Were dental dams excluded from your sex ed classes in school? Because they were for me, and I wish they weren’t. They’re DAMN easy to use and very helpful at preventing STIs. Dental dams are thin sheets of latex that can be places over the vulva or anus before oral sex, creating an effective barrier between you and your partner that protects you both from STIs while not reducing sensation! Think of them like a condom for your mouth (hence, dental). They can even be made by cutting a condom!
But wait, you can get STIs from oral sex? That’s right, so even if you’re not practicing penetrative sex with a penis, it is important to use barrier methods (condoms, dams).
So why wasn’t I told about them?
They’re not as widely known about as condoms (which also act as a barrier), so perhaps your sex educator (if you received any sexual education at all), wasn’t aware of them. They also aren’t as readily available and are more costly than condoms (however, if there was more knowledge about them maybe that would change!). Some people incorrectly believe that dental dams are only for people with vaginas, which has meant that condoms have been discussed more often than dental dams. And finally, women’s pleasure has never been much of a priority has it?!
Where do I buy them?
You can buy them online and in some pharmacies. Unlike condoms, dental dams can be made latex free, so are a great option for those of you with a latex allergy. If you don’t have access to a dental dam, you can make one from a condom. Some adult stores also sell them, if you are over the age of 18.
Can I reuse a dental dam?
Nope! Like condoms, they are for single-use only. If you have used a dam on someone’s vulva and wish to face it the same way up and use it at the back, that’s ok. Don’t go using it on the anus and then putting it on the vulva though! Also, once you place the dental damn on the intended area, do not turn it over! If you do, you’re just touching the same area that made contact with your partner, which defeats the whole purpose of the barrier.