Oral Sex: Is it Better to Give or Receive?
Tracy E. Hill, Ph.D.
With funding from the National Institute on Aging, researchers from Michigan State and Texas A & M Universities took a deep dive into oral sex. Published in the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences (2019), Drs. Hui Liu, Shannon Shen, and Ning Hsieh investigated how giving versus receiving oral sex with or from your partner may be linked to overall relationship quality and well-being in older women and men. Although the researchers studied only heterosexual couples, the fact that they studied this at all is quite interesting considering that a) oral sex is rarely studied, b) studies regarding older adults sex life is seldom studied and c) the high incidence of sexual dysfunction among Silver Sagers is a neglected but common topic of concern (except for urologists, perhaps).
It’s no surprise that generations born before the 1940s have 30% less experience with oral sex than those who came of “age” during the sexual liberation of the ‘60s. In fact, other studies (Herbenick, 2017; Leichliter, Chandra, et.al 2007) reported that those of us born after 1942 were 70% (women) – 80% (men) more likely to have indulged in oral sex during our lifetime. And the trend continues among our older (and younger) adults today.
According to Herbenick (2017), oral sex is one of the most popular sexual behaviors as foreplay or as a replacement for intercourse across all ages. Sexuality, sexual activity and sexual desire remain an important component to life and well-being for most adults even though sexual activity may decline with age. However, the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in various types of senior living communities demonstrates that even octogenarians and nonagenarians are still getting their sexy on.
Liu, Shen and Hsieh studied more than 850 heterosexual married or cohabiting couples. The researchers assessed the participants on three outcome measures: psychological distress, self-reported mental health and general happiness. Their results are not surprising. Couples who felt they had a better relationship, engaged in more oral sex that those who reported a worse quality relationship. Moreover, men who gave oral sex to their partners increased their own sense of well-being from their perceived improvement in their partner’s relationship value. What goes around comes around. Additionally, men who felt good about their relationship were more likely to give oral sex than those who viewed their relationship more negatively. Perhaps if your male partner has decreased his sexual activity with you, it may be time to have a conversation of happiness and overall relationship satisfaction. Women, on the other hand, did not use relationship quality as any measure of frequency in providing oral sex. However, if women reported higher relationship satisfaction, “both she and her partner tended to be happier” and the converse was true as well neither of which had anything to do with frequency of oral sex. Lastly, the researchers found that oral sex was a positive method to rekindle a dwindling sexual relationship and is positively associated with well-being and happiness in Silver Sagers.
So, what are you waiting for?
Artwork from Deviantart.com: “sexy” by foureyes (US) and “sexy lips” by rodelrosario (Philippines).