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5 Sex ‘Myths’ That Are Totally True (And 4 ‘Facts’ That Are Nonsense)

 

For something that the vast majority of humans do at some point or other (ideally more often that that), there is still a lot of myth and mystery surrounding the shady world of sexy time.

When you think about it, there’s no particularly good reason to be any more squeamish about sex than eating food – both are, objectively, equally as bizarre. But, for some reason, we either tend to snigger like schoolchildren, blush like a bride or make those stridently “we’re so frank and open” documentaries on Channel 4, invariably featuring a woman with a blunt fringe putting a condom on a needlessly detailed model.

Anyway, the net result of this faffing about is that it can be difficult to tell the fact from the fiction. It begins in school when your mate Baz starts every sentence with “I’ve heard, right…” and only gets worse when you start reading Cosmo sex tips (many of which, by the way, will put you in hospital) and going on ill-advised on Tinder dates.

Sometimes, a sexy “fact” will be peddled about, despite having no basis in reality and, sometimes, an insane sounding “myth” will emerge that actually turns out to be true.

So, in the name of science and good sex, let’s bust a couple of myths.

‘Myths’ That Are Totally True…

5. You Can Break Your Penis

New Line Cinema

True

This was one that made the guys squirm when it did the rounds in school, but then you grow up a bit and realise that, surely you can’t break your penis? There’s no bone in it for a start.

Well, unfortunately, you can. Whilst it’s true that humans don’t have a penis bone (we lost that one some time ago), it is still possibly to do some serious damage to an erect penis – you might even hear an audible “snap”.

The corpus cavernosa are two spongy tubes that fill with blood when their owner gets excited, becoming highly pressurised and keeping the penis erect. If the penis is bent forcefully due to either accidental over-enthusiasm, or on purposeit can rupture the rigid corpus cavernosa just like a bone.

Fixing the break will probably require surgery, so maybe just go careful in the sack?

4. It Can Make You Go Blind

Netflix

True

Surely this is one of those scare tactics to stop you doing bits to you bits, right?

Mostly, anyway.

Technically called Transient Monocular Blindness (Amaurosis Fugax) Associated with Sexual Intercourse, Bonk Blind for short, there have been a number of cases of people losing their vision – albeit temporarily – as a result of a ruddy good session of horizontal jogging.

Doctors are still not completely sure what causes this. The most likely explanation is a disturbance in the blood supply to the eyeball, either by vasoconstriction as a result of raised blood pressure (which is understandable given the circumstances). Alternatively, all of that blood-pumping exertion could have caused a fatty arterial plaque to come loose and make its way up to the eyeball.

Another possible explanation is that it’s a judgement from your chosen deity, but the data is yet to come in on that one.

3. Guys Get Blue Balls If They Don’t Have Sex

Pixabay

True

There’s always the sneaking suspicion amongst women that the concept of blue balls was an excuse and/or guilt trip. It is, however, a genuine phenomenon, so, sorry boys.

Well, half sorry, because the science says that it’s by no means the life-threatening condition that some people make it out to be.

If a dude finds himself in a period of prolonged sexual arousal, without any kind of release, he can experience pain in the bollock region, thought to be caused by the blood trapped there by vasoconstriction. Although not a well-studied subject, a suggested diagnosis of epididymal hypertension, just incase you wanted a fancy way of saying that your balls hurt.

The condition can be treated with the immediate release of arousal, the most obvious route being the Big O. The good (or bad, depending on how you look at it) news, however, is that it can be treated without orgasm.

One way to soothe your blue balls, is to do a bit of exercise, specifically weight training. It’s thought that this redirects blood to the major blood groups as “making sure the heavy thing doesn’t crush you” trumps “potentially having sex” in evolutionary terms

If you don’t fancy all of that exertion, you could always try the Valsalva manoeuvre, which can apparently stimulate the vagus nerve and ease your pain.

2. Exercise Can Give You Orgasms

tumblr

True

Don’t know about you, but this rumour definitely did the rounds in my secondary school a couple of times, usually involving PE in some way and plenty of giggling.

However, there may have been a grain of truth in the wild conjecture, as it turns out that a sizeable percentage of women have experienced an Exercise Induced Orgasm, or coregasm if you happen to work for Cosmo.

A 2011 study is thought to be one of the first formal investigations directly into the phenomenon, but the coregasm gets a mention as far back as 1953. The best types of exercise to induce an EIO appear to be abdominal which took 45% of the vote for tingliest exercise (not the technical term), but of the women surveyed 19% linked it with cycling/spinning, 9.3% identified climbing, 7% preferred weightlifting and the rest were spread out over exercises such as yoga, swimming and aerobics.

