The third in a series of the most unusual questions ever sent to the Playboy Advisor (est. September 1960). In this edition, the Advisor answers questions about fellatio, oral sex, blow jobs, and head.
Q: My wife is a vegetarian. She's worried that she might be ingesting meat by-products when she swallows my semen. Can you put her mind at ease?—J.F., Toms River, New Jersey
For your sake, we'd better. Vegetarians don't eat meat because of concerns for the welfare of animals, or because they believe it's healthier. Assure your wife that no living thing suffered in the production of your semen. Semen contains protein but no meat, eggs or fish, and it's low-fat. Even vegans, who are stricter about the rules, agree that swallowing isn't an issue. We found this at eatveg.com: "Oral sex is vegan even though it may involve putting flesh in your mouth, as it shouldn't involve any cruelty or exploitation, and said flesh is eventually returned to its owner." By the way, many women report that vegetarians' semen tastes better.
Q: I love to give my husband blow jobs, but he wants me to swallow and I can't stand the taste. I've heard that drinking pineapple juice helps prevent funky spunk. Exactly how much pineapple juice should a man consume, and how often, to alter the taste of his semen? And how soon should I expect to notice a change?—M.L. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Advisor: Many female readers insist that, in their experience, fruit juices work when consumed in large enough quantities at least a day before. But that could have more to do with him being well hydrated, which may dilute what's commonly described as a bleachy, salty or bitter taste. Some women have told us they are happier swallowing when their partner eats less junk food and red meat. One reader swears a sex shake from the book The Clitoral Kiss: A Fun Guide to Oral Sex works wonders as well. The recipe: 2 teaspoons honey, 1 cup milk, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1 egg. Sounds like eggnog to us.
Q: Years ago I dated a woman who loved giving head and said she could tell what I had eaten by the flavor of my come. Her accuracy was uncanny. I thought it was strange at the time but never questioned her. (My need to nut superseded my need to know.) I was wondering if this has any basis in science.—B.R., Denver, Colorado
Advisor: A lot of women have written over the years to assure us they have amazing powers of seminal detection. (In fact, scientists have found some people are "supertasters," which might explain it.) But we suspect for most people semen tastes like semen. We are often pitched products that purport to resolve the "problem" of ejaculate, but we've yet to hear from a man whose life has changed as a result. The latest are oral strips designed to hide the taste of semen, which we find a bit discouraging. Ejaculate isn't something to savor, perhaps, but it's part of our modus operandi. Love us; love our semen.
Q: I recently saw a Playboy cartoon that said, "I read in a science journal that the more oral sex a woman performs, the stronger her immune system." The joke was that scientists faked the study to get more blow jobs. But is there any science behind the idea?—R.S., Toms River, New Jersey
Advisor: Some, but not enough. A 2002 study found that repeated exposure, especially oral, to a man's sperm makes it less likely that a woman's body will reject his proteins as foreign invaders if he impregnates her. The study involved 85 pregnant women, including 41 with preeclampsia (a condition that causes dangerously high blood pressure in late pregnancy); 82 percent of the unaffected women said they gave their partners oral sex, as compared with just 44 percent of the preeclamptic women. In addition, far more of the unaffected women reported swallowing their partner's semen.
Q: I have developed an allergic reaction to my own semen. Over the past few years, whenever I ejaculate, my eyes water, my nose runs and I sneeze repeatedly. Once I clean up, the attack stops. Is there anything I can do? I hope I'm not the only one, because I don't want the affliction named after me.—S.P., Arlington, Virginia
Advisor: You're safe. In 2002 Marcel Waldinger, a sexual psychopharmacologist in the Netherlands, and a colleague gave this relatively rare condition a name: post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS). Nine years later, Waldinger reported the results of a new study involving 45 Dutch men who have adverse reactions to their own semen. The most common symptoms, which almost always appear within 30 minutes of ejaculation, are exhaustion, flu-like conditions and/or allergic responses in the eyes and nose. Half the men said these reactions had occurred since the first time they ejaculated as teenagers; the others said they appeared in their 20s or later. Notably, 56 percent of the men reported suffering from lifelong premature ejaculation, but Waldinger says this may be because they have limited sexual experience as a result of the disorder. Waldinger has found POIS can be treated with hypo-sensitization therapy, in which the man is injected with his own semen in small but gradually increasing amounts, a process that can continue for several years.
