You might be more clueless about sex than you think. We bust the most common sex myths (that you probably still believe are true).
Think you’re good in bed, or know everything about safe sex? You might want to take those confidence levels down a notch. We’re pretty proud of our Lion City. But while this country is great at many things, our sexual education programme isn’t… stellar. In fact, a recent survey by Durex found that sexually active individuals in Singapore are three times more likely to be wrong about the likelihood of pregnancy from different sexual positions (what!). Read on as we debunk common sex myths so everyone can enjoy a safe and pleasurable sex life.
Common sex myths and misconceptions
1. Myth: You’ll know if you have an STD
We’d like to think we all share that one core memory of sex ed in school. You know the one where pictures of diseased genitals were passed around and burned into our retinas? Unfortunately, not all STDs have such obvious symptoms. You might have one (or a few) and not know it at all.
Diseases like gonorrhoea and chlamydia can go unnoticed, especially in women. And if left untreated, they can cause serious damage like pelvic inflammatory disease and scarring of the fallopian tubes. It’s always good to get checked often, especially if you have multiple sexual encounters. Head to your local clinic or check out telehealth services that offer discreet tests and STD teleconsultations.
2. Myth: You can’t get pregnant on your period
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can absolutely get pregnant on your period. Sure, it’s more unlikely. But it’s definitely not out of the question. Why? If you have a uterus and experience regular periods, you’ll know that our cycles all vary. If you have a shorter cycle, you may experience ovulation soon after your period ends. And because sperm can live in the body for up to five days, that gives it plenty of time to fertilise an egg. So if you’re not planning on having a baby, don’t scrimp on contraception – regardless of where you are in your cycle.
3. Myth: You don’t need lubricant if you’re aroused
Contrary to popular belief, arousal and vaginal wetness don’t always go hand-in-hand. But don’t feel bad if your body isn’t quite cooperating with you. Several factors, such as hormones, illness and medication, can affect how much natural lubricant you produce. To combat this, have some lubricant on hand to prevent painful sex and micro-tears in your skin.
4. Myth: Sex is just like what you see in pornography
For most people, their first exposure to sex is pornography. No biggie, right? Wrong. The same Durex survey reveals that one in five young adults believe what they see in porn reflects real sex. That’s trouble right there when impressionable youth don’t realise porn is just a fantasy.
“When [they] try to do things they see in porn to their partners, they quickly realise that it might not be pleasurable, and start doubting themselves if they can’t achieve the highs depicted in porn,” says Dr Angela Tan, intimacy coach and co-founder of Academy of Relationship & Sex. “This leads to poor experience, low self-esteem, and perpetuating mistakes.”
5. Myth: Women orgasm only through penetrative sex
Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Yet it’s one of the things you’ll see a lot in pornography – which we know is purely fantasy-based. Studies show that only 4% of women experience an orgasm from penetration alone. So, if you’re really looking to take her to O-land, we recommend focusing more on clitoral stimulation. Don’t be afraid to spice things up with sex toys, too.
6. Myth: Two condoms are better than one
We’re proud you’re taking steps to have safe sex. But we’re just gonna come right out and say it – wearing two condoms isn’t better than one. In fact, it’s worse because you think you’re doubly protected, but friction from the two condoms can cause them to break. That means a higher chance of an unplanned pregnancy. If you’re really looking to be extra safe, get a condom that fits snug (and make sure it’s not too tight).
Now that these sex myths are busted, let’s cheers to a safer, healthier sex life.