Dr. Marty Klein

Changing the Way People, Politics & the Media Look at Sex

Relationships/Emotions

Is oral sex “dirty”?

Q: I have been married for 20 years. Unfortunately, my wife is convinced that oral sex is unnatural and “dirty.” I’d love to give her oral sex often but she insists that it is 1) pornographic and that 2) when I perform oral sex on her I transfer germs which will produce vaginal disease. Is this true? Would it be true if she performed oral sex on me? Does saliva produce germ-activating diseases on the penis or vagina, or does she have a psychological problem?

Dr. Klein: The average person will not infect a partner by giving him or her oral sex. That’s the fact. However, your wife is clearly uninterested in oral sex. She doesn’t need a good reason, although marital harmony would suggest that a friendly conversation about this would be helpful. Presumably, you have already told her how much you enjoy giving her oral pleasure. You might want to ask what, besides the fear of disease, turns her off to oral sex. Perhaps she would like to consult her gynecologist with her questions regarding disease. In any event, she sounds unlikely to change her mind. You probably need to find a way to accept this, and enjoy whatever sex the two of you do have.

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Both the professional training and public seminars were relevant, interesting, and engaging. Your ideas on negotiating sexual reality made sex and relationships seem feasible. And you handled the equipment glitches with professional aplomb.

The Prostate Centre, British Columbia, Canada

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Columbia University, School of Public Health

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