Reasons for Abstinence

Oral Sex: Is It Really Harmless Fun?

Oral sex is a form of sexual activity.

There are very real risks of acquiring STDs/STIs which can cause serious harm to your body, perhaps for the rest of your life.

For more information about oral sex, visit The Medical Institute.

The Facts About Oral Sex & STDs

For much of our culture, oral sex is a taboo topic—something too private and personal to discuss openly—but that silence has resulted in a dangerous lack of knowledge. When it comes to your health, ignorance isn’t bliss. In fact, it can be costly and painful. For the sake of your health and safety, you need to know the risks of oral sex.

 

What Is It?
Oral sex is contact of one person’s mouth or tongue with the genitals of another person.

Who’s Doing It?
Anecdotes from educators and counselors suggest that oral sex is becoming common in both middle school and high school, even among many who consider themselves virgins. In one study of 12- to 15-year-olds, about one of every six students said they had tried oral sex (including many who had never had vaginal sex).2  In a study of senior high students, more than four out of five nonvirgins and one out of five virgins had tried oral sex.3 Teens exposed to drugs and alcohol are particularly likely to try oral sex.4

Is It Sex?
There is widespread confusion about whether oral sex is sex. In one study, one third of college students believed that oral sex was abstinent behavior.5 However, if sexual activity is defined as bodily contact meant to give or derive sexual gratification, then it is clear that oral sex is sex.

Is it Safe?
Another misconception about oral sex is that it’s “safe.” This is a dangerous myth. Although pregnancy is not an issue with oral sex, a wide variety of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) can be spread through oral sex. Some of them are painful. Some of them are untreatable. And some of them can be deadly.

 

2  Boekeloo BO, Howard DE. Oral sexual experience among young adolescents receiving general health examinations. Am J Health Behav. 2002;26:306-314.

3  Newcomer SF, Udry JR. Oral sex in an adolescent population. Arch Sex Behav. 1985;14:41-46.

4  Schuster MA, Bell RM, Kanouse DE. The sexual practices of adolescent virgins: Genital sexual activities of high school students who have never had vaginal intercourse. Am J Public Health. 1996;86:1570-1576.

5 Horan PF, Phillips J, Hagen NE. The meaning of abstinence for college students. Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education for Adolescents and Children. 1998;2:51-66.