Anyone of any gender or sexuality who has a vulva, is having oral sex with someone who has a vulva, or is having anal oral sex.


A dental dam is a soft plastic latex or polyurethane square (about 15cm in size), which could be used to cover the vulva or anus during oral sex. The dam might be useful in preventing STIs but there is currently no research to verify this. You could also make your own dental dam by cutting the top and ring off of a condom, then cutting down one side and unrolling it.


If you have chosen the dental dam as your preferred method of protection, then you should use it every time you engage in oral sex. You must use a new dam every time, and shouldn't use the same dam for both the vulva and anus.


Enables you to have oral sex with a level of protection. You can also get dental dams in different flavours!


There has been no research to prove that the dental dam prevents STI transmission.



You can get dental dams at some GUM and sexual health clinics, contraception clinics, pharmacies and online. Some universities may also give them out.

You can also make your own dams from condoms, by rolling the condom out, cutting off the tip and the ring, and then along its length to create a rectangle.

1. Ensure that the dam is in date and has a European CE mark, this means it has been tested against safety regulations.
2. Wet the vulva or anal area with a water-based lubricant to ensure that the dam doesn’t slip off. Don't use oil-based lube like Vaseline or baby oil with a latex dam. If you are using polyurethane dams (non-latex) you can use oil-based products.
3. Place the dam over the vulva or anus before any oral to genital or oral to anal contact.
4. Either the giver or receiver can hold the dam in place
5. Don’t turn the dam over. Make sure the side in contact with the genitals stays on that side.
6. Lubricant can be added to the side of the dam in contact with the vulva or anus for extra sensation
7. Wrap in tissue and dispose of it in a bin, not down the toilet, as this will block it


real life experiences

"Me and my partner use dams pretty regularly. I feel empowered when I use one, like I'm taking control of my body and making my own decisions. The dam warms up with your body temperature, and it still feels good. Obviously, it is a bit different to oral sex without a dam, but it's nothing like people assume. We still have pleasurable sex with them."  Lois, she/her