Is Oral Sex…Sex?

April 23, 2010

Sex: one of the most talked about, thought about and worried about topics in society. But what does “sex” mean?

In a recent survey conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, only 20 percent of college students felt that oral-genital contact was a form of “sex.” On the other hand, 98 percent agreed that penile-vaginal intercourse was sex, and 78 percent agreed that penile-anal intercourse was sex. Interestingly, the participants in the survey were only half as likely as participants in a similar study conducted in 1991 to consider oral-genital intercourse sex.

We all have our own definitions about what sex is or isn’t, but we can’t make the mistake of thinking oral-genital intercourse is a way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). While there is no risk of pregnancy during oral-genital intercourse, there are STDs, including herpes, gonorrhea and HIV, that you can get from oral sex.

Believing that oral sex is not as “serious” as penile-vaginal or penile-anal sex can unfortunately lead to carelessness when it comes to using condoms and dental dams to protect yourself during oral sex. And no matter what you consider sex to be, we can all agree that not protecting yourself is to risk getting an STD. And why not use protection now, so you don’t have to deal with an STD later?

-Melanie Johnson, 17, Staff Writer

Posted In: Sex
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