It’s not totally certain what causes the reaction, as the study found that they are rarely linked to sexual thoughts at the time, the paper even challenges the idea that the female orgasm is an inherently sexual experience, and rather that we simply learn to link the two.

Either way, it certainly makes the time at the gym fly by.

1. You Can Get Pregnant Twice

Wikipedia

True

This seems like one of those stupid myths that goes around the internet (or about that lass who got pregnant at school), but it’s actually true. It is possible (if rare) for a second child to be conceived whilst the mother is pregnant with the first in a process called superfoetation.

Back in 1960, two boys were born five minutes apart and were identified as twins, yet later testing on the thigh bones revealed the the baby born first was actually two months premature.

Another more recent case gained some media attention in 2009 when Julia Grovenburg from Arkansas found that she was pregnant with a boy and a girl conceived two weeks apart.

Another variation on the theme of multiple pregnancies, is the case of giving birth to “twins” with different fathers. This happens by a process called superfecundation, in which two eggs are released at once. Surprising as it sound, some estimates suggest that 1 in 400 sets of fraternal twins is “bipaternal.”

…And 4 ‘Facts’ That Are Nonesense

4. Men And Women Have Different Sexual Peaks

Giphy

False

There’s a “fact” floating around, that suggests that men and women’s “sexual peaks” are out of whack. The general idea is that men peak at around the age of 18, but women don’t hit their stride until much later.

Don’t know about you, but that sounds like an excuse for blokes to fancy older women to me.

The myth finds is roots in the massive rush of testosterone that dudes get in their late teens and early twenties, which has the effect of popping boners all over the place.Theidea that out-of-control bits equates to a sexual peak, however, is a false equivalence, and there’s little evidence to suggest that there is any kind of “natural” peak that hits either gender.

The male/female divide is actually thought to be more of a social thing. Because we choose to frame sex education in the context of reproduction, girls tend to be educated about the dangers of sex, because they’re the ones that end up getting lumbered with a poop-machine, and are rarely taught about the pleasurable side of it. For boys, however, the processes of pleasure and reproduction are more intertwined and they learn about both out of necessity.

It’s thought that the reason women appear to hit their sexual “peak” later in life, is because that is when they become more confident, not due to some hormonal surge.

3. Sex Makes Your Vagina Loose

Hey, girls. Better not be too promiscuous, or it’ll be like chucking a hotdog down a hallway before too long.

Vaginas are pretty cool. Day-to-day there isn’t really a “hole” there at all, the muscle walls are clamped together and touching each other. Then, during sex, the muscles relax a bit and get ready for action before returning to their original state afterwards.

The vagina is designed to be able to accommodate a baby’s head and then return to its original state, so the idea that it can be stretched out by even the biggest penis is like saying that eating food will give you a bigger mouth. You might be big, but you ain’t that big.

The major factor that influences tightness or looseness is arousal. So, if a girl is particularly tight during intercourse, it could actually mean that you’re not really pushing her buttons. On the flip side, if it seems looser, then she may well be thoroughly enjoying herself.

Just something to think about.

2. Sex Is A Great Workout

False

Bad news, getting your freak on doesn’t mean that you can skip the gym.

Depending on your government, the recommended amount of exercise for an adult is around two and a half hours a week.

Given that the average duration of sexytime is somewhere between six to ten minutes, that’s a hell of a lot of banging. You have to be going at it a minimum of twice a day to achieve that. Given that fewer than half of married couples have sex more than three times a week, this seems a little unfeasible.

On top (or bottom, whichever you prefer) of all this, doing the bone dance doesn’t actually burn as many calories as you’d hope. One study estimated that most healthy men burn around four calories per minute so, for those playing along at home, that’s an average of 40 calories. That’s, like, half an apple.

Better get the running shoes on, then, particularly given that slouching off to the gym every now and again makes you more likely to get a bit of action anyway.

1. Only Women Have Multiple Orgasms

False

Finally some good news.

The female orgasm is supposedly a mysterious thing and the most mysterious part of this mysterious thing is the magical multiple orgasm.

This little treat has been largely closed off to menfolk ever since they were in vogue, but the big secret is that the dudes can have them too. The thing is that orgasm and ejaculation are not intrinsically linked, and although the show is generally over after ejaculation, it is perfectly possible to have more than one orgasm before the big show.

Don’t get me wrong, it takes a lot of mental discipline for a dude who is used to doing the two at once, but with a bit of deep breathing and some yoga or whatever, you too could enter the magical world of multiple orgasms.

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