It’s safe to say that sex is one of the most–if not the most–celebrated activities of all of humanity. It’s also one of the most misunderstood. It’s not as if there are any universal truths about sex that everyone can agree on–though it would be nice if everyone was at least on the same page about consent being a must–so what’s great for one person isn’t so great for another; what gets one person off might be a total turn off for another. So yeah, it’s complex, but that complexity is no excuse for some blatant untruths about sex to prevail.
There are too many misconceptions and myths about sex to fit into one post (and trust, we’ve talked about a lot of them already. But there are a few that are so ubiquitous and so common that even some of the most–for lack of a better phrase–sex literate people still fall for them. So here are seven misconceptions about sex that need to die already. Honestly, you probably believe a few of ’em yourself.
As Long As It's Not Penetrative Penis In Vagina Sex, It's Not REAL SexThe debate over what is or isn't real sex will reign for generations, I'm sure. It's fine if you don't consider oral sex real sex, because after all, what counts as sex is different for everyone and every relationship, based on everything from cultural beliefs to sexual orientation. The problem comes when it is coupled with this idea that penetrative sex is serious and emotionally charged while other types of sex (oral, anal, etc) aren't. If you believe that oral sex is an intimate act that you can only do with someone you're close to, just like you would penetrative sex, that's totally fine and not all that uncommon. Jawbreaker
Anyone With A Vagina Bleeds The First Time They Have SexPeople who believe this have a few misconceptions to sort out, actually. The idea of bleeding during your first time having sex comes from the idea that when someone with a penis has penetrative sex with someone who has never had it before, their hymen--a membrane that spans the vaginal opening--hasn't been broken yet. You know, they haven't had their "cherry popped" yet. In reality, the hymen isn't like a bubble that just disappears when it is pierced; it's actually stretched, leaving some people with hymens that are very visible or barely there. Another point worth making is this: Plenty of people end up with stretched hymens years prior to having penetrative sex, due to everything from exercise to a bad fall or injury. So any bleeding that happens is more likely to be a result of damaged vaginal walls due to chafing during sex rather than hymens. Either way, lube is your friend, so use it the first time you do it (and many times after) regardless. Carrie
Sex Is Better/Easier The Second (Or Even Third) TimePenetrative sex can be super painful for people with vaginas when they do it for the first time, even with the proper lubrication. But there's this idea that, hey, once you get it out of the way, it's a breeze from there on out. Ha! This might be true for many, but not all. So don't feel like there's something wrong with you if you still have a not-so-great time the second, third, or even fourth time you have penetrative sex. It's a learning curve. My Mad Fat Diary
You'll Become Pregnant If Semen So Much As TOUCHES Your VaginaIf you don't wrap it up, you're at risk for becoming pregnant, period. Hell, even if you do wrap it up, accidents happen. Nevertheless, I want to calm some nerves: If your partner ejaculates and his semen brushes the outside of your vagina (or somehow dribbles down the exterior of your vagina), you're not going to instantly become pregnant. There's a risk, but unless you subsequently shove all of that ejaculate up your vagina (sorry, there's no better way to describe this), then your pregnancy risk is pretty low. But don't use this as an excuse to be risky; weird stuff happens, so be as safe as possible. Mad Men
Porn Is What Good Sex Looks LikeYou should never look at porn as the model to work with when considering what your sex life should be IRL. Porn is a form of entertainment, and as much as it's okay to get turned on by certain things you see in it--and even incorporate it into your sex life--it's not like you're Doing Sex Wrong if your sexual experiences don't resemble a porno. This isn't just about sex positions either, it's about body image and sexual behaviors as well. You aren't Doing Sex Wrong if you aren't moaning like crazy. You aren't Doing Sex Wrong if you don't wax your pubes before getting it on. You're not Doing Sex Wrong if you can't deep throat your BF or if you don't like ejaculate all over your face. Chill. Some Girls
As Long As Nobody Said "No," It's Consensual SexAs great as it is that there are so many campaigns now, especially on college campuses, to implore affirmative consent between partners, consent can be a little more complex than "no means no." Body language is also incredibly important when determining consensual sex; if someone's body language doesn't appear welcoming, that's not all that consensual. "Why not just say no?" you might ask. Well, maybe someone isn't totally in the right state of mind to say no, maybe someone is intimidated and fears what would happen if they outright say no. Those things matter too. Your best bet is to always ask if your partner wants to have sex and if they're comfortable as the two of you progress. And remember, someone can say yes and then change their minds. Blue Is The Warmest Color
Losing Your Virginity = Penis + Vagina SexThis narrow definition of virginity only emphasizes how ridiculous the concept of virginity is in the first place. To believe that you're a virgin unless you have penetrative penis and vagina sex, you would also have to assume that most cis-gender lesbian women and cis-gender gay men are also virgins. You don't think that, do you? Probably not, because you know that you can do sexy stuff without just a penis and a vagina. So please, be aware of the fact that not everyone's concept of virginity is bound by penis and vagina sexy times. But I'm A Cheerleader
Everyone Is Having Sex But YouAs someone who lost their v-card late in life, I can relate to this anxiety. But if it makes you feel any better, less people are having sex than you think they are. If you think the average teen is having sex every weekend, you're sorely mistaken. In fact, less than half of high school seniors even have sex and 20 percent of college graduates are virgins as well. So don't feel like a weirdo, please. The To-Do List
What other misconceptions should be on this list? Tell us in the comments!