5 Common Sex Myths Busted

by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Let's talk about sex. Porn, media and pop culture would have you believe all sorts of absurd things about it, things which don't really reflect the real-life sex habits of most human beings. First of all, it's really not that easy to have sex up against a wall (or bar, or dresser). Also babies aren't delivered by storks and Russian lit isn't the best guide. Now that we've covered the basics, a bit more salacious sex education is in order.

1. Everyone's having anal sex

The number of women who've tried anal sex has been rising. In 1992, a survey found 16 percent of women ages 18 to 24 had tried anal sex; by 2010, this had risen to about 40 percent. Still, 40 percent is far from all women (and this is only saying they've tried it, not that they do it habitually). While it shouldn't be anything to be afraid or ashamed of, anal sex is way less prevalent in real life than in pornography.

2. Testosterone only influences male sex drives

People associate testosterone with men (and male sex drives), but testosterone, like estrogen, affects both women and men. In women, testosterone levels tend to be highest around ovulation each month. And though testosterone is considered the driver of sexual desire, the hormone may not be linked to increased lust at all in healthy men. In women, it's been shown to increase interest in masturbation but not sex with a partner.

3. All women are bare down there

In a recent study, more than half of women said they skip heavy-duty pubic hair removal and grooming. And a large 2010 study proclaimed that "pubic hair styles are diverse and it is more common than not for women to have at least some pubic hair."

4. Sex addiction is only for men

Several studies indicate that women are as likely or even more likely than men to have hypersexual disorder, aka sex addiction. Therapists say they see plenty of female sex addicts, though issues might manifest or be described differently.

5. Kinky sex preferences signal mental health issues

This should go without saying, but kinky sex preferences don't say anything about what kind of person someone is psychologically. A study earlier this year found folks into BDSM scored more favorably on tests of psychological health and personality tests than tamer sex types.