Damn, Eating P and Sucking the D Might Give You Oral Cancer

At the recent annual AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) conference this past February, one topic was the relationship between oral sex and oral cancer. Researchers brought to light some startling and distressing news for those of us who like to go downstairs while we are going at it: oral sex has actually replaced smoking as the leading cause of oral cancer, because that sexual act can spread HPV, a virus commonly associated with several different types of cancer.

Ohio State University’s Dr. Maura Gillison reported at the conference that “an individual who has six or more lifetime partners – on whom they’ve performed oral sex – has an eightfold increase in risk [of developing oral cancer] compared to someone who has never performed oral sex.”

Presumably, “lifetime partners” is just a euphemistic way of saying “sexual partners” – this is distressing information for anyone getting even just a moderately OK amount of action.

Gillison found that the new rise in oral cancer occurs predominately among young, white men, but it is not clear why. A study that looks at the number of men versus women who like to go downstairs is called for to help clarify this mystery.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this new information is the concern over teens and their apparent love for oral sex – something which I was not aware of. “It’s news that might alarm some parents, who worry about adolescents’ appetite for oral sex,” CBS News reported.

According to research done by Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, who also presented at the AAAS conference, teens perceive oral sex to entail less social, emotional, and health risks than actually doing it. At the same time, however, teens who only engaged in oral sex reported fewer perks, “including pleasure or feeling good about themselves” compared to those who actually seal the deal. This might be because restricting yourself to oral sex is like going to a restaurant and only ordering a small (but hopefully tasty) appetizer. It goes to show that our attitudes about sex are often convoluted and contradictory – especially when we are teenagers.

So teens are going down on each other, and it might be called a public health problem. (But I can’t really relate to that, because I wasn’t doing any of those things in High School. I think that should have been seen as a public problem, because the public could have helped out). It is something that should be part of health education, but blow jays and muff diving are topics gym teachers feel awkward talking about, so it probably will not happen. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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