The Dental Dam Finally Has Some Competition


“Oral sex is not totally risk-free,” Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, an infectious diseases expert with the University of Alabama at Birmingham tells the New York Times, but a newly FDA-authorized pair of underwear—vanilla scented, no less—has the potential to make it safer. STIs such as herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis can be transmitted via oral sex, as can HPV—some strains of which can lead to mouth and throat infections that turn cancerous. Until now, only one product has been FDA-approved for protection during oral sex: the not-so-popular dental dam, which was invented in 1864 for use in dental procedures. The dam is a rectangular piece of latex, typically, that is usually kept in place with one’s hands between the mouth and genitals. Now, a new option: Lorals for Protection.

WebMD reports the single-use latex panties come in a four-pack for $25. The latex is about the thickness of a condom, and they hug the thigh in such a way that no fluids leak. Maker Melanie Cristol, who created Lorals in 2018, says the panties can be used for other reasons, such as during one’s period. At BuzzFeed News, Loren Cecil writes that she tried the panties on, and found the material to be “extremely thin but slightly sticky. … I probably wouldn’t wear them out underneath my clothes, but throwing them on before a booty call or just before a sexual encounter feels completely doable for my body.”

As for how they feel during the act, an unnamed BuzzFeed volunteer found they didn’t fit her plus-sized body very well, and her partner wasn’t a fan of the “friction while licking” (read more here). One couple the Times spoke with described a more positive experience, with the partner likening the texture to skin and describing the taste as “like you’re eating a cookie.” Though Lorals wasn’t required to conduct a clinical trial (so there is no data around their efficacy at blocking STIs) they adhere to a range of requirements around dimensions, thickness, elasticity, strength, and lack of holes, and they passed toxicity, irritation, and sensitization tests. (Read more sexually transmitted infections stories.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.