Let’s face it: Sex is on our minds all the time. We live it, breathe it and will do almost anything to get it. A man’s sex drive is an innate, natural force. With sex and desire playing such important roles in our lives, you’d think we would all have a better grasp on it. However, truth be told, many men are misinformed about sex, from how to get the most pleasure out of their love life to how to stay safe and healthy in the bedroom. Want to test your sex IQ? Check out these top sex myths to see how your knowledge stacks up.
Myth: Size matters
False. Even if every guy you know can probably tell you exactly how big his penis is — size is not a barometer for manhood. As anyone with sexual experience knows, true sexual enthusiasm far outweighs any gifted parts. And contrary to another popular sex myth, the size of your member has nothing to do with the size of your hands or feet.
Myth: Premature ejaculation only affects young men
False. Some men do find that premature ejaculation begins at the onset of sexual maturity, but plenty of men also find it to be an issue later in life. In fact, premature ejaculation affects 30% of men at sometime in their lives. Often, early ejaculation in men who are in their 30s or older is a co-symptom of erectile dysfunction or fatigue, poor cardiovascular conditioning, depression, anxiety, or neurological symptoms.
Myth: The “pull-out” method
False. The “pull-out” method, also known as the rhythm method, is potentially the worst possible form of birth control. Men do not always know when ejaculatory fluid begins to seep out — and even ahead of a perceptible orgasm, pre-ejaculate (which includes sperm) is released and is enough to get a woman pregnant. In fact, one in five couples who use this method as their only form of birth control over the course of a year will end up pregnant.
Myth: You can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex.
False. You can get pregnant anytime you have vaginal (penis-in-vagina) sex. If you’re having sex without birth control, you can get pregnant — whether it’s the first time or the 100th time. It’s even possible for to get pregnant before you have your first period. Bottom line: if you’re going to have vaginal sex, use birth control to prevent pregnancy.
Myth: You can’t get pregnant during your period.
False. It’s not super common, but it’s possible to get pregnant from sex you had during your period. This is because sperm can hang out in your reproductive organs for SIX whole days, waiting for one of your eggs to come out.
Myth: Birth control doesn’t really work.
False. When used correctly, lots of birth control methods are super effective — like, more than 99 percent effective — at preventing pregnancy. But if you don’t use birth control correctly, it doesn’t work as well. Other methods, like the pill, are a little harder because you have to remember to take it every day, try not to miss any pills, and keep getting your new packs on time. If you miss pills, you’re at risk for pregnancy.
Condoms are 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. And condoms are also the best way to avoid STDs. But you have to put the condom on before you start having sex, and keep it on the entire time you’re having sex. While condoms can break, this usually happens because they’re used wrong. Using extra lubricant with a condom helps keep it from breaking.
Myth: You can’t get STDs from oral sex.
False. While most STDs are spread through vaginal (penis-in-vagina) and anal (penis-in-anus) sex, unprotected oral sex can also put you at risk for STDs. Things like HPV, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and hepatitis B can all be spread through oral sex. HIV is less likely to be transmitted through oral sex. To protect each other from STDs, it’s a good idea to use condoms for oral sex on a penis.
Myth: You’d know if you (or your partner) had an STD.
False. Most people who have an STD never have symptoms. So just because you and your partner don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about STDs. People with STDs can pass them to others, even if they feel fine. And if left untreated, some STDs can turn into really dangerous infections and even lead to permanent damage (like infertility).
The only ways to know if you have an STD is to get tested — don’t wait until something seems off. Getting tested for STDs is quick and easy.
Myth: If you get an STD once, you can never get it again.
False. A lot of STDs can be cured with antibiotics. But once they’re cured, you can get them again. So if you get treated for an STD, your partner(s) should be treated also — otherwise they could give the infection right back to you if you have sex again. And you should keep getting tested whenever you have unprotected sex or start having sex with someone new.
After a certain age, sex is no longer important
Sex is an important aspect of physical and emotional health and well-being for adults of all ages, even those in their golden years. While some people believe that a decrease in libido is a natural part of aging, a loss of sexual desire can be related to a number of other factors including hormone deficiencies, depression, anxiety disorders, and side effects of medication, changes to a relationship, communication barriers, or loss of a spouse or partner.
Now that you’ve brushed up your knowledge on the top sex myths, you can go out and have the best sex of your life. Just remember: While it is very important to stay safe and be smart, sex is not only a necessary bodily function, but also a very enjoyable bodily function.