SWM032 – Is oral sex unsanitary?

Reader’s Question:

The question I have is concerning oral sex and whether it is “sanitary” or not,especially concerning cunnilingus, but also fellatio. I would love to go down on my wife, but she has a belief that she is “dirty” down there. Though she admits that it feels good she does not want me doing it to her. I have respectfully obliged her request, but I did ask if she would be willing to read an article or anything that would help shed some light on this.

Why do we believe this?

We’ve adopted a lot of false beliefs into Christian culture and tradition.  One of them is that the body and sexuality is dirty or sinful.  Pudendum (the name for women’s genitals) even means ‘parts to be ashamed of’ in Latin.  The church taught for a long time that sex is always sinful, and only partially offset by procreation.  Some churches still teach that sex is part of the curse after the fall.

So, oral sex is seen as morally dirty, and that has translated into beliefs about it being physically dirty.

1. There’s nothing unsanitary about genitals by themselves

The mouth may be the least sanitary part about oral sex – Kissing is less hygienic or more unsanitary than oral sex.

Because we wear clothes, skin folds and creases can grow bacteria.  Similar bacteria exist between spouses though, so there’s not much of a concern.

2. STDs/STIs can only be transmitted through oral sex, not created

If you or your spouse don’t already have STDs or STIs, engaging in oral sex won’t give you them.

3. Bacteria & infections

Unless you have bacteria that’s out of hand, or an infection, there’s likely nothing to worry about here.

4. Urine

Men can’t urinate while aroused.  Urine is not sterile, but it’s not likely to be harmful in low quantities.

5. If you’re still worried

Take shower before oral sex if you’re worried.  All you need is water and your hand.  Soap is not needed and can even harm you.  Genitals tend to self-regulate and self-clean, especially the internal parts.

Lysol used to suggest women use their cleaner to wash themselves.  Don’t do that!


There’s nothing unsanitary or unhygenic about oral sex between monogamous couples.  If you’re worried, shower right beforehand.  There’s also nothing morally wrong or dirty about oral sex or our genitals.  God made them and said they were “very good”.  I trust His work.

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