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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared ultrathin panties that a woman can wear during oral sex to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Lorals for Protection, sold by the Los Angeles-based Lorals, received FDA approval for its ability to prevent the transmission of STIs during oral sex, while still allowing for the woman wearing to experience pleasure.
The product is intended for people who either suffer from an STI, have a previous condition that makes them want to take more caution when engaging in oral sex, or have another condition that could make oral sex worrying for them.
These types of products have been sought after in the past, and the creators are hoping that it can replace dental dams as an effective way to help people have safe oral sex.
Lorals has received FDA approval for using its panties as STI prevention mechanisms, a first. The panties for women are worn in two styles, bikini (left) and shorties (right)
‘We think STI protection should be sexy, wearable, and feel damn good,’ the company writes on its product page.
‘Lorals for Protection are single-use, natural latex undies that block the transmission of bodily fluids, harmful pathogens, and sexually transmitted infections during cunnilingus and rimming
Lorals sells the products in two different styles, ‘bikini’ – which look like regular panties – and ‘shortie’ – which are briefs. A pack of four panties cost $25 each on Lorals’ website.
The panties are to be worn during oral sex, and the woman’s partner can perform fellatio on top of them. The pleasure will still get through the ultrathin layer of fabric.
This is not the first product intended to be used to prevent the transmission of disease via oral sex.
Dental dams, a small latex or polyurethane sheet that a person can put over their vagina before oral sex to prevent fluid transmission have been long used by some.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even instructs people how to fashion a condom into a dental dam on its website.
The CDC reccomends people use dental dams to prevent the transmission of STDs through oral sex, even publishing a diagram explaining how to fashion a condom into a dental dam
While condoms themselves are popular, dental dams are rarely used in the U.S., leaving an open need for a device that can provide this type of protection that someone would actually use.
Dental dams also do not protect against HPV and herpes either, two common orally transmitted viruses.
‘I originally envisioned Lorals as a dental dam replacement, after needing one during a romantic vacation — and feeling so stigmatized that a flappy sheet was the product for me,’ Melanie Cristol, inventor of Lorals said in an interview with Authority Magazine in 2020.
Melanie Cristol (pictured) said she invented Lorals after she realized women were sometimes turning down oral sex they wanted because they did not have easy, safe, options
‘This was a definite ‘aha!’ moment, and even after the trip, when I went back to my lawyer job, I kept thinking about a potential alternative to dental dams that would also empower people to have more oral sex.’
She also mentioned that in an interview with Women of Wearables in 2019 many women were not interested in using dental dams because they were not very attractive devices to use.
‘If it were sexy, if it stayed in place, if it heightened the experience rather than detracted from it, so many people could say yes to oral more often,’ she said about Lorals.
Cristol said that she had been working on the product since since 2015. It first reached the market in 2018. Four years later it is now an officially approved device to prevent STI transmission.
The CDC warns that oral sex can spread chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HPV, HIV and trichomoniasis.
While many do not consider STIs other than HPV and HIV to be particularly deadly, if left untreated they can cause severe nervous system issues, infertility, frequent pain and even death.
The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is at the heart of cervical cancer, which kills more than 4,000 American women every year.
HIV infection is uncurbable and can eventually develop into full-fledged AIDS if not treated.