Oral Sex

The truth about how we taste

L Moore | Sex Columnist

On the first day of health class in the sixth grade at my all-girls high school, the most outgoing student walked straight up to the counselor and principal and asked, “What does sperm taste like?”

You’d think a 12-year-old would start with, “When am I supposed to start wearing a bra,” or, “What’s third base?” But this girl was bold.

The principal looked around the room and calmly stated, “Like salty fish milk.” The impact that statement made on our respective budding sex lives was massive. Lying in the dark with our first boyfriends, I can’t help but know what we were all thinking before our first experiences with oral sex: Is it really going to taste like that?

So what does his sperm really taste like; what do her juices taste like, and why? Even though only 25 percent of women swallow, according to Discovery Health online, most women will be exposed to sperm in their lifetimes, and men are exposed to a woman’s wetness with or without “swallowing.” You might be thinking, ‘gross! I don’t want to hear about this!’ But if you plan to be sexually intimate at least with a life partner, this is a relevant concern.

While a cup of sperm contains around 200 calories, it also can contain anything from citric acid to chlorine, and depending on the concentration of different substances in sperm, the taste will vary. The concentration of these substances is determined by diet. For example, the more protein a man eats, the more protein exists in his sperm—and the “thicker and gummier” it tastes, according to Discovery Health sex therapist Laura Berman. And watch out college students—she also says that beer and coffee tend to make sperm taste bitter. Maybe a man who ingests both high levels of protein and beer will fit the description “salty fish milk.”

As for a woman, the same idea, variably, applies. Every woman has her own taste, due to her lifestyle and dietary choices, built off the general acids and yeasts maintained in all healthy female genitals. However, because a woman’s taste tends to be all consuming throughout the entirety of oral sex—instead of a sperm ejaculation just at the end—vaginas with a milder flavor are by and large favored by the male community. A stronger taste denotes a greater accumulation of sweat and other fluids. Though no particular foods have been proven to alter the essence of a woman, keeping clean will reduce odors and tone down basic taste. A clean woman is not a fishy, milky, salty one.

So, all in all, drinking a triple espresso shot before a rendezvous with your partner might not be the best idea, even if you want it to last all night, and, though douching is typically frowned upon, a daily shower and regular diet is definitely advisable. Hey—it’s true—you are what you eat!

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