After an extensive nationwide inventory, experts from the National Institute of Promoting Sexual Safety (NIPSS) announced that the United States is in absolutely no danger of running out of dental dams.
When used properly, dental dams, which are thin sheets of latex designed to be laid over the genital area during oral sex, can reduce the transmission of bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens. “With softball season wrapping up, we wanted to make sure the country had plenty of safer oral sex supplies,” said Theresa Maxwell, Director of Barrier Method Services at NIPSS.
“We did a thorough accounting at every free clinic, gynecology practice, gay bar, and swinger’s club in the country. I assumed we had a pretty robust stockpile, but I had no idea we were looking at a surplus like this.”
Maxwell estimates there are enough dental dams not being used in the United States that, if laid end to end, they’d cover the length of Route 66 nearly a dozen times.
Jordyn Townsend, STI clinic manager at the Sheboygan, Wisconsin Health Department wasn’t surprised to find their department well stocked. “We thought we ran out once, but then someone found like, twenty cases in the back,” they chuckled. “It’s like we can’t even give these things away.”
Townsend remembered a time when the clinic had so many dams, their staff got creative and tried to repurpose them. “Some people used them to wrap up leftovers after the monthly birthday pitch-in, but they realized Saran-Wrap works just as well.”
“A lot of people don’t even realize that dental dams have an expiration date,” Maxwell notes. “They’re only good for four, five years max. It’s important that people check their personal supply and discard anything outdated, if for no other reason than to keep the manufacturer in business.”
One place where dental dams were surprisingly absent were the nation’s high schools. Linda Anderson, a Health Sciences teacher from Phoenix, AZ, seemed completely unfamiliar with the device, despite teaching one week of sex ed each semester for the last 25 years. “Yeah, we definitely don’t cover this in public school,” she shrugged.
Despite the fact that no one seems to be utilizing dental dams, Theresa Maxwell and her associates at NIPSS remain hopeful. “It’s nice to know that whenever people are ready to start having safer sex with vulva owners, we’ll be ready for them!”