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Is it Possible to Be ‘Addicted’ to Cum?

Humans have a long history of worshipping semen, but some people claim their enthusiasm for the hard-earned goo is a full-blown ‘addiction’

Type the words “cum addict” into any search engine and you’ll be flooded with vigorous blow-job videos and hardcore bukkake porn. But as it turns out, there are a few real stories of “cum addiction” out there, all of them told by self-professed cum addicts who just can’t get enough of that sweet spunk. 

So-called “cum addiction” is different from breeding kink, a long-held fetish that recently dominated TikTok. While breeding fetishists are largely turned on by the thrill of insemination or the straight-up joy of taking a warm, creamy load, stories of cum addiction are instead tied to the roots of slut-shaming and HIV stigma.

Naturally, scratching the surface of these taboo tales uncovers a pretty fascinating history. “[Semen] has always been a powerful, visceral symbol of masculinity, virility and male sexuality,” says David J. Ley, a clinical psychologist and author of The Myth of Sex Addiction. Ley explains that ancient Egyptians placed cum on a particular pedestal; rumor has it Pharaohs jacked off into the River Nile to increase its fertility, whereas a god named Atum “even created the universe from his ejaculate, according to some myths.” Samuel-Auguste Tissot, a Swiss physician who lived and worked throughout the 18th century, even believed masturbation was a waste of good semen, which Ley said he thought of as an “essential component of masculinity.” Even now, Tissot’s sentiments are echoed by a handful (sorry) of Reddit’s NoFap messiahs.

Today, however, cum is more often seen as forbidden fruit. It’s a risky substance, after all — it almost always carries the chance of unwanted impregnation when there’s a uterus involved, and STIs like chlamydia and syphilis are easily passed through semen. A small number of people are even allergic to the stuff. 

Yet, it was the wildly homophobic media coverage of the AIDS crisis — AIDS was initially known as GRID, or Gay-Related Immune Deficiency — that amped up this sense of danger even more, framing anal sex — and cum in particular — as synonymous with death and illness. “Human sexuality responds very powerfully to the taboo, and since the 1980s, unprotected sexual contact has been a very powerful taboo representing danger,” explains Ley. “That deep emotional, unconscious shiver of naughty taboo ‘feeds’ the lightning charge of excitement that some people — of all genders — get from interacting with semen.”

Case in point: On an episode of the podcast Demystifying Gay Porn, a self-described cum addict known only as Carl reminisces fondly on pre-AIDS porn and its naïve reluctance to use condoms. “There was one performer who would tease guys with his cock before putting a condom on,” he says, describing his brief, frenzied excitement that even just the tip would be allowed to slip in bareback.

When explaining why he loves guys to cum inside of him, Carl looks specifically to porn and its fixation with the “money shot” — aka the cum shot, the “money-maker” and the big event in mainstream porn. Ley corroborates this link, saying the “money shot has had a powerful emotive response, which has been theorized to relate to the rise of AIDS.” That said, not all cum addicts are into it for that reason — some just like the feeling, the taste and the myriad non-AIDS things it symbolizes. 

It’s hard to argue, though, that cum is “addictive” in the same way as drugs or alcohol. When I ask Ley if he believes cum addiction is real, he says straightforwardly: “This ain’t a real ‘addiction,’ but unlike the concept of sex addiction, this term isn’t filled with shame and heteronormative morality. Instead, it reflects the degree to which some people experience a strong, rewarding interest from engaging with semen.”

Still, it’s worth delving a little deeper into the minds of cum addicts themselves. In a pretty impressive post on the subreddit Stupid Sluts Club, a now-deleted user outlines her mission to get to the bottom of her “craving for cum.” “I get antsy and distracted when I haven’t had cum in a while, and once I do, the craving might be blunted but I’m seeking it out right away.” In her eyes, it’s “like a drug” — and she needs a regular fix. Which begs the question: How much cum makes you an “addict?”

There’s not exactly a dictionary definition, but other self-professed cum addicts seemingly need it at least once a day. “My boyfriend cums a lot, but he makes me bother someone else if I’ve drained him for the day,” writes another anonymous redditor, who sought out recommendations for store-at-home jizz to keep in the freezer. “Is there a Beyond Burger for semen?” 

When it comes to porn, the most common depiction of a “cum addiction” seems to be swallowing multiple loads at once, or lapping it up from a partners’ chest or torso. Other than that, there’s little clarity on how much cum is too much cum — although if you’re frantically Googling pre-frozen semen for a midnight snack, it’s fair to say your desires are more heightened than usual.

Could there be something in cum that makes it so habit-forming for some? Well, when it comes to semen, only two to five percent of the hard-earned goo is made up of actual sperm — the rest is seminal plasma, a “rich cocktail of organic and inorganic compounds.” The aforementioned post correctly identifies that semen contains various hormones, but research shows the levels are pretty negligible overall — and almost definitely not enough to get hooked on (although follow-up studies on the addictive qualities of cum seemingly don’t exist). 

In fairness, semen might have other compelling qualities that explain its “addictiveness.” In 2002, Gordon Gallup and Rebecca Burch conducted seminal (sorry again) research on the potential antidepressant qualities of semen, sampling a group of “sexually active college females.” Some fucked with condoms, others without. In a nutshell, those who didn’t use them scored lower on the Beck Depression Inventory. “These data are consistent with the possibility that semen may antagonize depressive symptoms and evidence which shows that the vagina absorbs a number of components of semen that can be detected in the bloodstream within a few hours of administration,” the researchers conclude.

According to Ley, the study “does raise the possibility that at least some of this could have some limited to a biological effect,” yet he notes it has never — to his knowledge — been replicated. Ultimately, he remains unconvinced: “I’m still of the strong opinion that cum addiction is a psychological phenomenon wrapped up with cultural meaning.”

The cum-hungry among us might crave a warm load on a regular basis, but the reasons are essentially driven by porn’s obsession with the money shot and the taboo status of sexy bodily fluids more generally. It’s obviously important to be careful — again, STIs can be passed through semen, and there’s a whole checklist of issues related to consistency, color and smell that could be symptomatic — but there’s very little evidence to suggest cum is genuinely addictive. 

Hear that, cum addicts? Drink up.