How Common Is Oral Sex (Frequency By Age)

Heterosexual Americans give oral sex 5.14 times per month and receive it 5.08 times per month on average, with 59% of women giving oral sex compared to 52% of men.
split screen image featuring a graphic depicting percentage of women who experienced oral sex for the first time from ages 16 through 19 on the left, and a seductive photograph of a woman with her lips around a strawberry on the right
Updated:November 2023

Between the ages of 15 and 44, oral sex is (perhaps unsurprisingly) common, with 87.4% of men and 86.2% of women taking part in the activity at some point in their lives. [2]

Additionally, 33% of Americans have felt some degree of social pressure to take part in oral sex. [16]

Key Statistics To Know:

  • In terms of frequency, heterosexual Americans receive oral sex 5.08 times per month and give it to a partner 5.14 times per month. [16]
  • Male Americans receive oral sex 5.44 times per month and give it to a partner 4.97 times per month on average.[16]
  • Female Americans receive oral sex 4.85 times per month and give it 5.98 times per month on average. [16]
  • Among people between the ages of 15 and 44 years old, 87.4% of men and 86.2% had oral sex at some point in their lives. [2]
  • Among females between the ages of 15 and 24 years old, 26% experienced oral sex prior to having vaginal intercourse at a later date. Among males in the same age group, 24% reported the same. [4]
  • 6% of women last used a condom during oral sex while 7% of men last used a condom during oral sex. [6]
  • On average, 59% of women give oral sex compared to 52% of men. [18]

In this article, we’ll share statistics relating to oral sex among people of all age groups and sexual orientations, associated enjoyment levels (giving and/or receiving), STI transmission, oral sex in America (including states where it is technically illegal), and take a glimpse at oral sex frequency around the world.

How Common Is Oral Sex?

bar graphs displaying how many times on average that american men and women give and receive oral sex: women give 5.98 times per month and receive 4.85 times per month; men give oral sex 4.97 times per month and receive it 5.44 times per month
  • Heterosexual Americans give oral sex 5.14 times per month and receive oral sex 5.08 times per month on average. [16]
  • Gay Americans (men who have sex with other men) give oral sex 5.37 times per month and receive oral sex 5.31 times per month on average. [16]
  • Lesbian Americans (women who have sex with other women) give oral sex 4.57 times per month and receive oral sex 8.86 times per month on average. [16]
  • Bisexual Americans give oral sex 6.77 times per month and receive oral sex 5.69 times per month on average. [16]
  • Male Americans give oral sex 4.97 times per month and receive oral sex 5.44 times per month on average. [16]
  • Female Americans give oral sex 5.98 times per month and receive oral sex 4.85 times per month on average. [16]
  • Single Americans give oral sex 5.64 times per month and receive oral sex 5.44 times per month on average. [16]
  • Americans in a relationship give oral sex 5.25 times per month and receive oral sex 5.14 times per month on average. [16]
  • In a sample of 12,571 men and women aged 15-44 years, 75% had oral sex. [16]
  • In another survey of 10,416 women and men aged 15-44, 87.4% of men and 86.2% had oral sex at some point in their lives. [2]
  • 22.4% of teenage females aged 16-17 and 18.3% of males aged 16-17 reported giving oral sex to another partner in the past year. [3]
  • 78% of women and 75% of men aged 15-44 years participated in oral sex over a 4-year period between 2006-2010. [4]
  • 88% of adult women and 90% of adult men ages 25-44 have had oral sex with an opposite-sex partner. [5]
  • Around 6.5% of adult men between the ages of 25 and 44 have had oral sex with another man. [5]

While oral sex was once a rarity, especially cunnilingus, current stats show that oral has become part of our modern sexual norms.

Among lesbians specifically, some women prefer to receive oral sex rather than give it (or vice versa) during sexual activity with their partners.

Lesbians do a variety of things and just as it’s common to assume all gay men have anal sex, many have other interests.

Given that sexual minority group numbers are usually fewer compared to the number of heterosexuals taking part in a survey, a small group could throw off the average statistically.

In this case, it’s possible that the lesbian respondents in the sample receive oral sex far more than they personally give it, hence the stark difference between the two activities.

What Age Do People Start Having Oral Sex?

bar graph displaying data on the percentages of women having oral sex and at what ages: 16 years old, 13.4%; 17 years old, 12.8%; 18 years old, 10.2%; 19 years old, 4.1%; never (as of the date of the study) 33.3%.
  • 4.2% of women experienced their first oral sex at 12 years old or younger; 3.8% of women experienced their first oral sex as teenagers at 13 years old; 5.9% of women experienced their first oral sex at 14 years old; 12.3% of women experienced their first oral sex at 15 years old; 13.4% of women experienced their first oral sex at 16 years old which is the highest in all teen ages; 12.8% of women experienced their first oral sex at 17 years old; 10.2% of women experienced their first oral sex at 18 years old; 4.1% of women experienced their first oral sex at 19 years old; 33.3% said they’d never experienced oral sex at the time the study had taken place. [9]
  • 8.7% of men experienced their first oral sex at 12 years old or younger; 4.3% of men experienced their first oral sex at 13 years old; 7.0% of men experienced their first oral sex at 14 years old; 10.0% of men experienced their first oral sex at 15 years old; 14.4% of men experienced their first oral sex at 16 years old which is highest of all male teenagers surveyed; 10.0% of men experienced their first oral sex at 17 years old; 6.5% of men experienced their first oral sex at 18 years old; 3.5% of men experienced their first oral sex at 19 years old; 35.6% of men said they’d never experienced oral sex at the time the study took place. [9]
  • Among surveyed females aged 15-24 years, 26% reported having their first oral sex experience prior to their first vaginal intercourse; 27% reported having oral sex after their first vaginal intercourse; 7.4% reported having oral sex on the same occasion as their first vaginal intercourse; and 5.1% had oral sex without any vaginal intercourse. [4]
  • Among surveyed males aged 15-24 years old, 24% reported having their first oral sex experience before first intercourse; 24% reported having oral sex after their first intercourse; 12% reported having oral sex on the same occasion as their first intercourse; and 6.5% reported having oral sex, and no vaginal intercourse. [4]

Oral sex is a common form of sexual exploration that is less risky for STIs and obviously pregnancy.

While a majority discover oral sex in their teen years, a sizable minority first try oral at or after age 20.

Oral Sex And HIV, STI Risk Statistics

donut chart depicting that 7% of hiv cases are transmitted through oral sex
  • 6% of women used a condom during oral sex while 7% of men used a condom during oral sex. [6]
  • In an analysis including 2,116 men and 2,140 women, 85.4% of men and 83.2% of women reported giving oral sex, but men reported having more oral and vaginal sex partners over the course of their lifetime — and a higher prevalence of oral HPV16 compared to women. [7]
  • Men are about 7 times more likely to be diagnosed with oral HPV16 infections than women. [7]
  • Among gay men in San Francisco, an estimated 7% of HIV cases are transmitted through oral sex. [8]

While oral sex has a much lower STI transmission rate than vaginal or anal intercourse, it is not risk-free.

A majority of young adults understand the risk but interestingly, most do not choose to use protection.

How Many Women Give Oral Sex (Or Like It)?

donut chart depicting that on average, 59% of women give oral sex
  • One study found that giving and receiving oral sex were both associated with better self-rated health for women in one study on U.S. women between the ages of 18 and 92. [17]
  • Being on the receiving end of oral sex may boost the chances of reaching orgasm and sexual enjoyment for the receiver, particularly among women. [10]
  • 59% of women give oral sex, on average, compared to 52% of men. [18]
  • 28% of women say that giving oral sex is pleasurable. [18]

Oral sex appears to have positive effects on both individual health and sexual pleasure.

Unfortunately, however, many more women give oral sex than the amount who feel it is pleasurable.

How Many Men Give Oral Sex (Or Like It)?

donut chart depicting that 52% of men give oral sex, on average
  • A study on 66 European couples aged 19–65 years old found that, among men, more frequent sexual activity (including oral sex) was associated with better mood over the days that followed. [19]
  • Receiving oral sex may be important for men’s sense of masculinity, and is associated with increased relationship quality. [10]
  • Men are twice as likely than women to say that oral sex is pleasurable compared to women. 52% of men say that giving oral sex is pleasurable. [18]

Both giving and receiving oral sex are generally perceived as very pleasurable for most men.

While stereotypically, men prefer to receive rather than give, the stats show that many men love to give.

