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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » How do dental dams work?

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Author Topic: How do dental dams work?
graffitionyourbody
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I'm confused as to how dental dams work, and how to turn a condom into one specifically (because I heard that actual dental dams can be expensive- is that true?). I'm a lesbian, so I can't get pregnant, and I don't have sex outside of committed relationships, but still...I know I couldn't handle an STD, especially if it was something like AIDS- I'm hoping for a long life ahead of me, thank you very much. Anyways though, how do they work? Do you just put it over your mouth? How can she feel it then? I'm confused.
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Heather
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No problem.

So, to make a condom into a dam, you get out a pair of scissors and starting from a base, you cut in a straight line upwards until you get to the tip of the condom: then you just open it up and voila.

To use that or an actual dam, you or a partner (whoever is wearing the dam) will put lube on the vulva first, then spread the condom over the hole vulva when legs are open. One of you will hold the dam in place with hands (usually easier for the person not wearing it to do) while engaging in oral sex. Make sense?

Actual dams are a little spendy, but not much more than some quality condoms are.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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graffitionyourbody
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Should you use flavored lube, or can that give her/me a yeast infection?

And thanks, it makes sense now. But are actual dental dams any more good quality than con-dams? (I made a play on words! Yay!)

This is all hypothetical as I'm currently single, but I figure I should know so I'll be ready when the time comes.

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Heather
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If you want to use it on the OUTSIDE of the dam, that's fine, but not on the inside. Not only might that risk upping the chance of yeast infections a bit more, no one would taste lube on the inside of the dam, anyway.

I personally feel like actual dams are easier to use than condom-made dams, just because they're bigger and a nice square shape.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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graffitionyourbody
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Haha, right, lube goes on the inside. I'm kind of stupid when it comes to this sort of thing- the sex education I got, although very comprehensive in other cases, didn't cover safe sex for lesbian couples.

The problem with actual dams is that I would have no way of getting them discreetly- I would have to order them in the mail and urrgh.

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Heather
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You're not stupid. For starters, if people don't give us information, we're just uneducated, and you're hardly responsible for the way LGBT people get left out of sexual health education or information. [Smile] Plus, with something like dams, until you're there with it in your hands, it can be a bit hard to envision, anyway.

Maybe. Do you know about the Walker-Whitman clinic in DC, which is expressly for LGBT health?

http://www.wwc.org/

They have a pharmacy, so may carry dams. Certainly worth a call.

[ 06-13-2010, 10:38 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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graffitionyourbody
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I live in suburban DC, so it's a bit far for me, especially since I can't drive yet (I'm young, I know I shouldn't be thinking about sex yet, but I am). If I end up at Whitman-Walker for any reason though, or Metro Teen AIDS or somewhere like that (my church does a lot of HIV/AIDS and GLBT related volunteer work), I'll be sure to check it out.
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Heather
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quote:
I'm young, I know I shouldn't be thinking about sex yet, but I am.
Just FYI? We don't think that way here. Young people think about sex, and some also choose to have sex. Thoughts don't hurt anyone, and thinking about how to be safe in advance is a GREAT thing to be thinking about in advance.

And no matter someone's age, we don't think there are "shoulds" with sex, save that we hope people of any age who choose to be sexual only do so when it's fully and mutually wanted, when it's right for everyone involved very individually per both short-term and long-term wants, needs and goals, and when people make physical and emotional safety a priority.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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graffitionyourbody
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Haha, okay. I'm just kind of reflecting what everyone says to me in saying that. It's something I'm kind of conflicted about, my age I mean, but that fits in a different topic entirely, and one that I'm sure you've already covered.

Anyway, thanks for all your help. I understand it a lot better now. [Smile]

Posts: 19 | From: Washington, DC. | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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