This Kind of Sex Can Lead to Cancer


Oral sex became the "it" kind of sex briefly in the 1990s thanks, in large part, to Billy C's Oval Office indiscretion. Many people thought it was fine to have oral sex since it wasn't "sexual relations" according to our President's definition, so why not rack up the partners? Here's why: Oral cancer. Seriously.

It turns out that while the rate of many other cancers has gone down, oral cancer and other kinds of cancers of the throat are going up and doctors are theorizing that maybe the uptick in oral sex is to blame. Yes, you read that right, ladies. We can stop that horrible chore right now. 

In all seriousness, this doesn't let us married ladies in monogamous relationships off the hook (darn!), but it's a good lesson to those who are doing it with random men. 

Oral sex IS sex, and if you are doing it, it requires a condom the same as intercourse. If you think otherwise, you are just fooling yourself. Maybe a little STD scare is exactly what we need to put things back in perspective.

Whether you like giving blow jobs or not, the fact is, it IS an intimate act. Even though you can't get pregnant, there are other concerns.

Oral sex isn't considered one of the "most detested sex acts" for no reason. It's a lot of work being down there, holding the mouth open, waiting, acting sexy, and then making the choice of how he is allowed to "finish." That said, like anything else, with the right partner, it's a lot of fun and intimate.

But let's not pretend it's as simple as a handshake. It's not. And contrary to our former President's assertion, oral sex IS "sexual relations" no matter how much you want it not to be.

This is an important lesson for everyone to get from a young age. Sex is sex. If you're having it with random people, put a condom on it. No matter what kinds of "sexual relations" in which you are engaging.

Do you consider oral sex sex?


Image via Flóra/Flickr



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nonmember avatar Shannon

Not everyone considers it a "horrible chore" and some people actually enjoy it, but it is a good reminder to wrap it up if you're not in a monogamous relationship with someone.

Doomy234 Doomy234

I do not consider oral sex "sex". I consider it a sexual act. But I only consider sexual intercourse (the act of a man putting his penis into the vagina or anus) to be sex. Everything else is just considered "fooling around".

That being said, it doesnt mean that people should be giving blow jobs out all willy nilly. That is definitely not cool. You should only do it with someone you are in a long term relationship with.

katyq katyq

haha ----> "oral sex and other kinds of cancers of the throat are going up " ...oral sex isn't cancer. Why do people not edit their work anymore?? CNN and other news sites do this as well. grr...I really DO remember a time when this didn't happen, and I'm only in my 20's.

...anyway, I love cafemom. I would just like it if articles would have more "substance". There are typically very few facts or other "good information" in them. We will want a little bit of information with the writers opinion. :)

Zyva Zyva

I'll echo what Doomy said, it's a sexual act, but I only consider sex intercourse.

However, I enjoy that act, and giving/receiving that act, more giving than receiving. But I am not entirely sure how it correlates to a rise in cancer. IT would assume then that cancer is caused by what, semen? I think perhaps you should make the statement "doctors are theorizing" a bit more prevelent.

But with that said. Why would you do anything sexually that you do not want to do? and furthermore consider that to be a chore?  

Elise48 Elise48

Oral sex is linked with oral cancers because of HPV. HPV infects locally, and is an STD, so body parts commonly used for sex acts are commonly affected. That is why it is the cause of nearly all cervical cancers and most anal cancers. Thus, an increase in unprotected oral sex would lead to an increase in oral cancers, particularly those of the "middle part of the throat, including the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils."  (  And I agree it would have been nice for the author to mention this.

Elise48 Elise48

Edit: The links do talk about the link between HPV and oral cancer, but I still say a sentence or two in the post mentioning it would have been a good idea.

nonmember avatar Angelicambb

@Elise Thank you for adding this as I was about to. People who discuss this issue should have the facts: the rise in oral cancer is being proven to have a direct correlation with HPV and this is why it is now recommended that boys get vaccinated for HPV. Know the facts people!

Marjc... Marjchaos

I kinda consider any kind of sexual act to fall under the heading of sex (for the purposes of social context, not legal or whatever). And whether one enjoys oral sex, giving or recieving, it is a good point to mention that STDs of various kinds are spread that way, and of course the resulting cancers via HPV. However, I find it a little strange that you mentioned condoms, but odd that you don't mention that there is apparently not a lot you can do to perform safe oral sex on a woman. Some people use things like dental dams but apparently that doesn't work very well.

Zyva Zyva

The one time I don't click on a link before I respond. Thank you however for the information, but I think it was still silly to write an article harping on oral sex when HPV can be contracted elsewhere as well. Regardless, perhaps the article should be about a rise in HPV. If we stopped doing everything that had a higher risk of cancer then I think we'd all be living in bubbles. 

missusmc missusmc

Not to get too graphic, but any time genitals are going into/around a hole, it is sex.  Kids need to be taught this to protect themselves from STDs- far too many teenagers I know are engaging in unprotected oral and anal sex so they can maintain their virginity and avoid pregnancy.  While technically virginity is still maintained, I suppose, people are not avoiding STDs, which is a serious concern.  Now, with oral cancers on the rise, safe sex of all kinds needs to be taught.

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