Since a lot of us don't exactly get a comprehensive sex education, a lot gets left to our imaginations. And our imaginations come up with some pretty crazy stuff. Let's hope sex ed gets better, but until then, at least we can look back at the beliefs about sex we once held and laugh (and, in some people's cases, feel relieved that we can't get pregnant in as many ways as we thought).
At age 5, my friend taught me that sex was when two people get naked and wiggle on top of each other. I can sort of see how she thought that. But I guess part of me knew that wasn't totally correct, because at 10, I conducted my own personal investigation using the dictionary. That managed to teach me which body parts went where, but of course, I concluded from this that the guy pees (an understandable mistake). I'm not sure when I was set straight on that, but miraculously, I emerged from middle school with no misconceptions other than that "blow job" means you blow on it.
It's comforting to know I'm not alone. Here are a few other people's accounts of the misguided but highly entertaining beliefs about sex they once held.
1. Katy, 46
I was a competitive equestrian from the age of seven. I was quite literally on the back of a horse every day. When I was 10 or 11, one of my school friends told me that riding horses so much probably already broke my hymen and I was no longer a virgin. This led to a conversation my mom probably wasn't quite ready to have, but I was relieved to know that I hadn't "lost my virginity" to a horse.
2. Carrie, 40
I used to think sex happened while you were sleeping (I think the euphemism "sleeping with" confused me), and for that reason, you should be sure to not fall asleep with a boy.
3. Calliope, 27
When I first got on birth control as a teen, my boyfriend at the time expressed relief that we wouldn't have to worry about me becoming pregnant from blow jobs anymore. I laughed so much, he told me to stop "shaming him."
4. Michelle, 29
I thought that sex was literally just a hug between parents in bed because that's how it was described in a book my parents gave me when my mom was pregnant with my brother.
5. Emily, 38
My mom explained the physical mechanics of penis-in-vagina intercourse to me when I was in grade school, but I didn't really understand about orgasms. So I just figured people had sex for a while until they got bored of it, and then stopped. And I thought that sperm just sort of leaked out of the penis from time to time and that some of it ultimately would make its way to the uterus. It wasn't until I read the Judy Blume book Then Again, Maybe I Won't that I actually understood how the whole penis/sperm/orgasm piece of it worked.
6. Jose, 23
That your genitals really do go together like a hot dog and bun.
7. Jessica*, 29
I didn't know women could have orgasms too.
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (7)