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To spit or to swallow…that is the question.

Some do it, some don’t and some try to avoid the subject altogether. And I’m not talking about your tax returns.

Chances are, if you are a gay man in this day and age, though, the issue about whether to swallow your partner’s semen is safe and/or good for you or not. I’m going to keep referring to it as semen, if you don’t mind. My inner Afrikaans old lady can’t handle the word “cum”…it just doesn’t sit well in the mouth, if you’ll pardon the expression.

Jizz? Hmmm… Maybe. Spunk? Ok I can work with spunk.

Back to the business at hand. As a gay man I have been asked two questions more than anything else about my life. Two questions that human beings just can not resist asking, and the first of those is “So are you the boy or the girl?”, sometimes asked as “Do you give or do you receive”, or my personal favorite, “Are you a train or a tunnel?”.

The second is invariably asked by someone peering over a glass of wine with naughty eyes while trying to stifle a giggle, “So…do you swallow”.

The answer? Buy me dinner and you may find out.

There have been many conversations had about the swallowing of pearl jam and whether it is safe or not to do so.  Let’s have a look at this fascinating substance and see where it lands…I mean, where we land.

Semen, or Spunk,  is a creamy yellowish or greyish liquid discharged from the male penis. It is made up of spermatozoa (%1-5%) and a fluid called seminal plasma, which is around 80% water.

But your friend in accounts told you some stuff about it? Let’s see if Janice from accounts knows what she’s talking about.

Does it taste bad?

Honey, it’s a fluid that sprayed from inside a man’s body and out of his penis…were you hoping for unicorn frappe? There is no one way to describe the taste, some will tell you it’s salty, some will say it’s bitter and some have described it as slightly sweet. There is some evidence that certain foods like pineapple and strawberry will improve the taste, but there is not a huge scientific basis for this.

Is it really high in protein?

You’re on Atkins and you’re worried about the protein content of an orgasm? Honey, your problems are bigger than you think. Put away your weigh-less scale sweetheart. If your protein farts have not chased your boyfriend away yet, you’re doing ok. Semen does have a reputation for being high in protein. And it is. But think about this…protein makes up about one twentieth of semen…how much of it are you hoping to swallow? And before you ask, the same goes for calories. Studies have shown that one teaspoon of semen contains between 5 and 7 calories…you will survive, Linda.

Is it a natural anti-depressant?

Only if you are doing it right. Sex, I mean. Sex is always an anti-depressant if you do it right. But oddly enough some studies have shown that semen can aid with stress relief. This claim is due to the presence of oxytocin and progesterone hormones, both of which are found in semen. But again…let’s look at volumes here. It’s unlikely to make too much of a difference, except for an afterglow.

Can I get an STI from swallowing?

The most important question of all. Yes, you can. As with any sexual act without a barrier birth control device such as a condom, bacterial infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia can affect your body.

Long story short…this is a very intimate act. There is no right or wrong answer. But make sure you know who you are getting in bed with and make sure you know who they’ve been in bed with. Because that thing in your mouth…it’s been other places too.

Craig Stadler is a contributing writer for the Anova Health Institute and these are his views, which may or may not reflect those of Anova and its affiliates.

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