The Top 10 Sex Myths (Only 2 Are True!)

Debunking the most common myths about sex

Men want sex more than women do: Sex myth or sex fact? Bad sex always leads to breakups: Sex myth or sex fact? If he had an affair, he doesn't love you: Sex myth or sex fact? Sex myths make us feel bad about ourselves and most of the time, they're not true. Which are true and which are false? Read on.

1. Men want sex more than women do. Wrong. The reason why men tend to wishfully prod their penises into our determinedly turned backs, isn't just to do with desire. Other factors have a big influence, too: For example, we're still more likely to do most of the housework on top of holding down a job. So we're exhausted! Plus, hormones make us feel like having a lot of sex during certain times of the month, rather than all of the time. And, because we tend to attach more emotions to sex than men do, we aren't going to beg him for action if he's been giving us attitude. [Editor's note: Check out our Mismatched Libidos message board to discuss both sides of this issue with like-minded women.] 

2. If you're a truly great lover, you should know how to please anyone. It's extremely likely that someone who knows a lot about sex and has had lots of practice is going to be better in bed than an inexperienced virgin. Technically, that is. However, if you're crazy about said inexperienced lover (physically or emotionally) -- oh, and if he has a double-jointed tongue -- it might be the best sex you've ever had. “Good sex” has as much do to with perception and the brain as technique and the genitals.

3. African-American men have bigger penises. Okay, this one's a bit out of left field, but fascinating nonetheless because, guess what: It's true! African-American guys are bigger, and their penises are thicker, too. One study of Asian, Caucasian and African-American men came up with the following stats: Asian men were smallest, averaging 4-5.5 inches, Caucasians came next with 6 inches, and the penises of African-American men are reportedly 6.5-8 inches long. 

4. Happy couples have good sex most of the time. Right, and my neighbor's buying me a private jet for my birthday. Show me a couple that's having out-of-control, raging, lusty sex every night after years of sharing the same bed, and I'll show you a pig that can fly. Toss this one out of the window immediately! Life and all its pressures get in the way for all of us. Does it mean your friend is lying if she claims to have fabulous sex after five years of marriage and two kids? Maybe. Or maybe she thinks you have a great sex life and doesn't want to admit she doesn't. Or maybe her definition of great sex is different than yours. Or maybe she really does have terrific sex… once a month. It's all subjective.

5. If you have to plan sex, and it isn't spontaneous, something's wrong. Heaven help your partner if you believe this one. Desire might well tap you on the shoulder in the early stages of a relationship, but the hormones that fuel the tapping disappear after about 18 months. Well, if you're lucky actually; plenty of couples find desire lowers dramatically after about nine months. But don't panic. It doesn't mean you'll never fancy each other again; it just means that you need to keep reminding your body and brain how much you enjoy sex. Spontaneous sex is usually good sex. But planning a sex session -- anticipating it, looking forward to it -- this makes for pretty good sex as well.

6. Men are more promiscuous than women. The real truth is, this one is probably true, but by much less than you think. When polled about their sex lives, men overestimate while women underestimate, due to societal pressures. It's also totally dependent on how attractive the people in question are. An attractive, sexually liberated woman is likely to have had more partners than a not-so-fab-looking guy around the same age, for instance. It's called opportunity.

7. If they had an affair, they don't love me. Wrong again. If your partner cheats, it doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't love you. It does, however, mean he doesn't respect you if you'd agreed to be monogamous.

8. Women don't like porn or dirty sex. Take a look at all the emails I get from women asking where to buy good female erotica, and you'll see how silly this myth is. And the reverse applies as well: Not all women want rose petals scattered across the bed and romantic massages, rather than raunchy, lusty, wicked romps. Every woman is different, but bottom line? Anyone who thinks men are only ones conjuring up lurid, graphic fantasies about other passengers on the subway is deluded.

9. Most women orgasm through intercourse. I'm not going to harp on about this one because anyone who's ever read any of my other articles practically has it written on their forehead in felt tip marker pen that only 30% of women orgasm from penetration alone. But it is worth repeating. Most women need stimulation of the clitoris by a hand or a vibrator during intercourse in order to climax. It's not anyone's fault that the penis isn't enough; it's a design fault in the female body. The clitoris is outside the vagina, rather than inside it (not terribly helpful of whoever has the female body patent, I agree). True, some women claim to have fabulous orgasms through front vaginal wall stimulation. But the good old-fashioned clitoral orgasm is far more common and reliable.

10. Men are always ready for and want sex. If you're talking a 17-year-old who's just landed his first girlfriend, you're probably right. It's likely he will walk, talk, daydream and want to have sex every waking second (and when he's asleep as well). But once a man hits his mid-20s (and often before that), other parts of his life start to become equally as important as sex, and all that energy and focus is needed elsewhere. Real life dampens a lot of men's sex drives more efficiently than a bucket of water poured over a solitary lit match. Work, stress, pressure, bills, arguments… they all stop him (and you!) from feeling like sex all day, every day. He's not like your vibrator; you can't just plug him in and expect him to perform on cue. (Actually, that's why we own vibrators.) There is a man attached to that penis.

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