NaBloPoMo #4- Safer Oral Sex Tips (Penis Edition)

When I first started working as a sex educator, my primary focus was on prevention and public health. I worked in a lot of non-profits including a sexual assault prevention center and multiple reproductive healthcare/STI screening organizations. I loved doing that type of work and often consider going back to it, even though that arena isn’t exactly known for its sex positivity. For now, I will just continue geeking out about risk reduction and safer sex practices. One area in particular that I’d like to focus on today is using barriers for oral sex, specifically on penises (I’ll focus on vulvas in a separate post). So many folks opt out of using condoms for blow jobs before even considering them. Why? Well, there is a ton of stigma around STI’s, so we’re often not talking about them before clothes come off. We also know there is a little less risk involved with oral sex, and sometimes that message comes out sounding like there’s no risk at all, which is patently false. Finally, we don’t talk about pleasure when we talk about prevention. They usually sound mutually exclusive. But they don’t have to be. Here are 4 tips for making blow jobs with condoms more fun:

1.Flavored condoms and lube
This is probably the most obvious choice for the blow job giver- using something that tastes better than a regular condom. There are tons of flavored condoms on the market. I recommend trying different flavors and different brands because some of them taste a bit too sweet or too strong, while others might fit your preferences perfectly. Another option is using an unlubricated condom and purchasing a flavored lube that you enjoy. My favorite to recommend are all the flavors of the Sliquid Swirl line. These lubes are sweetened with Aspartame rather than sugar, so they are safer to use inside a vagina or anus. This is especially helpful if you’re planning to go straight from a blow job to vaginal or anal sex. With other lubes it would be more important to wash off in between. If the receiving partner is very sensitive, for example if they are prone to yeast infections or get irritated easily from certain lubes, you still might want to clean off and switch condoms before moving on to other penetrative forms of sex.

2.Water-based lube
Did you know that unless they are labeled otherwise, all condoms are packaged in silicone lubricant? It’s true! Silicone is super slippery and long lasting. It also has a much longer shelf life than water-based lubes. So it makes sense why condom companies use it. Latex condoms already have a particular smell and taste to them that are unpleasant to some, but silicone lube tends to amplify that effect. Enter, the water-based lube condom. Not many companies make them, but one is Microthin Aqua. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a non-latex condom with water-based lube so you’ll still have the latex taste, but it’s much easier to swallow (pun totally intended) than many traditional condoms.

3.Use lube inside the condom
This is my favorite trick! Sometimes in the condom directions (if you read that little pamphlet inside the box) you will see “put a drop of lube into the tip of the condom if desired.” This helps the wearer feel more stimulation. If you are planning to use the condom only for oral (and this is important because too much lube inside the condom will create slippage), add a little more lube than usual. This can help you create a makeshift masturbation sleeve that is also an effective barrier. You can move the condom up and down the shaft of the penis, making sure your mouth is always over the condom by keeping your hand closer to the base of the penis. Again, remember to switch the condom and wipe off that excess lube before moving to penetrative vaginal or anal sex, if that’s what’s in your plans.

4. Enthusiasm
Oftentimes when people are asked what’s sexiest about receiving oral sex from a partner, the response is ENTHUSIASM. Why? Most people want to know their partner is enjoying themselves during sexy times, sure. But enthusiastic oral sex generally looks sexier and feels better for the person receiving. If you’re not feeling it for any reason, don’t do it. Save it for another time when you really want to. Or if you are on the receiving end and can tell your partner isn’t into it, check in and stop until you’re both interested in trying again.

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