First thing you should know is that I’m super into going down on ladies and lady-type people. Nothing better than breakfast at Tiffany’s, lunch at the Y, hair pie for dinner and carpet munching as a bedtime snack. But here’s the other thing you should know, and I’m a little embarrassed but anyway—I’m just not into dental dams. I’ve tried. I really have and I just can’t figure out how to make them feel sexy. Like how do you keep them in place when you’re really getting into it? They slide around constantly and distract me from what really matters: eating pussy as best as I can. But then I heard about these new underwear that work like a dental dam. I swear—I heard angels sing! Hallelujah! A better way to be safe on the trip downtown. I’m in. Can you tell me more? Do they really work? How do they work? And are there any downsides? I mean, they sound like all win/no lose if you ask me.

Cunnilingus Connoisseur

Dear Connoisseur,

I deeply appreciate your enthusiasm for oral sex and your honesty about your impression of dental dams. It’s pretty obvious that I’m an avid supporter of the dam. I’ve written about them here at Milwaukee Record more than 10 times over the years. I think there are definitely ways to make them sexy (and protecting myself and my partners always feels sexy to me), but you’re definitely not alone in your reluctance to use them. And it’s for this reason that Lorals are a great solution for a lot of folks.

Lorals are lightweight latex underwear designed to be worn by people with vulvas during oral contact with the vulva, vagina or anus. When people think of latex clothing, they often imagine the thicker, stiffer type of latex worn as fetish wear or for a really fun night out on the town. Lorals are quite fine though, like the latex used for condoms or non-sterile gloves. They’ve recently been approved by the FDA for use in preventing transmission of STIs. As a matter of fact, the FDA states that Lorals are just as effective as dams at reducing STI risks.

Of course, just like with all safer sex methods, there’s a right way to use this magic underwear, and several wrong ways.

• The wearer should put their Lorals on right before oral sex. If you wear them under your clothes for a portion of the day (or night), they can get weak spots in them or even tear. Plus, like all underwear, they can bunch up in your crack or the cleft of your vulva and potentially get any virus or bacteria on the outside of the latex.

• Make sure your Lorals cover your vulva (including vaginal opening and clitoris) and anus. There are two different styles of Lorals, a boy short and a bikini. Pick the one that will work best for your body type and provide the necessary coverage.

• When you’re putting on the underwear, take care not to snag them on fingernails, jewelry, or anything else sharp.

• You can totally use lube with Lorals (and putting some between the vulva and the underwear will probably make the experience even better), but don’t use oil-based lubes or straight-up food oils. This includes coconut oil which is good for a lot of things but not, in fact, good for every single thing. Oils eat right through latex, and you’ll be wasting a perfectly good pair of Lorals!

• Lorals should be changed after each sex act, and never be reused.

Beyond STI prevention, there are other reasons why folks are excited about Lorals. Not everyone shares your love of oral sex. Some people are quite hesitant to put their mouth directly on their partner’s genitals or anus. Other folks are very self conscious about their own bodies, and have a hard time relaxing during oral sex. We’re really conditioned to think of vulvas and vaginas as dirty and in need of constant cleansing/grooming/managing. Lorals provide a thin and convenient barrier which can really ease the mind of both the giver and receiver so that both folks can relax into the pleasure. Plus, they’re pretty cute too!

I agree that Lorals are mostly win/very little lose, but there are a couple of things to be aware of. As I mentioned, they’re made from natural rubber latex just like most condoms. Do not use Lorals if you or your partner have a latex allergy. Currently, Lorals fit size 0 to 20 (with additional sizes coming soon). Folks with bigger bodies will find that the underwear fit differently (they’ll be “more cheeky with a thinner waistband,” according to the website). Regardless of your size or shape, do a fit test when you first put them on to make sure you’re covered all over. Lorals come in a four-pack for $25, which can be a bit spendy if you’re having oral sex on the reg. Part of the price tag is no doubt related to their recent campaign for FDA approval. That process is expensive and time consuming! I hope we see the price of Lorals come down over time now that they’ve gotten their approval.

All in all, Lorals are an exciting addition to the world of safer sex. It’s awesome to finally have something new to try in a field that hasn’t had many big breakthroughs in the last several decades!

Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at [email protected] and she’ll get back to you with an answer.

About The Author

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Lucky Tomaszek, LM, CPM, is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee's only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Most mornings you can find her balancing her cat and her keyboard in her lap, working to make the world a smarter, safer place for people of all genders and orientations.