Below you will find a list of common myths and rumors about sex that have been debunked and/or explained! It is never too late to learn more about yourself, sex and sexual health. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you used a condom more than once, or if you had sex in a hot tub, you’ve stumbled across the right article! Read on to learn more!
1. You Can’t Get an STD from Unconventional Sexual Acts
FALSE! Any kind of sexual contact puts you at risk of contracting an STD, regardless of whether it is the traditional vaginal penetration, oral sex or other sexual acts. There are many different kinds of STDs, which can be passed in a variety of ways. For example, Herpes can manifest itself around your mouth just as easily as in your genital region.
2. You Can’t Get an STD from a Virgin
This one really depends on how your partner defines the term “virgin”. If being a virgin simply means no vaginal penetration, then you could still get an STD from someone who identifies in this way. There are lots of other ways to get an STD, including HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis B & C via oral sex or other sexual acts. All of these can also be contracted by sharing needles. Furthermore, AIDS and the HIV virus can be passed down from mother to child at birth. That being said, if you are clean and your partner is clean, you can’t contract something like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea because the infection has to come from somewhere! For that reason it is important to get tested before having sex with a new partner, and request they do the same.
3. You Can Use a Condom More Than Once if You Wash it
FALSE! Never do this!! Not only are all condoms designed exclusively for single usage, it is extremely unhygienic to reuse a condom. Washing it also weakens the condom and increases the chance that it will rip or tear during intercourse, which increases the chance of you or your partner contracting an STD or an infection from bacteria living in our outside of the condom.
4. You Can Catch an STD from a Toilet Seat
FALSE! STDs and STIs aren’t found in urine, which is typically sterile. Furthermore, STDs and STIs can’t live outside the body for prolonged periods of time, let alone survive on a toilet seat, which offers conditions that differ vastly from those provided by the inside of a human body; namely a cold, hard surface.
5. Having Sex in a Pool or Hot Tub is Okay Because Chlorine Will Kill Off STDs
FALSE! While hot water can lower your sperm count, it is not an effective form of birth control or protection from STDs. Sperm and STDs can be successfully transmitted from one person to another regardless of whether the water you are in is salty, chlorinated or hot, or any combination. Having sex in a public pool or hot tub can actually increase your chances of contracting an STD or urinary tract infection, because the amount of chlorine required by the government isn’t high enough to kill all bacteria present in the water. These bacteria are then being shoved into your bodies during copulation, which as stated earlier, increases your chances of you and your partner getting an STD. Male condoms are also pretty risky to use in hot tubs or other watery environments because they could slip off. However, female condoms are a useful and safe alternative, because they are more durable and secure inside the vagina. Make sure to insert it before entering the water though!
6. You Can’t Get Pregnant the First Time You Have Sex
FALSE! The possibility that you will get pregnant exists every time you have unprotected sex, even if it is the first time. Pregnancy occurs when a sperm cell fertilizes an egg cell, and it is of no consequence to either of those cells whether you have partaken in sex once or a hundred times.
7. Sex Can Give You A Heart Attack
FALSE! The Framingham Heart Study showed that the chance of having heart attack is one in a million for men who do not have diabetes or smoke. To take it a step further: it has been proven that having sex more frequently has been connected with a reduced chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Thus, it is safe to say that having more sex is linked to a healthier heart.
8. You Can Catch HIV from Causal Contact
FALSE! HIV is transmitted via bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, vaginal and rectal secretions, and breast milk. Saliva, sweat, tears and urine (which is usually sterile) are not included in bodily fluids that transmit HIV at all. The only way to catch HIV through casual contact (touching, hugging, kissing, etc) is if you have an open wound and it comes into direct contact with the bodily fluids that can transmit HIV. It is perfectly safe to kiss someone who is HIV positive, but make sure to always use a condom when engaging in intimate relations.
9. The Morning After Pill Causes Abortions
FALSE! Otherwise known as Plan B or Emergency Contraception, the morning after pill simply prevents pregnancy after sex. Emergency contraceptive pills usually delay the release of your egg, or ovulation, from occurring. If you are already pregnant when you take the morning after pill, it will have no effect on your pregnancy whatsoever. This is because emergency contraception pills only work before a pregnancy begins, which has been described as when a fertilized egg implants itself along the lining of a uterus.
10. Foods like Strawberries, Chocolate & Oysters Can Increase Your Sex Drive
FALSE! There is no scientific connection between food labeled “aphrodisiac” and an increase in one’s libido. However, thanks to the placebo effect, by believing that the food you are eating will turn you and your partner on, one can actually end up having the desired results. This is often because you associate sex with the food you are eating, but nothing in the chemical makeup of the food can stimulate feelings of arousal. Nevertheless, this isn’t a reason to give up your favorite foods that you associate with sex. If they have worked well for you in the past, there is no reason they shouldn’t work for you in the future, so long as you continue to believe they are helping you to get aroused.
So, what’s the takeaway? Having sex with a virgin doesn’t guarantee safe sex, and neither does oral sex or sex in a hot tub; however toilet seats will never give you Herpes or any other kind of STD. Aphrodisiacs don’t exist in the real world, but having sex leads to a healthier cardiovascular system. You can get pregnant the very first time you make love. Using Plan B and making out with someone who is HIV positive are both perfectly safe. Bottom line: don’t believe everything you hear. It’s also a great idea to be informed and knowledgeable about sex before partaking in it. And always remember to use protection; buying condoms is much less awkward than purchasing a pregnancy test.
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