Duke It Out: Going Down

[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like colleges giving out condoms!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

We all have our own definitions of what does and doesn’t count as sex. There’s the classic, “just the tip doesn’t count” or the frat party anthem, “if I can’t remember it, it doesn’t count” or, my personal favorite, “he didn’t get off so it doesn’t count.” But apparently there’s a whole new level of not counting at college – according to a survey at the University of Kentucky, only 20% of students think oral sex counts as sex.

On one side, I get where they’re coming from. Truth be told, I’ve never really thought of oral on the same level as “real” sex (aka penetration), and most of the girls I know wouldn’t include a guy in their “number” if they had only given/received head. Whenever schools or parents or after-school specials talked about sex, they always meant horizontal mambo, baby-making sex; I don’t think I even knew oral existed until all of the guys started snickering about it in middle school. And once you got old enough to actually be doing dirty deeds, getting an Australian kiss always seemed more like foreplay than actual legit sex. After all, we were always taught that sex was about emotions and how it was an expression of love, which, I guess shoving your head between someone’s legs kind of is, but it was never the romantic sort of thing that movies and TV shows call sex, so why should it count?

Why shouldn’t it, though? This is mouth to genital contact we’re talking about – that’s seriously personal, maybe even more so than traditional sex if you think about it. I mean, it’s your freaking mouth! Most of us are pretty selective of what we put in there on a day to day basis, so why would we even think that putting someone else’s naughty bits in there should count as less than sex? Not to mention the fact that most people don’t even bother with condoms when it’s “just head,” which makes about as much sense as “this stove won’t burn me if I touch it with my foot instead of my hand,” so by not counting it, we’re just opening ourselves up to all of the diseases we spend most of our sexual lives warding off. How does that make sense?

Alright, chiquita’s, you tell me – do you count going down? Is it really that big of a deal? Or should we all just get over it stop making such a fuss? Duke it out!



  1. Anonymous says:

    I would count it as a level of sex (if that makes sense). It is a personal and intimate act and comes with risk of diseases, so for me, I qualify oral sex as a type of sex instead of simply foreplay.

  2. Summer says:

    Sex is defined by the people- it is an emotional phrase and situation, as opposed to reproductive intercourse which is functional and scientific. I would say in today's society, oral constitutes foreplay. Not necessarily sex itself, but something done with someone whom you would have sex. There is a similar need for trust, intimacy, and connection, just on a slightly lower scale. It has become more generally accepted by the people, so its worth and "requirements" have diminished.

    That being said, going down definitely means different things to different people on an emotional level… so maybe we shouldn't even be trying to put some kind of parameter on it.

  3. criolle johnny says:

    The sailor told the hooker, "It's not really sex". So she didn't charge him for it.


  4. Matthew says:

    Sexual intercourse is explicitly described in the dictionary as genital contact, insertion of penis into vagina followed by orgasm.

    Therefore, according to Webster's, oral sex is not counted as intercourse.

  5. Emily says:

    Matthew, by that definition then, does it count as sex if the woman doesn't have an orgasm?

    I think that oral sex does count as sex. It's a lot more intimate, in my opinion, than vaginal intercourse in so many ways. In today's society, however, we seem to think of it as foreplay where there are no repercussions, when, in fact, there are many bad things that can come out of oral sex.

  6. Dana says:

    Oral is most def not on the same level as traditional sex at all!

    Until a P enters a V it's not sex. I feel like oral is so much less intimate than intercourse because you're not face to face. And yes even though we are selective about what we put in our mouths on a daily basis we certainly are even more selective about what we put in our…ahem.

    If you are gonna say oral = sex then what are you going to claim next? Is a handjob sex too?

