Rates of HPV-related throat cancer are on the rise in men, especially those who smoke or have had five or more oral-sex partners, according to a 2017 study in the Annals of Oncology. The overall risk of developing an HPV-related cancer is still low—for both men and women. And most people who have HPV (even a high-risk strain) will not develop cancer. But if you have throat pain or notice strange symptoms that persist for more than two weeks, check in with a doctor.


Sexually active individuals should get tested regularly for STIs and HIV, and talk to all partner(s) about STIs. Anyone who thinks that he/she might have an STI should stop having sex and visit a doctor or clinic to get tested. There are free and low-cost options for testing available. It is important to talk openly with a health care provider about any activities that might put a person at risk for an STI, including oral sex.

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Books are an easy way to jump-start your own sex ed. The Big Bang by Nerve is a great entry-level primer to all things sex. She Comes First by Ian Kerner is an incredible book about refining your oral sex technique. Check out some books about sex positions or female orgasm. These are all fun topics to brush up on, so this shouldn’t ever feel like a chore!
Doctors used to think that human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, couldn’t affect the mouth. But recent research has them rethinking this notion. Scientists have now shown that the same high-risk strains of HPV that lead to cervical cancer can also be transmitted by oral sex and potentially cause head, neck, and throat cancer, as well.

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