Skip navigation and jump to content
Welcome to Ireland's Youth Information Website
Follow us
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Snapchat

Accessibility Options

High Contrast Text Size
A man and a woman lying in bed together

Oral sex

Information on how to ensure that oral sex is also safer sex


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


Share this article -

Oral sex is a sexual act that can be mutually pleasurable to both partners. For some, it is a part of foreplay before another type of sex, and for others, it is the main sex act they do. It can be performed by people of any gender or sexual orientation.

But what actually is oral sex?

  • Oral sex involves using your mouth, lips or tongue to stimulate another person's genitals or anus.
  • You cannot get pregnant from oral sex.
  • You can get certain STIs from oral sex, such as herpes, genital warts, gonorrhoea, hepatitis B, HIV, syphillis and trichomoniasis.
  • Oral sex is very intimate. Don’t let anyone pressure or bully you into having oral sex before you are ready or before you feel safe and comfortable with that person.
  • Likewise, don't pressure or bully anyone into having oral sex with you before they feel safe and comfortable with that. If you're not sure, simply ask them. If they don't wish to have oral sex, be patient, respectful and understanding. Check out our guide to sexual consent here.
  • Some slang terms you might hear for oral sex include "going down on someone", "giving head", "blowjobs" or "lick-outs".

Making sure that oral sex is safer sex

  • You have to use a condom during oral sex performed on a penis, and use a dental dam for oral sex performed on a vagina or anus, otherwise you risk getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Most of the STIs that you can pick up during oral sex are treatable with antibiotics, but some can have serious consequences. 
  • If you have a cut in your mouth, bleeding gums, lip sores or broken skin it is possible for infection to enter your body, so make sure to avoid oral sex then.
  • For an enjoyable experience, it’s important that your genitals are clean before having oral sex.

Remember: The age of sexual consent in Ireland is 17. If you're over 16, you can consent to medical treatment including any treatment or tests needed.

Share this article -

Published February 11th, 2013
Last updated March 28th, 2017
Tags oral sex sexual health safer sex
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

Need more information?

Request to speak with a youth worker in your area over the phone, by email or text. They may be able to assist you by providing further information specific to your needs.

Youth Work Ireland - Crosscare - YMCA

Contact via: Phone E-mail Text
By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions. ​Please note that this service is run by Youth Work Ireland and Crosscare​.​ E​nquiries are not handled by SpunOut.ie directly.
Jump to related articles
Was this article helpful?