How Common is Oral Sex

When you think about your earliest sexual memories, what do you remember? Your first time having penetrative sex? Giving or receiving a lacklustre handjob in the back of a car? What about the first time you gave or received oral sex? Over the years, it has been up for debate about whether people view giving or receiving oral sex as a part of sex or foreplay, with recent studies showing that 44% of British people don’t view it as a part of sex. Hey, Bill Clinton didn’t.

Whether you believe it is a form of sex or not is up to your definition of sex, but it is one of the most commonly referenced sexual acts. Whether you use ‘eating out”, “giving head,” ‘blow job,” or “eating ass,” the definition of oral sex may change over time and depending on the type, but no matter what your age, sexuality, or where you are in the world you probably know what oral sex is. And if movies and porn are to be believed, then it is an act everyone is doing, but how common is oral sex? And who is having it the most? 

In this article, Adult Site Broker will be looking at how we define oral sex and just who is having it. 

Defining Oral Sex

Oral sex is when someone uses their mouth and tongue to stimulate their partner’s genitals. In modern settings, we refer to the act as ‘giving head’ or ‘eating someone out’ depending on the type of oral sex performed. 

Over the years, as the way we experience oral sex has expanded to move beyond just a penis in the mouth, this definition has expanded to include the following terminology: Cunnilingus: oral sex performed on a vulva-owning person, Fellatio: oral sex performed on a penis and Anilingus: oral sex performed on the anus. 

This article will discuss cunnilingus, fellatio, and anilingus under the same category unless otherwise stated. 

General Prevalence of Oral Sex

From porn and movies to slang and insults, we talk about oral sex a lot. For many of us, performing or receiving oral sex was the first sexual activity we tried, but how much do people have it?

A 2018 study based on American participants showed that among people between the ages of 18-54, 82.2% of women and  82.7% of men, had performed oral sex at some point between 2009 and 2018. The same study showed that compared to 71.9% having penetrative penis-vaginal sex and the 17.8% having anal sex, 60.4% were giving oral sex, and 62.2% had received oral sex. 

A 2020 study by Bespoke found that people are performing oral sex an average of five times a month (about once a week), which seems to be on par with the same amount of ‘normal’ couples who are having penetrative sex. 

As we can see from the graph below, which focuses on the types of sex people perform, in a study on sexual activity in Melbourne, Australia.   

When it comes to the type of oral sex being performed, we can see in the graph that oral sex (meaning fellatio and cunnilingus) is the more popular act compared to anilingus, which is performed at a significantly lower rate than the others.

What we can see is that when it comes to oral sex, it is as popular as penetrative sex no matter the sexuality, gender, or age group (although we will discuss each of these in the following few sections in more detail). But is there a preference depending on age, gender, sexuality, or even culture? In the following paragraphs, we shall explore who is having oral sex the most. 

Demographic Variations

When it comes to who is having and receiving oral sex, let’s start by looking at which ages are more likely to have oral sex. Bespoke Surgical found that people between the ages of 18-24 are more likely to have it than older people, with 76.5% saying they received oral sex in that year compared to the 54.3% of those aged 45-54. Although that isn’t to say that older people aren’t having oral sex. A British study found that 30% of men and 19% of women aged 65+ still have oral sex. 

Overall, at the Bedible research center, it said that those between 25-29 had the most oral sex compared to all other age groups, including 16-18 year-olds. 

You can argue that age differences, physical ability, sexual dysfunction, societal attitudes toward sex, and happiness in relationships can be found to have an impact on attitudes towards receiving and giving oral sex. Older people, 65+, are less likely to perform oral sex, but studies have shown that older people in happy marriages are more likely to perform oral sex on their partner. Regarding the late twenties and early thirties vs teens, the argument can be made that oral sex becomes more regular as maturity and sexual confidence prevail. By this age, most of us have had a few partners, know what we like, and are happy to try new things compared to younger people who feel pressured by society to meet certain sexual expectations. 

In a 2014 study on oral sex, they found that out of African-American, White, and Hispanic people in America, White people, especially White men, were receiving oral sex more than their Hispanic and African-American counterparts. A study of American youth also found that black girls (aged 18) were less likely to partake in oral sex. 

These differences could be because of cultural differences within ethnic groups, with attitudes towards sex being more conservative in Hispanic and Black communities. There were no studies to be found on Asian societies and their attitudes towards oral sex compared to other communities. 

Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences

What we can see is that when it comes to oral sex, it is as popular as penetrative sex no matter the sexuality, gender, or age group (although we will discuss each of these in the following few sections in more detail). But is there a preference depending on age, gender, sexuality, or even culture? In the following paragraphs, we shall explore who is having oral sex the most. 

Demographic Variations

When it comes to who is having and receiving oral sex, let’s start by looking at which ages are more likely to have oral sex. Bespoke Surgical found that people between the ages of 18-24 are more likely to have it than older people, with 76.5% saying they received oral sex in that year compared to the 54.3% of those aged 45-54. Although that isn’t to say that older people aren’t having oral sex. A British study found that 30% of men and 19% of women aged 65+ still have oral sex. 

Overall, at the Bedible research center, it said that those between 25-29 had the most oral sex compared to all other age groups, including 16-18 year-olds. 

You can argue that age differences, physical ability, sexual dysfunction, societal attitudes toward sex, and happiness in relationships can be found to have an impact on attitudes towards receiving and giving oral sex. Older people, 65+, are less likely to perform oral sex, but studies have shown that older people in happy marriages are more likely to perform oral sex on their partner. Regarding the late twenties and early thirties vs teens, the argument can be made that oral sex becomes more regular as maturity and sexual confidence prevail. By this age, most of us have had a few partners, know what we like, and are happy to try new things compared to younger people who feel pressured by society to meet certain sexual expectations. 

In a 2014 study on oral sex, they found that out of African-American, White, and Hispanic people in America, White people, especially White men, were receiving oral sex more than their Hispanic and African-American counterparts. A study of American youth also found that black girls (aged 18) were less likely to partake in oral sex. 

These differences could be because of cultural differences within ethnic groups, with attitudes towards sex being more conservative in Hispanic and Black communities. There were no studies to be found on Asian societies and their attitudes towards oral sex compared to other communities. 

Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences

The graphs above show that oral sex (when discussing cunnilingus and fellatio) is an everyday sexual activity for all sexualities and genders. However, attitudes towards it change depending on gender and sexuality. Lesbian women and bisexuals are more likely to both perform and give oral sex on average compared to gay men and straight couples. Analingus was surprisingly most prevalent among lesbians compared to any other sexuality. Conclusions can be drawn that, like studies on the orgasm gap, which lesbians also are found to lead in, this could be because of better communication within relationships than others. 

Regarding gender, men are more likely to receive oral sex than women. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy performing it, with a Canadian study finding that over 70% of men enjoy performing the act. Much of this could be because of the societal pressure on women to perform oral sex over receiving it, as well as attitudes in younger men about masculinity and performing oral sex.   

Overall, oral sex is as common a sex act as the movies and porn suggest. 

Here’s more from the Adult Site Broker blog: 

American Sex Culture

Japanese Sex Culture

The History Of Sex Toys



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