F.D.A. Authorizes a Type of Underwear to Protect Against Infection During Oral Sex

A dancer and Reiki energy healer in the Boston area, Wisty said they had herpes simplex, a common infection that in rare cases can cause serious inflammatory conditions. “I wanted to find something that makes it easier for me to enforce the boundaries that I wanted to,” Wisty said. “To be able to still play and explore while having that comfort and safety of knowing that I’m protected from my fluids going everywhere.”

Shelly, 29, a nurse in Washington State, said she saw the panties on TikTok at a time when she and her fiancé, Ashton, were struggling to re-engage in oral sex after cancer requiring reconstructive surgery had caused changes in his tongue’s mobility and ability to taste. In the aftermath of his cancer treatment, oral sex — once their favorite sexual activity — made Ashton feel like he was choking, and they had not done it in nearly two years.

“It was such a huge thing that he’d enjoyed over penetrative sex or anything,” Shelly said. Without it, she experienced “a lot of insecurity, feeling that maybe he doesn’t have interest for me in that way anymore.”

After ordering the panties, “we spent a couple hours just looking at it,” Shelly said. “We’re like ‘What are we dealing with here? It smells like vanilla, it stretches to kingdom come — like, what is this?’”

Wearing them during oral sex worked very well, said Shelly, who added that she could barely feel the panties and that Ashton said the texture resembled skin and the taste was “like you’re eating a cookie.”

She said she appreciated the new clearance for infection protection because Ashton is likely vulnerable to cancers that can be triggered by sexually transmitted infections.

The sexual experience was especially important, she said. “I never thought I would feel that again,” Shelly said. “And he was very like gung-ho about it when he realized that: ‘Oh, I can do all the things.’”

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