Good afternoon, class! Please open up your textbooks to page 68. Today we’re going to talk about ORAL SEX.
But first! Let’s do a pop quiz, shall we? Oh, stop your groaning. This will be fun.
- Is oral sex really considered sex?
- Will I get pregnant from oral sex?
Actually . . .
Actually, that quiz is just too easy for you smart cookies. Let’s do this one:
- Would I still be a virgin if I have oral sex?
- Can oral sex be casual sex?
- Which of the following diseases could I contract if I engage in oral sex?
- Genital herpes
- Oral Cancer
TIME’S UP! Now, exchange your quiz with the person beside you and get those grading pens out! We’ll go over the answers together, just to make everything more awesome and awkward!
Question 1: Would I still be a virgin if I have oral sex?
This group of girls doesn’t think so.
In a clip aired on ABC’s Good Morning America, their answer was: “Technically, no.” And that makes sense, doesn’t it? Oral sex, as we all know, is when you apply your mouth to someone else’s genitalia. It’s not really your old fashioned, “insert tab A in slot A” sex, right?
In fact, one of the girls says that “the role of oral sex, particularly in a relationship, is to avoid the whole ‘virginity’ issue.”
So oral sex is not “technically” sexual intercourse. Most teenagers don’t consider it to be sex at all. That doesn’t rule out the fact that oral sex is still a sexual activity, especially since it involves another person’s genitalia.
Maybe the next question will shed some light.
Question 2: Can oral sex be casual sex?
In this survey by the Centers for Disease Control, 54% of teenage girls ages 15 – 19 have engaged in oral sex. “It’s as common as kissing for teens,” said Azam, who did four years of research for her documentary,” Oral Sex is the New Goodnight’s Kiss.”
In fact, oral sex is casual enough to be used as a type of currency; it’s become a form of casual prostitute, in which a girl or a boy hands out sexual favors to peers for purses, money, or even homework answers.
“I think there’s very much trading for relationship favors,” said one girl from the screening. “You need to do this for me to stay in this relationship.”
“There’s a lot of social pressure,” explained another, “especially at our age, a lot of girls just want to be in a relationship and are almost willing to do anything.”
So teens see oral sex as a “better, less risky” alternative to vaginal sex. After all, you can’t get someone pregnant after giving them oral sex, right?
This leads us to our final question: Which of the following diseases could I contract if I engage in oral sex?
The answer is: all of them.
In particular, oral cancer is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. Most of you – if not all – have heard of the human papillomavirus (aka HPV). It turns out that there are a number of cases – 39% in a study of 34,000 people – that link the HPV to oral cancer.
And a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) “shows that men and women who reported having six or more oral sex partners during their lifetime had a nearly ninefold increased risk of developing cancer of the tonsils or at the base of the tongue.”
HPV is spread through contact. At the moment, scientists don’t know if the virus can be spread through kissing. They also know that there is “absolutely a link between oral sex and oral cancer” – a fact stated by Dr. Ellen Rome, of the Cleveland Clinic.
And the thing about the HPV is that it’s a virus; once it infects, you can’t wash it out with Listerine, or kill it with ten minutes of brushing your teeth. So whether or not oral sex really is sex, whether or not you’re still considered a “virgin” if you go off and have oral sex, really isn’t as important as realizing the consequences of oral sex. Technically sex or technically not, oral sex can still put you at risk for any of those diseases and/or oral cancer.
Of course, you’re all smart enough to know all of this.
For more information about oral sex and the risks associated with it, visit these links: