Tastebuds Change with Time
May 1st, 2013
I was shocked to learn from The National Sex Study that 76% of women ages 25-29 perform oral sex on men, but only 36% of women age 50-59 do so. After doing a little research, I realized there are several biological reasons why that may be the case.
As you may remember from middle school health class, taste and smell are intimately related. The tongue has taste buds and receptors that help us to recognize salty, sweet, sour and bitter flavors. The nose has nerve endings that recognize aromas released by food when we eat. Together they allow us to fully experience our food and drink. And without either, your enjoyment is limited.
We’re born with approximately 9000 taste buds. These develop as we grow up – allowing our palates to become more sophisticated; flavors that you hated as a child generally become increasingly tolerable and/or pleasant as you age (coffee, broccoli, beer, etc).
Unfortunately, like many other things, our ability to taste does peak and start to decline at middle age. Between the ages of 40-50, the number of taste buds on our tongue begins to decrease. And the taste buds that remain shrink (providing less surface area to taste effectively). Additionally, the nerve endings in our nose begin to degenerate. So once again, our tastes change. Flavors that we had enjoyed can become unpleasant. Though this aging cycle is gradual over time, it is unavoidable and irreversible.
This can impact oral sex in two ways:
- Where once you may have enjoyed the taste of your partner, the changes to your tongue and nose may mean you no longer enjoy the flavor
- Your partner may not be eating as healthy as he ages because foods do not taste the same to him - perhaps he’s using more salt for flavoring or nutritional supplements. This will change the flavor of his semen, as will medications that he needs as he ages.
Fortunately, I keep a good supply of Sexual Flavors strips on hand. Though my husband and I may not age gracefully, we’ll be sure to keep each other smiling long into the future.