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Health Benefits of Oral Sex (+ How To Make It Better)

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Health Benefits of Oral Sex (+ How To Make It Better)

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It Helps You Learn What You (& Your Other Half) Like

‘The real benefit of oral sex is the communication of desires and understanding of our bodies that goes along with good oral sex. Not only do we need to know what our partner wants, we need to know what we want.

‘The most important thing to remember when it comes to enjoying oral sex, either as a giver or as a receiver is to focus on mutual pleasure. If something isn’t working for you, let your partner know.’

It Helps Develop Communication And Intimacy

There’s nothing much more intimate than someone’s head poking around downstairs… If you’re able to be totally at ease and open with your partner in these situations this can only be positive for the rest of your sex life (and your relationship as a whole).

‘We can be shy about it, but vocalising what we want or moaning appreciatively (this goes for men as well!) is perfect during the act, as well as discussing things like whether we like eye contact, whether we want the receiver to grind and thrust etc.’

Swallowing Can Improve Mood And Stress Levels

‘Swallowing semen can actually be beneficial to health as semen contains spermatozoa, (and cortisol that comes with it), which is known to increase affection and oxytocin which can elevate our moods.

‘It also contains thyrotropin-releasing hormone and serotonin which is an anti depressant and melatonin – known to induce sleep!’

Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Oral Sex

Women give it more than they receive it

How many couples indulge in oral? Here’s an idea: In a 2016 study in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, approximately 900 heterosexual college students were surveyed about their most recent sexual encounter. More than two-thirds of those participants reported that oral sex was involved.

But which sex gives and gets the most is a bit of a buzzkill. Slightly more women than men (59% as opposed to 52%) reported giving oral sex to their partner. Unsurprisingly, more men than women (63% versus 44%) reported receiving oral sex. Men were also less likely to reciprocate after women went down on them, breaking a major rule of sexual etiquette: 26% of women and only 10% of men reported giving oral sex but not receiving it.

Oral sex may help couples feel more connected

Some couples say that performing oral sex on each other helps them feel closer, says Dr. Rosser. But research suggests that people often engage in oral sex even if they don’t really like it, especially women. That 2016 Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality study, for example, also found that men were significantly more likely than women (52% versus 28%) to report that giving oral sex was “very pleasurable.”

“I tell my patients that yes, giving and receiving oral sex can strengthen certain relationships, but it can also put pressure on others and make them feel like they need to do this to make their partner happy,” says Dr. Rosser.

It can lead to amazing orgasms

You probably already know this, and science backs it up. In one 2016 study, nearly 70% of women described receiving oral as “very pleasurable.” This could be because of the direct clitoral stimulation oral offers. A third of women said that they need this kind of touching to reach climax, according to research published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy from 2017.

Oral sex can land you chlamydia or gonorrhea

Although these sexually transmitted infections usually manifest in the genital area, they can also appear in the mouth and throat. “I have seen infections in which people think they have strep throat and they go to the student health center,” says Dr. Rosser. “When they test positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea, they have to come to me for treatment.” Curing either bacterial STI usually entails a course of antibiotics.

Safe oral sex goes beyond condoms

The key to making oral sex safe is to avoid mouth-to-genital contact and the transmission of any bodily fluids. Condoms, including flavored varieties, can be used to perform oral sex on men. For going down on women, thin sheets of latex called dental dams can be purchased online or in sex-toy stores. There’s also the female condom, but like dental dams, these aren’t as easy to come by as the male version.

If you don’t have a dental dam, use a DIY option. Plastic wrap can also do the trick, says Dr. Rosser. “You can even cut a condom open lengthwise and use that if you need to,” she adds.

Your dentist might want to talk to you about it

The dentist’s chair may seem like the last place you should be getting quizzed about your sex life, but some doctors think that should change. In an article published in January 2018 in the Journal of the American Dental Association, a group of physicians argued that dentists are in a unique position to screen for and speak with their patients about HPV-related cancers and the risks of unprotected oral sex.

Knowledge about the link between HPV and throat cancer varied among dentists interviewed for the article; some reported already discussing the connection with their patients, and most reported conducting cancer screenings. But dentists should do more to create awareness and increase patients’ knowledge about HPV, the authors wrote—including providing information about vaccination and prevention practices.

There’s more than one way to enjoy oral sex

If fellatio and/or cunnilingus become a regular part of your routine, either can seem ho hum after a while—just as any other sex act can get when it becomes your go-to pleasure move. Luckily there are many variations to cunnilingus and fellatio. If you’re in a rut, try it on all fours, up against the wall, or in the 69 position, for example. Just like with intercourse, experimenting with new positions may crank up your chances of orgasm.

“Grapefruiting” is not a good idea

Using sex toys to make oral sex more exciting is one thing; using citrus fruit is another. That’s where “grapefruiting” comes in: This practice involves cutting the ends off a grapefruit, making a hole down the middle, and moving the entire fruit up and down a man’s penis while also stimulating him with your mouth.

This trick was mentioned in the movie Girls Trip,and demos can even be found on YouTube. But a urologist previously told Health that it’s definitely not a good idea. “The urethra isn’t designed to handle grapefruit juice,” Michael Eisenberg, MD, a urologist at Stanford University Medical Center in California, said in 2017. In fact, the acidity can lead to side effects like burning during urination.

What you eat might change the way you taste

You may have heard that eating foods like pineapple can change the taste of your vagina. And while published studies on this topic don’t seem to exist (unsurprisingly), anecdotal evidence lends support to the idea that pineapple can make a difference. Koushik Shaw, MD, of the Austin Urology Institute in Texas, also previously told Health that eating foods with higher sugar content, like fruit, could possibly make bodily fluids taste a little sweeter. But that effect wouldn’t be noticeable right away—especially not in men, since “prostate fluid in ejaculate can be made weeks or months before,” he said.

Swallowing (probably) isn’t going to hurt you

If you’ve ever given a man oral sex and wondered about the potential health risks of swollowing his semen (assuming he’s free of sexually transmitted infections and the Zika virus, that is), rest easy; there’s no evidence it can cause any harm. Some studies have even suggested that exposure to semen offers strange health benefits—like a reduced likelihood of preeclampsia or depression.

But those studies only looked at associations, and there are other factors to consider, experts say. “I don’t know of any major studies on whether women should or shouldn’t swallow, but what I’ve learned is that it probably doesn’t make a difference either way,” says Dr. Rosser. “I think it’s really a personal preference.”

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