Myths about sex: it’s time to bust them!

Seksmythes: tijd om ze door te prikken!

Yes, you can get pregnant if you have sex in the shower. And no, you will not get AIDS from a toilet seat. When it comes to sex, plenty of myths and fabrications abound. We’ve collected some of the most persistent ones here. Time to put a stop to them!

What are myths about sex?

The best place to get information about your sexual health will always be your doctor. But for whatever reason, a lot of us spend a lot of time online looking for answers to intimate questions. And while it’s great that we have so much information at our disposal, it’s wise to remain critical.

Outdated advice

Research by Stanford University has shown that health websites are full of mistakes and outdated advice. Even if you search for answers to simple sex questions yourself, you often come across a wide variety of stories. Wondering, for example, if you can get pregnant during your period? Then you’ll probably have to wade through a web of contradictory answers to eventually get a clear answer.

No worries, we’ll deal with this question later!

Even if there’s consensus online, the myths keep on spreading offline, too. That’s the problem with myths about sex and every other kind of myth for that matter. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And even if 100 sex experts tell you that you can’t contract an STD on the toilet, you’ll probably think twice before you put your ass on the toilet seat at a swingers’ club. Just to name an example.

Damaging consequences

What about sex education? Well, we’re all supposed to get it at school, but it’s not always enough to dispel the myths around sex. Maybe we weren’t paying attention or perhaps we were busy gossiping or flirting with our classmates. Or the curriculum only covered the essentials and left out the details. This can create confusion.

A 2017 US study found that between 2011 and 2013, only 55% of boys and 60% of girls had received information on pregnancy and contraception. There was a lot of ignorance on topics like STDs, pregnancy, sexual hygiene, and contraceptives – all the while it’s no secret that knowledge about sex helps young people make the best choices before they jump into bed.

So there’s a lot of nonsense going around about sex. And we want to get rid of it. Time to distinguish fact from fable.

Sex myths about STDs

Rich people get STDs. Poor people get STDs. Straight people get STDs. Gay people get STDs. White, black, and purple people get STDs. Bottom line? Anyone can get an STD: there’s no exception to the rule.

Unless, of course, you’re a smart person who uses a condom. And even then, you still have a tiny chance of getting a nasty sore in a place where the sun doesn’t shine.

That’s why it’s worrying that, despite all the information and good intentions, the figures are increasing. In the United States, for example, no fewer than 20 million new STDs were reported in 2020 and half of those infected were between the ages of 15 and 24.

Do persistent sex myths have anything to do with this? You bet.

Hardly any symptoms

But what is an STD exactly? STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are infections that are spread during sex. It doesn’t really matter which position you practice, because STDs can be spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex.

The tricky thing about an STD is that it’s not always clear whether you’re carrying one. Some show hardly any symptoms at all. Chlamydia, for example, is barely noticeable at all, although it is an infection with serious consequences. A chlamydia infection that continues to grow can even make you infertile in the long run.

That’s why it’s so important that you protect yourself and your partner against STDs. Nobody wants serious damage to their health that could easily be prevented by simply using arubber. Check the facts, be prepared, and take responsibility.

The most widespread sex myths about STDs? Here they are!

  • Myth: STDs can only be transmitted if you have symptoms

Completely incorrect. Often, you won’t notice anything at all that you’ve contracted an STD. You might have some itching, a vague stomach ache or more discharge from down there, but apart from that, you might not notice much. In the meantime, the infection continues to grow in your body. If you then have unprotected sex, you can pass it on to your sex partner through your mucous membranes. That’s why it’s so important that you get tested if you’ve had unprotected sex, even if you aren’t experiencing any clear warning signs.

  • Myth: you can’t catch an STD through oral or anal sex

Also false. You can catch an STD through any form of sex, be it vaginal, anal, or oral. Even when you’re naked and just rolling around in bed, you can infect each other if, for example, you have genital warts. These, by the way, can be quite clear to the naked eye, so we hope you won’t be horsing around while you have. A condom is really the only way to ensure maximum protection against contracting or spreading STDs.

  • Myth: men cannot get HPV

We associate the human papillomavirus mainly with women, but that’s not entirely correct. HPV is found in both men and women, and around 80-90% of people are infected with HPV at some point through sexual activity. Usually, your body clears the infection on its own, but it can linger in your body. The consequences of such an untreated infection are serious. Serious cases can lead to cervical cancer, throat cancer, and anal cancer. That’s why a smear test every few years is very important. You might not notice much with an HPV infection, except when you develop genital warts. Even if you’ve been vaccinated against HPV, there’s a small chance that you’ll still be infected after unprotected sex. So be alert.