Q: I read about a spa that offers $250 facials using synthetic sperm. My husband gives me free sperm facials several times a week. I rub the semen around, apply a blow-dryer and wait 15 minutes before rinsing. Is there any science behind this idea, or should I swallow and get on with my day?—J.H., San Francisco, California
Advisor: Nope. There is no science behind this, only marketing. In fact, we thought it might be the best come-on we'd ever seen (selling semen to women as if it's scarce!) until we discovered you can buy makeup remover made from bird shit (more precisely, nightingale droppings), hair conditioner thickened with bull semen (touted for its "concentrated proteins") and anti-aging goop enhanced with placenta. The facial cream in question, produced by a Norwegian company called Bioforskning, is said to contain spermine, one of the many ingredients in semen. However, spermine, as well as a similar compound called spermidine, is not unique to semen but is found throughout the body. The compounds just happen to have been isolated first in semen, which explains their names. How these simple polyamines, composed only of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen, could act as antioxidants we can't say, but the frequent orgasms will certainly keep your husband young.
Q: My husband and I have black lights in our bedroom. Is there anything he can eat to make his come glow?—K.B., Buffalo, Missouri
Advisor: We suppose he could try foods high in phosphorus (cocoa powder, wheat bran, Parmesan cheese), but semen is produced in the testicles according to a strict formula, so it's not clear it would make his semen glow any more than it already does. You'll let us know. As you'll discover, semen is fluorescent but doesn't light up the room, so you'd probably have more fun painting his erection with Day-Glo paint.
Q: A few years ago you published an analysis on the contents of semen. Has a similar analysis been done of vaginal secretions?—I.T., Montreal, Quebec
Advisor: Yes. Vaginal fluid is 95 percent water. The rest is mostly glucose seasoned with salt, urea, carbs, mucus, fatty acids, proteins and antibodies. Bacteria break the glucose into lactic acid, which is why the vagina is slightly acidic.
Q: My husband and I take a shower together before bed. It's a great way to loosen up and keeps the sheets from getting sweaty. I also found it an opportune time to ask him to fulfill a fantasy I've had for years: to receive a golden shower. He was reluctant at first, but eventually it became routine. Once some urine went inside me. It was kinky and surprisingly pleasurable, but afterward I was concerned. I also wonder about small amounts that get into my eyes and mouth. Are there risks?—P.J., Redlands, California
Advisor: Urine is sterile but may pick up bacteria in the urethra, so there is some risk of infection. However, that seems remote in these circumstances. Tell your husband to be more careful with his aim—he's been doing it for years and shouldn't need any more practice.
Q: I've always had a sensitive penis, which is great during masturbation but not so much during sex. When I received my first blow job, something happened neither of us expected—I began to urinate when she stimulated the tip of the head. When she asked, "Did you pee in my mouth?" I was embarrassed. Since then I've had little confidence. Years ago I tried an experiment: I masturbated over the bathroom sink and rubbed the tip of my penis with the palm of my hand. The sensation was so extreme I nearly fainted, but I also urinated. What causes this? What is it called? And how will I ever be able to have sex with a woman without disgusting her?—S.K., Dallas, Texas
Advisor: We'd heard of orgasm-induced incontinence but nothing of the sort that occurs with stimulation of the urethral opening. In 1984 two Japanese researchers found that squeezing the glans, or head, of the penis suppresses the contraction of the bladder, i.e., it keeps you from peeing, probably because nerves in the head connect to the pudendal nerve, which controls the urethral sphincter nearest the bladder. The problem you're having would seem to explain why this reflex evolved. So your signals could be crossed. Ross Rames, an associate professor of urology at the Medical University of South Carolina, notes some mammals use the reflexive release of urine with genital stimulation to get their newborns to void. "Remnants of that reflex may impact some humans, though I've seen this primarily in men after their prostates have been removed to treat cancer," he says. "Sometimes even the sight of an attractive woman is enough to trigger urine loss in an otherwise continent man." Treatments, he says, include certain decongestants and antidepressants. Another more likely possibility is that the stimulation of the urethral opening is causing you to release urine that has pooled in the bulbar urethra, located above your scrotum. Before sex, try "double voiding," a technique also useful for men who have urine escape after they leave the urinal. A few moments after you stop peeing, place the fingertips of one hand under the scrotum. While keeping the pressure at the midline, gently but firmly move your fingers toward the base of the penis. Repeat once or twice and you should then be able to expel the renegade pee.
If you have a question for the Playboy Advisor relating to food and drink, fashion and taste, or sex and dating, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The most interesting questions will appear in an upcoming issue of Playboy. And to read every Playboy Advisor ever, visit our complete archive at iPlayboy.com.