Oral Sex STDs 101 – Things to Know Before Opening Your Mouth

It’s not breaking news that you can catch an STD from oral sex. Or that you can prevent them by using a condom or dental dam.

But, there’s much more to learn and there’s no such thing as “too prepared or informed.”

Let’s take a closer look at oral sex and STIs…


Some STDs (aka STIs = Sexually Transmitted Infections) carry a greater risk of infection through unprotected oral sex.

For example…

GONORRHEA – has been higher among teens as of the publication of this article, AND they are REALLY hard to treat.

GENITAL HERPES – remember that the HSV-1 virus causes cold sores (a common infection that a lot of people have) while the HSV-2 causes genital herpes. The various strains only differ less than 17% of their genome, which is why they can easily “jump” from one site to another.

SYPHILIS – it’s easy to transmit, even the second-stage sores are painless and hard to spot. Condoms won’t do much if there’s a sore outside the latex-covered area.

After gonorrhea, herpes, and syphilis,  there are the ones that are “less frequently” passed on.

FOR EXAMPLE: Chlamydia, HIV, Hepatitis A/B/C, Genital warts, Pubic lice, aka Crabs

NOTE: Don’t let the “less frequent” part make you think you can take more risks.



Cancer finds a way to screw up just about anything.

Although there are still plenty of studies going on, current findings show that it’s possible to spread HPV and therefore increase the risk of oral and throat cancers.

However, unlike herpes, it can spread via skin-to-skin contact rather than solely through bodily fluids.


1. STIs do not always transmit “both ways”

For example, gonorrhea can be transmitted both ways if oral sex is performed on a man. However, it becomes a different story with catching through cunnilingus because the infection is in the cervix – it’s still possible, but a dental dam will significantly reduce the risk.

2. STI tests are not always accurate

Well, hospital tests, in general, are not always 100% (that’s why they do re-tests). This is just another kick in the ass to keep yourself safe.

3. STIs symptoms are not always visible

People can have an infection and there is no sign whatsoever.

4. It’s not always through sex fluid

Like I mentioned before, it can be through skin-to-skin contact.

5. Sore and cuts will increase chances of infection

Yep, that mouth ulcer will not help things.

6. Women get it worse

For some sciencey reason, health problems from STIs hit women harder than men.

7. Viruses vs Bacteria

Antibiotics can often treat infections caused by bacteria, yeast, or parasites. However, this is no cure for the ones caused by viruses. You can only manage the symptoms.

NOTE: With anything this serious, I always recommend doing some of your own research as well as talking with a health professional.


The relatively high percentage of STIs still being passed on in developed countries is staggering. There are over 30 kinds of infections that can be passed on orally alone.

Whether through lack of education or lack of accessible/affordable testing (or idiots who believe that oral sex is totally safe), people still don’t use condoms … and even less use dental dams.

With all things hanky-panky, the whole “better safe than sorry” approach is best. And remember there’s actually no such thing as “safe” sex … just “safER” sex.

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