  7. Jennifer says:

    Well actually if you count oral as sex then yes you would have to count a handjob too. I personally find it much easier to go down on a guy than to have sex with him. I don't know if it was my upbringing or not, but I do know that I am much more emotionally attached to people i have penetrative sex with rather than just oral. So Yes I only count the guys that have put the "P" to the "V". However I do agree that giving oral can be very intimate and loving, but that also depends on the person. Basically it's extremely subjective.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @Dana-What about lesbians? They claim to have sex, and I'm not one to argue with them, because everyone has their own definition of what sex is. If someone claimed that a handjob constituted as sex, while I personally wouldn't agree, who am I to say that it's not (for him or her)?

  9. natalie says:

    a blow job is NOT sex. it is considered a sex act, but it is not what we would traditionally define as "sex"…and plus, it all depends on the situation. a blow job can be the main attraction or it can also be used as foreplay leading up to sex. i don't believe a blow job is "less intimate" than sex or sex is more intimate. if you're in a committed relationship where sex and/or sex acts are referred to more as "intimacy" than just casul sex, any type of sexual activity should be pleasurable and intimate for both people involved. if a woman doesn't enjoy going down on her man, he will be able to tell and won't enjoy it. when it looks like it's a chore, it becomes one and it's not about the wonderful act of sex anymore.

    it's not so crucial on what we consider sex or not. it's all pretty much going in the same direction so let's quit obssessing and get down to business! ha!

  10. Guy says:

    I've always wondered why girls will go down on a guy buy not have sex (this is in reference to hookups not relationships). I think it's way more degrading to put some guys p in your mouth than actually have sex. Not to mention a girl doesn't get the pleasure out of it like she would sex. Yet this seems way more of a hook up norm, girls giving head but holding out on sex. I guarantee guys most guys have gotten head from more girls they have had sex with. Can you ladies please explain this to me, I'm beyond confused, yet not complaining.

  11. Gemma says:

    I do not think of oral sex as sex. I still believe it is an extremely intimate act to do, but I think of sex as the penis going into the vagina.

    And to answer your question, Guy, I am one of those girls who would have oral sex but not actual sex with a guy. I am very selective with who I have oral sex with, and I enjoy giving it because the guys I have given it to are men I care about very much. Besides, you can't get pregnant from head ;) and that's a VERY big plus!

  12. sarah says:

    yeah to answer your question, guy, when you hook up with a dude and don't want to have sex with him, at least from my experience, he gets all bummed and lame. If you don't really care about him you tell him tough shit. If you do care sometimes oral is the way to go. I don't mind doing it and like gemma said, not getting preggers is a nice bonus.

  13. Giving oral sex is definitely a form of sex–the word sex is right there!–it's just a different kind. I think a lot of people want to separate oral sex as something else to avoid the stigma of being sexually active. But it's still risky, and safety and common sense still need to figure in.

  14. Casey says:

    I certainly don't count it as INTERCOURSE, for a couple different reasons…

    1. Like Guy said, it is a little more degrading than typical sex. It can be argued who holds the power in oral sex, the person giving the pleasure (who has control of the pleasure) or the person receiving the pleasure (who, hello, is getting pleasure). Watch a porno, it's kind of degrading how those guys thrust their cocks down the girls throats, but hey, that can also be a turn on for the girl! It really depends on the relationship, the people involved, and the mutual respect between the participants. But to an outsider, it can totally seem degrading.

    2. Typically (unless you get your rocks off on pleasing others, or you're doing a little 69) only one party is getting pleasure. Can it really be considered "sex" if only one party's pieces are being stimulated?

    3. While vaginal, anal, and oral sex all use the same instruments and have, typically, the same goals, they aren't really the same things. It's like a crayon, a marker, and a colored pencil: they all do basically the same things, and they all fall under the "art supplies" category, but they aren't really the same. If the word sex is used as a category and not a term, then yes, oral can fall under the category of "sex".

    Oral SEX

    Vaginal SEX

    Anal SEX

    They are all forms of sex. You are utilizing your SEXual reproductive organs for all of them. (If you're using a vibrator/dildo/etc. for any of the acts then that is SIMULATED sex, by societies definition, although couples may have their own definitions for it, but don't expect everyone else to automatically know your definitions, or get offended when they don't.)

