How To Tell Your Male Partner You Want To Practice Safe Oral Sex

Italian couple laying in grass relaxing
PBNJ Productions / Getty Images

Many people honestly believe that oral sex is safe sex. Although they're wrong, that assumption can make it particularly difficult for people who want to practice safe oral sex to negotiate practicing safe fellatio. If a person doesn't think of blowjobs as risky, he* may not understand why someone would want to perform oral sex using a condom. That's why it's important to be prepared for the conversation.

* I am using "he" as a shortcut to refer to a partner who has a penis. 

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: As long as it takes...

Here's How:

  1. Start by telling your partner that you are really interested in giving him a blow job (otherwise, why are you negotiating one?). Then tell him  that you make it a point to practice safe oral sex.

    Sample Script: "I think you're really sexy, and I'd really like to give you a blowjob. However, 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, talk about it. Let him know that it starts by arousing him with your hands, or other stimuli,. Then you'd put a condom on his penis before you take it in your mouth. You could also take him through the steps you will find at the How To Give a Safe Blowjob article.

    Sample Script: "Well, first we'll get you turned on. Then we'll put a condom on before I take your penis in my mouth."

  1. If your partner doesn't understand why you want to practice safe oral sex, don't worry. Just 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. Remind them that practicing safe fellatio is a good way to lower your risk.

    Sample Script: "Lots of STDs can be spread by oral sex, including herpes and syphilis. In fact, one of the reasons that both of those diseases are becoming more common is that most people don't practice safe oral sex. They're so easy to spread that way."

  1. Some people are unwilling to agree to safe oral sex. They may say they'd rather not have oral sex at all or try. They might also try to coerce you into agreeing not to use a condom. If safe sex is important to you, then go with your gut. 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 condom for oral sex, maybe we could try something lower risk like mutual masturbation."

  2. Practicing safe oral sex, or other safe sex, is no substitute for regular STD screening. However, many of the STDs that can be transmitted during oral sex, such as herpes are not regularly tested for by most physicians. Even when comprehensive testing is done, it is possible to miss an STD. For example, tests might be wrong if infection occurred too close to the test date or after testing was done. Remember to ask your partner what he was tested for. Many people assume that STD Testing is a part of a check up when it usually is not.

    Sample Script: "I know you said you've been tested for STDs, but which ones were you tested for?"

  1. It's important to know that safety isn't the only reason to use condoms during fellatio. Some individuals don't like the taste of semen. Others like the fact that condoms neatly avoid the "spit" or "swallow" debate. Finally, some men find that using a condom during oral sex can make the experience last longer. Using condoms for oral sex can be a positive choice, not just a way of reducing STD risk.

Tips:

  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 found at the first link.
  2. Focus on the fact that safe oral sex is still oral sex. If oral sex is something your partner likes, agreeing to do it with a condom may get him 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.
  4. Remember to buy unlubricated condoms for oral sex. You don't want your tongue going numb from the N-9
  5. It can be harder negotiating a change in practices with a current partner, than it is to negotiate with a new partner. Talk to your partner about why you want to make the change. That reason 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.

Sources:

Barbee LA, Khosropour CM, Dombrowski JC, Manhart LE, Golden MR. An estimate of the proportion of symptomatic gonococcal, chlamydial and non-gonococcal non-chlamydial urethritis attributable to oral sex among men who have sex with men: a case-control study. Sex Transm Infect. 2016 Mar;92(2):155-60. doi: 10.1136/sextrans-2015-052214. 

Continue Reading