How to Tell Your Female Partner You Want To Practice Safe Oral Sex

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Many people honestly believe that oral sex is safe sex. Although cunnilingus is a relatively safe form of sex, it is not risk-free. Fortunately, it is possible to make it safer by negotiating to practice safe cunnilingus.

It can be difficult to talk to your partner about why you want to practice oral sex with barriers. They may think that you don't like going down on them or that you think there is something wrong with them, instead of thinking of safe oral sex as simply being a reasonable precaution for both of you. That's why it's important to be prepared for the conversation.

How to Start the Conversation

  1. Start by telling your partner that you really want to go down on her, but that you make it a point to practice safe oral sex.Sample Script: "You are a beautiful woman, and I would really like the chance to go down on you, but I want you to know that I make it a point to have safe oral sex."
  2. If your partner does not know what safe oral sex is, then let her know that it involves covering her genitals with a barrier such as a dental dam. You could also take her through the steps you will find at the How To Perform Safe Cunnilingus article.Sample Script: "Basically I would take a barrier, such as a cut-up condom or a piece of saran wrap, and put it over your vulva before I go down on you. That will protect your body from my saliva, and vice versa. Just think, we could even make arts and crafts a part of our foreplay!" ​
  3. Your partner may not understand why you want to practice safe oral sex, so you should be prepared to talk about the risks of unprotected oral sex. Point out that oral sex can put both partners at risk of many different STDs and that practicing safe cunnilingus is a good way to lower your risk.Sample Script: "Lots of STDs can be spread by oral sex, including herpes and HPV. There was even an episode of Private Practice discussing a young man who got oral cancer from giving oral sex to his girlfriend!"
  1. Some people simply do not want to have safe oral sex. They may say they'd rather not have oral sex at all if you insist on using a barrier. If safe sex is important to you, you should be prepared to either walk away from a sexual encounter that you can't have safely or propose other options.Sample Script: "I really don't want to have sex if we can't have safe sex. If you don't want to use a barrier for oral sex, maybe we could try something lower risk like mutual masturbation."
  2. While it's important to practice safe oral sex, and other forms of safe sex, doing so is no substitute for regular STD screening. Many of the STDs that can be transmitted during oral sex, such as herpes, are not generally tested for by most physicians.Sample Script: "Before we have sex, I want you to know that I went for my last round of tests 3 months ago, and I haven't had a new sexual partner since. I was negative for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes although I haven't had an HIV test in over a year. When was the last time you were tested?"
  1. Even when comprehensive testing is done, it is possible to miss an STD if the original infection occurred too close to the test date or after testing was done. Remember to ask your partner what she was tested for since many people assume that STD Testing is a part of a check-up when it usually is not.
    1. Sample Script: "I know you said you've been tested for STDs, but which ones were you tested for? You may not realize that many STD tests, including ones for those diseases most likely to be spread during oral sex, are not part of a standard exam."


  1. Be prepared to talk about the risks of oral sex and why being safe is important to you. It might help to print out the list of STDs that can be transmitted through oral sex that you will find at the link.
  2. Focus on the fact that safe oral sex is still oral sex and that if it's something your partner likes, agreeing to do it with a dental dam may get her more of it.
  3. Don't negotiate sex when you're tired, cranky, or in the middle of a sexual escapade. It's easiest to have a good conversation about sexual activity when you're both awake... but before it's started to get hot and heavy. You can even do it well in advance. People generally find it flattering to know that you want to have sex with them, even if the topic comes up under the cover of negotiating future condom or barrier use.
  4. You can make creating a dental dam part of your foreplay. You'll find that asking the question "Honey, do you know where the scissors are?" might even become an incredible turn on.
  5. It can be harder negotiating a change in practices with an existing partner than it is to negotiate with a new partner. Talk to your lover about why you want to make the change, which may be as simple as deciding to be more proactive about protecting both of your health.

    What You Need

    • A comfortable place to sit and talk to your partner
    • Your partner, preferably in a receptive mood
    • A dental dam to use as a demonstration object or a condom and a pair of scissors to make your own dam
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