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Is it possible to pass drugs through semen during oral sex?

Dear Alice,

I recently performed oral sex on a guy who had been using crack cocaine. He had been using for about three days straight. When he climaxed, I swallowed his semen and about ten minutes later, I felt very dizzy and pretty much high. He probably ejaculated about two to three tablespoons worth.

Is it possible that the hardcore drugs he had been doing that week pass through his semen? If so, does this happen with every drug?

And, if so, if I were to get drug tested, would it show up?

I would appreciate any answers you can provide.

Thanks,
Laced Semen Swallower

Dear Laced Semen Swallower, 

While some drugs can pass through semen, fear not—swallowing isn’t on par with smoking. Read on for information about how drugs interact with semen, other potential reasons you might have felt dizzy, and establishing consent and boundaries when it comes to substance use and sex. 

Unfortunately, few researchers have investigated whether drugs enter semen, and those that have, haven’t specifically looked at transmission of drugs through oral sex. That said, it’s possible that the drugs in your sexual partner's system could travel from his bloodstream to his semen. However, the concentration of crack that might end up in his semen would be much smaller than the amount in his bloodstream. This means it’s unlikely that you could have gotten high or that your passive exposure to crack cocaine would result in your own positive drug test. 

Instead, there might be other explanations for why you felt dizzy. You might’ve experienced dizziness if you didn’t eat or hydrate enough before engaging in what could have been a fairly intensive activity. Additionally, you could have started hyperventilating (or breathing rapidly) while doing the deed. It’s possible that you may also be allergic to semen and that may have caused you to feel faint upon completion. You might also consider checking out what other reasons you might feel dizzy after sex. If you feel concerned about dizziness or if it happens more frequently, you may want to speak with a health care provider to understand if something larger is going on. 

It seems like you weren't trying to get high while you were with your partner. If this is in fact the case, you may consider speaking with your sexual partner(s) about their current drug use before having sex. Talking about consent isn’t only useful when agreeing to participate in different sexual situations. Consent can also be helpful in deciding what you want out of other aspects of your relationship(s). In your case, checking in beforehand means you have a say in whether you want to have sex with someone who’s under the influence of drugs. 

Cocaine use can also increase impulsivity which can put you at greater risk for unsafe sex. To reduce this risk, you might consider also speaking with your sexual partner(s) about how to best protect yourselves from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy. For more information on how to obtain consent, consider checking out resources from Planned Parenthood and Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

Hopefully this eases your mind about your potential exposure.   

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Last updated Feb 02, 2024
Originally published Jan 12, 2007

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