12 Sex Myths Debunked
Sex has been around for a little while, so you’d think we would have it figured out by now. But there’s a lot of information and misinformation out there. Some of that information comes in the form of old wives tales told from generation to generation, some from old information that has been disproved, and some from rumors that are spread around the world via a click of the mouse. It seems that as long as people are having sex there will be myths as well.
12 Sex Myths Debunked
Sex Myth #1 – Everyone is having sex.
Reality: There are far less people having sex than you probably think. Studies show that the average age people first have sex is 17 and that 30% of people haven’t had sex at all by the age of 20. Waiting until you’re older isn’t strange or weird; it’s actually fairly normal.
Sex Myth #2 – A girl can’t get pregnant or catch an STD if the guy pulls out.
Reality: It’s not that simple. First, “pulling out” isn’t an effective means of preventing STDs, which can be transferred by skin-to-skin contact. As for pregnancy, while it can reduce the chances of getting pregnant, it is much less effective than other methods of birth control.
Sex Myth #3 – You can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex.
Reality: Your sperm and eggs have no idea if it’s the first or 500th time you’ve had sex – it just doesn’t work that way. If you’re having vaginal sex, there is a chance you can get pregnant, even before you’ve had your first period. Which takes us to Myth #4.
Sex Myth #4 – You can’t get pregnant while you’re having your period.
Reality: While it’s not common, it’s possible. See note above about if you’re having vaginal sex. The reason this is possible is sometimes those sperm like to hang out, sometimes for up to six days, to see if an egg shows up.
Sex Myth #5 – You can’t get pregnant if you have sex in a hot tub, pool, the ocean, or any other random body of water.
Reality: There are plenty of people walking around who were conceived in pools and hot tubs. There is nothing about water that will prevent pregnancy once sperm have entered a vagina. Another related myth is that you can get pregnant from a pool or hot tub that has sperm in the water. This is also false.
Sex Myth #6 – Oral and anal sex are safe, and they aren’t really sex.
Reality: Both oral and anal sex put you at risk for STDs. If it can be passed through vaginal sex, it can almost always be passed through oral and anal sex as well. Some of the more common STDs that are transmitted this way are genital herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV. While the risk of contracting a STD through oral sex is lower compared to vaginal and anal sex, any sex with someone with an STD is risky.
Sex Myth #7 – If I use birth control I don’t have to worry about STDs.
Reality: Births control can be very effective in preventing pregnancy but most do little to nothing to prevent STDs. The pill, the patch, Depo, the ring and IUDs do nothing keep you from catching an STD, including HIV. Condoms do offer some protection, but are not 100% effective, especially on skin-to-skin contact in the area a condom doesn’t cover.
Sex Myth #8 – If my partner had an STD I would know it.
Reality: Most people who have an STD don’t have any symptoms. So because your partner doesn’t have any outbreaks, doesn’t mean they don’t have an STD, and that you shouldn’t worry about it. In fact, you may have a STD and transfer it to your partner without knowing. This is the main reason STDs are so common and so dangerous because ether aren’t diagnosed and treated.
Sex Myth #9 – Once you have an STD there’s nothing you can do about it.
Reality: Many STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, are bacterial in nature and can be cured once they are diagnosed with simple antibiotics in a week or two. Others are viral and though they can’t be cured, the symptoms can be treated. These viral STDs include HIV, HPV, herpes and hepatitis. People who have these viral STDs can live long lives with the care of their doctors.
Sex Myth #10 – Once you have an STD and it’s treated you can’t get it again.
Reality: As mentioned under Myth #9, many STDs can be treated with antibiotics. However, once they are cured you can get them again by engaging in sexual contact with an infected partner. If you are diagnosed with an STD and get treatment, your partner should also be tested to prevent you from getting it again. You should also be tested if you start having sex with a new partner.
Sex Myth #11 – STD testing is for people who cheat or sleep with many partners.
Reality: Anyone who has sex in any form, regardless of the number of partners they or their partner have had, is at risk for STDs, including HIV. Statistics say that by the age of 25, 1 in 2 sexually active people will have an STD. That’s right, half. And most won’t even know it. We don’t like those odds, and you probably don’t either.
Sex Myth #12 – If I needed to get tested for STDs my doctor would do it.
Reality: Don’t assume that when your doctor draws blood for testing during your routine exam they are testing you for STDs. Most doctors don’t offer routine STD and HIV testing unless you specifically ask for it. And ladies, a Pap test does not test for STDs. Getting tested for STDs if you are sexually active is important because you can’t treat them if you don’t know you have them. And many STDs when left untreated can have lasting effects such as infertility, and also place you at greater risk for getting cancer. If you aren’t comfortable talking to your regular doctor about STD testing or you don’t have a regular doctor, Collage offers complimentary STD testing and treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia, two of the most common STDs.
We hope you found this information about 12 sex myths helpful. Our goal is to provide accurate information so you can make informed decisions about your sexual health. If you think you might be pregnant or have an STD we would love to talk to you and provide you with our complimentary testing services. Knowing for sure puts you in control. Once we know your status, we have staff who are available to help you process the results and talk through all your options. If you would like to schedule an appointment for a test to talk to someone, please contact our office.