Sexuality is a topic that often arouses curiosity, fascination, and unfortunately, a myriad of myths and misconceptions. From cultural beliefs to popular media portrayals, many falsehoods surrounding sex have persisted over time.
In this informative journey, we’ll separate fact from fiction, empowering you with accurate knowledge and dispelling misconceptions about pregnancy, contraception, sexual health, masturbation, condoms, sex education, and the portrayal of sex in media. Get ready to challenge conventional wisdom and embrace a deeper understanding of sex as we unravel these common myths and embrace the realities that lie beyond them.
1. Myth: A woman cannot get pregnant during her first-time having sex
Fact: Pregnancy is possible anytime there is vaginal penetration with a penis, even if it’s your first time.
Pregnancy is a possibility for any individual engaging in unprotected vaginal intercourse, regardless of their sexual experience or menstrual cycle. The presence of ejaculate or pre-ejaculate in the vagina or on the vulva can lead to pregnancy.
2. Myth: Two condoms doubled up are better than one
Fact: The friction caused by two condoms rubbing against each other creates micro-tears, making them prone to break during intercourse and less effective.
The fit of a single condom is crucial for effective protection, and using two condoms can cause them to fit improperly or even slip off entirely.
3. Myth: You don’t need to get tested for STIs if you’ve only had oral sex
Fact: Any exchange of bodily fluids, oral or genital contact, can spread sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s important to get tested even if you haven’t had penetrative sex.
It’s also crucial to note that the risk of contracting an STI exists during both giving and receiving oral sex if one’s partner is infected. Comparing the risk of STIs between penetrative sex and oral sex is challenging since many individuals engage in both practices, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And
STI symptoms you should watch for from oral sex:
- Chlamydia: Often asymptomatic, but symptoms may appear within two weeks, including vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, itching, burning, and pain during urination.
- Syphilis: Symptoms may include painless ulcers or sores on lips, mouth, genitals, or rectum, rash, and flu-like symptoms and they typically appear between 10 to 90 days after infection.
- Herpes: HSV-1 causes oral herpes (cold sores) and HSV-2 causes genital herpes, both can cause symptoms such as painful blisters, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
- HPV: Many types of HPV are asymptomatic, but some strains can cause warts on throat, genitals, or anus.
- Trichomoniasis: Symptoms may include foul-smelling discharge, vaginal redness, itching, and burning during urination.
- Hepatitis: Symptoms of hepatitis include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine, and joint pain.
- HIV: Symptoms may include flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands and is low risk of transmission through oral sex, although technically possible.
4. Myth: Masturbation is bad for health
Fact: Masturbation is a healthy sexual activity. It can benefit your physical and mental health. It is also a natural and safe way to explore your body.
Research and anecdotal evidence indicate that sexual stimulation, including masturbation, can have various positive effects on individuals. These may include:
- Alleviating accumulated stress
- Enhancing sleep quality
- Elevating mood
- Potentially preventing anxiety and depression
- Promoting relaxation
- Providing pleasure and enjoyment
- Relieving cramps
- Releasing sexual tension
- Boosting self-esteem
- Enhancing sexual experiences
- Facilitating better understanding of personal desires and needs
Do note that individual experiences may vary, and it’s always advisable to prioritize personal comfort, consent, and safe practices when engaging in sexual activities.
5. Myth: Condoms make sex less pleasurable
Fact: Condoms have little to no effect on the pleasure experienced during sex, with some condoms even increasing pleasure and chances of orgasm.
6. Myth: Sex education and talking about sex would only encourage sex
Fact: Comprehensive sex education often encourages youths to delay sexual activity and to practice safer sex when they are sexually active.
Sex education goes beyond just “sex” and encompasses a wide range of topics. It teaches us about our bodies, relationships, communication, boundaries, self-care, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence.
7. Myth: The pull-out method is foolproof for preventing pregnancy
Fact: The pull-out or withdrawal method can result in pregnancy since pregnancy can occur from pre-ejaculation fluid.
The effectiveness of the pull-out method in preventing pregnancy is compromised due to factors such as the presence of precum, errors in timing ejaculation, and overall human fallibility. Mistiming or premature ejaculation can lead to unintended sperm release into the vagina during withdrawal. Additionally, ejaculating in close proximity to the vagina still presents a low, albeit possible, risk of sperm reaching and fertilizing an egg.
8. Myth: Sex in real life is just like sex in the movies/pornography
Fact: Like the movies, sex in pornography is fiction meant to entertain people. Sex in real life isn’t scripted and is far more realistic and intimate.
Additionally, like any industry, adult films must adhere to certain quality standards. During the filming of a porn scene, directors and performers dedicate significant time and effort to perfecting camera angles. They may even pause multiple times to capture photos of specific positions from various perspectives.
9. Myth: Woman always experience orgasm with penetrative sex
Fact: Not all women have an orgasm during penetrative vaginal sex. Most women are orgasmic only during stimulation of the clitoris.
10. Myth: You can tell if someone has an STD
Fact: The truth is that many STDs don’t show outward symptoms or may not show up until much later.
STDs like chlamydia and HPV often exhibit minimal symptoms, yet they can lead to significant health complications if left untreated. It’s crucial to prioritize your well-being by getting tested, rather than assuming that you or someone else is free of STDs based on appearance or personal hygiene.
11. Myth: Your first time is supposed to hurt
Fact: You may encounter pain or irritation if your genitals aren’t lubricated (wet) enough – using lube helps make sex more comfortable and enjoyable.
However, if you do experience pain or discomfort during sex, it’s essential to listen to your body and communicate with your partner. Consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a gynecologist or a sexual health specialist, can also provide valuable insights and guidance to address any underlying issues or concerns.