Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

What You Need To Know About STDs & Oral Sex

Beyond serving as a go-to source for vital reproductive care, the folks at Planned Parenthood— a team of knowledgeable experts in medicine, sexual health, and law — are passionate, informed advocates for knowing your own body. Planned Parenthood is here to tackle the big issues.
PP_STD_OralIllustrated by Ly Ngo.
By Mylanie Sanchez
Someone asked us: What kinds of STDs I can get while giving a blow job? I don’t like to have someone’s penis in my mouth with a condom — because you know, the taste is not really enjoyable — but is it necessary when I meet someone new? If yes, I’ll reconsider my point of view.
A lot of people are unfamiliar with the STD risks linked to oral sex, so it’s great that you’re asking about it. STDs that are spread easily by penis-to-mouth contact include herpes, gonorrhea, HPV, and Hepatitis B. Infections like syphilis, HIV, and chlamydia can also be transmitted through oral sex, though it’s very rare.
Because most of the time STDs don’t show symptoms, it can be hard to know if your partner has an infection just by asking them or looking at their penis. This is why it’s important to use protection when you’re having ANY kind of sex (oral, anal, vaginal).
RELATED: Does STD Testing NEED To Involve A Vaginal Exam?
It’s a good idea to be cautious and use condoms — even for oral sex — unless you both have been tested (since having sex with anyone else) and are in a monogamous relationship (where you only have sexual skin-to-skin contact or exchange sexual fluids with each other).
It’s understandable that the taste of regular condoms isn’t quite your thing, and luckily, there are a few alternatives. You can try polyisoprene or polyurethane condoms, which are made out of plastic (so they don’t have that “rubber glove” flavor). There are also non-lubricated condoms made specifically for oral sex . Other types of flavored condoms, or regular condoms with flavored lube, can also turn safer oral sex into a tastier treat.
Remember: Using condoms for oral may not feel ideal, but neither does getting an STD.
NEXT: Can You Get Sick From Swallowing Semen?