Avoid brushing or flossing for at least 2hrs before or afterwards: Both can create abrasions that increase your risks. Use gum or mouthwash instead.

Don’t eat crunchy food right before or after: Things like toast, chips or cookies can create small cuts in your mouth & esophagus, increasing risks for infection if you’re exposed to anything.

Use alcohol-free mouthwash: Alcohol can dry out your mouth and inhibit natural protection.

Save deep-throating until the cover goes on: Deep-throating can irritate and tear your throat tissue, increasing the risk of infection if you’re exposed.

Switch condoms for different sex acts: This prevents spreading bacteria & viruses from one part of your body to another part. BONUS — also reduces the chance of the condom ripping!

Ask your partner to not ejaculate in your mouth: This reduces your exposure to HIV and other STDs, by reducing the volume of semen, which has a high concentration of HIV virus. It can be just as sexy to ejaculate during vaginal or anal intercourse into a condom or onto your breasts!

If your partner does ejaculate in your mouth, spit, don’t Swallow:  Swallowing semen will expose your throat and esophagus to whatever bacteria or viruses are present in the semen. Food can create cuts and irritation in your throat and esophagus where infections can enter your body.

Rinse your mouth out with water if your partner ejaculates in your mouth: This can get help remove semen from your mouth & throat. The shorter you are exposed to any pathogens, the less likely you are to be infected.

Keep your mouth healthy by flossing & brushing: If the tissue in your mouth is healthy, you’re be less likely to have cuts or abrasions where bacteria & viruses can enter your system and make you sick.

Ask for an oral swab for chlamydia & gonorrhea when you get tested, as oral gonorrhea or chlamydia infection will not show up in urine/pap tests. This is particularly recommended if you are only engaging in protected vaginal and anal intercourse. (Chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial infections and infect cells in your throat, cervix, urethra and rectum, not your blood. So if you’re only engaging in unprotected oral intercourse but protected vaginal and anal intercourse, it is unlikely that you’ll also be infected at other sites).  You can get an oral swab at Howard Brown and any city STI clinic. Some clinics do not offer oral swabs for G & C, so call in advance to find out.

(KK)

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