    While they all may be intimate acts, I think only vaginal and anal sex count as "intercourse". You put tons of stuff in your mouth every day, how many things do you put in your anus or vagina? That's why I think those forms are a bit more intimate and a little less "degrading".

  15. That guy says:



  16. […] Duke It Out: Going Down [It's pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to […] […]

  17. […] among other definitions, some said that one can be a virgin if they do not have penetration, but can have oral sex. Others argued that oral sex was a form of sex, and so therefore you had it, then you would lose […]

  18. […] among other definitions, some said that one can be a virgin if they do not have penetration, but can have oral sex. Others argued that oral sex was a form of sex, and so therefore you had it, then you would lose […]

  19. luke says:

    letting a woman go down on you is more than sex. it goes above and beyond. think about it? a vajayjay aint got no teeth but a mouth sure as hell does!! same thing goes for you gals….when was the last time you heard of a pecker taking a hunk out of cleetoerus? trust is love man!!!!

  20. Pounddog says:

    As an older guy, may I point out that oral pleasure can and does go both ways? For some, it may be an end in itself, but as a part of foreplay, the extended stimulation for oral contact can enhance the whole experience for both parties. Both sexes have numerous erogenous zones (read the book), so why not learn to be good, or very good, at what you do and maximize all of them. Oral stimulation (call it sex or not) doesn't have to have ejaculation (or organsm) as an end in itself. It's only degrading if you see it (or project it) that way.

  21. mohanraj says:

    i like very much in your open type

  22. Joni says:

    I'm gonna agree with Bill Clinton on this and say no…not sex. But seriously, its an act that should not be taken lightly since you can get some nasties from it. I read somewhere that middle school kids view it on par with making out, that its even expected if you are making out!

  23. Gemma says:

    I like what Pounddog had to say. The only guys I have went down on also went down on me (actually before I even suggested doing that to them). It can be a wonderful way to show your love for someone, and it really doesn't have to be degrading depending on who you're doing it with.

  24. […] discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I'll be featuring a hot topic (like going down! ) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the […]

  25. Clare says:

    I find the number of people here who don't think it's sex is surprising! For me, oral sex feels way more intimate than PIV – I mean, that's my MOUTH!

    And, you know, I think you'll find most lesbian and bisexual couples would DEFINITELY say PIV is not the only type of sex possible. It's like saying the only real sex is sex with a man by denying the legitimacy of oral.

  26. Cassie says:

    It's intimate and has some of the same repercussions as sex, but it's definitely not sex. You can get a couple of STI's (oral thrush, herpes, et cetera), but at the same time, it's more like teasing your partner, and getting ready for something bigger and better. Maybe it's because I rarely achieve an orgasm from it, I just line it up under foreplay–even though I think it's about on par with sex as far as intimacy goes. Making out with someone? Small check list. Letting their genitals in my mouth? Significantly longer.

  27. he says:

    everybody beter be making a trip down there or else its not gonna work

  28. Jody says:

    Here is a great standard:

    If you can get what the CDC would classify as a Sexually Transmitted Disease from it, consider it sex. Oral sex is way more intimate than intercourse and at least with penetration, some people are reminded that they should put a condom on it. Oral sex, not as widely talked about including the risks of contracting all of the viral infections that go along with unprotected sex. Look at some lovely photos of warts and herpes, review the statistical data: 1 in 5 Americans have herpes- an estimated 20 million Americans have genital warts ( and suck away. Since you don’t consider it “sex” you will feel no humility when you fill your prescription from the clinic.

  29. Dess says:

    For me it defenitely counts. Actually for me it's even more then sex. I mean it's like you said it's your freaking mouth, it's even more intimete… I have to be perfectly comfortable with a guy to do that, while sex it's just sex for me hehehe

  30. Anonyme says:

    If only vaginal penetration counts as sex, then are all homosexual couples made up of virgins? Get real.

  • You Might Like