When it comes to giving oral sex on a penis-haver, you may find yourself wondering what to do with the semen afterwards. Should you spit or swallow it? First, there are a few things to keep in mind about spitting vs swallowing from a health perspective.
1. Are there any health risks with spitting or swallowing semen?
“Generally, swallowing semen can be safe, and even at times beneficial,” says Dr. Monica Grover, DO, and Board Certified Gynecologist at VSpot Medi Spa. However, she adds, you should have an honest convo with your partner about STIs and test for it beforehand as these can be transmitted.
If you’re debating spitting vs. swallowing, you’re having unprotected oral sex, which means you could potentially contract or transmit STIs from swallowing semen, explains Laurel Steinberg, PhD, clinical sexologist and relationship expert. If you have an open wound in your mouth or throat, this could also increase the chances of transmission, Steinberg mentions, and you might not even be aware you have such an injury in the first place. With that in mind, Steinberg underlines why it is so important to have a chat with any new partner about oral to make the best decision. Some might see oral as more casual than penetrative sex, hence less motivation to have “the talk,” but as Steinberg says, “When it comes to STIs, risk is risk,” You can always have protected oral sex with a condom — why do you think they make flavored condoms?
There’s also a small chance that you might be allergic to semen, as Edwina Caito, sexpert for Bed Bible, adds, explaining that “Seminal Plasma Hypersensitivity could cause redness, pain, swelling, and blisters in the mouth within 10–30 minutes of contact with sperm.” but both Caito and Dr. Grover say this is pretty rare. Just in case, Dr. Grover recommends keeping some antihistamines nearby in case of a reaction if you’re swallowing semen of a new partner.
2. If STIs are not a concern, are there any benefits from swallowing semen?
This is trickier to answer! While there was a study that showed a possible correlation with improved mood in those who had contact with semen. Steinberg suggests this may have something to do with the mood-boosting properties in semen and the hormones and antioxidants in semen to support sperm productivity that your gut could theoretically absorb. But, she also notes that the studies’ participants moods could’ve been otherwise boosted by other factors as well. Also important to note how that study only looked at a lack of condom use as an “indirect measure of the presence of semen in the reproductive tract” and was not measuring mood based on like, tablespoons of semen consumed through the stomach.
While there’s no exact way to tell, Steinberg believes that both factors (semen and other factors like mood or relationship health in general) likely play a role in the mood-boosting.
For pregnant women, there was also a study that suggested swallowing semen while pregnant lead to a lower rate of preeclampsia, which is also pretty neat?!
3. Does semen digest weirdly or anything?
Nope, it’s gonna go through your system like anything else. “Semen is composed of spermatozoa and seminal plasma which mainly consists of water and then some protein, as well as vitamins and minerals,” Dr. Grover explains. This means that semen will be just as easily digested as any other food you’d put in your body.
4. Assuming you’ve had the talk about STIs with a partner and have decided to have condom-less oral sex, should you spit or swallow?
This is gonna be different for every person! Again, if you’ve had the STI talk and are sure that no one is transmitting any STIs to each other, do what you’re comfy with and definitely talk to your partner about what they’re comfy with too.
Now that we’ve gotten the health considerations and basics out of the way, there are some other considerations you can also take into account:
First of all, what position are you in? Is he lying on his back with you sort of hunched over him awkwardly? Or is he standing and are you on your knees? This matters because when he comes, it’s not going to be a controlled, leisurely “sip of Arnold Palmer from a pitcher on a sunny day at the races” sort of flow. It’s more like the guy’s sperm yells, “THIS IS SPARTA!” and charges at your epiglottis. So if you are in a position where you cannot control what goes down your throat, you will start coughing like a Dickensian orphan.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about face-fucking real quick, because you can’t ask your mom about it and the hypersexual 12-year-olds on Yahoo Answers know nothing. At the risk of being indelicate, face-fucking is where a guy grabs your head and fucks your face like it is your vagina. Or, if you would rather I be more delicate, it’s when a gentleman makes love to your mouth while leaving your petticoats down and your hands free to needlepoint. Just be careful that you don’t dry-drown on joy juice, is all I’m saying.
Which is great, if you want to do it! But don’t feel like you have to, which is a pretty good way to approach literally anything, sexual or otherwise. (Except maybe, like, paying your electric bill.)
There are some things that a lot of men like during blow jays that you might not be so into, because porn. Gagging on a penis, choking on come, watering eyes, general discomfort. Not something most women spend all day looking forward to, but guys like it. Again: There is no need if you don’t want to. It’s your mouth, after all, unless you happen to be a dude who is somehow sucking his own dick.
But there is one trick from porn that is actually sort of useful to you, if you are on a surface that doesn’t need to stay clean. Some adult actresses do this thing where they sort of pretend to swallow but actually sort of dribble all of it out of their mouth rather than having to do so. Gross? Yep. Effective in a pinch? Totally.
You could also avoid getting it in your mouth entirely and, just before he comes, aim it somewhere more convenient, like onto a towel, your tits, or a nutrient-starved flower bed.
But if you are champing it out, you won’t have a lot of time to make the spitting vs. swallowing verdict on the spot. Guys will generally warn you when they’re about to come (“I’m gonna come.”) but it is usually about 0.2 seconds before they do. It is really best if you made the call well beforehand. When Robert Frost wrote the line, “Two roads diverged in a … wood,” he was definitely referring to the decision you have to make when a guy is about to bust a nut in your mouth. Because that poem is about blow jobs.
Spitting requires a tissue or paper towel nearby, not to mention sleight of hand if you are, for some reason, trying to hide the fact that you are spitting it out. Hence why magicians are probably awesome at BJ etiquette. Running right to the bathroom afterward to spit it out can be awkward, and maybe even a little offensive, if you care about him enough for that to matter. (If a guy ran to brush his teeth or spit into the sink right after going down on you, would you be offended?)
Swallowing is your only other option, unless you’re the Thomas Edison of post-blow job semen disposal. Swallowing can be weirdly romantic — not to mention hot — if you’re really into the guy. You can never really predict what the taste will be like, since it varies from guy to guy and depends on health, diet, etc. In my experience, it generally falls on a scale from “Nothing?” to “Sorta sour but not awful” to “Pennies!” (I know! Pennies! Weird.)
It has 20 calories per teaspoon, if that’s a thing that matters to you. It probably shouldn’t matter though.
(Fun fact: OG Cosmo girl Helen Gurley Brown preferred facials, according to her memoir I’m Wild Again: “Spread semen over your face, [it’s] probably full of protein as sperm can eventually become babies. Makes a fine mask — and he’ll be pleased.” Daaaaamn, Helen.)
One cardinal rule though. No matter whether you spit it out, swallow it, carbonate it in a Soda Stream, or freeze it into ice cubes — if he won’t kiss you afterward, fuck that.
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