever blisters or cold sores. This type is from the Herpes Simplex Type 1. Many caught it as children from some Aunty or uncle kissing them who had active sores on their lips.  The other (more aggressive) type of herpes appears on the genitals. The causal agent for this is Herpes Simplex Virus 2. It is generally transmitted through penetrative (Vaginal or anal) sex which most people see as ‘real sex’.

Lately, due to oral sex’s increasing popularity, there is now an increase in finding oral herpes in the genitals and genital herpes in the mouth.  Did you know that your risk of catching an STI from oral sex is higher if there are wounds or sores already in your mouth like if you bit yourself earlier in the day?

Are Oral sex STIs preventable?

To some extent YES. In Vincent’s case, he should have used a condom all through his sex vacation in NYSC. Ayomide, on the other hand, could have prevented the oral herpes infection by waiting until her husband’s lip sores had healed and stopped shedding the herpes virus actively. Alternatively, Ayomide could use a dental dam; this is a sheath that can be placed over the vagina, but because dental dams are not readily available in Nigeria, she can improvise and make one by cutting a condom open and placing it oily side down over her vagina.

Sadly, Herpes virus has no cure. This is why stress, illness, and any immune system compromise can trigger an outbreak. It commonly appears when you have a cold or malaria. Unlike genital herpes, oral herpes may not be as severe when it appears down there, but it’s a lot easier to catch because many people drop their guard around mouth-genital action.

Any Treatment at all?

Well, an anti-viral medicine can reduce the duration of the herpes symptoms but it can always come back from time to time like flu or cold.

So should you treat oral sex as real sex? A BIG YES! Let’s look at the facts:

  1. One or both of you can climax during oral sex
  2. You are in close contact with another person’s genitals
  3. You are also in close contact with their genital fluids, discharge, ejaculate, etc and may swallow some of it

So do you still think oral sex is safer or not? 

Our final advice: It does not matter if you play inside or outside the usual playground. As long as there’s any play, even if it’s foreplay, do it with a condom on.

Have you had oral sex using a condom before? Did you know that cold sores or fever blisters were just a cute name for a type of herpes? Do you still think oral sex is safer than ‘real’ sex?

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