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Dental dams were originally designed for use in dental procedures. They can be used to help reduce your risk of transmission of STI's and HIV. Although the risk is lower with oral sex, it is still very possible. Do not brush your teeth, eat, or do anything else that might cause small cuts or abrasions in the mouth before going down on your partner(s.) Dental dams can be used on any part of the body that can pass HIV or STI's. This includes oral sex on the genital area or the anus. This tutorial shows just one possibility. We use an apple to simulate the body part we have chosen for this tutorial. If you want to practice, all you need to do is take an apple or other object that most closely represents what you are using the dam on and cut it into a more moldable shape.

Dental dams can be hard to find and expensive. In fact, many people (including pharmacists!) I encounter at drug stores and other locations do not even know what they are. You might find them at centers for safer sex, local health centers, college campuses, drug stores, and adult stores. Unless going on a wild goose chase sounds like a fun adventure, you might try calling around to find a cheap and convenient place to buy them. Other options including modified condoms, non-microwaveable plastic wrap, and gloves are shown in this tutorial and might be a cheaper, easier option. The more options you have, the better and more realistic safety can be! Explore your options.

Things to remember:

--Only use a dam one time even if it's on the same person!
--Do not turn it over since you will be exposing yourself to the fluids you are trying to avoid.
--Only use the dam on one body part--do not reuse it since you can transfer STI's to a different part of the body.
--You can always get creative and put sweet or sour syrup or flavors on the other side, but do not use anything oil-based as it will degrade the latex! It is best to use a product that is designed to be used with latex. You can find a wide variety at adult stores.
--When using lubricant, do not use oil-based, vaseline, or cold cream as it will degrade the latex. Use water-based lubricants that you can find at almost any drug store, grocery store, or even gas station.
--Microwaveable plastic wrap and animal skin substitutes both contain small perforations that will allow transmission, so they should NOT be used.
--Dental dams (and plastic wrap) come in many colors and dental dams and lubricants come in flavors as well. Be sure to have fun with your safety because you are helping you and your partner(s) stay safe and that should be a reason to smile.

1. The first step to using any safety tool you have is to check the expiration date. Do not use it if it is expired, and make sure you keep your stash updated so that you won't have to run to a 24 hour store when you least want to. The expiration date can be found on the back, bottom, or elsewhere on the outside of the package. It will usually say something like Exp. Date and then have at least a month and definitely a year.

2. Remove the dam from it's package making sure not to rip or tear it as you do so. You may want to rinse off any powder as this may cause irritation on the skin.

3. Using a water-based lubricant on your partner(s)' side of the dam can help adhere the dam and allow for more pleasure. We highly recommend you try this. You may want to have your partner(s) apply the lubricant so that you are not exposing yourself to their skin and fluids.

4. Take the dam and lay it over the area you are using it on.

5. Gently adhere the dam to the folds or crevasses of the body. This will allow for much more contact.

6. Have fun and keep it in place! When you are done, pinch your side of the dam with your fingers, lay in a paper towel or toilet paper and discard in the trash can and not the toilet. Wash your hands! If you are using gloves in conjunction with a dam, be sure to keep them away from your mouth and away from your side of the dam. If you want to use fingers, you might find the dental dam made from a glove a safer option.

To make a dam out of a condom:

1. Cut the tip off of the condom. This can be done without unrolling it all the way, but we show it unrolled here to demonstrate what and how much to cut.
2. If you unrolled the condom to do this, bunch it up back to a ring and cut the ring open. This would be like cutting along the length of the tube you just created.
3. Unfold and you now have a dental dam!

To make a dental dam out of a disposable glove:

1. Take the glove and cut off the four fingers and not the thumb.
2. Cut along the side of the glove opposite the thumb, so that when it unfolds, the thumb will be in the center.
3. Unfold the glove, and now you have a dental dam with a safe way to use your fingers too!
We hope this helps and makes it a little more fun. Remember to explore all your options!

reposted from Caitlain's Corner
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