Debunking the most popular sex myths
We live in a world where we get a lot of information from the movies and the media. Throw in a friend that’s more experienced in the art of making love, and you’ve got yourself all sorts of misleading, if not completely inaccurate, information about sex to work with.
You might not see it for what it is, but some of these expectations or incorrect information about sex could have a significant influence on your sex life, not necessarily in a good way. To sift the myths from reality, here are some of the most popular sex myths and theories you need to stop believing. Does “sex burns calories” ring any bells?
Myth: Women’s sexual peaks happen ten years later than men’s
Truth: If we speak strictly of hormones and sexuality, men hit their peak in their late teens, let’s say eighteen, while women achieve their sexual peak in their late 20s to mid-30s. Due to the fact that low testosterone and estrogen levels have been linked to lower libido, some claim your sex drive is highest when the hormone levels are at their peak.
However, if we were to consider the frequency of sexual activity as a decisive factor in relation to sexual prime, then men and women are not that different. That’s because both sides have a naturally fluctuating sex drive which could depend on various things such as hormonal changes, age, lifestyle, stress. “If you’re human, you’re going to have fluctuations in your sexual desire,” Madeleine M. Castellanos, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist specializing in sex therapy and author of Wanting to Want.
Make sure you also take a look at these 30 Libido Boosters to Help You Have Better Sex.
Myth: Sex burns extra calories
Truth: You’ve probably heard this one. While it’s not exactly a myth, it’s also not relevant if your goal is to get rid of more than a couple of pounds. That’s because, according to various studies, thirty minutes of sex burns 85 to 150 calories. More specifically, men burn 101 calories while women burn around 69, with an average of 3.6 calories per minute. In the best-case scenario, if you burn up to 100 calories per sex session, you’d have to have sex 35 times in order to lose one pound.
It might not sound too bad, after all, who doesn’t like to have sex? But in reality, most people’s hanky-panky sessions do not last thirty minutes. In fact, according to a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, a sex session lasts between three to seven minutes, on average. Just look on the bright side! You might not be able to lose the unwanted pounds but you can enjoy sex for all the great things it can do for your relationship, and even your life, as having sex once a week can extend your lifespan.
Myth: Sex can give you a heart attack
Truth: This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, according to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, men who engaged in sexual activities at least two times a week were less prone to develop heart disease, compared to their less fortunate counterparts who only hit the sack once a month or even less. This was treated separately from impotence, which can, indeed increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Strictly speaking, the risk of suffering a heart attack during sex is quite low, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Even if you already have some heart issues, sexual activity requires an effort similar to climbing two flights of stairs or walking a mile. “The possibility of having a heart attack during sexual activity is exceedingly low and shouldn’t scare you away,” says Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. “As long as you’re not experiencing any symptoms, it’s not worrisome.”
Myth: Women always achieve orgasm through penetrative sex
Truth: Sorry to break it to you, guys, but researchers have found that 80% of women don’t orgasm from penetrative sex. In a study conducted by the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy which involved 1,000 women aged 18 to 94, findings revealed that that only 18.4 percent of women could climax due to intercourse alone while 36.6 percent said they were unable to climax without clitoral stimulation.
Myth: Oysters and chocolate are aphrodisiacs
Truth: Chocolate is one of the all-time favorite comfort foods, but many people believe it can also put you in the mood for love. While we cannot deny the fact that chocolate is delicious, sensuous and gives you a silky, smooth mouthfeel, there is no scientific evidence that it can boost your sex drive. Several studies, among which one research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, did link chocolate to lower blood pressure and better blood flow, which is important for erections, but that’s about it in terms of its aphrodisiac effects.
Same goes for oysters. They are said to be the food of love, but their only connection with sexual performance is that they are a very good source of zinc, a mineral that stimulates the production of healthy sperm and testosterone.
if chocolate and oysters are not the answer, here are 20 Efficient Ways to Improve Your Sex Life After 40.
Myth: Men think about sex every seven seconds
Truth: Men might be more sex-crazed than women, but they’re not that obsessed. At least not according to a study published in the Journal of Sex Research which debunks the theory that men think about sex every seven seconds.
The experiment involved 238 students, who were asked to keep a record of their thoughts about food, sex, or sleep for one week. Curious to know the results? Well, it seems that men think about sex far less than they were given credit. In fact, the average number of daily sex thoughts was 19, a far cry from the approximately 8,000 thoughts per day if men were really thinking about sex every seven seconds. The runner-up was the food thoughts – 18 times a day – followed by sleep which netted 11 thoughts per day.
Women, on the other hand, totaled about 10 thoughts about sex, 15 thoughts about food, and 8.5 thoughts about sleep. More on that, right here: What Do 1 in 4 Women Think About Most, S-e-x or Food?
