We all think we know some stuff about sex. Some of us think we know a lot about it. Personally, I thought I was enlightened on the subject until I started researching this article. So here are 8 sex myths debunked that might just come as news to you…
The Average Length
Let’s start with the big one (so to speak). I’ve heard a lot of different numbers connected with this topic and I’ve heard each one dashed as hearsay. Firstly, the NHS says that there are no “average length” figures even recorded for teenagers because boys develop at such different rates.
The NHS advice is that MOST adult penises are 3.75 inches when not erect and between 5 and 7 inches when erect. So you can relax guys, you’re probably fine.
And if you’re a teenager who is a little worried, don’t be… your penis doesn’t stop growing until you’re 21 years old, so there’s plenty of time.
2. “Blue Balls”
My husband used to tell me, “I’ve got blue balls, we have to have sex tonight or I’ll do myself damage”. I didn’t really know what he meant.
Blue Balls, otherwise known as Epididymal Hypertension, is a condition that can lead to the testicles feeling achy and sensitive and sometimes even taking on a blueish hue. It happens when you get an erection but don’t achieve orgasm.
Luckily, it’s not harmful. According to the University of Chicago-Illinois College of Medicine, it’s not damaging to your health in any way. But a cold shower might help ease the symptoms.
3. Semen as a superfood
So it turns out that swallowing isn’t actually bad for your diet. In fact, it could be good for you, but there’s a hitch.
One ejaculate contains less than half a calorie, so it’s definitely not going to hurt your waistline. But I’ve heard claims that it has all sort of lovely things in, like protein, zinc and other vitamins.
To get the same amount of protein as in one egg white (not even the whole egg!) you would have to ingest around half a cup of semen. Personally, I’d rather have the egg.
4. Semen as a skin treatment
Bizarrely though, semen does contain something called Spermine, which is an anti-oxidant, and is therefore genuinely good for your skin.
5. Oysters as an aphrodisiac
Everybody has heard that a plate of oysters with your candle-lit meal will get you in the mood. Well, turns out there isn’t actually any scientific proof of this.
The study that everybody seems to point to came was published by an American Professor of Chemistry in 2005. The study found that bivalve molluscs (a group that includes clams, mussels and oysters) contained the amino acid D-Aspartic Acid, which was proven to increase the levels of sex hormones in rats.
That said, it is widely acknowledged that placebos work, even when we know they are placebos (the psychology of that one would take a whole other article). So if your oysters are part of a nice evening spent with a partner you’re attracted to, why shouldn’t they help things along?
6. The “Pull Out Method”
This is an interesting one. The “Pull Out Method” refers to the man removing his penis from the woman before he ejaculates. I’d always thought of this as no more effective than any other method that didn’t involve drugs or a piece of latex but hang on a second…
Planned Parenthood, quoting the National Survey of Family Growth 2011-2013, published by the CDC and NCHS, claims that for every 100 couples that use the pull out method, only 4 will get pregnant.
Hang on another second. They go on to explain that for the method to be effective it has to be performed “perfectly” and states that not many people are able to do this, so the real number is more like 22 couples in every 100.
Also, this method doesn’t protect against STDs. So unless you’re with a trusted partner and you’re absolutely sure you’re practising the method “perfectly”, perhaps it’s not the best one to rely on.
7. The Female Orgasm
Most females cannot orgasm from penetration alone.
A survey published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in 2017 found that of the 1,000 American woman questioned, only 18% reported that they could achieve orgasm through penetration alone. 37% were quick to say that they needed clitoral stimulation.
The study also found that the vast majority of women needed”a build up to pleasure” in order to achieve the big O. So no more quickies.
8. The peak age
The simple answer to this is that there is no simple answer. There are several surveys claiming a range of numbers on this, but the most interesting one I could find was from the Mindfulness app Happify found that people in their 50s and 60s enjoyed sex most when they were 46.
So not 18 for men and 33 for women then.
The truth is, it’s more complicated than there being a specific age for sexual prowess. When you take into account personal preference, environment, culture and the simple confidence to be able to ask for what you want, perhaps there is no perfect age.
So go out and have fun, people!