  • Myth: you can catch an STD from the toilet seat

Fortunately, no. STDs are transmitted through sex, intimate contact, and the exchange of bodily fluids. They only survive on surfaces for a very short time, so the chance of your getting an infection on a toilet seat or by touching a door handle with your hands is negligible. Those STD cells will already be long dead.

  • Myth:you cannot get an STD if you use a condom

Sure, a condom is the best protection against nasty STDs. At about 98% protection, it usually does the job. However, there’s still a very small chance that you’ll catch an STD while using a condom. There’s always a piece of skin that’s not covered by the condom, for example. That’s why you can catch genital herpes or genital warts. A condom can also break.

Another myth we’d like to dispel? That you no longer need to worry about STDs if you have a steady partner. Suppose you’ve been with someone for 2 years and you develop symptoms. Then it’s quite possible that you’ve been walking around with an STD for a long while and you’ve simply never noticed. Or that your partner has been doing things with other people. Time for a chat either way.

In any case, it’s important that you both get tested before you sleep together for the first time. It may not be very romantic, but it’s the best thing you can do.

Sex myths about pregnancy

There are many misconceptions circulating about pregnancy, so we’ve listed the most common ones here.

  • Mythe: je kunt niet zwanger raken tijdens je menstruatie

Certainly, you have the greatest chance of becoming pregnant in the few days before and during your ovulation. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant during your period. Sperm cells are tough little bastards that can survive up to 5 days in your body if the conditions are right. Suppose you have a 21-day cycle and your period usually lasts a week. If you then have sex towards the end of your period, long-lasting sperm might arrive just in time for your ovulation and enter the egg you’ve popped.

  • Myth: pulling out protects you from pregnancy

You can certainly still get pregnant even if your sex partner withdraws his penis from your vagina before cumming. Why? Because sometimes some sperm cells are already swimming around in the man’s pre-cum. This means that even before he ejaculates, your partner may be dripping sperm cells inside of you. There may not be many of them, but one persistent little bugger is more than enough to do the job. Besides, this unreliable method of birth control obviously doesn’t help against STDs either, so this is an absolute no-go for one-night-stands.

  • Myth: a vaginal douche can prevent pregnancy

If only it were true. Douching yourself after sex isn’t going to do  anything to stop a battalion of over-enthusiastic swimmers in their race for the egg. If you’ve had unprotected sex, it’s best to run to the pharmacy for a morning-after pill. A vaginal douche does not help against STDs, either. By the way, perfumed tampons, powders, and vagina sprays are also never a good idea. Your vagina is perfectly capable of keeping itself clean and doesn’t need any help with that.

  • Myth: two condoms = double protection

It’s quite unbelievable, but there are still people walking around who think that it’s smart to slip a second condom over the first rubber. The opposite is true. As the material of the two condoms slides around, it can be damaged. And as a result, there’s a good chance that both condoms will rip while fucking.

Quick course: putting on a condom!

Want to know the best way to put on a condom? Here we go: First of all, check that the condom has not expired. And check if the package is still intact. Who knows how long it’s been hanging around in that wallet?

Next, open the package carefully, so that the condom doesn’t tear, and so that you don’t poke holes in it with your nails. Squeeze the tip so that no air can get in. This can cause it to burst. Put the condom on the stiff penis and roll it all the way down. All done? Then carefully unroll the condom off his dick and make sure that no sperm comes out. Squeeze it, tie a knot in it, and throw it in the bin.

Tip: use water-based lubricant. This not only feels better, but it also reduces the risk of a torn condom. Has your condom broken during sex? Immediately replace it with a new one. By the way, you can never use a condom for a second time!

Cherish your critical eye

To debunk common misconceptions about sex, Sensoa, the Flemish expertise centre for sexual health, launched a campaign about sex myths. They especially emphasise the point that sexual health is about more than just diseases and their prevention. Mental and sexual well-being also play an important role.

Interestingly, the centre found that many couples worry about unrealistic expectations. They allow themselves to be influenced by the media and by beliefs about “what’s appropriate” and “what’s sexy and attractive”. All these myths then feed feelings of insecurity between the sheets.

Good sex is spontaneous sex?

The most interesting conclusions? That when people think of good sex, they think of spontaneous sex. Sex with all the bells and whistles, in a romantic setting, where you both simultaneously cum explosively. Is it possible? Yes. Is it realistic? No. Do we put too much pressure on ourselves? Definitely.

When we talk about sex myths and sexual health, we’re talking about the whole spectrum surrounding sex. From STDs to pregnancy, and from insecurity to simply having fun in bed. Good information remains crucial if we want to get some action healthily and happily.

So cherish your critical eye. Get your information from reliable sources. And don’t always take the myths about sex seriously. Sex is more than just a penis sliding into a vagina. Believe me.

Relevant stories

Respond or ask a question

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Are you going to follow us?