Spit or Swallow

tumblr fuels most of my rants

This came up on my dashboard the other day, so like always, I wanted to tear it apart on my blog. Flavored condoms are not just to smell nice (although they do). Flavored condoms are meant to make oral more enjoyable, but not everyone uses them that way. 

  • Young people (aged 15-24) acquire half of all new STDs*
  • 1 in 4 sexually active adolescent females have an STD

Here's the thing, while oral can't really get you pregnant, it's not the safest thing you can do either. Oral sex isn't safe sex. HIV, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, HPV, and viral hepatitis can all be passed on through oral. 

  • Most people with herpes don't know they have it, and can be infectious without showing symptoms.
  • HPV can lead to cancer, which is why oral sex is linked to throat cancer. (For perspective, about half of sexually active people will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives)

I'm not just going to lecture about STDs. Seriously, they gross me out. But what I hate is a culture that ignores the risks of oral sex. I hate the normalcy of risky behavior. Most importantly, I hate how often I hear, "spit or swallow?"

Spit or swallow implies right away that there's no barrier protection. Here's an article in Cosmopolitan, a guide to oral sex, that tells girls they only have those two options, with no mention of anything else. The Gloss interviewed women about their preferences, and not one talked about an alternative. Thought Catalog writes that spitting just isn't an option, it's all about swallowing.

Huffington Post suggests that semen helps weight loss and fights depression. HerCampus writes that the nutrients in semen make it a panacea. Our culture is soaked in the idea that women should be going down on men.

If you tell me this ad doesn't remind you of a cumshot, you're lying.
When we live in a culture that tells people to swallow, we make it uncomfortable to break that expectation. We make it weird. We make it awkward to protect yourself. Maybe I'm paranoid. But there are shortcomings in sex ed, common sexual attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge, and we need to fill the gap. Suck as many dicks as you want. Have fun. But know the risks, and be safe.

honestly never thought I'd use a simpsons gif in a post about oral

P.S. I know I focused on fellatio here, but I promise, I've got a post coming up about going down on lady-folk. I'll leave you with Michael Douglas, the actor who got oral cancer through cunnilingus. Hopefully that'll suffice for now.

*Statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


  1. You mention that "Huffington Post suggests that semen helps weight loss and fights depression. HerCampus writes that the nutrients in semen make it a panacea." But you don't disprove these claims...so then do you agree with them and acknowledge that their claims are accurate? or are they not? You don't go further on the subject

  2. The research behind the claims is pretty accurate, weirdly, there is a link between health benefits and semen. But my point is, the way the information is presented, it puts more pressure on unprotected oral. The Huffington Post article doesn't mention protection. HerCampus does, but emphasizes how men enjoy oral sex, and how knowing the benefits can encourage women to swallow. While the claims are true, I wanted to use them as examples of the attitude on oral. Regardless, both are interesting articles. Seriously, the HerCampus one has a recipe for a White Russian with semen, if you're informed about your partner, go ahead and try it.