Health Cum and get it Words by Liam Murphy | @liamwaterloo Cum is an inevitable and unavoidable, and often welcome, consequence of sex – it comes hand-in-hand with getting off. Or mouth in mouth. Or all over your face. No matter what you do it’s going to come. Literally. Now that exhausting list of cum innuendo is out of the way, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about ejaculate, getting off, slowing it down and what to do with it. And all that jizz. (I’m SO sorry). Do you spurn the sperm or have a soft spot for semen? When it comes to cum, people tend to fall into two camps – they love it or they hate it (I refuse to make a branded yeast-extract joke). Actually some people are indifferent, but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to forget about that if you don’t mind. “I love the feel of it over my body,” admits 24-year-old Jerome. “I’ve been with a few guys whose spunk was really warm, almost hot. That was even more exciting for me. I love the feel of it and the feeling of it being rubbed over my body. The more there is, the better.” For Jerome, being with someone who isn’t as enamoured with cum it can be a ‘deal breaker’. “If a potential boyfriend didn’t like it, then that may sway me on how much I like him, if I’m honest. I may not get as turned on or feel it’s completely enjoyable – I wouldn’t want him to run straight for a towel for instance. Guys find it a little surprising how much I love it, but most like how horny I can get during a session, especially if I’m having group sex and a guy spunks while I’m fucking. I always ask for it to be shot over me. I think some men can be a bit put off or scared by it!” 36-year-old Davide sees his love of semen as a fetish. “It has always been highly fetishised for me. I think it is probably the result of the porn I watched as a teenager. They all almost always end with a huge load being sprayed all over some guy who just looks so hungry for it. Then you’d have an image of it running down the guy’s chest. For me my favourite thing to do is give head and cum is a huge part of that – it’s like the end goal and cum is the reward for a job well done. There’s something about being totally committed to getting a guy to that point, driving him so ecstatic that he can’t control it any longer and unleashes it all over you. It’s like a power dynamic thing.” Not everyone is as joyful about jizz however, as Nicholas explains. “My main problem with spunk is the texture. It just feels slimy and wrong. Kind of like being gunged in Noel’s House Party, but less fun, or the aftermath of a slug working its way around you. It makes me shudder thinking about it.” Has Nicholas ever had an issue with someone he’s sleeping with because of his aversion to the white stuff? “My partners have usually been OK with it. I operate a strict below the neckline policy which I’ve never had any complaints about. I never swallow, which some guys have commented on – usually the look of a puppy that’s just been told ‘no’ – but I can live with it. I’ve never broken up with someone over it, but I’m less inclined to sleep with them again if they push for facials and stuff like that. And unless I find a guy that tastes like Haribo I’m unlikely to change my mind!” “It makes me feel physically sick,” says Alan, 26. “I can deep throat a cock with no trouble but when it comes to spunk, that really makes me gag. I can’t even have it anywhere on me. My boyfriend has to blow his load on himself. I’m not even a fan of having my own cum on me. I usually wank into a pair of pants or something. I have to admit, it has affected my relationship a bit. It breaks the intimacy and the ‘moment’ when I have to jump up to wash it off if it touches me, or if I’m making retching sounds. It doesn’t make my boyfriend feel great about himself.” Cum play! There’s often a lot more to cumming than just ‘dumping a load’ and then wiping it off with a towel (you old romantic fools), as sometimes people like to indulge in what’s dubbed ‘cum play’. Cum play can vary from the classic, such as a facial, to something more ‘exotic’ such as felching. Some people also enjoy swallowing cum and consider it the spoils of the blow job war. Of course taste varies (sometimes literally with spunk) but just how risky is it and are we aware of the risks? “I think I’m fairly clued-up,” says Jerome. “For instance I wouldn’t brush my teeth right before meeting someone in case I damage my gums – I use mouthwash. To be honest, when I was younger I was a bit of a tit and had way too much unsafe sex, so swallowing was the least of it, but having miraculously dogged all STIs, I’m always safer now and I take precautions when swallowing. I’m one of those people who believes you just can’t eradicate all risk without eradicating the fun as well.” “Cum can be involved in the transmission of HIV and also hepatitis B and C,” explains Matthew Hodson of gay men’s sexual health charity GMFA. “And having someone fuck you and cum inside you is the highest risk of all of the most common sex acts. As far as HIV goes, exposure to the air causes HIV to degrade rapidly, so if you’re doing something where someone cums outside of his partner’s body, the risk of HIV transmission is pretty low, no matter what you do with it afterwards.” So where’s the safest place for your lover to lay down his load? “Getting cum on unbroken skin isn’t risky and the eyes and mouth have better protection than the arse. However, transmission of HIV from getting cum in your mouth, especially if it’s not been exposed to air, is definitely possible. If your fantasy is to have a load of people cum on your face, you’re safer if you keep your mouth and eyes shut – plus cum in your eyes can really sting!” Faster love For some men, the very act of cumming is a little more stressful than the struggle to decide where to unspool their love batter. A lot of guys suffer from premature ejaculation or the opposite – struggling to cum at all. What is it that can cause these load-blowing botherations and is there anything they can do? 34-year-old Darren divulges that he’s had a constant struggle with ejaculating too quickly. “I’ve always had a problem where I cum too quickly, and if I’m honest, it’s had a massive effect on my sex life. I’d love to be a top but I know I won’t be able to penetrate and keep myself from cumming pretty much immediately. I can just about control it with other things in bed (alcohol helps) but I can’t enjoy anything for very long – which does make sex a bit shit sometimes. When I’m wanking I’m generally fine, but mostly because I know how to stop and start myself, but with someone else, I find it almost impossible. I’ve had times when it’s been so quick it’s been embarrassing. I can think of one time when I was 19 when I actually came in my pants while dancing with a guy at a club – I don’t think he ever knew but that was mortifying.” He admits it’s a problem that bothers him so much that he has sought professional help for it. “I’ve