5 Sex Misconceptions Debunked
From length of session to length of, ahem, him, there’s no one size fits all. it’s time to slay some sex myths…
Alright, listen up folks, I’m about to spill some tea. I feel like I’ve had a fairly average amount of sex (as well as some fairly average sex), but I do know that there are a lot of misconceptions around ‘doing it’. So, in the interests of the common good, I’m here to debunk five of my least-favourite sex myths so that you can be healthier, happier and more educated than I was when I first stumbled my way into a someone’s bed.
“Popping your cherry”. Being “deflowered”. “Bumping uglies”. There are a lot of pretty rubbish euphemisms for having sex for the first time, which is unsurprising given society puts a huge amount of pressure on losing your virginity. In actual fact, though, it’s not that big a deal, in physical terms at least. One my pet peeves is the misconception that the hymen always breaks during first-time penetrative intercourse. In reality though, while most people with a vagina have a hymen, the common understanding is that it’s a kind of film that is burst through when penetrated. THIS. IS. WRONG. The hymen is more like a ring within the vagina that stretches and changes during sex, childbirth and generally throughout your life. There’s no way to ‘check’ virginity by seeing if the hymen is intact, and it’s pretty disgusting that the practice is still present in some cultures (looking at you TI, leave your daughter alone). Your hymen can stretch throughout your life, before or after you have sex for the first time, and is absolutely not a wall to be punched through by an overly-excited penis.
Long sex can be great, but lasting a long time doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have a great time. Indeed, while sex can be wonderful, it can also actually become kind of boring. Sex should last as long as you want it to, and some of the best sex I’ve had really wasn’t long at all. Research shows that most penetrative sex sessions clock in from three to 13 minutes. Different types of sex tend to last longer than others as well – the reality is that sex encompasses a whole range of activities, and oral and anal sex should definitely be given more credence than most research does currently. The trope is that lesbians have better sex than any of us (and it seems to be true), but thinking of sex as one thing, let alone something which has to be a certain length for it to be considered satisfying, is flawed. So, forget watching the clock. Concentrating on yourself and your partner, and enjoying yourselves for as little or as long as you like, is much more likely to lead to a happy and healthy sex life.
Yeah, this is really wrong. Please don’t rely on this as a form of contraception. When done perfectly, this method will still result in pregnancy about four per cent of the time – but the reality is that most of the time, people don’t perform this perfectly, so the actual number is more like 22 per cent. Unless you’re willing to take a one in five chance of becoming pregnant, you should consider other methods of contraception.
Ooh, here we go with another pet peeve of mine. This is unbelievably wrong. The muscles in the vagina relax in preparation for sex, so if it’s all feeling pretty tight down there, odds are you’re either not calm or there’s something wrong. If it’s your first time with penetrative sex (or if it’s just been a while), take it slow, use plenty of lube and make sure you’re relaxed. Being tense will mean your vagina is tense too, and that’s when it can be painful. The vagina’s muscles do lose some strength as we age or after children, but there are some relatively simple exercises that can be done to help restore strength to them.
The old trope that the bigger the penis, the better it is, is just plain wrong. Penises come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s definitely not one size fits all. Some people prefer a penis that’s longer but not particularly girthy, and some like the reverse. Some people like ones with a bit of a curve, and others like them poker straight. It all depends on what you enjoy, but most importantly how it’s used. I’m talking different strokes for different folks here, and no matter where you’re putting that penis, there’s generally a way to put it to good use that will bring both of you pleasure. I’ve found there’s always an adjustment period with a new partner, but knowing what you like and what you don’t will see you right.
In summary, sex is not one thing. Sex is many things to many people, and ultimately, we’re always finding out what we like and what we don’t. And that means having these misconceptions about how sex should be can be really unhealthy. We can end up feeling like we ought not to be enjoying a certain thing, or that we should like something else, when the reality is, we’re all just here to have a good time.