Oral Sex Statistics In America

donut chart depicting that 33% of americans have felt social pressure to participate in oral sex
  • 37% of older couples in a sample of 3,005 community-dwelling adults aged 57–85 had participated in oral sex in the past 12 months. [10]
  • Among teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 years old, 7% of females and 9% of males reported having oral sex with an opposite-sex partner at some point in their lives, but no vaginal intercourse.
  • 33% of Americans have felt social pressure to participate in oral sex. [16]
  • 51.39% of Americans say refusing oral sex is a relationship dealbreaker. [16]
  • 43.6% of Americans have given oral sex at the age of 15-19 years old; 76.3% of Americans have given oral sex at the age of 20-24 years old; 83.3% of Americans have given oral sex at the age of 25-34 years old; 83.5% of Americans have given oral sex at the age of 35-44 years old. [1]

Oral sex has become commonplace and very important to individuals in a relationship.

However, all sexual desires must be balanced with consent — pressure for any sex act negates consent and turns a potentially pleasurable act into a duty, obligation, and at worse — a form of abuse.

Oral Sex Is Against The Law In How Many States

map graphic displaying the states that have laws against oral sex (at least on paper): idaho, kansas, michigan, oklahoma, texas, louisiana, mississippi, alabama, north carolina, south carolina, florida

As of this writing, the following states have laws against oral sex [15]:

  1. Alabama
  2. Florida
  3. Idaho
  4. Kansas
  5. Louisiana
  6. Michigan
  7. Mississippi
  8. North Carolina
  9. Oklahoma
  10. South Carolina
  11. Texas

Certainly, these laws are rarely, if ever, enforced but it does provide interesting cultural context to how sexual norms change over time!

Oral Sex Frequency Around The World

pie chart depicting that 75% of women aged 60 to 69 in france regularly participate in oral sex
  • 63% of Canadian male university students report receiving oral sex compared to 44% of females. [13]
  • 59% of women give oral sex in Canada compared to 52% of men. [13]
  • 74% of women younger than 30 years old regularly participate in oral sex in France, according to a 2019 survey. [14]
  • 88% of women between the ages of 30-39 years old regularly participate in oral sex in France according to a 2019 study. [14]
  • 77% of women between the ages of 40-49 years old regularly participate in oral sex in France according to a 2019 study. [14]
  • 83% of women between the ages of 50-59 years old regularly participate in oral sex in France according to a 2019 study.  [14]
  • 75% of women between the ages of 60-69 years old regularly participate in oral sex in France according to a 2019 study. [14]

Oral sex is not just an American trend but is common worldwide.

Oral sex prevalence tends to increase with age.

Sources:

  1. Prevalence and correlates of heterosexual anal and oral sex in adolescents and adults in the United States
  2. Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction, and Sexual Orientation Among Adults Aged 18-44 in the United States: Data From the 2011-2013 National Survey of Family Growth
  3. Sexual behavior in the United States: results from a national probability sample of men and women ages 14-94
  4. Prevalence and timing of oral sex with opposite-sex partners among females and males aged 15-24 years: United States, 2007-2010
  5. Sexual behavior and selected health measures: men and women 15-44 years of age, United States, 2002
  6. Heterosexual Anal and Oral Sex in Adolescents and Adults in the United States, 2011-2015
  7. Differences in Oral Sexual Behaviors by Gender, Age, and Race Explain Observed Differences in Prevalence of Oral Human Papillomavirus Infection
  8. Oral sex may be important risk factor for HIV infection – PMC
  9. Home Base: Family of Origin Factors and the Debut of Vaginal Sex, Anal Sex, Oral Sex, Masturbation, and Pornography Use in a National Sample of Adolescents: The Journal of Sex Research
  10. A National Dyadic Study of Oral Sex, Relationship Quality, and Well-Being among Older Couples
  11. Oral Sex, Oral Health and Orogenital Infections – PMC
  12. Sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual identity in the United States: data from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth
  13. An analysis of gender differences in oral sex practices and pleasure ratings among heterosexual Canadian university
  14. French women practicing oral sex regularly by age 2019 | Statista
  15. Unlocking the Legal Maze: Discovering the States Shaping Oral Sex Laws
  16. The State Of Oral Sex In America
  17. Sexual behaviors, relationships, and perceived health status among adult women in the United States: results from a national probability sample
  18. Was it good for you too?: An analysis of gender differences in oral sex practices and pleasure ratings among heterosexual Canadian university students
  19. Sex in Its Daily Relational Context