When you work in a women's health clinic and you also have a lot of friends who are sex educators, you hear many shocking and gross sex myths that need to be debunked immediately. I mean, we have all probably heard some questionable facts about sex in our lives, and been unsure about what's true and what's false, and in my opinion, accurate sex information is an essential part of women's empowerment. What's more, relying on these sex myths can be flat out dangerous, so giving women access to the real facts is incredibly important.
Aside from putting you at risk of unintentional pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, you risk bodily injury and other not-so-healthy side effects from the methods associated with these myths. The stakes are high, especially in the case of some of the more dangerous methods. So while you may sit back at laugh at some of these weird sex myths, you might know someone who believes them or misconceptions like them. I encourage you to start a dialogue with your doctor so you can get clarification on any of the potentially erroneous sex advice you heard through the grapevine. Better to ask uncomfortable questions than to have uncomfortable medical procedures, after all
Given my experience as a former clinic manager, as a certified family planning assistant, and as an intern sex educator at Planned Parenthood, I've heard it all and I've learned how to debunk even the craziest of myths. Here are seven gross sex myths you should stop believing right now.
1. The Douche
This myth has persisted for decades, so it saddens me that in this age of easy access to information, it hasn't been squashed by a few Google searches. What I'm talking about is the old soda or bleach douche after sex. The idea is that the acids in these types of products kill sperm or sexually transmitted diseases. According to Rick Sowadsky, MSPH of the Nevada State Health Division, using a bleach douche can straight up kill you. And soda isn't much better. According to a study done at Harvard, a soda can kill sperm in a lab environment, but it's not a safe, nor effective form of birth control.
2. The Earwax Test
The idea behind the earwax test is that if you put earwax on a woman's vulva or into her vagina and it burns her skin, she has a sexually transmitted infection. This is sometimes also called the prison STD test. There are a lot of false reports on the Internet that state that the earwax test actually works, but according to the Planned Parenthood Health Educators interviewed by The Houston Chronicle, this is total myth. Plus, I don't know about you, but I don't want earwax in my vagina.
3. The Missionary Sneeze
Another oldie but goody is this gem: If you're on top, gravity will keep you from getting pregnant, and a sneeze will help you get the remaining offenders away from your precious eggs. According to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health in Maryland, gravity has absolutely zero effect on preventing pregnancy. Sperm can swim to where it needs to go no matter what position your body lies in. And sneezing can't get all of the sperm out of your vagina.
4. The Vomit Barrier
This myth? After oral sex, to avoid getting pregnant, vomit as soon as possible. The big red flag for this myth is the belief that you can get pregnant from swallowing sperm. You cannot. Sperm cannot get to your reproductive organs through your digestive organs. You can, however, get a sexually transmitted infection from oral sex, so practice safe sex here.
5. The Cock Ringer
The myth is that if you wear a cock ring, the sperm can't get out of the testicles and into the vagina. This isn't true. A cock ring can create pressure that affects ejaculation, but it's not a reliable way to avoid sperm. In fact, some men become more sensitive or ejaculate harder when they wear a cock ring.
6. The Triple Bagger
The young woman who told me this story at the clinic said she and her boyfriend came up with a great idea: Wear three condoms so when they were done with round one of pelvic partner-hood, they could just take the top one off and be ready to go, two more times, without ruining the moment. They hadn't tried it and she wanted to know if I thought it was a brilliant idea. After I reminded her that the semen would be in the inner layer of condoms, not the outer later, I also let her know about how friction causes condoms to break, making them less safe.
7. The Cotton Baller
This one's from a friend's Facebook post. She admitted proudly to stuffing cotton balls into her vagina before sex to absorb the sperm so they couldn't reach the egg. I mean, sure, they're going to absorb some of those pesky swimmers, but there are literally millions of sperm per ejaculation, and they're really good at getting where they need to go. Getting around cotton balls for sperm is like walking between parked cars for people.
We all have some bizarre sex info we picked up from around the way. What matters is doing your homework and really figuring out what's true, before believing it all.
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