Student Health and Wellness Services

Latex Barriers


A dental dam is a thin, flexible piece of latex that protects against direct mouth-to-genital or mouth-to-anus contact during oral sex. Using a dental dam during oral sex reduces your risk for sexually transmitted infections while still allowing for stimulation.

  •  Made from nitrile (soft plastic), this condom is inserted into the vagina for pregnancy protection and inserted into the vagina or anus for STI protection. These were formally referred to as “female condoms” however, people of any gender can use them for vaginal or anal sex.
  • Effectiveness at Preventing Pregnancy: 79%
  • Protects against STIs
  • Can cost $0 to $5
  • Prescription Needed
  • Advantages
    • Less decrease in sensation than with the condom
    • Offers protection against STIs (covers both internal and external genitalia
    • Can be inserted before sex
    • Stronger than latex
  • Disadvantages
    • Not aesthetically pleasing
    • Can slip into the vagina or anus during sex
    • Difficulties in insertion/removal
    • Not easy to find in drugstores or other common sources of condoms
    • Higher cost than other condoms

  • Condoms are thin, stretchy pouches worn on the penis during sex and collect semen. Condoms are available in latex, polyurethane, polyisoprene, and lambskin. If using latex condoms, use only water based lubricants, not oil-based ones.
  • Latex, polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms protect against STIs. Lambskin condoms do not protect against STIs.
  • Available for free at Bronco Wellness Services
  • Could cost $0 to $2
  • Advantages
    • Widely available over the counter
    • Easy to carry
    • Actively involves the male partner in contraception
    • Helps prevent STIs
  • Disadvantages
    • Decreases spontaneity
    • May break during use, especially if it is used improperly

Some Trans people or some people who are intersex, may find that most external condoms are too loose and don’t stay on during vaginal or anal sex. According to Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community, edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth, gloves provide a good alternative.

How to Make a Cape from a Glove:

  1. Cut open the glove from the base to the bottom of the pinky.
  2. Crop the fingers of the glove off, leaving only the thumb and the fist.
  3. Open it up, and you’ve created a wide barrier with a pouch in the middle to place over the genitalia.

Source: Planned Parenthood


A glove may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of protecting yourself, but it’s a handy tool! To avoid passing on STIs, it’s crucial to cover broken skin or nails on your hands or your partners hands since some STIs can be passed from genital fluids into broken skin.

Non-powdered gloves made from latex and non-latex materials, like nitrile, can be used for sexual activities where someone may use their fingers or hands to stimulate a vulva, penis, or anus (hand jobs, fingering, etc.)

The skin around the genitals is very sensitive and wearing a glove can protect the genital area from finger nails and rough skin which can also lead to cuts, scrapes and infections.

Gloves can also be used to prevent STI transmission if someone has a sore in their genital area. It’s important to change gloves if you are going to touch your own genitals after touching your partner’s genitals.

If you’re touching a partner’s genitals and you’re going to touch their anus and then genitals again, make sure to put on new gloves to prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus to the genitalia.

If you don’t have a glove you can use a condom over your fingers to practice safer sex!

How to use a gloves for protection during sex:

  1. Check expiration date on the box of gloves
  2. Ensure gloves are not powdered
  3. Put glove on
  4. Apply a water-based lubrication to the outside of the glove.
  5. Enjoy!
  6. After sex, remove the glove by peeling it down your hand from the wrist to fingers, turning it inside out to contain any fluid
  7. Throw it away in a trash bin, do not flush

Finger Cot

A finger cot is a "glove" that covers only one finger. It is basically a "finger condom."

Finger cots are often recommended as a safer sex device for fingering. Finger cots can be purchased online and in some drugstores. You can also make them yourself by cutting a finger off a latex or nitrile glove.