16 percent of a males ejaculate ends up on their partners face instead of the vagina. Moreover, 64 percent admitted that this is because of porn’s influence on them.
It’s no secret than porn influences our real life sexual moments. I recently wrote a piece on the trend of squirting on Tabú where I found that women are 44 percent more likely to search for squirting videos over men.
The trope of a facial is a recent phenomenon. Yes, porn has trends, and yes, facials weren’t popular in the ’70s or the ’80s, considered the golden age of porn. Internal ejaculation was the sign that a porn scene had ended while external ejaculation became popular in the late ’80s and ’90s. So, why did this shift happen? There are various different answers for why trends in adult movies exist and translate into reality. For facials, the viewer was able to see the actresses face and the celebratory ejaculation at the same time. Of course, monkey see, monkey do and the rise of cumshots and facials became a new desire for many young and old men across the globe. Whether this is an interest in humiliating or degrading a partner is subjectively unclear. When I asked Leah* about facials with her long time partner, she said “I wouldn’t want him to. But it wouldn’t be degrading if I wanted it. I find no satisfaction in it.” For Leah*, facials aren’t degrading because it’s a choice. For Ella*, semen is a desire. She enjoys a happy ending on her face. She explains to me, “I really like facials because it’s fun and gross. I like sex to be gross and weird because it’s such an intimate time.”
For Steven* he said, “I think I’ve cum on a face once, I’ve just never wanted to personally. Cumming in someone’s mouth feels amazing with no mess afterwards.”
But everyone should be able to freely enjoy a fantasy. If a facial gets you turned on, then a facial get you turned on. Moreover, this is by no means an attack of pornography, it’s simply a look as to the why and when facials rose to popularity. It definitely has something to do with the 40 million people in the US who regularly visit porn websites. Where pornography blurs the lines is when it influences real life couples in their expectations for sexual intercourse or sexual acts.
Dr. Patti Britton told Miami New Times that porn pushes the envelope on degradation. She said, that men watching porn become the actor in the film in their mind. She explains that they think, “I’m projecting myself into that guy and I’m having sex with that beautiful woman, and the cum shot is proof of the completion of the sexual act.” She continues, “So there’s a sense of finale, a sense of I did that.” It’s an ego boost. It’s about the male pleasure.
But we shouldn’t place all of the blame on the men, should we? There are the same amount of women watching porn than there are men. I know that, I’m not placing the blame on one side (even though it’s a bit easy sometimes.) Generations are solely being educated on sex through adult movies and sex on screen. Lucy* tells me that she although she doesn’t like getting a facial herself she does, “enjoy watching someone else get a facial.” We are all being influenced. I asked my partner in the beginning of our relationship, “Why don’t you ever cum on my face?” to which he bluntly told me he wasn’t interested in the act. After I asked the question I realized, I didn’t want him to cum on my face. Because, once again, why? Sure, I love fluids, and especially his, but I enjoy when my orgasm comes to full fruition with him still inside of me. There isn’t a camera on my face documenting my squeals of pleasure of what will be a messy clean up.
“And it doesn’t sound fun. It’s probably going to burn my eye,” says Leah*. In fact, she is right. Spermine is a chemical found in semen that is made by the prostrate gland. It’s why semen smells the way it does—bleachy and potent. While semen in your eyes isn’t necessarily dangerous, it can make your eyes burn and swell. The alkaline in semen can contribute to irritation in the eyes. Also, something foreign shooting into you eyes just isn’t a comfortable introduction for our precarious visual system. With past partners, eyes red and slightly swollen, I wouldn’t feel humiliated, just uncomfortable. In the few moments of pleasure, I felt hot looking up at my partners as their orgasm was completed. But the hours afterwards, I just felt pain.
Porn aside, there is also the myth that semen is good for your skin. Since there are vitamins and nutrients in semen, many people buy into the idea that a facial can be a dermatological secret. But a single serving of semen just won’t do. Columbia University found that you would need to gulp “gallons a day” to even remotely scratch the surface of the important nutrients in the fluid. Dr. Will Kirby even explained dangers of facials. “Even monogamous couples have undiagnosed sexually transmitted infections that could be spread to the mucous membranes (lips, nostrils and eyes) via topical application of male ejaculate for those seeking aesthetic improvement.”
Debra Herbenick, an Indiana University sex researcher, talked to college students and older women and found that college students were much more familiar with the act. The researcher also found that ejaculated on a face isn’t as popular as we all think. It’s more of a once in a blue moon type of thing. While some people do incorporate it into their every day sex life, it’s not as common as we all think. Again, this behavior seems normalized in relationships because of the common practice of it in pornography. The obvious discomfort that we don’t see in adult movies, may be why facials aren’t translating to real life sexual encounters. Ella* says that guys have always been shy when she’s asked them to do it. She says, “I always ask them.”
Whether facials are really a part of someone’s sexual activity or not is still up for debate. Another unclear analysis is whether or not it’s degrading. Some feminists find it anti-feminist, while other’s find it completely up to consent with the act. It’s degrading for some, but degradation is hot for other’s. In an online poll, I found that 44 percent of people don’t like facials and 56 percent do. It’s another kink added to the long list of kinks that some of us may not participate in while other’s find irresistible.
*names have been changed