Why Grapefruiting Is Not a Good Idea

You might not want to try this technique for a few reasons.

Bringing food into the bedroom for use during sexual activity isn't anything new. However, an unexpected produce option has made its way onto the list of foods to use during oral sex: grapefruit.

The idea of having oral sex with citrus may sound messy—and potentially painful. So we reached out to Michael Eisenberg, MD, a urologist at Stanford University Medical Center in California, to find out how safe grapefruiting is.

Where Did the Idea of Grapefruiting Come From?

This citrus fruit had a small but memorable role in the 2017 movie Girls Trip, when the character played by Tiffany Haddish demonstrated the grapefruiting move on a banana. However, the technique of "grapefruiting" was apparently popularized by a 2014 YouTube video.

In the video, a woman named Angel instructed viewers to cut the ends off of a grapefruit, make a hole in the middle, and then—once the grapefruit was at room temperature—put it over the penis. Ultimately, the move is supposed to make a person feel like they are receiving oral sex and having intercourse at the same time.

As interesting as this idea may sound, though, it does come with some potential problems for those who might want to try it.

What Issues Could Grapefruiting Cause?

A December 2015 Journal of the American Dental Association study listed some grapefruit juices as having a pH of around 3—meaning that one of the issues you might run into with this move is the acidity of the grapefruit.

Dr. Eisenberg said that grapefruit's acidity can lead the unpleasant side effects, like burning inside and at the opening of the urethra and pain the next time a person goes to urinate. "The urethra isn't designed to handle grapefruit juice," Dr. Eisenburg told Health. If the burning doesn't subside after a few hours, Dr. Eisenberg said a person who was grapefruited should see a healthcare provider.

Allergic reactions might be another risk if you or your partner are unaware that one of you has a grapefruit allergy. You might end up being allergic to the peel, the juice, or the whole fruit itself.

Per the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), food-related allergic reactions can happen within two hours of consumption but also have the potential to start immediately. Symptoms might include hives, tongue swelling, trouble swallowing or shortness of breath, vomiting, or anaphylaxis (when the body goes into shock with multiple reactions). In cases of anaphylaxis or other reactions that are severe and life-threatening, seek medical attention immediately.

Additionally, according to the FDA, grapefruit juice can interact with many medications. It can either cause too much or too little of a medication to be present in the body, affecting how helpful the medication can be for a particular condition (e.g., allergies, depression, or high blood pressure).

However, those effects would depend on how much of the grapefruit juice you consume and the type of medications you've been prescribed. If you're unsure if grapefruit might interact with your medication, check the label for your medicine or contact your healthcare provider beforehand.

Overall, despite all the buzz that grapefruiting has generated, it's probably best to leave the citrus in the fridge.

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