Using Latex Squares (Dental Dams) for Safer Oral Sex

Latex barriers called Sheer Dams® are available in the Health Resource Center at McKinley Health Center. Sheer Dams® are a 10 x 6 inch silky thin sheet of natural latex. Sheer Dams® are the only latex barrier or “dam” cleared by the U.S. FDA for safer oral sex.

Studies have shown that when Sheer Dams® are used correctly during oral-vaginal or oral-anal sex, they help reduce the risk of catching or spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as herpes, gonorrhea, genital warts, syphilis, HIV or parasites. However, they do not completely eliminate the risk. Abstinence is the only sure form of prevention.

Image depicting barrier placement for oral/vaginal sex and oral/anal sex (rimming). Barrier placement for oral/anal sex (rimming)
Illustration of naked female laying on her back with latex square drapped over her groin. The latex is layed flat over the the entire vulva, covering both the vaginal opening and clitoris.
Barrier placement for orgal/vaginal sex.

Additional information


McKinley Health Center, Sexual Health Education Coordinator at 217-333-2714
CDC National STD/AIDS Hotline: 1-800-342-2437
National HIV y Sida en Espanol: 1-800-344-7432
Sheer Glyde Dams web site: