The word sex comes with a lot of different associations. It can be confusing, exciting, scary, mind-blowing, etc. Because of all of these different associations, it seems that most people want to be a good lover, which means having some decent knowledge about sex. While you may think you know quite a few things, we’ve uncovered several misconceptions that a lot of individuals seem to have surrounding sex, which we’ll debunk for you here:
1. STI transference:
STIs can be transferred from fluid exchange and even sometimes from skin to skin contact. Many individuals assume that with male to female intercourse, as long as the male doesn’t ejaculate, a STI cannot get transferred. At any point in time that there is an exchange of fluids (yes, this includes if you put the condom on after you’ve begun intercourse – vaginally or anally), you are at risk for contracting an STI – ejaculation or no ejaculation. This is also true for oral sex. There is an exchange of fluids that occurs as well. Thankfully, there are both male and female condoms available to help prevent the spread of STIs. Additionally, learning the proper way to put on a condom is important. Learn more at The Kinsey Institue.
2. Women should be able to reach orgasm through vaginal penetration
Thanks to the media, many individuals believe that women should be able to orgasm through vaginal penetration alone. On the contrary, around 93% of women require some sort of clitoral stimulation in order to achieve orgasm, and cannot orgasm through penetration alone. Typically, a combination of the two, through either different positions or use of hands will help achieve the goal. So, shake things up – use hands, change positions, add toys if needed. But don’t put pressure on yourself (or your ladies) to achieve orgasm solely through vaginal penetration.
3. Sex should always be spontaneous and never planned
Again, thank you media for portraying the idea that two people will come home from a long day at work, or spending time helping the kids, or just see each other in the rain, and go at it with wild enthusiasm. While sex can definitely be spontaneous, and that can be an enjoyable thing, the reality is, oftentimes, sex isn’t spontaneous and readily available at each person’s whim. And while it’s tempting to think that every other couple out there is doing it 5 times a week, the reality is not quite the case. While I won’t reveal the typical average, because everyone is different, it’s okay that you and your partner can’t jump on each other at any given moment. Kids might need attention, work might need to get done, having an intimate conversation about how your partner is doing may take precedence over sex. So sometimes, you have to schedule it, and that’s okay. Want a fun idea on how to include a sense of spontaneity while still scheduling sex to ensure it’s still taking priority in your life? Check out the jar exercise on our YouTube Channel that we use with our clients quite often.
4. Should be fireworks every time
See the above. Sometimes life gets in the way. You might be in your head, or your partner might be in their head. Your body might just be feeling a little off or vice versa. While it’s enjoyable for sex to feel like fireworks on those days when you and your partner hit the right spot, sometimes just the closeness and connection are enough to create an enjoyable experience.
5. My partner must have been sexually abused because of some of the fantasies they have
Some people like to be spanked. Some people like the idea of being tied up and “taken advantage of”. Some people like to be “taken against their will” in a role play. This does not mean that they have been abused or want to abuse you or anyone else. Many of those with this type of fantasy only enjoy it as that – a fantasy. They don’t really desire to be tortured or hurt in an uncomfortable fashion. But what turns one person on might be different for another. So, if it makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, talk to your partner about it. Be curious with them about what it is about the fantasy or action they enjoy and how you can both incorporate it in a way that feels safe and enjoyable for the two of you.
6. The pull and pray (aka the pull out) method is fool-proof
While this is a somewhat effective method of birth control, it’s definitely not fool-proof. A guy can’t always tell that he didn’t release any sperm while pulling out, and even sperm outside the opening of the vagina can make its way in if a guy is slow to pull out. Additionally, sperm can survive in the female’s reproductive system for several days, so even if you both don’t think any swimmers made it in, there’s no guarantee.
7. Size matters
Actually, the first two inches of the entry of a woman’s vagina are typically where most of the pleasure is experienced (ironically, the first two inches of a male’s penis is also where he experiences the most pleasure). So, big or small, it’s really just learning how to use to it together to provide one another pleasure that counts in this case.
8. Men think about and want sex more often than women
Actually, women and men both have pretty similar urges. Everyone has different factors that influence desire (i.e., amount of sleep, felt emotional safety with their partner, stressful day at work, etc.). Creating an environment where your partner feels loved, cared for, and prioritized are some of the easiest ways to boost desire. Remember, sex starts way earlier than in the bedroom.
9. Sex isn’t something that “older people” do
Desire doesn’t dissipate just because your body is aging. That desire to feel physically close and connected to someone continues throughout the lifespan. Again, different factors may influence the degree of that desire or the ability to act it out in the way one used to at a younger age, but the desire still resides. So, next time you get grossed out thinking about grandma and grandpa “doing it,” just be thankful that they still can, because one day, that’ll be you!
10. Porn is the best way to learn about sex
While many individuals at some point wonder “how do I do this thing that everyone seems to be enjoying so much?” and want to find a resource to teach them how, porn is not necessarily the best tool for learning. Remember, porn didn’t always exist. Sex is a biological function that people have been performing for years and years. It takes practice, but learning with your partner can be a fun experience. Porn, on the other hand, has evolved over the years and portrays a very Hollywood picture of sex that generates a lot of the myths described above. So rather than seeking out what a script tells actors to do, find a good book (The Guide to Getting It On by Paul Joannides is one of my personal favorites), or better yet, ask a trusted friend/adult to help you at least understand the basics of the mechanics.
Whether you’ve been having sex for one day or 50 years, we hope that this has helped make you a more knowledgeable lover so that you can your partner can continue to enjoy safe (and fun!) sex.