10 Sex Myths Decoded
"You can avoid pregnancy by jumping up and down after sex." FALSE: Once sperm gets inside you, says Kolb, it spreads and lubricates the entire area. “You can’t bounce it out of you. In fact, if your partner sees you bouncing around like that, it might just excite him more," he says.
"Men think about sex every seven seconds." (Probably) FALSE: “Men do think about sex a lot, but so do women," says Wyatt. "Most won’t admit it because it doesn’t seem ladylike." But as for the frequency of male thoughts about sex? “That wouldn’t give you time to think about anything else. Whoever that man is, he needs to get a job and make some money.”
"A cold shower can douse libido." TRUE: “If you are on trajectory to being aroused, you are getting warm, and your heart is pumping more,” says Wyatt. “When you take a cold shower you slow the process down. If you don’t want to be aroused, it's the right thing to do!”
"You can’t get pregnant during that time of the month." FALSE: If your menstrual cycle is normal, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get pregnant during your period. But sometimes your period is not your period — it’s intermenstrual spotting, and you may well be ovulating at the same time, says Dr. Kolb.
"If you have sexual thoughts about someone of the same gender, you’re bisexual." FALSE: "[Being] aroused by thinking about somebody of your own sex does not necessarily mean that’s your sexual orientation,” says Wyatt. “That’s fantasy. That’s arousal. That’s what’s on TV. And those things can be separate from sexual orientation."
"If your husband watches porn that means he’s not satisfied with you." (Mostly) FALSE: “Your husband is trying to get aroused but maybe he wants to transfer that arousal to you,” says Wyatt. “Maybe it signals you need to work harder at arousing your partner. In any case, this begs a conversation with your partner!”
"Once you have a baby, your sex life is over." TRUE AND FALSE: “There’s no question that having a vaginal birth will change you down there,” says Kolb. “But sex is much more than physical stimulation. It’s also about intimacy and physical stimulation.” Wyatt suggests this solution: “The vagina is a muscle, so you've got to work it out. Do your Kegels, ladies! Thirty at every stoplight!"
"Masturbating too much can make you go blind." FALSE: “And it doesn’t cause hair to grow on your palms either!” says Kolb. “The only way masturbating can cause vision problems if you are also staring at the computer watching porn all the time.”
"Celibacy can make you crazy!" (Kind of) TRUE: “Many people who are celibate in their twenties and thirties have turned off their sexual cues so they don’t know what stimulates them,” says Wyatt. “They may be so inhibited and shut down that they become depressed. Sex is a natural drive — like a need for water or air. Everyone needs to express themselves sexually.”
"You can’t catch an STD from oral sex." FALSE: “Oral sex doesn’t protect you from the transmission of diseases,” says Kolb, who adds that he once had a lesbian client who caught gonorrhea from her female partner, who in turn had caught it when she engaged in oral sex with a man (yes, cheating!).