Safer sex play

e coli

See if you can spot the E. coli doll in the fridge! 

Though many people associate E. Coli with eating contaminated food (or possibly with cooks or chefs who did not thoroughly wash their hands after using the bathroom and then prepared food), you can also get e.coli from certain sexual practices such as if your mouth comes into contact with fecal matter. If you are practicing analingus (mouth-anus sex play), consider positioning a latex barrier (such as a condom cut in half, lengthwise) in between you and your partner. If the condom is lubricated (and most are), position it so that the lubricated side is up against the anal opening and then the licker can lick the non-lubricated side. Voila! More slippery for the lickee and hopefully tastier for the licker. To make it more tasty for the licker, add a flavored lubricant to the side of the lickee.

Many things in life carry risk – not just sex – so don’t let this freak you out about sex. With general safety precautions like hand washing, shaking hands can be made safer. And with analingus, using barrier methods such as condoms cut in half and put between one’s anal opening and one’s partner’s mouth can reduce risk too.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at