Many people enjoy both giving and receiving oral sex, although it is probably the one sex act that is least addressed or discussed. While it may not be for everyone, oral sex offers us another way to pleasure and enjoy our sex lives and our sexual partners. People may enjoy oral sex for a number of reasons, but below are the main three found within the realms of science.

1. Evolutionary Reasons

Evolutionary theory would have you believe that women engage in oral sex in order to maintain their relationships with their partner, after all, there is no other explanation that supports reproduction in the purest sense. Many behaviours that appear adapted in order to pursue, preserve, or enhance mating strategies will be employed in order to procreate, hence fellatio.

It is interesting for men too, because offering a woman cunnilingus is difficult to explain. According to research, one paper claimed that from an evolutionary perspective, men might feel compelled to give mates that they wish to “retain” more oral sex. The theory behind this is men who prioritise their partners and want to maintain the relationship tend to offer their partners more benefits. The paper concluded that that men tend to struggle more with sexual infidelity, so ensuring his mate is completely sexually satisfied is one way to safeguard fidelity.

Another reason may also be that men have evolved to offer women cunnilingus in order to retain sperm after copulation. The theory goes that female orgasm promotes sperm retention within the cervix, thereby increasing chances of reproduction. Interestingly, further research finds that men who offer more oral sex to their mate means they tend to have more regular and vigorous penetration, which is another way to ensure impregnation. And as we all know, evolutionary theory often tells us that we are simply primates evolving to suit our habitats.

2. Relationship Benefits

Both men and women engage in oral sex to enhance their relationships. It is well known that sexual satisfaction is an important part of overall relationship satisfaction, so it makes sense that those who value their relationships offer one another gifts, even of the sexual kind.

Couples may engage in oral sex to both please their partner and maintain relationship satisfaction. One study showed that sexual satisfaction and passion within relationships is maintained with more consistency when couples offer each other more oral sex. People who consider their relationships to be mutually loving tend to engage in more oral sex too. Couples who value sexual intimacy and enjoy oral sex will use this as a manner to introduce more pleasure and exploration sexually.

3. Less Risky Than Sex

Amongst adolescents, oral sex is perceived to be a less risky manner of engaging sexually with a partner; not only with regards to sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy, but also in the reputation stakes as well as reducing feelings of guilt and shame. The fact that teens have oral sex to save their virginity, and they believe that oral sex is less threatening to their intimate relationships, explains the rising number of teens engaging in oral sex. This raises an important question regarding information given in schools, as oral sex can pose health risks that teenagers and anyone else engaging in oral sex need to know about.

While oral sex is not often discussed, some statistics show that 70% of couples engage in oral sex. Understanding the reasons why or benefits of having oral sex might encourage more people to explore this equally enjoyable alternative to penetrative sex. Tastes, needs, and desires often change over time, so it could bring new life to your sexuality for you to reassess reasons why you do, or choose not to, engage in oral sex.