5 Things To Know Before Putting A Condom In Your Mouth

Photographed by Ashley Armitage.
If you've ever had sex with someone who has a penis, you're probably pretty familiar with condoms. But, many people are only used to condoms for one reason: penetrative sex. About a third of people admit that they've never used condoms while giving someone a blow job. And if you're not 100% certain of your partner's sexual history, you absolutely should.
But putting a condom in your mouth is a little different from having one in your vagina or butt, and there are some things you should know beforehand. Read on for everything you need to know about putting condoms in your mouth.
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illustrated by Tristan Offit.
You DO need to use condoms for oral sex.

First things first: Condoms are necessary for blow jobs. While many people skip using condoms during oral sex because there's no risk of unwanted pregnancy, there is still a risk of contracting an STI. So it's important to use condoms any time you're not sure if your partner is STI-free.

STIs are on the rise in the U.S., and many of them, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, or HPV, can be passed through oral sex. If you're giving oral sex to someone who has an infected penis (and not using a condom), you can get an STI in your throat, according to the American Sexual Health Association. Syphilis and herpes can cause symptoms such as ulcers or sores on the lips, mouth, throat, and skin, according to the CDC. Infections like chlamydia or gonorrhea sometimes don't show any symptoms, but could cause a sore throat. And an infected throat could later spread the STI to another person's genitals.
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illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Not all condoms are vegan.

Certain companies, like Sustain Naturals and HERO, sell "vegan-friendly" condoms. And they're not using vegan in an ironic way, like when your jokester friend calls their haircut "gluten-free." A lot of condoms actually aren't vegan.

Many latex condoms are treated with a substance called casein, which is a protein derived from cow's milk. Casein is used in many processed foods, as well as glue, paint, and other products. Although, it's derived from milk, casein isn't harmful to people with lactose intolerance, Sherry Ross, M.D., an ob-gyn and at California’s Providence Saint John's Health Center, told Women's Health. So, it's only a problem if you're vegan and don't want to put anything made from a cow into your mouth.
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illustrated by Tristan Offit.
They can taste like a piña colada.

Whether it's your first time giving a blow job and you're nervous about the taste or you're looking to make giving head more exciting, flavored condoms can be a godsend. "Some condoms aren't going to taste very good because they're pre-lubed, or can have spermicide on them, which can cause your mouth to numb," says Emily Morse, sexologist for LifeStyles and SKYN Condoms and host of the Sex With Emily podcast. "I like a lubricated condom, but it can leave a bad taste in your mouth, literally."

With flavored condoms, there is no bad taste. Some condoms can even taste like cocktails. So even if you don't mind the taste of lubricated condoms, flavored condoms can be fun.
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illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Don't use your teeth.

It may seem sexy to rip a condom package open with your teeth, but that's how babies are made. Just kidding... kind of. Using your teeth or scissors to open a condom can tear it, according to Planned Parenthood. So it's safest to open a condom carefully with your hands, and use your mouth later.
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illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Use a new condom every time.

For most people, it's common sense that you can't reuse a condom. But, it's also important to use a new condom every time you switch from one sex act to another. So that means no moving right from giving a blow job to having anal or vaginal sex without stopping to switch the condoms out. "A used condom is just a petri dish of bacteria," sexologist Megan Stubbs, Ed.D., previously told Refinery29. And you don't want any of that bacteria ending up inside you.
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