Does oral sex count as sex? – In Real Life

Does oral sex count as sex?

Blow job, going down, giving head, 69-er, or if you want to get really technical – ‘cunnilingus’ (mouth to vulva/vagina), ‘fellatio’ (mouth to penis), or ‘anilingus’ (mouth to anus) are all names which you may have heard for oral sex. So what exactly is oral sex, does it actually count as ‘real’ sex, and how safe is it? Let’s explore, shall we?

What is oral sex?

Oral sex is stimulation of a person’s genitals (vulva/vagina, penis or anus) by the mouth and tongue for sexual pleasure. This generally involves kissing, licking and sucking of the genitals.

As with any type of sex, oral sex can take a bit of practice to work out what you like and what your partner likes. Different people like different things so communication with your partner is important – ask them what feels nice and let them know when you are enjoying something.

Should I have oral sex?

Oral sex can be another way to be intimate with your partner, however, it’s a very personal choice and not everyone likes it or wants to try it. It’s important that both partners consent, are enthusiastic about having oral sex (giving or receiving), and don’t feel pressured into it – it’s definitely not ok to force or pressure your partner into oral sex.

Oral sex should be fun for both of you, so talk about it with your partner, consider if it feels right for you, and if you and your partner feel ready to try it. You may try it and decide it’s not for you – that’s totally ok and your partner should respect your decision (that includes stopping mid oral sex session if either of you change your mind).

Is oral sex ‘real’ sex?

Many people think that ‘real sex’ is only penis in vagina sex, but that’s not the case. Sex isn’t just about vaginal penetration, and involves a range of activities including mutual masturbation (intimate touching of each other’s genitals), anal sex, vaginal sex and oral sex.

Sometimes a sex session will include a few of those activities, and other times only one. All of these activities are extremely intimate, require consent from everyone involved, and are about sexual pleasure for you and your partner.

How safe is oral sex?

Oral sex is completely safe regarding pregnancy – you can’t get pregnant from it. However, in terms of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) there are risks. Although these risks are lower than vaginal or anal sex, it is still possible to get or pass on STIs like herpes, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis through oral sex.

So how can you stay safe? You can use a condom for oral sex involving a penis, or a dam for mouth-to-vagina or mouth-to-anus oral sex. Both condoms and dams come in a range of flavours. Avoid having oral sex if you or your partner has, or is about to have, a herpes outbreak (you can usually feel when one is coming on), as this is when the virus is most active and most contagious. Also avoid having oral sex if you or your partner has an STI (like chlamydia, gonorrhoea or syphilis) until it has been treated and cured.

If you’re having unprotected oral sex it’s important to get regular sexual health check-ups and ask your doctor if they should include a throat swab in your STI tests.

Ultimately oral sex is another intimate activity you can enjoy with a partner, and just like other sexual activities, it’s important you and your partner have fun and also stay safe.


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