First, am I correct in understanding that the major setback of a male having hpv (besides a small percentage of penile cancers) is that he can later transmit it to a female?
The types of HPV linked to genital warts are "low risk" in that they are seldom found in anogenital cancers with either gender. The "high risk" types associated with cervical and some other cancers do not commonly lead to cancer, especially in males.
Second, even if my girl has had laser surgery, can we never have sex without risking her transmitting the virus to me?
There is no way to know if a partner with a history of HPV is able to transmit the virus at a given point. Some experts believe that removing genital warts may lower the risk of transmission since it reduces the areas of tissue that contain most of the virus. Removing warts cannot guarantee that the risk of transmission is removed. However, if no symptoms recur in the subsequent months following treatment, the chance of transmission dramatically decreases, and some researchers consider the possibility of being contagious during this time would be minimal to remote.
Latex condoms may provide some protection against the transmission of HPV with a new partner. However, condoms are limited to only providing protection for skin that is covered. If virus is present on skin that is not covered, and there is skin-to-skin contact with that area, then transmission may still be possible. Nonetheless, we recommend the use of latex condoms as studies show that using them consistently reduces the risk of contracting HPV and other STDs.
Lastly, besides intercourse and me giving her oral, can she give me the virus other ways? specifically--her giving me oral? me fingering her and then pleasing myself?
HPV that exists in genital skin cells is not transmitted via contact with that individual's mouth. It may be possible to contract HPV by performing oral sex on a partner who has genital virus, but the exact risks of contracting HPV through oral sex are currently unknown, though the mouth appears to be a less hospitable environment for HPV than the genital area. Each type of HPV tends to infect a specific skin area, making it unlikely for genital types of HPV to become established and create disease orally. Research shows that it is uncommon for HPV to be found in the mouth in the form of warts (or lesions). A common recommendation is not to perform oral sex on a partner with genital HPV while lesions are present.
The possibility of HPV transmission through someone touching a partner and then touching themselves cannot be absolutely ruled out, of course, but this has not been well documented and is largely considered to be rare.
Hope this helps.
All the best,