When I was a kid in the 1970s, there was a recurring urban legend that went something like this: “Did you hear about David Bowie? He was hospitalized last night. They had to pump his stomach because there was a gallon of semen inside.” This so-called rumor was presented to me at least three times with a different rock star taking the lead role each time. First it was Bowie, then it was Elton John, then it was Rod Stewart. I believe the phenomenon lasted at least into the eighties. I recall hearing it with Jon Bon Jovi as the alleged cum guzzler. For all I know, kids are still applying the formula to whomever the chart topper du jour might be now.

Recently, following a protracted bout of ennui, I decided to do the math on this old chestnut. What would it mean to carry around a whole gallon of baby batter in one’s upper GI? First things first: I needed to find out the number of cubic centimeters in a gallon. Why cubic centimeters? Because I just happened to remember a pertinent bit of Classic Rock trivia. Remember the old band 10cc? The name refers to the amount of fluid—in cubic centimeters—found in the ejaculate of the average male. With that fact in mind, I rolled up my sleeves and dug in.

Discovering the number of cc’s in a gallon is, thanks to the Internet, child’s play. It’s 3,785. 3,785 divided by ten is 379. 379 is the number of donors it would take to produce 3,785cc—or one gallon—of nut nectar. How long would it take for Bowie—or John, or Stewart or Bon Jovi—to harvest the man-o-naise from 379 willing (and open-minded) participants? Let’s assume that, on average, it takes each man 3 minutes to complete the assigned task. 3 times 379 equals 1,137 minutes. Dividing that by 60, I came up with 19. That’s 19 hours of uninterrupted knob slopping. State law would probably mandate 2 hour-long lunches and several fifteen minute breaks for the hard working rock god, but I chose to ignore the legalities in the interest of clarity.

After some additional poking around on the information super highway, I discovered that the typical human stomach holds about 4 quarts of material. Coincidentally, 4 quarts do in fact equal one gallon. So, on a completely empty stomach, and with 19 hours of free time, Bowie—or John, or Stewart, or Bon Jovi—could indeed have binge-fellated their way to 3,785 cubic centimeters of lad lava and a date with History (assuming of course they had the stamina of a thoroughbred and the willing participation of 379 strangers).

There. I did the heavy lifting on this one. You can relax now.