Top 14 Sex Myths Versus Facts
Published on September 17, 2022 15:58 PM by Andrew Koschiev
Everyone heard their fair share of sex myths, especially during their teenage years. Unfortunately, some myths have portrayed sex in a misleading way or, in some cases, downright misinformed. Ultimately, much of what we understand about sex is a collection of half-truths and myths.
Though few myths are harmless, some of these expectations or incorrect assumptions about sex may impact your sex life or lead to intimacy issues.
We're living in a time when we know our bodies and are more in tune with our health than ever. So, looking back at some of the points about sex that "experts" have touted over the years, it's worthwhile to separate fact from fiction.
Here, we debunk some of the most widespread misconceptions about sex. And we hope this information helps you make informed decisions regarding sex, choosing sexual partners, and maintaining your reproductive health.
Sex can affect sports performance
The truth is that this myth has been debated for a while, with coaches often advising their athletes to abstain oneself from sex before big games or competitions. But, a 2016 study in the journal Frontiers in Physiology suggests sex has little impact on athletic performance and could have a positive effect.
Having a much younger partner means mind-blowing sex
Has Hollywood sold you the desirability of being a "sugar daddy" or "cougar?" It's not always what it's cracked up to be. While a May-December relationship works for some individuals, a study published in the Review of Economics and Statistics found it was not always ideal, at least in marriage.
Researchers found that married to a much younger or older spouse had lower earnings and education levels than couples of similar ages. And this is just one study, not the last word on optimal relationships.
Sex burns major calories
Experts estimate that thirty minutes of sex burns about 85 to 150 calories. So, if you need to lose a pound, you'd have to burn about 3,500 calories, which translates into 35 sexual encounters.
The problem is this; most people aren't having sex for 30 minutes, but closer to five minutes making sex an unreliable and unreasonable weight loss tactic. (Here, the fun fact is sex may not burn a lot of calories, but having sex once a week may help you to live longer.) To get fit, ensure you eat healthily and get at least thirty minutes of movement daily.
You can't get pregnant if you have sex standing up
It is a common myth that if you have sex while standing up, gravity keeps the sperm from swimming to the woman's egg. But the fact is, standing up does nothing to prevent pregnancy.
When a man ejaculates during vaginal sex, millions of sperm are thrust into your vagina, and standing won't keep the sperm from reaching your egg. Jumping up and down, douching, or rinsing your vagina after sex also doesn't prevent fertilization.
Regardless of the sexual position chosen, if you have unprotected sex, there's a chance you will get pregnant.
Sex can give you a heart attack
The truth is that having sex more often is associated with having a healthier heart. Studies found that men who had sex twice a week or more had a lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease than individuals who had sex once a month or less often. This appeared to be independent of erectile dysfunction, a demonstrated risk factor for heart disease. The chance of having a heart attack while having sex is also very low.
All women orgasm during vaginal sex
Studies found that nearly 75% of women don't orgasm through vaginal sex alone. Another recent study found that almost 37% of women said they need some other stimulation during intercourse to achieve an orgasm. The good news is that clitoral stimulation is a reliable way to stimulate an orgasm for most women.
Condoms make sex less enjoyable
According to experts, this is a huge myth because most of us have a preconceived notion of what condoms are — thick latex, big, smelly; we perpetuate the message that condoms don't feel good or condoms aren't fun. And the reality is that condoms have lower latex odor today, and they feel great."
A study at Indiana University found that people rate sex with condoms equally pleasurable as sex without condoms.
The truth is that condoms come in different colors, shapes, and sizes, so you and your partner can find a condom that fits correctly and a brand that works for you. For example, ultra-thin and ribbed condoms are available to increase physical sensations during sex.
Also, wearing a condom helps protect you from unintended pregnancy and gives you peace of mind to enjoy sex better without worrying about the "what ifs."
If you're aroused, you shouldn't need lubricant
The fact is, your level of arousal doesn't correspond with vaginal wetness, even among younger women. Instead, other elements factor into your need for lubrication, including your monthly cycle, pregnancy, illness, menopause, and medications such as antihistamines and decongestants. And no, drinking more water won't help this one.
Find a water-based lubricant that you like and keep handy because your heart might be deep in a sexual encounter, but your body may not cooperate as much as you'd like.
You can't get pregnant from pre-cum
Pre-cum is a lubricant produced by a gland in the penis, and it's released before ejaculation. While pre-cum doesn't naturally contain sperm, sperm can leak into this lubricant periodically.
It's possible for semen to linger in the urethra after ejaculation and mix with pre-cum on its way out. A 2016 study by PubMed Medical found mobile sperm present in the pre-cum of nearly 17 percent of its male participants.
Men think about sex every seven seconds
This myth has been debunked by a 2011 study in the Journal of Sex Research. Looking to tally up the number of times men and women thought about sex per day, the university had about 238 students keep track of their views about sex, food, or sleep for one whole week.
Their findings revealed men think about sex far less than they think, averaging about 19 sex thoughts a day instead of the nearly 8,000 thoughts a day that would occur if men were thinking about sex every seven seconds.
Thoughts about food came in a close second, with 18 thoughts per day, while sleep garnered 11 thoughts per day. The women averaged about ten thoughts about sex, 15 about food, and 8.5 thoughts about sleep each day.
RELATED: Why Women Should Workout
Sexting hurts relationships
More has been said about the downsides of sexting. However, when it's done consensually in a committed, secure relationship, it may take your sex life from rote to raging.
Emily Stasko, the lead author of a 2015 study on the impacts of sexting on relationships, said, sending sexual texts and images to your significant other increases not only your sexual satisfaction but also your happiness in your relationship.
The committed relationship part may be key, but individuals who identified in the study as single discovered that sexting had the opposite effect, reducing sexual satisfaction.
You should rely on your partner to provide condoms
False. If you're a straight woman having sex with a man, it's easy to assume his responsibility to carry condoms since he'll be the one wearing them.
Think about it this way— condoms are both parties' responsibility because both will be wearing them—technically, both of you are. Empower yourself by taking control of your sexual and reproductive health instead of relying on your partner. You don't know how long the condom he's putting on has been in his wallet or if it's expired—keep a few handy in case of an impromptu sexual encounter.
Oysters and chocolates are turn-ons
No research has ever shown any sexually enhancing effect from oysters. They contain a lot of zinc, which is good for sperm health. However, otherwise, researchers have discovered no special ingredient to suggest it has any sexually enhancing effects.
Many studies suggest that chocolate is tied to lower blood pressure and better functioning of blood vessels, which may enhance blood flow to the penis (important for erections) and the woman's pelvic region, stimulating arousal. However, this is just speculation.
You can tell who an STD has
Dr. Robert Huizenga, MD, author of Sex, Lies & STDs, says, "A very common sex myth people believe is that you will be able to tell if someone has an STD by looking at them." The fact is that many STDs don't show outward symptoms or may not show up until much later.
She says there's no substitute for getting a medical screening, being honest about the results with your partner, and expecting the same transparency from them.