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I Swallowed Cum, and Now My Throat is Sore. Could It Be an STI?

Asking for a friend who has spent way too much time googling ‘oral gonorrhea’

In an unnecessarily horny post on r/Sex from 2016, a guy described how swallowing his own cum was his preferred method of masturbation cleanup. But after fapping again for the first time in two weeks following a severe throat infection, he explained that swallowing his jizz had re-triggered his seemingly healed sore throat. “Then my throat continued to hurt mildly (along with a feeling of phlegm in the throat) for weeks afterwards, throughout which I was gulping down my own sauce nightly,” he wrote. To calm down the symptoms, he once again suspended all that gulping down of his seed — abstaining from masturbation for another two weeks, during which time his symptoms subsided for a second time.

“But when the two weeks were over, I was desperate for it,” he continued, as unnecessarily horny as ever. “I masturbated hard and produced a huge amount of semen, which I eagerly lapped up. Then, a couple of hours later, I went at it again for some ‘dessert.’ My throat began to hurt within a couple of hours of this, and the next morning I awoke with a sore throat. Is it a coincidence?”

Could swallowing [semen] give me a sore throat? from sex

According to various anecdotes of people on the internet and scientific studies that appear to back them up, it may not be. While a sore throat after giving oral and/or swallowing semen can definitely be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection, it’s also possibly the sign of a semen allergy — even when, as in the horny redditor’s case above, it’s your own semen

First, though, let’s clear up the STI possibilities. Most commonly, the STIs that would produce such a symptom are gonorrhea or chlamydia. Both will feature symptoms beyond a sore throat, though. Oral gonorrhea, for example, will typically also involve a fever and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Meanwhile, oral chlamydia will often cause sores and dental pain. Luckily, the two are easy to treat, but they must be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, they can potentially lead to permanent damage, including infertility and chronic inflammation. To that point, if you have a continuous sore throat after oral sex, along with other symptoms, it’s definitely worth seeking out a doctor. Even if it’s only strep, you’re gonna want to get it taken care of. 

But if the sore throat is temporary, occurring shortly after swallowing, it’s possible that you just have some sort of mild semen allergy. Documented cases of semen allergies are rare, occurring in around 40,000 women, but mild cases might be less reported. There’s little data, too, about how many men experience it. Symptoms generally include itching and swelling where semen has made contact with the skin, mouth or genitals. Rarer still, some men experience postorgasmic illness syndrome, which produces flu-like symptoms. For both semen allergies and postorgasmic illness syndrome, exposure therapy tends to alleviate symptoms over time.

Moreover, it’s possible that what you’re experiencing after giving oral isn’t a sore throat but an irritated one. After all, repeatedly hitting the back of your throat with a penis might make it more sensitive. You may not notice it in the heat of the moment, but afterwards, you could start to feel sore. 

Lastly, it could just be evidence that you’ve caught the common cold or another viral infection. Germ-swapping is pretty intrinsic to sucking dick and swallowing semen — not to mention the other intimate activities that usually accompany such acts. Obviously, sore throats from most viral infections will go away on their own, but if you’re worried it’s something else, there’s no harm in getting tested. You’re probably due for an STI screening, anyway!