Lesbian Sex & The City: To Dental Dam Or Not To Dental Dam, That Is The Question

Let’s talk sex on a first date.

Photo by istock

Greetings queer babes. It’s me, your very own lesbian Carrie Bradshaw. Trade Manolos for black boots, Barneys for Amazon Prime, Park Ave for Chrystie Street, and cosmos for Pinot Grigio. More anxiety. Less heteronormativity. Equal amount of lavish dinners/drinks and outfits I can’t afford. Now you’re getting it. Each week, yours truly will be bringing you a new lez sex and dating topic. Fabulous!

Let’s talk sex on a first date. What we don’t have are the BS heteronormative respectability rules (yay!) but what we do have, just like The Straights™, is a risk for STIs. (boo!)

Which means that we need to have some ~difficult conversations~ sometimes. Safer sex is for everyone, no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation. If you haven’t already, you should absolutely read Corinne Werder’s pieces on safer sex—she is GO’s amazing queer sex educator and deals with every question you may have.

Okay, so you want to protect yourself but are a little nervous about bringing it up. What helps me have these difficult conversations is practicing them in my head. Play out the situation. Picture this: you’re at Cubbyhole or Henrietta’s. You meet a cute girl. You make out. She asks you back to her place. You confidentially ask, “want to use a dental dam?” Then you have wild, kinky, crazy sex—knowing you’re protected.

Only…

Reading all the recent dialogue about safer sex on the internet, I couldn’t help but wonder… does anyone actually use dental dams?

You know how Carrie would sometimes say kind of ridiculous and problematic shit? Yeah, I’m gonna do that too. I’ve never used a dental dam and I have no intentions of ever using one.

Now before you all yell at me in the comments, I know that dental dams are an effective way to reduce the risk of passing STIs and many women use them, and have incredible sex. But for me, personally, I can’t rock with that. My anxiety is way too wild. I spiral out with scenarios. What if it slips? What if you’re wet AF and you leak out on the sides? I got wet through my stockings on the subway yesterday thinking of Tegan Quin’s mouth twitch—I’m not trusting a piece of plastic, okay?

I just don’t see how fingers and tongue can happen at the same time with a dental dam, and I don’t want to find out. I love the taste of vagina.

So, since I’m not using barriers, I have to protect myself in another way. I would like to bestow upon you, my lesbian friend, the most important thing I’ve learned as the self-proclaimed Carrie Lezshaw. You can sleep with someone you just met, but you have to talk about sexual health first. Here is my never-fail line: “I don’t sleep with a new partner until both of us have been tested.” A wise lez once told me, set your boundaries before a situation, so when they come up, you’re prepared.  My new boundary is that I won’t sleep with anyone until both of us are tested. If that eliminates the chance of the one-time-thing, I’m fine with it. It’s my own personal lesson in delayed gratification.

If you’ve read my other work, I’m sure you’ve caught on by now, dear reader, that I am anxious AF. I miss the days when I would slug back shots of vodka, flirt with strangers, sleep with them and not have a panic attack afterward. But at the age of 24, I have enough anxiety for this entire damn city and I’m not about to let anxiety get in the way of the one thing that alleviates it, perhaps my favorite thing on this earth, sex. Lesbian sex.

Skip to me last Friday. A little drunk. A lot of feeling this girl. I purposely didn’t shave or wear cute underwear so I wouldn’t be tempted to abandon my rule. As we were ferociously making out and grabbing each other all over, I felt my self-control wavering.

“I really want to f*ck you. Hard,” she whispered to me at the bar.

Oh my god.

I wanted nothing more than to go home with her, but I remembered my boundaries. “I’m really into you,” I began, ala this fabulous advice, “but I don’t have sex with a new partner till we’ve been tested.” I braced myself for rejection.

“That’s a huge turn on, that you care.” She said, then whipped out her phone and googled a 24-hour testing center. There was none, but I appreciated the enthusiasm! She excused herself, saying that she couldn’t be around me knowing that she couldn’t have me that night (v. flattering!). I took a $120 Uber back to Long Island (like Carrie, I live way beyond my means) and I thought of sleeping with her the whole way home. The wait seemed to make it even hotter.

Everyone’s preferences, boundaries and safer sex practices are different. For me, a realistic conversation about safer sex requires some of us admitting we’ve never used a dental dam and don’t want to. I’d rather wait a week to get STI test results so my partner and I can have sex sans dams. The reality is that, yes, this might mean I’ll miss out on some super hot one night stands. But I’m not about to put a piece of strawberry flavored latex over a perfect vagina. This is my sex life, and that’s my personal preference.

Dental dams work for some. Getting tested regularly works for others. As long as you’re doing at least one of these things, I, Carrie Lezshaw, approve.

Anyone that thinks I’m not worth the wait doesn’t deserve to f*ck me. I don’t want to sleep with someone that isn’t concerned about their health. Both my date and I got tested last week. I’m seeing her tonight.

Do you have a question for Carrie Lezshaw? Is there a topic you’d like me to discuss? Do you want to ask me out? Lez me know.