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By: RSC Editorial Team

February 5, 2023

Can You Get an STD From a Lap Dance? What You Need to Know

For many, visiting an adult entertainment venue is exciting, but it can be difficult to enjoy the night if you’re concerned about your sexual health. Specifically, you may be wondering: do such locations put you at risk for contracting an STD? Can you get an STD from a lap dance? 

Although the risk of transmission during casual contact is extremely unlikely, some STDs can spread through skin contact alone. Below, Rapid STD Testing assesses the risk of getting STDs while visiting a strip club and how you can protect yourself from infection.

What STDs Can You Get From a Lap Dance? Can You Get HIV from Lap Dances?

Generally, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll contract an STD via a lap dance. While certain infections can spread through skin-to-skin contact, so long as you’re clothed and not making direct contact with a dancer’s genitals, your risk of infection is extremely low. 

However, it’s still a non-zero percent chance. That said, it’s important to educate yourself about the STDs you could potentially contract through skin-to-skin contact.


The herpes simplex virus is an incredibly common but incurable STD. Preventative medicines for herpes exist, but many people infected with the virus don’t know they have it.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 491.5 million people have genital herpes, while around 3.7 billion live with oral herpes. 

Most often, the virus spreads via direct contact with oral or genital sores. In fact, one of the most common transmission methods of HSV-1, or oral herpes, is mouth-to-mouth contact, as many people aren’t aware that their “cold sore” is a result of the herpes simplex virus.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

It’s possible to contract human papillomavirus through skin-to-skin contact. This is worrying because while some strains of HPV cause genital warts, others can cause cancer. However, the HPV vaccine is proven to protect individuals against these complications.


Oral contact with mouth sores caused by the syphilis infection is stirring up concern among medical professionals. It's possible to protect oneself from contact with genital sores using a condom, but it becomes harder to prevent the spread of syphilis during oral sex.

That’s why Rapid STD Testing provides same-day STD testing to help you stay up-to-date with your sexual health status.


While some STDs can spread through skin-to-skin contact alone, there are also quite a few that you can only contract through sexual intercourse. Examples of these STDs would be chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. These infections spread almost exclusively through exchanges of penile or vaginal fluids, meaning it’s incredibly unlikely that you could get them during a lap dance. 

Other Ways You Can Get STDs Without Having Sex

If you’ve been wondering, “Can you get an STD from lap dances?” you’re probably also concerned about other ways you can contract STDs beyond penetrative sex. 

As noted previously, herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that can transmit through contact with mouth sores caused by the virus, meaning it’s possible to contract it through something as “innocent” as kissing. Likewise, while some people may not classify oral sex as “real sex,” it still presents the same opportunity for infection.

Certain STDs, like trichomoniasis, can spread through hand-to-genital contact. Many people assume you can’t contract an STD from a handjob, but any activity that exposes you to vaginal fluid, semen, anal secretions, or blood can lead to the contraction of a sexually transmitted disease without the proper precautions. This includes sharing unwashed sex toys, razors, and needles.

With all this information in mind, it is essential to be aware that there's a lot of misinformation surrounding STDs. It's unfortunately very easy to fall into the trap of click-bait, viral social media posts about STD transmission. For example, many people believe that you can contract an STD from a public toilet seat despite this claim having no evidence to back it up. 

It's understandable to feel concerned about your sexual wellness when it comes to non-sexual STD transmission, but it's critical that you get your information from trustworthy sources.

At Rapid STD Testing, we strive to provide accurate, timely information regarding sexual health and STD prevention. Likewise, we provide comprehensive testing options, such as our 10-panel STD test, to help individuals closely monitor their status and make informed decisions about their health care. 

Understanding the different ways you could potentially get an STD, whether through sexual intercourse or other activities, is essential for protecting your health and well-being.

Do Strippers Have STDs?

If you’re unfamiliar with how STDs spread or with the ways sex workers may protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections, you may find yourself wondering: do strippers have STDs? Will I contract an STD from a lap dance if they do?

The most important thing to remember is that most STDs, including gonorrhea and HIV, spread via sexual intercourse, so unless you plan to have sex with the dancers you meet, your chances of contracting an STD are significantly reduced. Coming into contact with an exotic dancer's genitals may increase your risk, but assuming you remain fully clothed, the potential for STD contraction is minimal.

Do Strippers Get Tested for STDs?

If you’re concerned about contracting an STD while visiting the strip club, you may also be asking yourself, “Do strippers get tested for STDs?”

Of course, the answer will vary depending on the person. However, many sex workers are pushing back against age-old stereotypes and opening up about their sexual health practices. Some sex workers – particularly those who perform “full-service” work, which includes sexual intercourse – report that they receive regular STD testing alongside complementary medicine to safeguard their overall health. 

Additionally, though some exotic dancers perform oral or penetrative sex with club-goers, not all dancers do, meaning the risk of STD transmission could be lower depending on the professional limits of the dancer you encounter.

The bottom line is that, like any other sexual encounter, there are measures you can take to protect your sexual health when visiting a strip club. You can also schedule a rapid STD test following your night out to check your sexual health status and have peace of mind.

How to Protect Yourself When Going to a Strip Club

It goes without saying that the single most effective way to prevent STDs is to abstain from sexual activities. Unsurprisingly, this method isn’t appealing to many people, but that doesn’t mean prevention isn’t possible. Luckily, you have several methods of prevention and protection at your disposal. 

You can protect yourself from STDs in many ways, including but not limited to the following:

1.  Commit to one partner. Whether you’re romantically involved or strictly friends with benefits, staying with one sexual partner who’s tested negative for STDs can protect you from STD transmission. This arrangement requires communication and honesty from both partners regarding sexual activity.

2.  Ask your internal medicine doctor about vaccination. Receiving the vaccines for HPV, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B can prevent any health complications related to these infections.

3.  Use protective measures, such as condoms and dental dams. Before performing oral, anal, or vaginal sex, consider using latex condoms or a dental dam to prevent the spread of STIs. Note that these forms of protection may not prevent infections caused by contact with genital or oral sores.

4.  Avoid direct contact with a dancer's genitals. If you want to enjoy a fun night out on the town without worrying about your sexual health, consider enjoying the dancing from a reasonable distance.

Eliminate STD Anxiety with Rapid STD Testing

If you’ve been searching, “Can I get an STD from a lap dance?” online, you may be feeling anxious about your sexual health status and overall well-being. However, before you raise your blood pressure by worrying, know that there are plenty of resources available to help.

At Rapid STD Testing, we provide quick, accurate test results to help you make informed decisions about your sexual health and put your mind at ease. Contact us today at 866-872-1888 for more information, or find a lab near you to schedule a test.


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By: RSC Editorial Team
February 5, 2023

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