tried to see a specialist about it, but they aren’t really able to help people who are single, as most of their treatment involves couples work – so it wasn’t all that useful. I had some exercises to try which never really worked, and she also prescribed Viagra, which apparently is supposed to have a delaying effect, but I never found it to work. The only thing that does work is getting drunk, which really isn’t a long-term solution and it ultimately makes for a shit shag. The biggest nightmare is when I end up with someone who has the opposite problem and just can’t cum no matter what you do.” “I find it so difficult to cum, I can literally be lying there stroking for hours,” explains Will, 40. “When I’m on my own and I have some porn on, I can arrive a lot quicker but when I’m with another guy during sex, it can really take me forever. Because it’s rare for me to cum by fucking, and cumming through a blow job is definitely out of the question, it usually ends up with both of us jerking off and of course I can’t get there as fast as him. I know he’s expecting me to blow a big load and then the pressure of the expectation gets to me. At that point I’ve got no chance. I’ve had all-night long sessions and it’s ended up with them leaving and having to sort myself out alone.” HIV and mental health worker at Positive East, Jim Jewers, explains that many things can effect a man’s ability to ‘arrive’. “A plethora of psychological factors and medical conditions can affect erectile function and the ability to cum. At different points in life it really isn’t unusual for men to experience one or both. On the physical front, diabetes, heart disease and some types of nerve damage (sometimes caused by HIV) are just a few of the well-known culprits. A number of medications, including psychiatric drugs such as antidepressants, can also cause delayed ejaculation. Recreational drugs might make you feel horny but they can make it difficult for you to reach orgasm. And let’s not forget alcohol! Heightened sensitivity (sometimes because a guy is not very sexually experienced) can cause premature ejaculation, while delayed ejaculation can occur because the level of stimulation experienced from penetrative or oral sex is not as great as that experienced through masturbation. A trusted GP, sexual health advisor or specialist drug and alcohol agency can help and will be familiar with all the proverbial ups and downs.” How risky is playing with cum? Very high quantities of HIV live in a positive guy’s cum so getting it in any parts of your body that have easy access to your blood stream (e.g. your arse) is considered risky for HIV. Once cum leaves the body and hits air, HIV in it dies rapidly. How do I reduce the risk? If you enjoy playing with spunk but want to avoid catching or spreading HIV, there are ways you can play with it safely: Facials: HIV will die soon after it’s exposed to air so if you are into cum splatting all over your face or body then the risk is low. Ask him to fire away; just make sure you avoid getting cum in your eyes because it stings like hell. Felching: Sucking your own cum out of someone’s arse, even if the person you are felching is HIV-positive, carries minimal risk for HIV. You can however pick up other STIs including hep A and bacterial stomach infections, which can make you very sick. If you get involved in group sex and you felch someone else’s cum then you are putting yourself at risk, similar to the risks from rimming and oral sex, but the HIV risk is small. If you like getting cum in your mouth, make sure you have healthy gums and avoid brushing your teeth at least an hour before sex. That reduces the risk of HIV getting into your bloodstream if it gets in your mouth. Can I get other STIs from playing with cum? Although HIV dies quickly after cum is exposed to air, other STIs, including gonorrhoea, chlamydia, herpes and hepatitis C can be in spunk and live longer. There is no exact timescale for how long HIV lives once it’s exposed to air. How risky is swallowing cum? Although high volumes of HIV live in a positive guy’s cum, research suggests that saliva has properties which will usually kill HIV. There have, however, been some cases reported where men have become HIV-positive from getting cum in their mouths, so getting cum in your mouth and swallowing it isn’t entirely without risk. You can also get other infections from swallowing cum, including gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis. The risks involved with mouth-to-mouth cum swapping are the same as swallowing cum. For more info on sex and sexual health, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex. How can I stop cumming too quickly? There are some techniques that you can practise while wanking that can help you to delay cumming. The ‘stop and start’ method This involves wanking until you reach the point where you think you are about to cum. At this point, stop wanking and wait about 30 seconds. Keep repeating this until you decide that you want to just carry on and cum. By doing this your body gets used to the sensations and you can build the length of time it takes to cum. The ‘squeeze’ method This involves wanking until you reach the point where you think you are about to cum. At that point, squeeze your cock – where the head meets the shaft – for several seconds, without wanking. Hold it for about 30 seconds, and then start wanking again. Keep doing this until you decide that you want to cum. This is a good technique to use in times where you think you may be really close to cumming. You can also strengthen the muscles that control cumming. This can give you better control and make you more aware of what is happening with your dick and arse. The exercises that are used to help strengthen these muscles are called Kegels (after the doctor who developed them). You can do these exercises by squeezing the muscles that stop you from pissing. Try doing it next time you take a piss. Half way through pissing, squeeze the muscles to shut off the flow of piss. Then release and start pissing again. Once you have found the right muscles you can do Kegels at any time and in any place without actually pissing. Talk to your partner Talking to your sexual partner is another way of helping sex last longer. Let your partner know when you are getting close to cumming and what you can and cannot handle. Simple clear words are best if you want to avoid any misunderstanding. “Stop”, “Hold it”, “Start” and “More” are a good place to start. Cumming too quickly may be down to anxiety, fear or discomfort with your partner. If you both know each other well and feel comfortable talking, it can be easier to have sex that you are both happy with. Although it may be tricky at first, overcoming the thoughts and feelings linked to this problem will usually be easier if both partners are aware of the situation and open to discussing it. For more info, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/cumming-too-quickly.