What does semen taste like?

What Sperm or Cum tastes like

Broadly speaking, the taste of semen tends to be mild, verging on salty. Much like other bodily fluids, such as sweat and urine, the condition of a person's semen is very much dependent on their lifestyle, health and diet. Read on to find out what may affect the smell and taste of semen, and what to keep an eye out for.

What is semen?

To understand what affects the taste and smell of semen, it helps to understand how it is produced in the body. Semen, of course, contains sperm cells, which are produced by the testes and stored in the epididymis.

During ejaculation, this sperm mixes with a concoction called seminal fluid. Which comes from a combination of fluids produced by the prostate gland, bulbourethral glands, and seminal vesicles.

The purpose of the seminal fluid is to keep sperm alive. And moving during the process of ejaculation and fertilization, as each component provides its own function.

  • The seminal vesicles produce a liquid that contains fructose, fatty acids and proteins, thus providing an energy source for the sperm. It also contains prostaglandins which help soften the cervix, ensuring the sperm are less likely to be expelled during fertilization.
  • The bulbourethral glands create a liquid which helps the sperm pass through the penis by lubricating the urethra. This liquid also neutralizes any of the acidity that may have been left behind by urine.
  • The prostate produces an alkaline liquid which helps prolong the lifespan of sperm during fertilization by neutralizing the acidity of the vaginal tract.

Biology lesson done and dusted. So why does it matter how semen is produced when we're talking about its taste?

As mentioned before, semen tends to be alkaline to neutralize any acidity that would compromise the sperm's travels during ejaculation and fertilization. This alkaline-quality results in semen having a salty, slightly bitter taste.

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How does diet affect the taste of semen?

There have not been many academic studies written on the effect of diet on the taste of sperm. But it is well known amongst those who have given blowjobs and have ingested semen that there's a link between the two.

Your body is a machine and what you fuel it with is going to have an impact on what it produces. So, whilst there's no conclusive research as of yet, here's some of the food that is anecdotally said to alter how semen smells and tastes:

  • Broccoli/ cauliflower/ brussels sprouts/ asparagus
  • It's common knowledge that asparagus causes urine to smell bad, this odor being due to a metabolite produced during its metabolism.

    It's a similar case for cruciferous greens like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Which contain methyl-mercaptan which produces a bitter odor once consumed.

    While it being great for your body, it is said that foods like this could possibly make your semen smell bad.

  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol is known to have an effect on the smell of sweat and urine. This is due to the way the body oxidizes the toxins in alcohol, which reveals acetoacetic acid which causes a bad smell.

    With this in mind, it's no surprise that there's anecdotal evidence suggesting alcohol causes semen to taste bad. With many saying it causes semen to take a more sour taste.

  • Citruses
  • It's a common misconception that eating pineapples or other foods like oranges makes your semen taste sweeter. Although semen does contain fructose, it's not a big enough dose to make it taste sweet, even if you do eat plenty of sweet fruits.

    The reason many may be perceiving someone's semen to taste sweeter after they've eaten citrus fruits may come down to the acidity levels of these fruits.

    Citruses are said to possibly reduce the alkaline levels of a person's semen, making it taste less salty and bitter. However, don't go drinking gallons of pineapple juice right before receiving a blowjob, for these fruits are not said to take an immediate effect.

    Instead, many say that consuming pineapple and other citruses a few days beforehand does a better job at making your semen taste better.

  • Water
  • Drinking lots of water is said to dilute some of the stronger tastes and smells of semen, making it milder.

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    Does smoking affect the quality of your semen?

    If you're looking to quit smoking, this may be another incentive. Tobacco has been shown to negatively affect the quality, mobility, and count of a person's sperm.

    Anecdotally, however, it is said that smoking gives semen a more sour and pungent taste. So as well as helping you lead a healthier lifestyle and sex life, quitting smoking may also make your semen taste better.

    How is the taste of semen linked to a persons health?

    Much like urine and other bodily fluids, the condition of your semen can be indicative of the condition of your health. If your semen contains blood, please seek medical advice as this can be a symptom of conditions such as seminal vesiculitis, and some STIs. Also, older studies have suggested that much like their saliva and sweat, someone with diabetes may produce sweeter semen.

    On the other hand, it's also worth bearing in mind that there are factors that can affect the taste receptors of the person performing the oral sex. For instance, some antibiotics can alter a person's taste receptors, as well as certain conditions, such as dental health problems, and mouth infections.

    Don't lose sleep over the taste of your semen

    Whilst it's said that there are dietary and lifestyle factors which may make your semen taste or smell better, the evidence is still not conclusive. What we do know, however, is that semen is not produced to taste nice.

    Any saltiness or bitterness found in the taste of semen is natural. And is in fact a by-product of the healthy protective environment the body creates for its sperm. If you're living a healthy lifestyle and taking in enough healthy food, you needn't sweat the small stuff like the taste of your semen.


    Anna Thomas

    Anna Thomas is a stand-up comedian and writer hailing from West Wales, currently situated in Lancashire. You can learn more about her here.