Ask Mia: Can Vegetarians Swallow?

Q. I'm hoping you can settle an argument between me and my girlfriend. She is a vegetarian and says she can't swallow my come when she goes down on me because it's not vegetarian. Is that true? Just so you know, I'm not just some jerk trying to talk her into swallowing—I've had girlfriends who didn't like it before and it was fine, but none of them felt the need to make up such a ridiculous excuse.

A. I can't answer for your girlfriend what fits her dietary preferences. There are many stops on the spectrum of vegetarianism, from people who eat no animal products whatsoever (also known as vegans), to people who eat no beef, pork, or chicken, but still eat fish, to people who avoid meat all year only to get drunk on their birthdays and feast on bacon.

Ever since we got too old for Mom to make us eat broccoli, we've all been in charge of what we are and aren't going to ingest. Your girlfriend has the right to assert control over what she puts into her body, whatever her reasoning may be.

As for her reasoning, semen is a product of an animal (like an egg), but not the flesh of an animal (like meat) and not a substance whose production causes cruelty to animals (unlike the miserable dairy cows in PETA commercials, I have a feeling your semen was harvested with your enthusiastic consent). It contains glandular fluid and single cells, also known as sperm. Depending on your girlfriend's reasons for being vegetarian, it is possible that she could logically conclude that semen is off-limits. Or, maybe she just doesn't like it.

Since it doesn't sound as if the actual act of swallowing is a big deal to you, I would suggest getting yourself out of this semantic black hole. Communicate to your girlfriend that you understand and respect her right to decide what goes into her body, whether you agree with her rationale or not. I don't know if your girlfriend is making excuses, as you say, but if for some reason she feels that simply saying she doesn't like swallowing isn't good enough, then you have a communication problem. You can remedy this by showing her that you appreciate her right to make her own choices in the bedroom, and that you care about her enjoyment and comfort more than you care about this disagreement.

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