Oral s*x isn’t actually s*x. A lot of people would like to blame the origin of this s*x myth on Bill Clinton. However, the truth is that people have been arguing about whether oral s*x is really s*x since long before the late 1990s.

But is it a s*x myth? Whether oral s*x is s*x comes down to how you define s*x.

There is no single answer. To figure out whether this is truly a s*x myth, we first need to determine what people really want to know when they’re asking “Is oral s*x really s*x?” They might be wondering:

Would having oral s*x mean that I was being unfaithful to my romantic partner? Is oral s*x cheating?!?!
If I have oral s*x, will I still be a virgin?
Does having oral s*x put me at risk of getting an STD?
Is oral s*x against my religion?
… or any one of a number of other questions.
Some of these questions do not have simple answers. Others are more clear cut.

Most people in committed monogamous relationships would consider oral s*x to be cheating. However, some partners might consider it to be less of an indiscretion than vaginal intercourse or an*l s*x.

As for whether oral s*x takes away a person’s virginity – that is also a subjective question. Some people consider virginity to be solely a question of whether they’ve engaged in vaginal intercourse. That means they can remain virgins while having oral s*x and an*l s*x as well as other s*xual experiences. Other people think that an*l intercourse “counts” but oral s*x doesn’t. Some people even think that self service with a dildo makes a girl no longer a virgin because it can disrupt her hymen (if she has one.)

If remaining a virgin is important to you, then it is up to you to determine what virginity means . Only once you’ve done that can you decide if oral s*x is something you want to explore. However, it is important to keep in mind that virginity means different things to different people. If the word comes up in conversation, its meaning needs to be discussed.

Oral s*x isn’t safe s*x. Although HIV transmission through oral s*x isn’t very common, it does happen. Oral s*x can also spread many other STDs. The risk of getting an STD . oral s*x can be reduced . using a condom or other barrier. However, if your definition of s*x is something that can spread STDs, then there is no question. Oral s*x is most assuredly s*x.

This last one can be quite difficult for some religious people to answer. The answer depends not only on the religion in question but on changing interpretations of religious texts.

So is the statement “Oral s*x isn’t really s*x” a s*x myth or is it the truth? It all comes down to how you interpret the question. Still, I think that the weight of the evidence is leaning toward…

Some small fraction of the population really does only define s*xual behavior as activities that can lead to conception. However, most people who are asking whether oral s*x is s*x aren’t asking whether oral s*x can get them pregnant. (Barring extraordinary circumstances, that answer is NO.)

What most people want to know, when they’re asking if oral s*x is s*x, is whether oral s*x:

could violate the rules of an exclusive s*xual relationship,
might get them in trouble with their parents or their church,
puts them at risk for a sexually transmitted disease or other negative outcome.
To all of those questions, the answer is most assuredly yes.

.: Verywell