Irritation Nation
September 13, 2010 3:32 PM   Subscribe

How do I keep oral sex from causing a rash?

Saliva isn't too good for your skin. You're not even supposed to lick your chapped lips, because the saliva makes it worse, and if you lick too much, you get a rash all around your mouth. I believe it's supposed to be from the digestive enzymes in your saliva. Other people's saliva is presumably bad too, for the same reason. I once got a rash on my chin from an extended kissing session.

Well, the vulva is also a sensitive area. I guess if you don't have vaginal dryness, then you shouldn't get a rash from oral sex because you have natural protection. But what should you do if you do have vaginal dryness and sensitivity. Is there anything to use that's the giver wouldn't mind tasting, but wouldn't bother you? I guess it would probably have to be something flavored but non-tingly and designed for sensitive skin.

(I am aware that there could be other issues, such as yeast, mouth bacteria etc. An actual allergy to human saliva appears to be uncommon; at least I didn't find much about it on Google.)
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
A dental dam? One not made from latex?
posted by muddgirl at 3:34 PM on September 13, 2010

I don't think your assertions about saliva are correct.

1. Licking your lips is bad for chapped lips because it's removing the layer of oil on your lips, not because there is anything bad about saliva.

2. Usually the chin rashes you get from making out, in my experience, aren't from saliva but they're from small abrasions caused by stubble.

3. Saliva can carry pathogens, but these are not really rash-causing pathogens for the most part, unless you consider herpes a rash.

So, to your main question, if you want to keep saliva from someone's vulva for whatever reason yu'll need a barrier method like a dental dam. Any other liquid if you're working it with your mouth, will just become mixed with saliva. You could go the lube+fingers/toy route which many people like a lot, but it's usually a different animal from oral sex.

I'm unclear entirely if this is a real problem you are experiencing [and which partner and which gender you are], or if you are concerned because of your misapprehension of the properties of saliva in which case I'd really suggest trying it first and seeing what happens and then adjusting accordingly.
posted by jessamyn at 3:44 PM on September 13, 2010 [5 favorites]

When I get rashes from kissing and/or oral sex, it is a result of the man whose face is rubbing against mine having a not-clean-shaven face, not from the saliva (in my experience, even if a man shaved that morning, by evening it can be scratchy enough to do this, and 1 day out is much worse). Of course I do not know if this is an issue in your situation, but you might want to think about it.
posted by brainmouse at 3:45 PM on September 13, 2010

I'm male, and my partner have prefers my face to be clean-shaven before going down on her. Stubble greatly adds to the rashiness. Also, I don't mind tasting a bit of Astroglide water-based lubricant, but I guess that would really depend on the giver.
posted by Roger Dodger at 3:45 PM on September 13, 2010

If you have this kind of recurring problem, I assume you go to the shower and wash your bits off afterwards. If you don't do that already it will help immensely.
posted by phunniemee at 3:56 PM on September 13, 2010

It's unclear from your question whether you are asking speculatively -- as in, you're assuming that saliva COULD cause a rash, so ou want to pre-emptively prevent it -- or whether you are asking circumstantially -- as in, you actually have had oral sex and you've always gotten a rash.

If you're asking speculatively, I can only assure you from rather, er, copious personal experience that saliva does not cause a rash on the human vulva.

If you're asking circumstantially, I'd suggest a chat with your doctor about this -- they can determine the cause of the rash itself, because I suspect t may be something other than saliva; but whatever it is, your doctor can also suggest ways to prevent it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:32 PM on September 13, 2010

You should absolutely not be getting rashes from doing that, or kissing.

Facial hair DOES do that sort of thing, however. If you're getting rashes from saliva and not facial hair, you need to see a doctor.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 4:37 PM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm with everyone else in thinking it may not be saliva so much as beard stubble; but if you are sure that you are chapping or rashing from contact with the saliva, you could try a thin coat of one of the following: vaseline, coconut oil or Egyptian Magic. All of these contain oils that will coat the skin and provide something of a barrier to the saliva, and none of them have much of a taste at all. Just don't get a ton of it inside your vagina, meaning don't use it as a lube... use it on the vulva area only. And don't do this if you plan to use a latex condom, the oils can break down the latex and weaken it.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:08 PM on September 13, 2010

I guess quit having oral sex. Barring that, I would also recommend a dental dam/condom.
posted by TheBones at 5:40 PM on September 13, 2010

I would not follow Serene Empress Dork's suggestion - do not put any oil or anything down there that is not specifically approved for that region!

I'd try something like KY lube and use that as a lubricant daily to keep things moist/un-irritated.

However, it sounds like the guy's stubble is the problem.
posted by radioamy at 6:29 PM on September 13, 2010

Saran wrap's a little more fun than a dental dam, especially if the issue isn't so much disease prevention as it is keeping the saliva on one side.
posted by padraigin at 7:21 PM on September 13, 2010

My gynecologist recommended coconut oil for general dryness. Smells nice and probably tastes okay, too. (but not for use with condoms).
posted by lunalaguna at 8:48 PM on September 13, 2010

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