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Myths and facts about sex and sexuality

By Yetunde Arebi

Hi!

Though most of us now accept that sex is a normal part of adult life, many  still shy away from its realities and discussing it. Sources of information about sex and sexuality are many but often  deal in old wives tales and might  not be  scientifically correct most of the time. So, let’s just refresh our minds, update our notes and learn new information about sex and sexuality and how it affects us. Do have a wonderful weekend!!

Myth: “Blue balls” is a real medical condition.

Fact:  Perhaps, but not a serious one. The correct medical term for “blue balls” is vasocongestion. This happens when a male gets aroused sexually and blood builds up in the testicles and/or prostate but doesn’t get expelled through ejaculation. Such a guy may experience some discomfort such as  cramps, aches, pains or tenderness in the groin area. This is however not a serious condition and is not an excuse to pressure females into sex.   A guy has two options when this happens, he either helps himself out by masturbating or simply remove his mind from thoughts about arousal and sex and the feeling will pass away. Ask older guys if you don’t believe me. Interestingly, females also experience the same discomfort when they get aroused and fail to reach orgasm too. So guys who fail to take their women to the pleasure peak, please take note.

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Myth: Too much masturbation will make the penis shrink in size.

Fact: Definitely not true. No amount of masturbation will make the penis shrink. An adult male’s penis will remain the same size throughout his life unless he undergoes a plastic surgery.

Myth: Some special foods and exercise can increase the size of the penis.

Fact: Though there are several supplements and drugs that claim to help increase the size of the penis, this has not been scientifically proven to be true, at least as far as I am privy to. However, eating good nutritional foods and regular exercise of the body can improve one’s sex life remarkably and a plastic surgery will definitely do the trick.

Myth: Girls don’t masturbate.

Fact: Though guys are more likely to report that they masturbate, a lot of girls do too. They may only be more shy, embarrassed or afraid to admit it in public. After all, all of us are curious and it is only natural to want to find out.

Myth: The stock of semen in the male body is limited. If you waste it by masturbating, you will soon run out of it.

Fact: Unlike the female eggs, the male semen is not stocked up somewhere to be released when needed. Semen is produced throughout a man’s life when he ejaculates. For as long as a man is healthy and his sexual organs are functioning, he will continue to produce semen.

Myth: Losing one drop of semen is equal to losing about 40 drops of blood.

Fact: Semen is not made of blood, therefore losing semen cannot affect your blood in any way.

Myth: Having sex with a virgin will cure a man of his venereal disease.

Fact: This is a dangerous misconception which has been cited as one of the reasons rape cases of young people have been on the increase in recent times.  This is not only a ridiculous idea but also a wicked one. Why would you want to pass on an infection to a young, innocent girl and walk on? This is shameful and inhumane. If a man with a venereal disease has sex with a virgin, he will only end up passing it on to her while still hanging on to his own. Except for those with no cure yet, effective medicines are available for the treatment of venereal diseases. There is no need to try such baseless and harmful methods.

Myth: urinating or douching right after sex protects against pregnancy.

Fact: Urine and sperm do not travel through the same route. When a man ejaculates during sex, the sperm travels through the vagina into the cervix, and in to the uterus. Urine simply passes through the urethra. It does not pass through the vagina opening and therefore has no business with the sperm. It is true that if you squeeze the vaginal muscles hard enough after sex, excess sperm might flow out of the vagina. Remember that it only takes one of the millions of sperms to fertilise an egg and get you pregnant.  Washing or douching the vagina after sex will not prevent pregnancy because sperm travels at a very great speed from the vagina to the cervix. Again, it is almost impossible for water to get as far as the uterus so douching is also not useful in the prevention of pregnancy. In fact, it is more likely that douching  may aid in pushing sperm up further into your vagina. Douching can also trigger an imbalance of the healthy bacteria in the vagina causing great discomfort and increasing your chances of contracting an infection.

Myth: Women infect men with yeast infections

Fact: This is not entirely true. A man can also infect a woman with yeast infection. Naturally, there are small amounts of yeasts in the vagina. A vaginal yeast infection is an inflammation of the vagina, caused by overgrowth of fungus called Candida Albicans. Irritation occurs when there is too much yeast and a man may get yeast infection from such a woman. But this does  not mean that a woman cannot get same from a man. It is simple logic that a man infected with yeast will pass it on to another partner if it is not treated. The fact that it may be asymptomatic may make things pretty tricky. Always have yourself tested and treated if you suspect you might be exposed to infection.

