A very bizarre recent study found women who suck dick and have frequent unprotected sex are happier and suffer from less depression than those that don't. Let's discuss.

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A very bizarre recent study found women who suck dick and have frequent, unprotected sex are happier and suffer from less depression than those who disdain the D and swear by rubber.

… K.

Normally, I'd be pushing everything off my desk in an ecstatic frenzy because head’s awesome and I jump at the opportunity to talk about it, but after giving the results of this study some thought, guess who changed my mind: me.

Let's discuss.

In the interest of time and your debilitating internet ADD, I'll just summarize the study results for you:

  • Researchers surveyed 293 college-aged women on the SUNY-Albany campus.
  • As part of the survey, respondents were asked to fill out the Beck Depression Inventory, which is a common diagnostic tool mental health professionals use to measure mood.
  • Women who give head are "happier and less likely to suffer from depression."
  • Researchers used this evidence to suggest that it is the consumption of semen rather than the sexual act that gives women the mood-enhancing effects.. The researchers noted that semen has been shown to be a heady cocktail of mood-altering chemicals.
  • Women who engage in regular sexual intercourse are less depressed than abstinent women.
  • Women who had regular intercourse without condoms were less likely to be depressed than women who had regular sex with condoms.

Alrighty then.

Look … I am all for head. I have a head column on this website. Clearly, I’m chill with it. Also, sex. Sex is the best. I'm not debating its possible mood-enhancing effects. Nor am I debating that semen is full of stuff that's good for you and could feasibly improve mood via some basic biological processes.

In fact, the list of mood-altering chemicals in semen is long and strong. It starts with serotonin, which is the strongest antidepressant neurotransmitter found in the body,  moves on to oxytocin, which is also known as the “love chemical," and ends with melatonin, which relaxes you and helps you get better sleep. Semen also includes the hormones estrone, cortisol and thyrotrophin-releasing hormone,  all of which improve mood and reduce stress. So theoretically, semen is like a nutrient-packed sexual wheatgrass shot. for depression. Great. That's not what I have an issue with.

What rubbed me the wrong way about this study was its insistence on the submission of female pleasure and protection to male pleasure. Women are supposed to give head and have unprotected sex because it "makes them happier,” but doesn’t that feel more than a little coincidental that both those acts are extremely pleasurable to men and ways men can assert dominance in a sexual relationship?

It’s just a weird message.

“Get on your knees,” is essentially what it’s telling you. Seems like a pretty short-term solution to a long-term problem.

Plus, if semen was that great for depression, why isn’t some sanitized version of it available in pill form? How come no one’s capitalized on that? Probably because although it contains a shit load of magical things, you’d have to ingest it at regular intervals over long periods of time for any sort of effect to build up because that's how hormonal therapies work. And that's what's in semen: hormones (and nutrients). I don’t know about you, but assuming you’re an average person and not a professional dick tamer, it’s pretty hard to suck dick every day for six weeks.

There's also no mention in this study of whether the women polled were spitters or swallowers. Wouldn’t you think that differentiation would be of utmost importance if they’re using semen’s nutritional content as a reason for why head-lovers are less depressed?

That's not to say that, if you love giving head, you shouldn't go whip up a semen milkshake in your Vitamix. If that's your thing, then that's awesome. Why not see if giving head improves your mood?

But as much as I'm a proponent of head, I'm also a proponent of the fact that a lot of people hate giving it. Shit, I even know a few dudes that hate getting it. But those are personal choices, and no one should have to feel abnormal or like they're prone to depression if head's not their thing.

I'm hardly a feminist with an anti-man, anti-head agenda. Head is my favorite sport. But these results seem biased, and contrary to what we know about safe, mutually beneficial sex. No one should have unprotected sex or do something they’re not comfortable with because a study demonstrated a weak, questionable correlation between head and happiness. I don’t think the study is telling women they need to do these things in order to be happy per se, but I do think that this study sensationalizes its own results in lieu of a real treatment for depression.

Plus, notice how there are no studies examining how men’s capacity to pleasure women influences their mental health (I looked). The science community isn’t looking at whether a guy’s ability to find and stimulate a girl’s G-Spot improves his depression. Nah; just how a girl blowing a dude can put some pep in her step … and how it benefits women to be of service to men.

So, long story short, how you interpret this study is entirely based on your own sexual attitudes. While it might feel liberating for some women to hear that their favorite hobby works better than Zoloft, it might be disheartening to others to feel like there's something wrong with them because they don't like suffocating on flesh tube. And that seems dumb.

There are a lot of other mental health options for women than putting penis in their mouth or having condom-less sex, but the fact that unprotected sex and fellatio are even being considered as depression treatments kind of says a lot about the viability of those options today. We need to find more adaptive ways to help people with depression than this.