Busting the 10 Most Persistent Sex Myths
We're all adults here, past our naïve teen years, but you'd be surprised how many complete untruths about sex have stuck around, potentially influencing the decisions we make in our sex lives. At Nox, we believe that knowledge is power, so read on as we bust 10 of the most persistent myths about sex...
Myth: You can’t get pregnant on your period.
Yeah, you definitely can. Unprotected sex on your period can be risky, especially if you have shorter cycles. Sperm can live inside your vagina for up to 5 days after sex, so if you have sex toward the end of your period, it’s possible to conceive a few days later, during early ovulation. The chances are admittedly pretty low, but hey—it’s best to make an informed decision!
Myth: Toys can ruin your body, or your relationship with your partner.
Wrong! Like, so wrong. While other people’s body parts are nice, these myths tend to position them as the only way to experience pleasure. As anyone who’s ever used a vibrator or sleeve can attest, that’s just...not true.
A lot of people think you can ‘ruin’ your clit or vagina with toys, but that’s not true, either! Even several rounds with a Hitachi won’t leave you permanently numb, and the vagina is an incredibly elastic organ that can bounce back from the biggest dildos. So don’t worry, you can play with (relative) abandon.
As for using toys in partnered sex, we talked about that in this journal post—if your partner is feeling insecure, it’s best to introduce toys gently into your sex life. Once your partner realizes how much pleasure they’re able to give and receive, they’ll hopefully be a convert!
Myth: You can make your bodily fluids taste better by eating tons of pineapple.
Eh, not really. The taste of semen is determined by its contents, which do include sugars and vitamins, but also sodium and minerals, which lend it a sort-of-metallic flavor. Same goes for vaginal fluid—some bitterness is totally normal, and means you have a healthy, acidic pH going on in there.
Your diet and habits do have a cumulative effect on the taste and consistency of your bodily fluids, but that develops over time, so guzzling a liter of pineapple juice on date night ain’t gonna help. If you’re worried about your taste, try drinking more water, eating less meat and avoiding vices like cigarettes and alcohol.
Myth: You can use household products as lube.
Nooooo! Really, no, don’t. Vaseline, baby oil, lotion, even ‘natural’ seeming things like olive oil are not really intended for internal use, and can break down latex condoms, making them less effective. For more info, check out our comprehensive guide to lube.
Myth: Condoms prevent all STIs.
Condoms are effective at preventing STIs, but not 100%. The fact is, STIs can still be transmitted even if you’re only having oral sex, or the condom breaks or falls off. Some STIs are transmitted via skin-to-skin contact, and others through infected blood, vaginal fluid, semen or mucous membranes—so that means that depending on the disease, transmission is possible during all forms of sex, including manual, oral, vaginal and anal. Do your research, use barriers, and if you’re thinking about going condom-free with your partner, get yourselves tested!
Myth: You can’t get the same STI twice.
Yep, you can get the same STI ten times in a row. While you’re less likely to be infected with the same strain of a given virus, reinfection is always possible. For example, there are over 100 kinds of HPV, and about a third of those are sexually transmitted. Same goes for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis.
Myth: Vaginal sex is enough.
It really, really isn’t. Less than half of people with vaginas can come from vaginal sex alone; most need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. So bring your hands, mouth or a toy into the mix!
Myth: 'Women' don’t masturbate
According to FiveThirtyEight, cis women are less likely to have tried masturbating, regardless of their age. While more than 90% of cis men report that they masturbate, from age twenty onward, it’s more like 75-80% of cis women, and they tend to start later. Unfortunately, there are still social barriers in place that prevent accessing information and safe, healthy experience, leading to feelings of shame and embarrassment around their sexuality, even in private.
Myth: If my partner never said no, they mean yes.
Consent is active and enthusiastically given, no matter what. If your partner seemed into it earlier, but now seems nervous, or had a few drinks, or simply never said ‘no’, then you don’t necessarily have their consent, and you need to seek it verbally to make sure. Consent is sexy because it means both people are really, really into what they’re doing, so just ask! Respect your partner's boundaries, and remember—if someone is too drunk, high or upset to take care of themselves, then they really, really can’t consent to sex.
Now that you’re fully equipped with the facts, we hope you’ll go on to have some safe, well-informed and of course, fun sex! And if you’re in the market for care products, toys, or even mood-setters to help along the way, we’ve got you covered 😉