Myth: You can only have one STI at a time

Fact: One can have more than one STI at a time. In fact, infections with other STIs increases the risk of infection with HIV. In the same vein, HIV positive people who have other STIs can transmit HIV more easily to their partners. Choosing to wear condoms reduces the risk of STIs and HIV during sex.

Myth: Once I take out of the drugs prescribed for my partner, I do not need to go for a personal check

Fact: Many facts pooh pooh this position. 1. There are many STIs and they need different medications. 2. Since our bodies are different, they may not respond to the same medicines. I.e, Your partner might not really respond to the same antibiotics as you. 3. By taking a part of his/her medicine, you have reduced the efficacy of the drugs. Therefore, both of you are not likely to get the necessary cure expected and the infection may keep recurring.  4. It is dangerous to take medicine that are not prescribed for you. Because we all react to things differently, it is important that once a partner is diagnosed of an infection, the other must get him/her tested. Besides, most STIs are often asymptomatic, making it difficult for an infected person to know if he/she is truly infected.

Myth: Drinking alcohol and drugs make sex much more fun.

Fact: This is absolutely not true and may be attributed to the delusions of a drunk or one on drugs. If you are drunk or high, it is hard to make good decisions about sex or any other issue as a matter of fact. Many people, when drunk or under the influence of drugs, often do things they probably would not have done when sober.  Being under the influence of anything might help wash away or reduce your inhibitions, but it also makes you prone to doing things without giving them proper considerations. Having sex might be fun but you are not likely to make the right decisions about safety and protection and could end up with a pregnancy or STD. Worse than a hangover don’t you think? Don’t forget that you may also fall victim of rape, assault or even get drugged simply because your guards and reasoning are down.

Myth: Girls never pressure guys to have sex, it is guys who do.

Fact: Again, this is mere stereotyping. Different people, different strokes. A woman may desire and demand sex just like a man may also. Pressure in sex defies gender, sexual experience, age, race, class, status, etc. Many guys have reported that they were  pressured by girls to go further sexually than they really intended.

Myth: All gay men have anal sex

Fact: Not all gay men have anal sex. Like any sexual activity, anal sex is a matter of preference. A gay guy may or may not engage in anal sex. In the same way, anyone can engage in anal sex; be they married, single, man or woman, straight, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual, and it does not make them gay. Note that having sex is not the only way to show affection for someone and engaging in sexual activities that you don’t like simply to satisfy your partner your does not translate into them loving you more.

Myth: A cervical pap-smear includes tests for STIs.

Fact: Though this is the belief of many women, it is not true. A Smear test only checks for abnormal cells which can cause cancer of the cervix. Tests for other infections of the vagina must be done separately.

Myth: My partner and I are HIV positive, so we can have unprotected sex

Fact: Though this may sound okay, but it is not. This is because there are many strains of HIV. To prevent yourself getting infected with another strain, it is better to protect yourself. Besides, there is a chance of you being infected with other STIs if your partner is not faithful to the relationship.

Myth: Women who have had babies become lose below

Fact: The vagina is elastic. It’s structure will not change simply because a melon sized baby has passed through it. After childbirth, it takes between six to ten weeks for the vaginal tissues to heal and a little longer for the muscles to regain their tone. The good news is that Kegel exercises will restore the muscles and have you back as good as before.  As women, we must try not to put all the pressure on ourselves. Men also change with age. Science has shown us that as men reach their 30s and higher, the quality of their erection changes, becoming less firm and turgid. The less testosterone they have, the more likely they are to reduce in frequency and performance. So, it may not be entirely about you, but him losing steam. And if either of you should find yourself holding on to the shorter end of the stick, just remember that sexual satisfaction is about intimacy rather than coitus. Your quality of intimacy is not determined by vagina muscle tone and quality of erection.

I will bring you more myths and facts very soon. Just keep reading your favourite Saturday Vanguard. Do have a lovely weekend!!“


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.