How to Swallow Cum — If That’s Your Thing

To spit or to swallow? That is the question. Let’s talk about tips and techniques if swallowing is the way you wanna go!

How to Swallow Cum — If That’s Your Thing

How to Swallow Cum — If That’s Your Thing

How to Swallow Cum — If That’s Your Thing

January 27, 2020
Medically Reviewed by
8 minute read

For those who engage in oral sex with people who have penises, the decision between spitting or swallowing probably comes up a lot. Semen — also known as cum — is the viscous liquid that is often ejaculated during orgasm. Some folks just don’t want to swallow cum and opt to spit every time; others are turned on by swallowing semen, either for its own sake, and/or for the reaction it gets from their partner. 

Some may be curious about what it’s like to swallow cum but are unsure how to go about it. Others may have tried, but been thwarted by a strong physical reaction to its taste or texture. If you’d like to try swallowing your partner’s cum but aren’t quite sure where to start, read on for some tips.

1. Communication is key

Being on the same page and communicating with your partner is key in and out of the bedroom, but especially when it comes to experimenting with new sexual activities.

Sex therapist Dr. Janet Brito tells that it’s helpful to start with a “kitchen conversation.” “It’s best not to start to have this convo while in the moment engage in open communication with your partner to explore preferences.” Let your partner know you are interested in trying to swallow their cum and gauge their interest. Although people with penises are often depicted as always wanting to have their cum swallowed, that isn’t always the case. Particularly if your partner experiences gender dysphoria, anxiety, or a medical condition that affects ejaculation, a thorough boundary-setting conversation with enthusiastic consent is a must. 

2.  Safety first

While swallowing cum is less risky than unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse, STIs can be transmitted through oral sex. If you want to swallow your partner’s cum, make sure they have been recently tested for STIs. Note that oral sex carries the risk of transmission even if you don’t swallow your partner’s cum; all sexually active people should make regular STI testing a part of their healthcare.

3. Set the mood 

The first few times you try to swallow cum, make sure the setting is relaxed and unhurried, with no distractions or time pressure. Be sure you’ll be able to go slowly, pause if necessary, and feel relaxed and comfortable. Playing favorite music, lighting candles, scenting the room with essential oils, or exchanging massage with a partner are all great ways to promote relaxation and comfort.

4. Use visualization

Athletes often visualize themselves making plays in order to train their brains for the actual event. Visualization has been shown to increase performance in other settings, too: By giving your brain a chance to do a “dry-run,” so to speak, you can actually practice doing something mentally.

Picture yourself swallowing your partner’s cum; imagine its texture, its flavor, and the way it fills your mouth. Finally, imagine yourself swallowing. You can try actually swallowing while you visualize — just imagine that, instead of warm tea or a smoothie, it’s your partner’s semen sliding smoothly down your throat.  It can be particularly helpful to use visualization when you’re already turned on: Imagining swallowing cum while masturbating, watching porn, or otherwise sexually aroused can help your brain to associate swallowing cum with sexual pleasure.

5. Recognize that every person’s cum is unique

In general, cum is composed of water, sperm cells, proteins, sugars, vitamins and minerals. Lifestyle, eating habits, and unique body chemistry, however, means everyone’s bodily fluids have a unique scent and flavor. Some people find that reducing their intake of coffee and meat, avoiding certain vegetables like broccoli or asparagus, and eating a diet rich in fruits like pineapple can improve its flavor. That said, according to Medical Daily, changing what you eat won’t immediately or significantly affect the taste of your semen.  

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that  there really is no “normal” when it comes to bodies: cum comes in a range of flavors, from salty to sour to bitter to sweet. 

6. Get used to the taste incrementally

Marriage and sex therapist Cathie Helfand, MS suggests using flavored lube if you find that taste is an obstacle to swallowing cum: “flavored gel is good for enhancing the taste and smell as well as the sensation.”

Before working up to swallowing cum, it’s a good idea to start incrementally: taste a little bit of your partner’s cum to get yourself used to the flavor. Helfand offers this advice: “Take it slow. Maybe only swallow a little bit at first. Tissues can collect the excess. Keep a box nearby for many reasons!”

7. Take control of your breathing

If you find it physically difficult to swallow cum, it can help to take control of your breathing: take slow, rhythmic breaths through your nose to promote relaxation and help to calm your body and mind. You can also ask your partner to gently stroke your face to help you get centered in your body and be fully present.

While swallowing semen (in the absence of an STI, of course) is usually perfectly safe, in rare cases a semen allergy can cause symptoms such as a burning sensation, swelling in your throat, or hives. If you experience these symptoms, avoid swallowing your partner’s come until you check in with a medical professional. 

Finally, if you end up with a mouthful of cum and decide in the moment that you’d actually rather not swallow, go ahead and spit: withdrawing consent, for any reason, at any time, for all or part of a sexual encounter is always ok. 

Whenever you try something new sexually, especially if it’s outside of your comfort zone, make sure to check in with yourself and your partner at regular intervals. If, at any time, you feel uncomfortable, it’s ok to stop! For those who have strong gag reflexes or sensory processing issues, swallowing cum may be a lot to work up to—and that’s ok! Take your time, don’t expect to succeed on your first try, and if you decide it’s actually not for you, feel empowered to take it off the menu.

E.A. Klein

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

E.A. is a freelance writer who also works at a small nonprofit. As a student of cultural anthropology, she researched and wrote about kink/BDSM, abortion, harm-reduction approaches to substance use in the LGBT community, and cross-cultural understandings of gender, sexuality, and the body. She has designed and implemented a sexual health curriculum for adolescent girls in the developing world and worked in a variety of community health settings. Her writing has appeared in The Establishment, Edible magazine, The Seattle Lesbian, Slog, and elsewhere.

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