Not much protein: Malaysian expert highlights myths, risks of swallowing semen

Milad Hassandarvish
·3-min read
Oral sex and semen swallowing could potentially increase the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. — AFP pic
Oral sex and semen swallowing could potentially increase the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Swallowing one’s semen may have erotic pleasure for some, but others may find it gross and unacceptable.

Choosing to swallow, spit out or even refrain from touching your partner’s load is totally a personal preference, but it’s imperative to understand the biology behind semen and its potential risks if you choose to take a swallow.

According to consultant urologist Professor Dr George Lee Eng Geap, oral sex and the swallowing of semen pose a risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections just like most form of sexual contact.

“The swallowing of semen involving the exchange of bodily fluids has the potential of pathogen transmission such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, human papillomavirus, herpes and hepatitis.

“However, the risk of HIV and other infections are significantly lower for oral sex, compared to vaginal and anal sex. Therefore, the practice of oral sex in a monogamous and trusting relationship is often considered almost risk free,” he added.

Commenting on contradicting studies about the health benefits of semen, Dr Lee said the myth that one’s ejaculate contains nutrients such as proteins and minerals is unsubstantiated.

“The protein content is only five per cent of the total ejaculate, therefore, the nutritious value of semen is negligible unless litres of semen is ingested to see any dietary benefits.

“Contrary to common belief, semen is also not that highly caloric as each teaspoon of ejaculate only has about five to seven calories.”

Citing a 2002 study conducted in the State University of New York at Albany, Dr Lee said it was found that the 293 college-age women participants had significantly better mood and milder depression after being exposed to semen following an intercourse session without condoms.

“Many argue several substances such as endorphin, prolactin, oxytocin and estrone are responsible for anti-depressive properties.

“Others also believe the Vitamin C and antioxidants found in the semen may help with enhancing oxytocin and progesterone hormones with mood-boosting properties,” said Dr Lee.

What is semen made of?

Breaking down the different components of semen, Dr Lee said constituent of the ejaculate is variable between individuals depending on the person’s age and dietary intake.

“On average, healthy men ejaculate four to 5ml of semen, consisting of one to five per cent of spermatozoa, which is half of the genetic material to create offspring.

“The rest is seminal fluid predominantly water, which contains glucose, fructose, sodium chloride, potassium, zinc, citrate, calcium, lactic acid, magnesium, vitamin C and urea,” he said.

Dr Lee added that traces of endorphins, prolactin, oxytocin and estrone are also present in semen.

The root of oral sex and semen swallowing influence

According to Dr Lee, the act of oral sex dates back to thousands of years all the way to Roman Civilisation.

“In the 1950s, when American biologist Alfred Kinsey began to analyse such practices amongst newlywed American, he reported the prevalence of 51 and 50 per cent in cunnilingus (stimulation of the female genitals using the tongue) and fellatio (oral stimulation of penis), respectively.”

In modern times, he added that oral sex is evidently more acceptable amongst youth, regardless of initiation of penetrative intercourse.

Referring to a self-administered National Centre for Health and Statistic survey among 12,000 Americans aged 15 to 44, Dr Lee said it was found that more than half of adolescent questioned admitted engaging in oral sex.

“The British National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyle study also echoed similar findings, revealing increasing prevalence of oral sex with a much younger demographic.”

When asked about the role of pornography in normalising such sexual activities, Dr Lee said the exact pornographic influence of swallowing the semen is really difficult to assess.

However, he admitted that the easy access to hardcore porn content has certainly reduced the taboo in oral sex and the act of semen swallowing.

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