Editors note: we at PositiveLIte are not obsessed with semen – well,not a lot - but you might also like this post about its commercial appeal.
For eons, there have been legends - yes, legends - of the properties of semen or cum. Cum as an aphrodisiac improves virility and its anti-aging properties - from the novels of Harold Robins. And we all know of men and women who love the taste of cum. Porn movies gloss over the act and so do bareback movies.
But a word of caution: what you are about to read is controversial in the age of safer sex.
The practice of same–sex semen ingestion is also practiced in some tribes around the world. Anthropologists have written reports of young boys ingesting semen of older men through ritualized homoerotic cultural tradition. Granted, this may spin the heads of many a cultural anthropologist and arouse curiosity and fantasy in many gay men’s head. But ingesting semen has been documented over the years in numerous tribes and cultures for various reasons. Some cultures extol the virtue of semen drinking as “transference of masculinity and bravery” to young men.
Research studies of barebacking (sex without a condom) have over and over stated "barebacking participants viewed the exchange of semen as creating intimacy, a "palpable sense of connectedness" that ONLY happened with internally unimpeded ejaculations.
The same can be said for men and women who relished the idea of a man or men ejaculating in them; the smell or man-smell; the taste, as if drinking from the fountain of everlasting life. So is it all in the head of the recipient, or is there some science behind this psychobabble? What is the psychology-biology of semen? Does it impact the mental and emotional well being of recipients?
What is the scientific proof of the benefits of semen ingestion in the era of HIV and STIs? First, semen is not the same as sperm. About "1 to 5 percent of the average human ejaculate consists of sperm cells.” The rest of the ejaculate, once drained of these famously flagellating gametes, is called "seminal plasma."
What is in semen? Semen has over 50 compounds of mind-altering drugs. These include hormones, neurotransmitters, endorphins, and immune-suppressants. Each of these has special functions and occurs in different concentrations in the seminal plasma. But the most exciting property of these compounds is the mood-enhancing properties of semen. Who knew?
This might explain why some folks are “addicted” to semen! A natural anti-depressant? Some of the chemicals in the "semen are; cortisol (increase affection), estrone (elevates mood), prolactin (a natural antidepressant), oxytocin (elevates mood), thyrotropin-releasing hormone ( another antidepressant), melatonin (sleep inducing agent) and serotonin ( the most well-known antidepressant neurotransmitter).”
It is known that testosterone from the semen could penetrate the oral mucosa. Is this why some are drawn to oral sex and its possible effects on psychological effects? The vaginal and rectum wall are ideal for drug delivery too. The walls of the vagina are 40 cells thick while the rectum is one cell thick.
The simple benefit is that anal sex makes one more susceptible to HIV infection. But if one were to dig a bit further into the microbiology, the pH of the vaginal environment is acidic, to prevent infectionsm, and the rectum is neutral. HI, being a pH neutral virus, gains easy access to the mucosa in rectal tissue, i.e. HIV transmission is easier via the rectum due to cuts, tears and trauma to tissue during anal sex.
A note of caution on finding your very own antidepressant “man pharmacy”. A “certain protein in semen called prostatic acid phosphate(PAP), makes HIV up to 100,000 fold more potent than it is outside of the plasma.” PAP is an enzyme produced by the prostate. We also know the prostate is a reservoir for HIV replication.
Other factors for increased susceptibility to HIV transmission via anal sex have to “do with a denser population of CCR5 receptors bearing immune cells in the rectal mucosa compared to other tissues (Grivel et al., 2007). Research has shown human semen can be immune-suppressive. “Human semen contains at least two different components which facilitate the degeneration of the membrane that supports the colonic epithelial cell layer” increasing risk for HIV and STI transmission (Naftalin 1992).
An interesting study in college women in 2002 unearthed a few interesting findings. Women who engaged in condomless sex expressed fewer depressive symptoms vs. those who abstained. Very sexually active women who practiced safer sex were just as depressed as those abstaining. In other words, “Happiness appeared to a function of the ambient seminal fluid pulsing through one’s veins.”
While these data are preliminary, it is best not to be driven to any one conclusion or conclusions. The authors of the study, Gallup and his coauthors, write, “it would be interesting to investigate the possible antidepressant effects of oral ingestion of semen, or semen applied through anal intercourse (or both) among heterosexual and gay/MSM couples.”
While I am certain there will many participants lining up to volunteer, the ethics of such a study might be very tricky to fund. I do not foresee any clinical research approved in the near future from NIH or CIHR to fund a similar study in gay men or to measure the amount of seminal components in blood of all those who indulge in bare back sex or semen ingestion via oral sex.
One can divine a hundred theories, but one theory stands out clear to me. The attraction to semen, cum, sperm, and the intimacy of semen for many sexually active persons has something to do with the evolutionary process, based on primal needs.
As such, safer sex guidelines need to get to the bottom of the psycho-biology of semen and its impact on the human psyche. If truth be told, everyone knows safer sex i.e condom use is not effective. Let us all open our eyes and get to the bottom of what is the psychobabble meaning of "palpable sense of connectedness” when folks choose to bareback. Happy drinking!
Ref: Jesse Being, 2010. An ode to the many evolved virtues of human semen: Scientific American.
McBride et al. 2010. Heterosexual anal sex and anal sex behaviors: A review. The Journal of Sex Research