Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why Don’t We Use Condoms for Oral Sex?

We really should, but the numbers show that almost no one does.

   

I remember my 27th birthday party better than I remember most parties, mostly because of a guy who wasn’t even there. That week’s New Yorker included a feature by Jerome Groopman, who warned of a new antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea colonizing the throats of hosts from Japan to Sweden: “the harbinger of a sexually transmitted global epidemic.” Everyone was talking about it. Couples clung tighter, singles tried to shrug it off, silently praying they could pair off before this latest nastiness hit our shores. The rueful consensus was that no one in attendance—no matter their gender, race, sexual proclivities, or relationship status—regularly used condoms for oral sex.

“We’ve always been talking about safe oral sex, but how prominent do we make it? More and more we are getting evidence that we need to talk about it pretty robustly.”

Earlier this month Michael Douglas told the Guardian that his throat cancer was “caused by something called HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus.” The dangers associated with the terrifying new strain of gonorrhea are greatest for those who give oral sex to men, but the risk of HPV-related oral cancers seems higher for those who go down on women. A 2012 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 10 percent of men and 3.6 percent of women have HPV in their throats. (It should be noted that the virus’ presence is not a guarantee of cancer.) Along with these sexually-transmitted infections, pretty much everything else is transmittable through oral sex: Standard-issue gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis B, and chlamydia, the second easiest-to-catch STI in America after HPV.

For the rest of the story: http://www.psmag.com/health/why-dont-we-wear-condoms-for-oral-sex-60632/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+miller-mccune%2Fmain_feed+%28Pacific+Standard+-+Main+Feed%29

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