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I’ve Heard that Australian Women Have…: Our Favorite Sex Myths

Posted Sep 12 2008 3:31am
“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
Mark Twain


I was looking at a medical site the other day and came across yet another plea from a young woman who wanted help to stop self-pleasuring, which she insisted was robbing her of her “power.” Once again, in this day and age, our sexual ignorance continues to amaze.

I’ve heard so many myths and misinformation about sex—most of them funny, but many just sad like the one above. She’s convinced that if she has orgasms with herself, she won’t be able to have them with a partner, and that somehow, self-pleasuring is physically harmful to her. I suppose if we can laugh at these myths, we may finally put them to rest, so here we go: Submitted for your approval, our favorite sex myths.

Anatomy Is Destiny

This category contains some of the most egregious nonsense. Our title refers to a statement from one of my students:
· Australian women have upside-down vulvas. And, of course, we’ve all heard that Asian women have sideways vulvas, and men of certain ethnicities have larger penises, etc.
· Here’s one from young guys who are dermatological experts: semen is good for the complexion! How many teenage girls have heard that one?
· How about: if a woman has too much p-v sex, her vagina becomes “loose”? The vagina is a very flexible, “stretchy” organ; and as long as it’s kept healthy and happy, it won’t become flabby.
· Deadly Sperm Build-Up: Another one from teenage guys, who assert that if they don’t have an orgasm after getting turned on by one of you sexy teenage women, they’ll suffer from “blue balls,” a horrible condition which will cause them great pain. As you know, once a man is aroused, blood collects in his crotch, creating an erection. After orgasm, the blood redistributes itself back to the rest of the body. If there’s no orgasm, it will take a bit longer to dissipate, causing a slightly full, congested feeling. This actually happens in both women and men. It can be mildly uncomfortable, but it certainly doesn’t cause great anguish or pain (except the emotional kind!).

I Promise I’ll Pull Out

Because you can’t get someone pregnant unless you ejaculate, right? Uh. No. You know that stuff we like to call pre-come? It’s actually a secretion from your Cowper’s Gland (up near your bladder), and its purpose is to lubricate and clean out the urethra before ejaculation. And guess what? It can contain millions of sperm, left over from your last ejaculation, so pulling out before you come? Dangerous. In fact, we have a special name for people who use the “pull-out” method of birth control: parents.

If It Feels This Good, It Must Be Bad

By far, the most misinformation we get is about self-pleasuring. We’re still worried that we do it “too much.” Let’s look at that fear. It’s based on our heritage of discomfort with all things sexual and the fear that somewhere, somehow, there’s a right way and a wrong way to be sexual—and, of course, we don’t know what that is. Listen up kids: there’s NO wrong way. There’s only your way. That’s right. Whatever works for you. “But Dr. J” you say, “I think about sex all the time, and I jerk off five times a day. Isn’t that abnormal?” Not for you it isn’t. And if you never self-pleasure, that’s “normal” too. In other words, it’s what’s normal for you. And that's what counts.

Eating 20 peaches a day is “normal.” Watching 10 hours of TV is “normal.” And so on. Peaches aren’t harmful, but if you eat 20 of them, your stomach might become upset. Likewise, there’s no optimum number of hours for watching TV. The only time it might be a concern is if you’re using it to escape your daily life, and you feel dissatisfied and lonely because of it. So whatever your self-pleasuring rate is, or the number of times you think about sex daily, where’s the harm? It should only be a concern if it’s keeping you from accomplishing things. But realize that it isn’t sex per se that’s the problem. It’s that you might be using it to avoid important things in your life. You don’t blame peaches themselves if you eat so many that you throw up; you recognize that you ate more than your system could handle. However, we’re always sure that somehow, sex itself must be to blame.

Read my lips: Sex is not, in and of itself, inherently harmful. The only harm might come from trying to put too large a protuberance into too small an orifice without enough lubrication. Now that could be painful!

None of us is immune from these little bits of misinformation. We’ve all been exposed to them. So dive into the deep end of the pool, and send me your myths, questions, etc. And if I don’t know the answer, I know someone who does.

With Pleasure,

Dr. J
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