Popular Sexual Health Myths That People Still Get Wrong
Long gone are the days of our poor P.E teachers trying to get a classroom full of giggling teenagers to pay attention to the birds and the bees discussion! You might be among the many people who heed the health advice of medical-oriented blogs, lifestyle magazines, or even social media influencers. However, when it comes to sexual health, there’s a lot of ‘fake news’ circulating online, and rapid information sharing via the internet makes it easier to spread misinformation. The Fun Specialists at Sexyland are here to set the record straight on a few things!
Myth: You can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex.
Fact: We’ve all heard the stories of under-prepared teens who have sex for the first time and accidentally bring a bouncing baby into the picture. Getting pregnant has nothing to do with how many times you have sex - if you are near ovulation and have vaginal intercourse, it is possible to get pregnant, no matter your experience level or age.
Myth: Pulling out stops you from getting pregnant.
Fact: Pulling out before ejaculation only protects you from a larger exchange of bodily fluids but sperm can still be released before he ejaculates. All it takes is one swimmer to fertilise an egg, and studies have shown that even pre-cum samples contain active healthy sperm, so even the slightest drop of fluid can harbour the ingredients for life.
Myth: You can’t get pregnant during your period.
Fact: While it’s relatively uncommon, it’s possible to conceive during your time of the month. Typically, conception occurs a few days prior to or during ovulation but sperm can live for up to 5 days after being released inside a woman’s body (or about 30 minutes if ejaculated outside the body) and go on to fertilise an egg.
Myth: You can’t get pregnant if you have sex standing up.
Fact: Even with gravity working against them, sperm can still make their way through your body to fertilise an egg that’s travelling down from the fallopian tubes. Long story short, unwanted pregnancies can only be reliably prevented by physical barrier contraceptives like condoms and IUDs, hormonal birth control like the pill or implant, or a combination of both. If you’re not ready for Junior to change your life, play it safe and grab some condoms for peace of mind.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases & Infections
Myth: Only gay men get HIV.
Fact: HIV can and does pass between people of any gender and sexual identity. Your chances of catching a disease are increased by having unprotected sex, especially if you have anal sex. The delicate rectal lining is thin and not naturally lubricated, which makes it more prone to tissue tears that allow HIV to enter the bloodstream easier. In addition to using a protective barrier like a condom, a generous slathering of anal lubricant can also help things glide more smoothly.
Myth: You can’t catch an STD if you don’t have penetrative sex.
Fact: Any type of skin to skin contact that allows for bodily fluids to pass between two people can put you at risk of catching an STD. This includes oral sex, anal sex, penetrative sex, sharing sex toys, and intimate skin contact. Some STDs can be asymptomatic, with many infected people not even knowing they’re a carrier. This means that aside from abstinence, wearing a condom is your best form of protection, which leads us to...
Myth: Two condoms are better than one.
Fact: The increased friction between two condoms being used simultaneously makes it more likely that one or both condoms will tear. Condoms are most reliable when used correctly and offer a 98% rate of effective prevention of pregnancy and STDs.
Myth: Urinating after sex won’t prevent infections.
Fact: Emptying your bladder following sexual intercourse helps to clear away bacteria that might have gotten caught in the urethra during sexual activity. Peeing ASAP helps to flush out any nasties before they have a chance to travel further into your body and cause trouble - this is especially important for women, who are more prone to UTIs than men due to having shorter urethras.
Sexual Performance & Enjoyment
Myth: Size matters - the bigger the penis, the better the sex.
Fact: We’ve all heard the age-old saying ‘it’s not about size, it’s how you use it’ plenty of times before, and that’s because it rings true! Even if a man is on the small side, he’s got nothing to worry about if he knows what he’s doing. Plenty of women prefer clitoral stimulation over deep penetration anyway since the clitoris is the most sensitive part of a woman’s sexual anatomy, and getting her to the finish line this way requires skill, not size. You can also easily make up for what he lacks in skill with a clitoral stimulator that provides toe-curling vibrations, suction, pulsing, and other mind-blowing sensations! And speaking of the clitoris…
Myth: Period sex makes cramps more painful.
Fact: On the contrary, having sex during your period may actually decrease cramps and help you feel better. Period blood is your body’s own natural personal lubricant which also helps to make things less painful, and of course, climaxing releases a flood of endorphins for a feel-good sensation. If you’re apprehensive about period sex, let your hormones lead the way and see how you feel about your inhibitions afterwards!
Myth: The clitoris is small and difficult to locate.
Fact: The female clitoris is actually quite large, extending about 5 inches internally to include the ultra-sensitive area many people call the ‘G-spot’. Similar to a penis, the clitoris can become erect and engorged when aroused. The visible portion (AKA the ‘glans’) may be small and can be hidden under the clitoral hood just above where the labia minora meet, but this sensitive, erogenous zone deserves your attention if you want to give her an earth-shattering orgasm!
Myth: Eating pineapple makes your semen taste great.
Fact: While it’s true that diet can have an influence on how a man’s sperm (and also a woman’s vaginal fluid) tastes, there’s more to it than just eating pineapple. Genetics and lifestyle choices like alcohol consumption or smoking also play a role, and everyone’s bodily fluid has its own unique qualities. If you’re looking for ways to turn your partner’s nether regions into a tasty treat, try spicing up oral sex with some flavoured lubricant!
Sexercise & Fitness
Myth: Kegel exercises don’t help enhance sex.
Fact: Kegels have been medically proven to improve sexual dysfunction while strengthening the pelvic floor. This aids in improving and repairing issues such as urinary and bowel incontinence while increasing orgasm intensity. Kegel exercises are good for both men and women, and there’s no right or wrong time to start. Why not incorporate them into your workout routine with some fun kegel toys?
Myth: Sex burns heaps of calories.
Fact: While having sex can indeed burn some calories unless you’re having a marathon event under the sheets, you’re likely not burning enough calories to replace your exercise routine. 30 minutes of sex can burn up to 150 calories but you’d need to burn about 7,000 calories (29,400 kilojoules) to lose a kilo of body fat. That’s a lot of sex, but imagine how much fun you’ll have trying! If you’re game to give it a go, we suggest reading our ‘Keeping Fit with Sexercise’ article for some great sexercise tips!
Myth: Having sex can bring on labour.
Fact: Intercourse will not cause the baby to be delivered before your body is ready. Instead, the uterine contractions and increased oxytocin from your increased physical activity may simply augment the processes that are already at work, but don’t let it stop you from trying!
Societal Narratives & Taboos
Myth: Sex toys are cheating.
Fact: As long as you’re not using sex toys at the expense of giving your partner intimacy and attention, it shouldn’t be an issue. There are even plenty of couples toys you can introduce to your bedroom fun that enhance your steamy adventures together!
Myth: Women don’t masturbate or want sex as much as men do.
Fact: We wouldn’t still be in business if this were true! Cultural conditioning and wider acceptance of male horniness have played a huge part in propagating this myth, but women do enjoy and want sexual pleasure just as much as men do. In fact, the majority of the sex toy industry is focused on female masturbation, with many different shapes, variations, and functions to suit all desires, from vibrators to dildos & dongs! Women may not always express their wants the same way as men, but make no mistake, their sexual libido can easily match a man’s.
Myth: Older people don’t have sex.
Fact: While sexual activity does decrease with age, there’s no age limit on having sex! You can still enjoy a healthy sex life at any age as long as you maintain the ability to do so. Studies have shown that approximately 40% of seniors aged 65-80 are still getting it on, proving that the desire to get down and dirty is still very much alive for many golden girls and guys!
Empower Yourself With Knowledge
For some people, talking about sex can be embarrassing and awkward, which can lead to confusion and the spread of misinformation. Myths and false rumours shouldn’t define how we live our lives, especially when it comes to the wonderful experiences sex has to offer. Your sexuality belongs to you and you owe it to yourself to do your own research, as well as only taking health advice from reputable sources like trusted medical professionals. The empowerment that comes with understanding and owning your sexuality is going to make getting your freak on that much more fulfilling!