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What Is a Tongue Condom?

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on June 30, 2021

The tongue plays an important role in many sexual acts. In particular, it is crucial for oral sex. Tongue condoms are protective barriers that can prevent you from catching or transmitting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) while engaging in oral sex.

A tongue condom, also known as a dental dam, is a thin latex or polyurethane barrier that goes between one partner’s mouth and the other’s genitals. This barrier protects both partners from potentially infectious diseases that can be found in saliva and other body fluids. 

Why People Like Them

Many people enjoy oral sex for a wide variety of reasons. Oral sex carries no risk of pregnancy, so people who are not interested in having children may prefer to engage in oral sex. People with vaginas may only be able to orgasm through clitoral stimulation, so the direct nature of oral sex may provide the right amount of stimulation for them. Finally, some people enjoy the practice of anilingus, or the act of using the mouth and tongue on the anus.

Using tongue condoms helps make oral sex a safer practice. By keeping both partners’ body fluids separate, there’s much less risk of either person contracting a disease. Tongue condoms provide peace of mind and help keep everyone involved healthy. 

What Is the Difference Between Condoms and Tongue Condoms?

The biggest difference between condoms and tongue condoms is the shape. The standard condom is a tube with a sealed tip that is intended to fit comfortably on a penis. Meanwhile, tongue condoms are flat sheets that are held over the vulva or anus. Both condoms and tongue condoms are made out of similar materials because they serve the same purpose: to keep body fluids and infectious agents from transferring to the other person. 

Myths About Tongue Condoms

Tongue condoms aren’t just for people with vaginas. Tongue condoms can be used as a barrier between the mouth and the anus. Since people of all genders may enjoy anilingus, tongue condoms can be an important part of safe sex for everyone. 

How to Try Tongue Condoms Safely

The CDC recommends that anyone who may be concerned about STD transmission should use the appropriate condom when having sex. Oral sex has a similar risk of STD transmission as penetrative sex, so using tongue condoms correctly is an important aspect of having safe sex. 

Talking to Your Partner About Trying a Tongue Condom

Before engaging in oral sex, talk to your partner about why you want to use a tongue condom, and decide when you — or they — will apply it. Open the tongue condom and place it over the vulva or anus. Either partner can hold it in place during the act. Once you are finished, simply throw it away.

Tongue condoms can be bought ready to use, or you can make a tongue condom with a standard condom. Start by trimming off the tip and the bottom of a condom with scissors. Next, cut a slit from one end of the tube to the other end. You will have a flat sheet of latex or polyurethane that works perfectly as a tongue condom. You can also use plastic wrap as an effective tongue condom.

Care and Cleaning

Do not stretch a tongue condom to cover a wider area. This can tear it, making it unfit for use. Instead, use a second tongue condom to cover more space. You should also avoid oil-based lube, which can degrade the plastic.

Tongue condoms are single-use items. Use a new tongue condom every time you engage in oral sex and dispose of it afterward. Since dental dams are very thin pieces of plastic, they should not be reused as this can lead to tears or contamination. 

Show Sources

SOURCES:

American Sexual Health Association: “STIs and Oral Sex.”

CDC: “How To Use A Dental Dam As A Barrier For Oral Sex.”

CDC: “STD Risk and Oral Sex - CDC Fact Sheet.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Condoms.”

Clinical Anatomy: “Anatomy of sex: Revision of the new anatomical terms used for the clitoris and the female orgasm by sexologists.”

Go Ask Alice (Columbia): “What's rimming?”

Journal of Global Infectious Diseases: “Oral sex, oral health and orogenital infections.”

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