Myth: Sex can impact athletic performance
Truth: This theory has been worked every angle, but, in the end, researchers haven’t found any real evidence on the psychological or physical effects of sex on sports performance. In fact, a study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology in 2016 revealed that having sex before a sports competition does very little to compromise athletic potential but quite the opposite. Pre-sports sex could actually have positive effects for athletes, by elevating their testosterone levels.
Myth: Having sex can induce labor
This belief is so widespread, that even doctors recommend it to low-risk, full-term women. But the truth is there is no strong evidence to support the claim that sex can expedite labor, not before the woman’s body is ready to deliver.
What’s more, a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Ohio State University Medical Center suggested sex can actually delay labor instead of setting it off. According to researchers involved in the study, women who engaged in sexual activities in the final three weeks of pregnancy carried their babies four days longer than women who weren’t sexually active (39.9 weeks vs. 39.3 weeks). Further research is needed to provide solid evidence.
Myth: Blackouts and storms cause a baby boom
Legend says that major natural disasters and other events that prevent people from going out are followed by a surprising spike in baby births nine months later. There are the “blizzard babies,” the “blackout babies” and even babies conceived after major terrorist attacks.
The theory is that blackouts and storms make people spend more time indoors and engage in sexual activities more often than in a normal situation. While this might seem like a rom-com scenario, the reality is that it’s just an urban legend, as S. Philip Morgan, a Duke professor of sociology and demography put it. “It is evidently pleasing to many people to fantasize that when people are trapped by some immobilizing event which deprives them of their usual activities, most will turn to copulation,” demographer J. Richard Udry also agrees. “However, these ‘booms’ typically prove to be nothing more than natural fluctuations in the birth rate (or, in many cases, no variation in the birth rate at all).”
Speaking of children, check out Successful Children and 10 Habits of The Parents Who Raised Them.
Myth: Sexting can negatively impact relationships
Research shows that almost 80 percent of people in relationships sext their partners. For some, sending nudes and sexual messages might be a way to take a shortcut and skip over the talking, listening and getting to know the other person.
However, when the sexting is done by both partners in a healthy and stable relationship, it could help keep the spark alive, increase sexual satisfaction and improve their overall relationship, says Emily Stasko, MS, MPH, and lead author of a 2015 study on how sexting affects relationships. For couples, sexting had led to positive sexual or emotional experiences, but the single people involved in the study admitted that the consequences had been negative, among which a lower sexual satisfaction.
You might also be interested in reading 18 Social Media Habits That Are Still Considered Cheating.
Myth: You can tell who has an STD
Now, that’s rich! As ridiculous as it may sound, many people believe you can tell if someone has an STD simply by looking at them, says Robert Huizenga, MD, author of Sex, Lies & STDs. The fact of the matter is that people with STDs, most often, don’t have outward symptoms, especially not in the early stages. With zero symptoms, they might not know they have something, much less you. The symptoms may appear later, not on your first date.
The best and healthiest approach when meeting someone new is for both of you to get medical screenings and be transparent with your partner, the doctor advises.
Instead of searching for STD signs, you might want to know more about these 8 Secrets Your Body Language Reveals About You.
Myth: A younger partner equals mind-blowing sex
We’re all familiar with the MILFS, DILFs, sugar daddies and cougars culture promoted by the media, Hollywood and dating websites. The truth is, if you’re thinking of sweetening your life and becoming someone’s sugar daddy or mommy, your sex life, and your life in general, will not necessarily get better.
In fact, according to a study published in the Review of Economics and Statistics, dating someone younger will not make you happier, at least not in the context of marriage. The study suggested that people with much younger (or older) spouses scored lower in terms of earning, education level and sex life, compared to partners closer in age. ” When you are close in age you can do things together,” said Hani Mansour, Ph.D., an assistant professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver “You can have children when both parties want to, retire at the same time and grow old together”.
Myth: There’s no such thing as too much “self-stimulation”
Yes, there is actually. We’re not talking about the number of times you find sexual release by yourself in a week or day. We’re referring to how you include self-stimulation into your life. If you give yourself a helping hand (pun intended) and still have a healthy, satisfying relationship and life, way to go. But if your self-stimulation sessions prevent you from engaging in normal activities like going to work, hanging out with friends or having sex with your partner, it might be a sign you’re overdoing it with the self-love.
Apart from disrupting your social and professional life, too much self-stimulation can also make it harder for you to experience the big O with a real-life partner, says Cyndi Darnell, an Australian clinical sexologist and sex and relationship therapist. In fact, because of this, many men suffer from delayed ejaculation, the inability or struggle to have an orgasm and ejaculate. Not to mention relying on porn to achieve climax can turn into an addiction and distort your expectations about how your partner should look and act in the bedroom.
Speaking of bedrooms, here’s What You Should NEVER EVER Say to Someone in Bed!