For many couples, oral sex is a fun and important part of physical intimacy. But there are still loads of myths surrounding this type of sexual activity – maybe you even believe some of them. Here we’re calling out these dodgy “alternative facts” and setting the record straight with real facts – AKA, the truth!
4 myths about oral sex
1.Oral sex isn’t really sex
Sex means different things to different people. To some straight couples, only penis-in-vagina sex means “sex”. But for gay couples, the definition of sex is very different – they don’t consider themselves virgins just because they haven’t had heterosexual, penetrative sex!
While many young adults think that oral sex isn’t sex, the fact is that you can still contract STIs (sexually transmitted infections) through oral sex (keep reading for more info).
There is no definitive answer on whether oral sex is “sex” – it all comes down to how you personally define sex. However, you should be just as careful choosing an oral sex partner as you should when choosing a partner to have penetrative or other kinds of sex with.
2.Oral sex is safer than other kinds of sex
No, no, no! Believing this dangerous myth could actually be how you end up contracting any number of serious STIs. Remember, STIs are passed from person to person through skin-to-skin contact, which involves the genitals, mouths, fingers or even unclean sex toys.
When the saliva, semen, vaginal secretions and/or blood of two people come into contact, there’ll always be a risk of transferring an STI, even if you aren’t having actual penetrative, P-in-V sex. Bottom line: Oral sex can be just as risky as other types of sex, so always use a condom and a dental dam, whether you’re a straight, gay or lesbian couple.
3.You have to put the whole penis in your mouth
You can thank porn movies for this perpetuating this myth. Remember, porn isn’t rooted in reality. Just because a movie star can ‘deep throat’ without gagging doesn’t mean you’re able to, or even that you want to or have to. No, you don’t have to put the whole penis in your mouth for it to count as oral sex, or for your guy to enjoy it. In fact, the most sensitive part of the penis is the head, so focus on stimulating that area with your mouth, tongue and hands or fingers.
4.You ‘have’ to give and/or receive oral sex
Absolutely not! As with any other type of sexual act, you don’t ‘have to’ do anything – you should only ever do what you want to do, and what you feel comfortable doing, with whom you feel comfortable doing it. Even if you’ve engaged in oral sex before with the same partner, and don’t want to do it again, you don’t have to. That’s the beauty of sex: you do whatever you want to do, when you want to do it, provided your partner also consents to the same things.
All your sexual healthcare support and information at Marie Stopes
The best kind of oral sex is the safe kind. So pop into your nearest Marie Stopes for quick and painless STI screening, contraceptive advice or a woman’s wellness checkup.