Dams – What are they?

  • Dams are a super thin latex square used for vaginal and anal oral protection.
  • Dams are covered in edible cornstarch that can be washed or licked away.
  • Dams are not to be shared between people or re-used at a later date.
  • Make sure you don’t use the same dam between vaginal and anal oral sex as sexual infections can be transmitted.
  • Don’t swap sides of the dam when you are using them.
  • To improve sensitivity use a little water-based lube on the body side of the dam.

Dams were originally called dental dams and were designed for dental patients to keep fragments of materials from falling into the throat during certain procedures.

They are popular in the sex industry because HIV and STIs have been found to exist in the vaginal fluids and menstrual blood of infected women. It is recommended that a latex barrier be used between the mouth and the vaginal area when cunnilingus (oral-genital contact) is being performed. A dam should also be used when performing anilingus (oral-anal contact or rimming). Always store dams in a dark place.

Place the dam over the genitals of your partner, being especially careful to cover the area of oral-genital contact. Just be sure your mouth touches only one side of the dam, and the genitals touch only the other side.

You would use it the same way for rimming: mouth on one side of the latex, anus on the other.

Do not use the same dam to perform cunnilingus that you use for anilingus. Use two separate dams.

The use of a barrier is especially important when the active partner has bleeding gums or some sore in or around the mouth, or when the receptive partner is menstruating. For optimum safety, since the risk is greatest during these conditions, it is preferable to abstain completely from any oral-genital contact.

Take care not to rip the dam with fingernails or bite through it hard enough to tear the latex. Always test it before use by putting it under the faucet to be sure no liquid seeps through.

Avoid stretching the latex since excessive stretching can cause the latex to become porous.

Do not use oil-based lubricants with latex since the oil damages and weakens latex rubber. Although vaginal fluid ordinarily has a lower concentration of HIV or Hepatitis B than semen or blood, just how risky ingesting it remains an open question. Not using a dam exposes you to whatever risk there is.

 

 

Information sourced from Barnard University, Columbia