Let’s Talk About Dental Dams For A Minute
In his latest stand up, “Elephant In The Room”, comedian Patrice O’Neal has a hilarious bit about safe sex and why he feels it’s a woman’s responsibility. While I don’t agree entirely with this notion, I definitely see his point, which he brings full circle in the following quote:
Here’s why [ladies] should be responsible for safe sex: How many guys in here, honestly, have used a dental dam before… [chuckles, but no show of hands or applause from the crowd] No one’s ever used one before, huh? See what I’m saying? [Ladies] are all like, ‘Put that condom on’ but…The dental dam is a piece of a trash bag, about as big as a napkin that you flip out, and you lay it over a woman’s vagina just in case it’s poison, to protect us from imminent danger. But [men] don’t use it because [women will] be insulted. If I’m getting ready to have sex with you and I pull out a piece of a trash bag, and you go ‘What is that?’ and I go ‘I’m just going to lay this out over your vagina just in case it kills me’ and you say ‘I’m sorry, what did you say?’ When we see that face, we’re like, ‘Nothing, forget it…I’d rather die than insult my way out of some p****y. I’d rather get what you got!”
It’s all jokes, so the offended can move right along as I unpack this for the rest of us mature adults to discuss.
As is the case with most quality jokes, there is some truth in O’Neal’s jest. When he asked the men in the audience how many of them have used a dental damn, I laughed because as a fellow man (for those who are slow Patrice is a male comedian) I knew the question was somewhat rhetorical.
Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows how adamant I am about using condoms. As Lil Wayne once rapped, “Safe sex is great sex” (that’s my favorite line of his to quote). Nothing brings me more piece of mind than great sex with a condom and no woman will ever need to ask me twice to put one on. Hell, she practically doesn’t even need to ask me once. I got it. Trust me. But as O’Neal points out, women are quick to tell a man to put a condom on, but never are they quick to tell a man to use a dental dam. ever have I been with a woman who has insisted we use a dental dam before cunnilingus ensues.
In all the stories my boys have told me about their experiences with women, they too have never mentioned a woman who has insisted on a dental dam. And most telling of all, in all the conversations I’ve had with my female friends about sex and safe sex, not once have I heard a woman say she insists on a man using a dental dam. But condoms? Oh condoms are always demanded and discussed.
Even in entertainment and media, condoms are casually mentioned or suggested in reference to sex, but not dental dams. In my lifetime I have only seen one movie that took the use of dental dams seriously and that was Booty Call (one of the most underrated movies about safe sex of all time), and I have never seen a commercial stressing the importance of dental dams. A doctor friend of mine said what makes this phenomenon all the more mind boggling is it’s a medical fact our mouths carry a lot more unsavory things than our private parts do (His exact words: “Educated logic being there is more bacteria in terms of quantity and variation on a persons mouth than on their skin, including our private parts”).
So here’s my question and it’s an honest one: What’s up with this, ladies?
I ask the ladies specifically because trust me when I say, if men were told the only way we were getting what we wanted is through the use of a dental dam, I would invest in Saran immediately; that stuff would be flying off the shelves. As one of my good friends once pointed out to me, “Men don’t ever do the right thing on the basis of morals or standards. When we do the right thing, it’s usually because we just don’t want to suffer the consequences of doing the exact opposite.” He’s sort of right. When a man wears a condom, it’s not so she doesn’t get pregnant, it’s so he doesn’t have to worry about getting her pregnant and it’s the only way he probably get any sexual satisfaction. If the closest men can get to the happiest place on earth is a thin layer of latex, sign us up! We’ll take it because we want our orgasm.
And here is where women will comment about how selfish men are, but when we talk about how selfish men are, let’s compartmentalize accordingly.
When it comes to sex, hell yeah, most men are selfish. In the much larger context of life itself? Not so selfish. Most of what men do is for the betterment of their fellow man and the fairer sex, but sex itself? Oh yeah, when we get called off the bench, and get to go into the game, we’re straight ball hogs. We want to be the ones to win the game and we…I’m sorry, I’m getting away from my point and the point I think O’Neal was trying to make.
Safe sex, as an idea, is not literally a woman’s responsibility, but can we all agree there is a disproportionate demand for certain contraceptive methods? I think it’s fair to say none of us have demanded dental dams or heard a demand for dental dams as much as we have condoms, which tells me, women are prone to be just as selfish when it comes to their sexual pleasure as men are, and as O’Neal points out, they’re also more sensitive about safe sex. You don’t see no man being insulted over the request of a condom. Inconvenienced, sure, but insulted, naw. We understand.
But ladies, if a man insisted on a dental dam, would it be insulting? We already know it would be inconvenient as hell, but would a woman take it as a diss?
I can’t wait to hear the answers to this question and the question as to why more women haven’t demanded dental dams in the first place.
Just so I don’t continue to get bombarded with the “Why aren’t men using condoms during fellatio?” comment. First: How about we stop making the question about men and for once ladies answer the question as it applies to you, after all, that’s the way I asked it. Second: Ponder if you will, Patrice’s point about safe sex being a woman’s responsibility and my comment about how the only reason why men are wearing condoms is because we think she won’t let us have sex otherwise. If I was told to put a condom on before fellatio, I would not be insulted, I would be inconvenienced, and I would do it, no hesitation. But again, this post isn’t about what I would do. It’s about what women would do and why they haven’t done this act more. Still waiting for the answer….
The Process: My shins are killing me, the bones themselves. I have pretty good running shoes, so I’m thinking maybe it’s because I run on concrete? A lady friend of mine says I could have shin splints, if so, how do I make it better. Let me know y’all because I couldn’t jump rope this morning due to the pain, although I did run.
Poppin’ Questions Podcast: Now up, Episode 29! Click here to listen. Hit me on my Formspring or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a question to be considered for Episode 30. I’m recording it tonight.
The #UIGM Twitter Conversation: Last night it went down, and boy was it fun. The question I asked was, if you could die in your sleep or in the middle of having sex, which would you choose? Click here to read the recap and if you want to offer up your two cents, hashtag #UIGM anytime.
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