Questions from the Question Box

As part of the sex-ed unit I taught to 10th graders, there was a question box.  It was a small box by the door, with a slit cut in it, so that anonymous questions written on scraps of paper could be deposited in it as students left the room.  Each class period, I’d take the questions out of the box, read them aloud, and do my best to answer them. What did 15 year olds want to know?, you ask.  Here are some highlights, and how I answered them:

If I have sex with a dog, and he cums inside me, and I get pregnant, will my baby be a werewolf?

No.  This question shows excellent understanding of heredity, but poor mastery of the biological species concept, which we’ll study later, in the evolution unit.  It’s true that a baby comes from the union of sperm and egg, but it can’t be just any sperm or just any egg.  If the male and female are of different species, the embryo, if it is even created, will not survive.

There are a few families of animals which are closely enough related that they can create hybrids, however, the hybrids are generally sterile.  The most common example are mules (from the mating of a horse and a donkey), though there are many more: camels and llamas can create a “cama,”and lions and tigers can create “ligers,” and plums and apricots create “pluots,” for example.  In the animal kingdom, the horse and cat families are the most able to hybridize.  A human’s closest relative is a chimpanzee, but we are not close enough to hybridize.  The only a human can get another human pregnant.

Which is better, anal sex or vaginal sex?

I’m not sure what this person means by “better,” so I’ll answer this question in various ways. If the student meant, which feels better, there’s no good answer.  Some people like chocolate ice cream and some people like vanilla.  Some people prefer anal sex and some prefer vaginal sex.  Different things will feel good to different people.  Also, is this a loving relationship or a reenactment of some porn video you saw?  Loving gentle sex, anal or vaginal, will probably feel “better” than rough sex of either kind.

Maybe they meant, which is safer?  Anal sex is less likely to result in pregnancy because there is no way for sperm released in the colon to find their way to the egg in the Fallopian tube.  Vaginal sex can result in pregnancy, but anal sex cannot.  However, neither is safer in terms of sexually transmitted infections.  If someone has unprotected sex, either anal or vaginal, they might get an infection from their partner.

Some people define virginity as having an intact hymen, and some define it in terms of penetration.  Some women may say that they are virgins even though they’ve had anal sex.

(By the way, as I was answering this question, a Dominican Sister in charge of Catholic Schools – yes, a nun, in her habit – walked into the classroom with a film crew.  What could I do?  I just kept going.  She actually complemented me later that afternoon, but you can imagine how I felt about the timing.)

If a guy ejaculates into a swimming pool, and I go swimming, can I get pregnant?

While literally possible, it’s so unlikely that I’m going to answer, NO. In theory, even one sperm which finds its way to the vagina can swim up the female reproductive tract and result in pregnancy.  However, the chances of this happening in a swimming pool, or even a bath tub, are so so low, that you shouldn’t worry about it.

Can you get pregnant from pre-cum?

It depends.  You’re parents or health teachers have probably oversimplified a bit and said YES, but I’m going to give you a more detailed answer.  The pre-ejaculate is not made in the testes, so it contains no sperm.  Pre-ejaculate alone cannot get a woman pregnant.  However, if your partner is a teen-aged boy, chances are he is masturbating at least once a day.  That means that he has probably ejaculated within the last 24 hours, and there may be some sperm in his urethra.  If the pre-ejaculate picks up some sperm on its way out of his body, and is deposited in the vagina, then yes, it is unlikely, but possible, for a woman to get pregnant.

What does cum taste like?

The whole point the ejaculate is to keep the sperm alive.  Sperm are being deposited into the vagina, a relatively hostile environment.  The woman’s vagina is warm and moist, which sounds like a great place for microorganisms, but the woman’s body doesn’t want infections, so there are defenses.  The main defense is that the vagina is acidic.  If you remember from the fall, we learned that proteins are denatured by acid.  That’s how your stomach acid protects you from infections and helps digest your food.  Sperm in the vagina are in danger of being denatured, so the ejaculate contains a buffer to neutralize the acid.  The most common buffer you might have tasted is baking soda, which you might have experienced in toothpaste.  It’s a little bit bitter.

Just like all the other mucus your body produces (tears, sweat, snot) there will be some salt in it. Remember studying osmosis?  Your body can’t move water without moving salt.   Also, just like any other cell, the sperm will need fuel, so there’s some glucose in the ejaculate, which might taste faintly sweet.  So, with the texture of snot, the ejaculate is bitter, salty, and faintly sweet.

I’ve heard cum is good for your skin.  Is that true?

No.  Ejaculation is a bit like sneezing.  Similar to snot, people don’t leave cum on their skin.  If anyone tells you this, you should question their motives.

What’s “two girls, one cup”?

I didn’t know.  I had to look it up.  It was a porn video which went viral.  In the video, two girls pretend to enjoy eating human feces from a cup.  Actually, it’s chocolate in the cup.  People didn’t really enjoy watching the video, but they did like filming someone else’s reaction to it.  That’s what people were doing, sharing videos of other people gagging as they watched “two girls, one cup.”

This is an example of crocophilia, a fetish.  Do we all know what a fetish is?  No?  A fetish is something which might not seem sexy but which some people find arousing.  A relatively common one would be a foot or shoe fetish.  You might have heard of S&M, doms and subs, or bestiality.  Crocophilia is pretty rare, but some people do find playing with urine or feces arousing.

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