For many Americans, sex education involved a combination of awkward conversations with Mom and Dad, preachy abstinence-only lectures at school, and sensationalist stories traded among friends. In this environment, it’s easy for myths to become accepted as facts. You might feel confident as an adult that you know all you need to know about sex, but how well-educated are you? Here are four facts you might have been wrong about.
1) A woman can get pregnant during her period.
Many men feel confident having unprotected sex during a woman’s period, but women can still get pregnant during this time. While the odds are reduced, women with long periods may find their period coincides with the start of the fertile ovulation period. Sperm can also live for up to 72 hours in the reproductive tract, so your sperm could fertilize a new egg days after a sexual encounter.
2) Size really doesn’t matter.
“Size doesn’t matter” isn’t simply something women say to make men with smaller penises feel better. Studies show that if given the choice, most women would actually pick a smaller penis as larger ones can make intercourse painful. The first two inches of a woman’s vagina are the most sensitive, so anything longer than that really isn’t enhancing her pleasure.
3) Erectile dysfunction doesn’t only affect older men.
Older men do have a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction, but it’s certainly not exclusively a problem for seniors. Young men can also struggle with ED, especially if they have diabetes, cardiovascular problems, or smoke. You’re never too young or too old to seek medical help for this condition.
4) Oral sex isn’t safe sex.
While unprotected oral sex is less risky than unprotected vaginal sex, you can still catch a sexually transmitted disease from this sexual activity. A range of diseases including chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, genital herpes, and genital warts can all be transmitted via oral sex. Latex condoms and dental dams are the best devices to reduce the risk of diseases spreading during oral sex. You should also never perform oral sex if you have cuts or sores on or around your mouth, or if your partner has them on his or her genitals.
Remember, if you’re ever unsure about sexual matters you can always consult your physician. Medical professionals will always provide more reliable information than your friends or an Internet search.