Your questions are certainly not inappropriate!
A dental dam is a thin sheet of latex, and it's used by spreading it over the vulva. Ideally you'll want to use some lube with it to reduce the friction.
If you don't have a dental dam handy (and they can be hard to find - usually, you'll have to order them online or go to a store that sells sex toys, as most pharmacies and drug stores don't stock them), you can also use saran wrap, or a condom or a latex glove. The saran wrap you can use just like a dental dam, with the other two you'll have to get a little crafty: with the condom, you'll cut off the top and then cut it open lengthwise, and with the glove, you'll want to cut off the fingers, and then cut open the side opposite to the thumb.
Hope this helps!
-------------------- Johanna Scarleteen Volunteer
"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005
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A dental dam is a sheet of latex. It can be used by placing it over someone's genitals before that person receives oral sex. Here's a link to Scarleteen's definition of it: http://www.scarleteen.com/glossary/term/3519
If you don't use a dental dam, there is a risk of STI's. You asked "how would you stop yourself from getting sti's during oral sex if you don't/can't use a dental dam?". As far as I know that is the only foolproof way to avoid STIs from oral sex.
I have never used a dental dam, so I don't have firsthand knowledge of whether they hurt. But it is generally recommended to use lubricant between your skin and the dental dam, and you can also hold down the dental dam with your hands to stop it from moving around. So, I bet it's not too uncomfortable.
Also, you can make dental dams yourself by cutting up a condom.
Hope this answers your questions.
Posts: 143 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2009
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