The young’uns always think they invented sex, don’t they?
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “Oral sex is on the rise”.
The Australasian sexual health congress in Perth has been told oral sex, once the exclusive domain of sex workers, has now become a leading part in the sexual repertoire for straight and gay Australians.
“For young people it’s an almost universal practice now, with 90 per cent trying it before the age of 30,” said Basil Donovan, a professor of sexual health at the University of NSW.[...]
Another sexual health expert, Dr Juliet Richters, author of the book Doing it Down Under, said she believed the rise of feminism was the key to the trend, with women now happier to say what they wanted.
If you have a look at Kinsey data from around sixty years ago, nearly fifty percent of his married heterosexual subjects had performed oral sex, with little difference between men and women. Maybe it’s more popular now in 2008, particularly between non-marital partners, but oral sex sure wasn’t the “exclusive domain of sex workers” mid-twentieth century.
“80 years ago [...] it was entirely the work of sex workers and men were never going to get it at home.”
So recreational oral sex in married couples went from zero to fifty percent between 1930 and 1950? Anyone here believe that?
[Tigtog suggests that the caption for the photo accompanying the article should be "Oral sex: ur doing it rong."][Hat tip to Ken.]
In other Sexual Health Congress news, the same professor, Basil Donovan, has called for national decriminalisation of prostitution. More details at ABC’s The World Today.
MICHAEL EDWARDS [reporter]: In New South Wales, prostitution is decriminalised and Sharon says sex workers take control of their own health concerns.
SHARON [sex worker]: I found that working in New South Wales has been more conducive to accessing health services and taking control of my health than when I was in Perth worried about, you know, the police or when I was in Victoria feeling forced and insulted and degraded and invaded by having to go for mandatory testing.
MICHAEL EDWARDS: And a new study shows sex workers in New South Wales have some of the lowest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the entire country.
The study’s author, Professor Basil Donovan from the National Centre in HIV, says decriminalising and deregulating the sex industry works.
BASIL DONOVAN: In Sydney you are looking at a chlamydia prevalence that means how many women are infected in any one day are one to two per cent in Sydney sex workers.
The general population of prevalence for women of the same age is four to five per cent. Count the school girls is about one to two per cent or slightly higher. The prevalence of gonorrhoea in sex workers in Sydney is about as close as you can get to zero.
Note that previous work suggests that the prevalence of chlamydia in men is similar to the prevalence in women. This means that in any given heterosexual sex work encounter in a decriminalised environment, the man may be around 500% more likely than the woman to be carrying chlamydia at the time. (Possibly more; I can’t find a study testing for the prevalence of chlamydia carriage amongst the subset of men who patronise sex workers.)
This sure puts paid to the old misogynist canard about prostitutes being a public health menace, doesn’t it?
More on “mandatory testing” at the Scarlet Alliance.