Myths About Oral Sex and its Health Consequences

To avoid unnecessary danger and the risk of contracting sexually-transmitted infections, it's a good idea to make use of protection when enjoying oral sex
Myths About Oral Sex and its Health Consequences

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Myths about oral sex aren’t new. In fact, people don’t just hear them through the grapevine but through social networks and even some network shows.

Some celebrities like actor Michael Douglas or singer Bruce Dickinson have added to the myths in regard to possible consequences. Are you curious about this topic? Continue reading if so.

Myths about oral sex

1. Oral sex is bad

A shy woman.

No, oral sex isn’t bad! In fact, it’s a rather natural way to express your sexuality. It’s an enjoyable and satisfying activity that exists in most cultures around the world. People have been doing it since the beginning of time.

You must take into account that oral sex is one more way of expressing sexuality. Thus, it’s a common practice that can be pleasant and satisfactory for the lovers involved in it.

People must do it responsibly, respectfully, hygienically, and with the necessary precautions in place. Of course, both parties must explicitly and enthusiastically agree to do it.


2. There’s no risk of STDs during casual encounters

Oral sex has often been perceived as an alternative to penetration to prevent pregnancy. In principle, it seems to be trouble-free but confuses for people, whether they’re experienced or not.

Its practice is currently widespread among young people who’ve just met. This is partly due to the fear caused by the idea of ending up pregnant afterward. Thus, they opt for oral sex rather than penetration.

The problem with this is that many young people practice casual sex without maintaining the necessary hygiene and protection measures. Therefore, their health is at risk even if there’s no penetration.

So, practicing oral sex with a well-known lover isn’t bad, it’s only harmful to do so carelessly with strangers. Even more so if you don’t exercise proper hygiene and wear protection.

In addition, people must keep in mind that fellatio and cunnilingus are equally risky to those with open oral wounds and during a woman’s period.

Similarly, the risk is high for those who perform oral sex on someone with syphilis. At this point, we must say that one shouldn’t only treat this disease but all STDs.

Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain that “repeated and unprotected exposure may increase the risk of transmission.”

3. Protection isn’t necessary

A woman with a condom in her hand.
There are condoms specially designed for cunnilingus that are quite easy to use and that don’t decrease your pleasure.

One of the main myths about oral sex is that “you don’t need to use protection.” This is because there’s usually a perception that mouth barriers are uncomfortable or complicated.

However, this isn’t the case. Currently, these types of devices are designed in a way that they shouldn’t pose a problem for the wearer. These are thin films one can easily put on and don’t decrease the pleasure.

In addition, professionals recommend dental dams, even during sex with a steady partner, so as to reduce the risk of contracting STDs.

There are many types of special condoms on the market for oral sex. These actually make oral sex more comfortable and are available in various aromas, flavors, shapes, and colors.

4. It’s offensive to request oral sex from a woman

People used to think that any woman who performed oral sex was “bad.” Fortunately, this kind of thinking stayed behind and anyone can make up their own minds about it.

In fact, some women prefer to give than to receive oral sex because they know their partners love it. Of course, there are some who only like to receive than to give. Everything depends on the person, the partner, their individual tastes, and, of course, their level of communication.

5. No need to brush your teeth first

A man with a toothbrush.

Many people fail to take into account that they must brush their teeth prior to performing oral sex. This is because it helps remove food debris from the mouth.

However, you shouldn’t brush or floss as rubbing the gum could open any wounds and open the door to any infections.

Actually, you must avoid this practice if you have any open wounds in your mouth as it’s an easy mode of contagion.

6. Anilingus is more hygienic

Some people think that anilingus (also commonly known as “black kiss”) isn’t risky, even when the receiver has pooped beforehand.

This is a myth, however. In fact, Dr. Jorge Vargas Castilla claimsthere’s a risk of contracting infections such as amebiasis, intestinal parasites, syphilis [through a chancre], herpes, and human papilloma [that cause condylomas in the throat].”

The doctor also says a black kiss wouldn’t cause HIV but a giver is at high risk of contracting STDs and gastrointestinal infections.

7. It causes cancer

In regard to the previous point, another common myth about oral sex is it causes cancer.

Ok, this isn’t entirely ruled out but researchers say that no single factor leads to cancer — regardless of the type. There are several associated factors, but we still don’t know if there’s a specific cause that causes it.

For instance, human papillomavirus could cause oral cancer (including the larynx or throat). However, one can’t say that this practice is the only factor that would affect its development. Thus, there are many other factors to consider.

Tips for safe oral sex

A man about to perform oral sex.
  • As we mentioned above, avoid oral sex if there are open wounds in your mouth such as cavities, orthodontic apparatuses, etc.
  • Make sure there are no cuts, sores, secretions, or inflammation in your lover’s genitals. Skip it if there are.
  • Exercise hygiene and caution. Don’t floss or brush right before you perform oral sex. This is because they could open any lesions in your gums. Thus, just rinse with mouthwash before and after the act.
  • Using a condom is always a good idea, not only during penetration.

Finally, it’s best to be well informed and consult your doctor if you have any doubts about how to practice it safely.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Cáceres, V.A.S. (2015). Infecciones de Transmisión Sexual: Epidemiología y Prevención. Revista Experiencia En Medicina Del Hospital Regional Lambayeque 1, 61–65.
  • Sebastián, M.M.S., and González, F. (2008). Hepatitis virales. Acta Pediatrica Espanola 66, 352–356.
  • Diago, M. (2007). Transmisión de la hepatitis C. Revista Espanola de Enfermedades Digestivas 99, 309–314.
  • Pitts, Marian & Smith, Anthony. (2009). Understanding oral sex. Sexual health. 5. 315-6. 10.1071/SH08031.
  • Oral sex. Better Health.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.