Fact or fiction: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can only be transmitted through sexual intercourse.
Sexually transmitted infections can be passed not just through penile-vaginal intercourse, but by oral sex or anal sex due to the exchanging of bodily fluids. Certain STIs, such as genital warts and herpes may be transmitted through skin to skin contact with infected genitals.
Fact or fiction: Females can get pregnant the first time they have sex.
A female can get pregnant any time she has unprotected sex with a male, whether it's the first time or not. Once ovulation occurs, pregnancy can happen, even in young girls who have not yet gotten their periods.
Fact or fiction: Penis size doesn't matter.
Penises come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The average length of an erect penis is between 5.1 and 5.5 inches (12.95-13.97 cm). While many men wish they were larger, the size of a man's penis does not affect the amount of pleasure he feels, and it has minimal effect on the amount of pleasure for his partner.
Fact or fiction: The tightness or looseness of a vagina can tell you how much sex a person has had.
It is impossible to tell how much sex or how many partners a person has had by how loose or tight their vagina appears. The vagina is a muscle that expands and contracts. When a person is aroused, the walls of the vagina soften and lengthen during arousal, which makes insertion easier. The walls of the vagina may contract if a person is anxious or insufficiently aroused, making insertion difficult.
Fact or fiction: Sex should not be painful.
Sex should feel good. If it doesn't, it may be a sign something is wrong. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, nearly 75% of women experience pain during intercourse at some point in their lives. Causes of pain during intercourse include vaginal infections, vulvodynia, vaginismus, hormonal changes, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, some skin disorders, childbirth, low sexual desire, or insufficient lubrication due to lack of arousal. Talk to your doctor if you experience pain during intercourse.
Fact or fiction: Virginity only applies to penile-vaginal sex.
In the past, "virginity" was used to label a heterosexual person, particularly a female, who had not had vaginal intercourse.
But sex and the "first time" means something different and personal to everyone of all sexual orientations and genders. Today, individuals can decide what virginity means to them.
Fact or fiction: Pulling out before ejaculation will ensure pregnancy does not occur.
Pregnancy is possible even if a man pulls out before ejaculating. Males discharge bodily fluids before ejaculation and women produce vaginal fluids during arousal, and the exchange of bodily fluids could result in pregnancy. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can also occur even if a male pulls out before ejaculation.
Fact or fiction: Men are always ready to have sex.
There is an image of men that they are always ready and willing to have sex, and that men always have a higher sex drive than women, but it's not true. Even men who like to have sex frequently can have times they just don't feel like engaging in sexual activity. To believe that a man will always want sex puts added pressure on men to perform, even when they don't want to. Men must also learn to say no when they are not in the mood.
Fact or fiction: You can't get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from a toilet seat.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are passed from person to person through body fluids. Bacteria and viruses that cause STIs cannot survive outside the body, and it is next to impossible to contract one by sitting on public toilet seats.
Fact or fiction: Pornography is an accurate portrayal of sex.
The bottom line with pornography is the bottom line: it's a business and the goal is to make money. Pornography usually shows fantasy scenarios that can differ greatly from how people have sex in the real world. The goal of sex in real life is usually about intimacy, respect, and consent, which is not present in some pornography.
Images provided by:
University of Central Florida Wellness & Health Promotion Services
Michigan Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. Myths and Facts about Sex.
Planned Parenthood. Men’s Sexuality: Myths and Facts.
Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. Average-Size Erect Penis: Fiction, Fact, and the Need for Counseling.
Centre for Sexuality. Sex Myths.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. When Sex is Painful.
University of Central Florida Wellness & Health Promotion Services.
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