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How to Make Your Own Dental Dam From a Condom

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Updated August 08, 2014

How to Make Your Own Dental Dam From a Condom

How to make a dental dam from a condom.

(c) 2007 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.
A dental dam with handles, made from a purple nitrile glove.

Dental dam made from a glove

(c) 2012 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.

Oral sex may be a lot of fun, but it can also spread various sexually transmitted diseases. To make oral-vaginal sex (cunnilingus) and oral-anal sex (rimming) safer, you can use a barrier such as a dental dam. Unfortunately, dental dams can be hard to find, and they also may be somewhat expensive. There is, however, a way around this problem. Using a condom and scissors, you can make a dental dam yourself!

A step-by-step photographic walk through of the process of making a dental dam from a condom can be found here.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 3 Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Starting with an unlubricated or flavored condom, check the expiration date on the package to make certain that the condom is still good, and then feel for the air bubble to make certain that the condom hasn't been damaged.
  2. Carefully remove the condom from the package and unroll it all the way.
  3. Cut off the tip of the condom using a pair of sharp scissors, and then throw the tip away. You may also want to cut off and discard the bottom band of the condom if you find it awkward or difficult to unroll.
  4. Cut down one side of the cylindrical latex tube that remains.
  5. You now have a latex rectangle perfect for use during oral sex!
  6. If you don't have any condoms, or want to try something new, you can also make a dental dam out of a latex or nitrile glove.
  7. The easiest way to make a glove into a dental dam is to cut the four fingers off the top of the glove, and then slit down the side of the glove - leaving the thumb intact. If you do this, you can use the thumb to insert your tongue or finger into your partner while still practicing safe oral sex.
  8. Another way to make a dental dam using a glove is to cut off the three middle fingers and then slit the glove along the palm side from the wrist to where the middle finger used to be. This gives you a square with two handles where you can insert your thumbs to make the dental dam easier to manipulate.
  9. If you don't want to make your own dental dams, you can purchase them online or at retail stores that sell safe sex supplies. You may also be able to find them at medical supply stores; however, dental dams are not generally available at major chain drug stores - even those that carry a good selection of condoms and lubricants.
  10. Finally, if you enjoy performing oral sex on your partner, there is no reason not to prepare a number of dental dams in advance. Just make sure to store them someplace where they won't become dirty or damaged by sharp objects.

Tips:

  1. Avoid condoms that have been lubricated with spermicide when you're making a dental dam for oral sex. Nonoxynol-9, the most common spermicide, can make your tongue go numb. Other lubricants often simply taste bad, which means that you may just want to avoid lubricated condoms altogether.

    You can also rinse the lubricant off of the dental dam before using it, but you should not reuse dental dams.

  2. Some condom companies make flavored condoms and lubricants specifically for use during oral sex. If you hate the taste of latex, you may want to try some of these different brands or experiment with making dental dams from polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms.
  3. Saran wrap and other plastic wraps can also be used as barriers for oral sex, but there is little to no research about their effectiveness - which means they might not be effective at all. The main advantages are cost and the ability to tear off a piece that is as large as you need. Condoms and gloves can feel a bit small when you want to enthusiastically go down on your partner, although commercial dental dams are available in larger sizes.
  4. To make safe oral sex more exciting, try putting a little lubricant on the side of the dental dam that is touching your partner's skin. It keeps the latex from sticking, and it also makes the sensations more enjoyable and more like having unprotected oral sex.
  5. Several sex toy companies make dental dam belts that can be used to hold a dental dam against your partner for oral sex. These can be used for either cunnilingus or rimming, and they make safe oral sex hands free... which means that you can use your fingers for something else.

What You Need:

  • Latex, Polyurethane, or Polyisoprene Condom
  • Scissors
  • Latex or Nitrile Glove (optional)
  • Lubricant (optional)

Next: Learn how to negotiate safe oral sex with your partner...

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