There are tons of myths and generalizations surrounding sex, perpetuating beliefs both outdated and not based on science. How could this not be the case? Our culture is one that mystifies the act and immortalizing it in books, movies, porn, while stifling it and preventing us from speaking openly about it.
Luckily, we’re entering an era where there’s more information, body positivity and less shame about sex. Anyone of any age should feel comfortable enough to ask questions about sex, or to at least Google them.
Here are five of the most common myths about sex.
It’s impossible to get pregnant while you’re on your period
This is a common misconception that makes couples feel like having unprotected sex during a period will prevent pregnancies. OB-GYN Christine Grieves spoke with The Huffington Post and explained that getting pregnant while you’re on your period is rare but possible. “The problem with saying that you ‘cannot get pregnant on your period’ as a general statement? Sometimes women have bleeding not associated with a true period, and they may think they are getting a period, but that’s not actually the cause of bleeding,” she says.
So no planning to have sex during your period is not an effective birth control method.
Men are the only ones who want sex
If someone says something like this around you, feel free to run away. This damaging and pervasive stereotype is one that hinders sexual performance and makes people feel a lot of shame.
According to a survey from 2016, men underestimate their wives desire to have sex, with 71 percent of the women reporting they’d like to have more sex than what they’re currently having.
Orgasm is the point of sex
While orgasms are great, they’re not the point of a healthy sex life. Focusing too much on orgasms can make you distracted and frustrated when you don’t achieve it. Other aspects of sexual satisfaction like kissing and touching feature benefits of their own, improving your mood and making you feel close to your partner.
Condoms protect you from all STIs
While latex condoms are very effective in protecting against sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and gonorrhea, other infections like HPV and herpes — both transmitted through skin-to-skin contact —are harder to protect yourself from. The only way to truly prevent an illness is to talk with your partner about STIs (sexually transmitted infections) before you have sex and always be careful.
You’ll know when you orgasm
Female orgasms can be confusing, with a high amount of women claiming they don’t know if they’ve even experiencing orgasmic satisfaction during sex. There are vaginal orgasms, clitoral and sometimes hybrid orgasms, making it difficult for women to understand what exactly is going on down there.