MANILA, Philippines - The chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is now under fire for his alleged sexual assault of a chambermaid in the United States.
Several publications reported over the weekend that Strauss-Kahn forced her to give him oral sex.
"According to the official, the man chased her, grabbed her and shut the door, locking it. He then pulled her toward the bedroom, the official said, and tried to attack her there," The New York Times said, citing a police source.
"He dragged her to the bathroom, the official added, and forced her to perform oral sex. The police said the woman eventually escaped from the suite and reported the attack to other hotel personnel, who called 911."
With his arrest in relation to the so-called sex scandal, some are saying that the Strauss-Kahn's dreams of power have been "terminated." Before the incident, opinion polls had shown that the IMF chief was likely to win the French presidency next year.
Indeed, humiliation and a tainted reputation are the price one has to pay when a well-known figure gets involved in a sex scandal.
Such is also the case for former US President Bill Clinton, who was said to have received oral sex from then White House intern Monica Lewinsky despite his marriage to now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The 1998 incident turned into a full-blown scandal, one of the factors that eventually led to Clinton's impeachment.
Another example is actor Hugh Grant, who was caught receiving oral sex from a prostitute in a car in Los Angeles.
Oral sex, a sexual act that involves the stimulation of the genitalia using the mouth, is frowned upon in many cultures yet is commonly practiced by straight and gay couples across the globe.
It comes in many forms, and is said to be done even by animals.
Aside from the risk of getting humiliated, oral sex can also pose a number of threats to human health. US scientists said early this year that there is strong evidence linking oral sex to head or neck cancer due to HPV or the human papilloma virus.
The same virus causes cervical cancer, which is the second largest cause of female cancer mortality in the Philippines for the past 60 years. Worldwide, a woman dies from the disease every 2 minutes.
Aside from HPV, oral sex (and other forms of sexual contact such as vaginal sex, genital touching and the use of sex toys such as vibrators) can lead to a variety of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes and HIV.
Some of these STDs are curable and not life-threatening. But if left untreated, some of these may lead to pregnancy problems or even death.
Why men like oral sex
About 40% of 77,895 women and men surveyed by Elle and MSNBC.com in 2006 said they "rarely or never give oral sex." This as 58% of males said their partner does not like receiving oral sex, while nearly half of females said they do not like doing such.
Almost all men, however, said that receiving oral sex "boosts their sexual satisfaction."
So what do men see that women don't?
Men associate oral sex with different things, from intimacy to the feeling of being in control. EMandLO.com, a blogger at the Yahoo! Shine page, asked this question to different kinds of males -- straight, gay, single and married.
Here are some of their responses:
"What seems to separate the men who like to give oral sex from those who dread it depends on one mitigating factor: good hygiene."
"It's a chance to get to know you without distraction and, in a way, it's even more intimate than intercourse."
"It involves all our senses -- sight, sound, hearing, taste, touch and scent. It's sensual and pleasurable."