Where did you learn about sex? It's no secret that sex ed in America isn't as comprehensive as it should be, so we may look to friends, TV shows and movies, and the internet to answer our questions when we really should be asking a doctor. And the problem with that? Misinformation gets spread — and people aren't protecting themselves.
According to a recent survey of 3,600 female and male undergraduate and graduate students in the United States, ages 18-25, from Teva Women's Health, the makers of Plan B One-Step, and The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, 62 percent of sexually active college students are not using contraception consistently, and only 15 percent of students feel like they're at a high risk of an an unplanned pregnancy. How scary is that?
In college, one of my friends, who didn't have sex ed growing up, adamantly believed you could pregnant from giving a blow job and that women couldn't have orgasms. But the big sex misconceptions don't stop after high school or college.
That's why Instagram's "Hot Doctor" Doctor Mike (seriously, stop what you're doing and check out his selfies and dog pics), who's a a third-year family medicine resident, stopped by Bustle to talk with us about STDs, orgasms, and penis size. We played a true or false game with Doctor Mike and he set the record straight on the most common sex myths around — and showed us how to take the perfect selfie.
Watch the video and check out the truths and myths below, because it's really never too late to learn more about sex.
1Most Women Cannot Orgasm Strictly Through Penetration (True)
Unlike what you'll see in the movies or porn, most women actually don't orgasm from penetration alone. "Studies show about 30 percent can, but if you fall into the 70th percentile it doesn't mean you're normal," Doctor Mike says. "So if you have depressive symptoms, other nerve issues — those could be signs of diabetes — you should get checked out. Be experimental with your partner and find out what's normal for you."
And, make sure you try these sex positions.
2Pulling Out Is A Good Form Of Birth Control (False)
"It is not a good form of birth control," Doctor Mike says. "It has a failure rate of about 25 percent. So if you have sex four times a week, there's a 25 percent chance that one of those days you're going to get pregnant." Eeek.
He points out that when people hear that condoms have a 15 percent failure risk, they won't bother with them. But the use of condoms isn't only for pregnancy prevention — but STI prevention as well. #NoBalloonsNoParty
3Yogurt To Prevent Yeast Infections Or Bacterial Vaginosis Is Right (False)
This is one I've heard among friends since middle school, so I was happy he brought it up. "Yogurt does not get to your vaginal canal when you eat it," Doctor Mike says. "Unless you're actually physically taking the yogurt and placing it in your vaginal canal, which is a medical treatment, eating it does not prevent the risk. And taking probiotics for it does not help." So there you have it.
4Lots Of Masturbation Doesn't Lower Sperm Count (True)
"Masturbation does not lower sperm count," he says. "If you're having trouble getting pregnant, there are other reasons why."
5Taking Birth Control Does Not Increase Getting Pregnant Later In Life (True)
I hadn't heard this claim before, but Doctor Mike explains it's a common misconception among women that taking birth control essentially saves your eggs for later in life — but that's not true at all. "Women, don't worry about taking birth control, you're not going to get pregnant when you're 70."
6Birth Control Makes You Gain Weight (False)
"There was a huge study done that showed that birth control does not change women's weight," Doctor Mike says. "Women anecdotally noted that they gained some water weight immediately upon starting their birth control. You feel more bloated so you think you gain weight." He adds that this effect goes away and you'll go back to standard weight soon enough.
7There's A Small Variety In Men's Erect Penis Size (True)
I got this one wrong! "There is a small variety in erect penis size," Doctor Mike says. "Men's variety actually comes from their flaccid state where some guys are known to be growers or showers. The big variety actually lies in a man's flaccid state. When they're erect, most men average around 5.1 -5.8 inches." Tell all your friends.
8Sex Is Great Exercise (False)
We're not talking about a fun exercise here, because obviously it is, but whether it's a legit workout. "Sex is not great exercise," he says. "A half hour of sex burns about 90 calories, which is how many are found in an apple. One hour of sex doesn't even burn off a Snickers bar."
One way to increase the amount of calories burned during sex (even though you really should just be focusing on sex)? Standing while having sex.
9A Woman's Vagina Loses Elasticity Based On Her Sexual Activity or The Size Of Her Partner (False)
"Women have this common misconception if they're more promiscuous or they spend more time with multiple partners, it'll change," Doctor Mike says.
But the only thing that changes a woman's elasticity or vaginal canal is age. "The vagina is very resilient," he says. Word.
10You Can Still Get STIs Through Oral And Anal Sex (True)
Yep, you can contract STIs through oral and anal sex. "It's important that if you're having unprotected oral or anal sex you go see your doctor and still get screened," Doctor Mike says. "You should wear protection at all times."
Takeaway? Wrap it up, talk to a medical professional about your sex questions, and take your selfies in front of a white backdrop with good lighting.