Is swallowing bad for you?

There are many myths about whether you should or shouldn’t swallow semen.

Most, like the one that says it’s like a big vitamin pill, are, I suspect, spread by hopeful men who enjoy the experience.

The reality is semen is made up of sperm and a fluid called seminal plasma which is 80 per cent water.

It’s pretty harmless – except for one big, flashing red light…


If he has an STI, you run the risk of catching it. Though the damage is already done once the ejaculate is in your mouth. It doesn’t matter if you swallow or don’t, you’ve already exposed yourself. Use a condom or get him checked first at a sexual health clinic (or using a reputable at home test).

If you have a semen allergy. You can indeed be allergic to semen, though it is rare. It’s called HSP (human seminal plasma hypersensitivity) and usually happens 20 to 30 minutes after contact.

Pretty sure you’re safe on both those counts?

Here’s some things you DON’T need to worry about.


It won’t make you fat. Have you actually seen how little there is of it? It would have to be the most calorific food out there if it did pose weight problems. There are between five to seven calories in the average ejaculate.

It won’t make you pregnant either. Sperm are clever little buggers but not so clever they can bypass major organs to travel from your digestive system into your reproductive tract.

It’s not full of protein. Good try guys but it’s not actually true. There’s about one twentieth of protein in the whole half to one level teaspoon full.

It is full of nutrients. There’s sugar, sodium zinc, chloride, calcium, magnesium and potassium in semen. But they’re in such tiny amounts, you’d have to consume loads of it to count as one of your five a day.

Semen also contains hormones, endorphins, neurotransmitters and immunosuppressants. Some studies suggest swallowing may have mood-lifting potential but since the act of having sex also boosts our mood and helps alleviate depression, it’s hard to tell which is responsible.

There’s no scientific evidence to link someone’s diet to the taste of their semen but anecdotal evidence suggests the unhealthier the person, the less desirable their semen will taste. The guy who lives on coffee, beer, curry and cigarettes is likely to have bitter tasting semen. The man who has just been for a run and knocked back a wheatgrass shot and pineapple juice is likely to taste far less acidic.

It smells of bleach because its neutral or slightly alkaline, unlike the vagina which is more acidic. This provides the right environment for sperm to survive and thrive.

Does not swallowing completely spoil his BJ? No. Lots of men like it because it’s erotic and gives him a thrill but so long as you don’t abandon him and leave him (literally) hanging, most men don’t mind at all. As with anything to do with sex, it’s completely up to you what you do and don’t do in bed.