This section gives details of glyde dam instructions and includes two improvised methods of created an oral barrier.
Glyde dams are a new version of oral barrier created especially for oral sexual activity. Previously dental dams have also been used as an oral barrier. The glyde dam is twice the length and width of a dental dam but half the thickness.
Oral barriers such as glyde dams and dental dams cannot be used to prevent HIV transmission if the oral sex is licking or sucking a penis.
Glyde dams come in a variety of colours and smells. None of them are flavoured. We do recommend the use of flavoured lubrication with glyde dams as it can help to identify if the glyde dam has turned over during use.
Glyde dams and flavoured lube can be bought online. However, the Red Ribbon Project supplies glyde dams for free to anyone who wants them (subject to availability).
Whilst the glyde dam/oral barrier is an effective way to protect yourself from HIV transmission, it only does so if used correctly. Below is an illustrated example of how to use a glyde dam/oral barrier.
If having read the information below, you need more information or a demonstration on using glyde dams and/or other oral barriers please contact us.
A glyde dam is a latex sheet for using as a barrier when you want to lick a vagina or anus. Prior to opening check the expiry date and that the packaging has not been pierced/damaged.
Simple to use, take it out of its packet and put some lube on the back. If you use flavoured lube you will instantly know if the glyde dam has turned over. If you taste the lube STOP!
Place the glyde dam over the area on which you wish to perform oral sex, with the lube on the body side which is the side your mouth will not touch. Do not swap the same glyde dam from vagina to anus or vice versa. If you wish to perform oral sex in both areas, use two glyde dams.
Glyde dams can only be used once and then must be thrown away. To dispose of a glyde dam wrap it in a tissue or the empty packet and throw it into a bin.
If you would like more information on how to use a glyde dam or would like to pick up free glyde dams drop-in to the project.
Other Oral Barriers
Glyde dams are not always available and can be expensive. If you require an oral barrier, and do not have access to a glyde dam, it is possible to adapt either gloves or a condom to use in the same way. However, glyde dams are available from our project free of charge.
Cling film and all other similar products are not suitable as an oral barrier. They may tear and can cause suffocation.
Remember, all oral barriers are for single use only.
Using a glove to make an oral barrier is a cheap and accessible way of ensuring you can lick or suck a woman’s vagina or person’s anus and still practice safer sex.
Non-powdered latex gloves are ideal for this use; powdered gloves can have an unpleasant taste.
Use a scissors to cut off the fingers of the glove, leaving the thumb intact.
Use a scissors to cut down the side of the glove along the opposite edge to the thumb hole.
You now should have a glove which looks similar to the image below.
You now have an oral barrier made from a latex glove with an added hole for penetration.
Using a condom to make an oral barrier is also an option. The condom tastes of lube and is stretchy.
Prior to opening the condom, check the expiry date and that the packaging has not been pierced/damaged.
Open the packaging and unroll the condom. Use a scissors to cut off the top of the condom.
Use a scissors to cut down the edge of the condom.
Stretch out the condom, you now have an oral barrier made from a condom. Using flavoured condoms or flavoured lube can help hide the smell/taste of the condom.
Note: Once a condom has been cut open it becomes easy to tear with finger nails.