10 Sex and Masturbation Myths To Debunk!

We’ve all heard sex myths, particularly when we’re younger and learning about sex. Some of these myths about sex are outrageous, like ‘don’t masturbate too often because you will run out of orgasms’ (you can’t, by the way!) but other sex and masturbation myths are so engrained into cultural ideas of sex that they still affect people well into adulthood, having an impact on current sexual experiences. It’s time to bust some of the most widespread misconceptions about partnered and solo sex.

Sex myth # 1: Sex is penetration

Sex is about pleasure as a whole! Penetration and orgasms can be a part of sex, but don’t define the act. Thanks to the media and mainstream porn, there’s a major misconception that hard-and-fast penetration is a sure-fire way to a mind-blowing orgasm. But! Research has found that most people with vulvas need clitoral stimulation in order to climax, and most aren’t getting enough of it. Whereas, people with penises may feel performance pressure via a hyper focus on penetration. All of this easily sets the stage for out of body performances rather than an embodied experiences. People are doing what they think sex is, rather doing what feels pleasurable for them in that moment. By taking the goal out of sex, you can prioritize outercourse, intimacy, exploration and communication, which will allow you to discover new paths to pleasure and create a definition of sex that works for your body.

Sex myth # 2: My genitals aren’t normal

Everyone’s genitals are different, just like our faces are all different. This should be CAPTAIN OBVIOUS as it gets, but we’ve all been conditioned to expect vulvas to be perfectly pink and hairless with zero razor rash and penises to be massive and always hard. Vulvas come in a full spectrum of shapes, skin tones…check out the Vulva Gallery for some real deal vulva appreciation. For people with vulvas the labia can vary in color, from light pink to dark brown. One outer lip may be bigger than the other or the inner lips may hang below the outer lips. Penises can be circumcised or not, straight or curvy and also range in skin tone. And for the size myth? 5-7 inches is the average, so put that in your…well, you get it.

Sex myth # 3: Libido and desire

Arguably, one of the most toxic sexual myths out there is expectations on how desire works. Most people are conditioned to think desire is the ‘gotta have you now’ or as an urge that seemingly comes out of nowhere. But the truth is, desire doesn’t always work this way. Sex educators and researchers refer to that lusty ‘rip your clothes’ off as spontaneous desire. But there’s also responsive desire which is more about following pleasure for pleasure’s sake. For those in long term relationships, creating space for and even scheduling special time with your partner for a bit of play and exploration can be key to cultivating an active sex life.

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Sex myth # 4: Orgasms on demand

Much like the sex is penetration myth, thinking that solo and partnered sex is only defined as ‘successful’ when an orgasm happens leaves little room for exploring the multitude of ways to experience pleasure. Think of pleasure and intimacy as a unique ecosystem built with a variety of paths. These paths don’t always have to lead to climax. In fact, taking the goal to orgasm off the menu during masturbation and partnered sex can help create new pleasure scripts and awaken previously unexplored erogenous zones. Think thighs, neck, feet and those softs spots behind the knees. Or explore edging – the practice of bringing yourself to the brink of climax, stopping stimulation, then beginning again. Repeat this as a practice of pleasure embodiment…and when you do finally climax…the effects can be earth shaking.

Sex myth # 5: Toys will desensitize you

Vibrators cannot rub away or damage your nerve endings. The masturbation myth that you can desensitize your clitoral nerve endings is associated with the shame and stigma around the use of sex toys and self pleasure. People with vulvas are told a vibrator will ‘ruin’ them for partnered sex, and they will become addicted to their vibrator. This is a myth that shames pleasure and masturbation. Solo sex is sex. You cannot desensitize your genitals by masturbating.

Extensive research has shown that women and people with vulvas orgasm more quickly and easily with stimulation of their clitoris, in addition to any other sexual experiences like penetration. Using vibrators can support all people in receiving the stimulation they want or need in order to feel good.

If you’re masturbating the same way each time and you start to experience feelings of numbness, or you’re less sensitive to stimulation when having sex with others. Take a break, mix up your masturbation routine and try something new! Sensation will always return.


Sex myth # 6: You can’t get pregnant on your first time

This is a crazy one but somehow still persists. As silly as it sounds, some people still put their hope and faith in this and don’t bother with safer sex the first time.

The fact of the matter is: if you are fertile and ovulating, it doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or your 101st, there’s still a chance of pregnancy. So stay on the safe side and use protection! It will not only prevent any issues down the line with surprise pregnancies but is also an important element in fighting STIs.

Sex myth # 7: The pill is all you need for safer sex

Look, the logic makes sense. For a lot of people, the biggest fear of unprotected sex is accidentally becoming pregnant. But no, the other big concern should be that STIs are transmitted easily during intimate moments. For that reason, taking all available precautions (like condoms and dental dams) should be a priority for you and any partner you want to get up close and personal with!

Sex Myth # 8: Penis owners think about sex every seven seconds 

Welcome to the good old gender clichés! The myth that a man has nothing better to do during the day than thinking about sex every seven (!) Seconds has still not died out. In all honesty, if that were really the case, what would be going on in the world? Sure, there are few nicer things that you should think about as often as possible, but so often it is a bit unrealistic. If it were so, most guys would no longer be able to lead a life with a job, family and friends. Regardless of the fact that this “seven second” frequency is nonsense, this myth also resonates with the old cliché that women don’t think about sex as often as men. The fact is that, according to scientists, the libido is relatively evenly distributed in both sexes. Women and men like to think about sex often- just not every seven seconds…  

Sex Myth # 9: Only vulva owners fake orgasms 

Regardless of the fact that no one would have to fake a climax in a perfect world, it is a myth that only women tell lies between the sheets. According to one survey, 16 percent of men have faked an orgasm at least once. The only tell-tale sign a man didn’t come is a lack of ejaculate – so it’s easy to fake while wearing a condom.  But why fake a climax at all? The same reason for both sexes; It doesn’t work out as expected and you don’t want to disappoint your partner. 

Sex Myth # 10: It’s over after 5,000 rounds 

Allegedly, a penis owner’s sperm store is said to be exhausted after coming 5000 times. But does this seemingly arbitrary limit really exist? Don’t worry, you can breathe easy. This statement clearly comes from the realm of myth. Under healthy circumstances, sperm is continuously produced into old age and doesn’t ‘run out’. 

Sex Myth #11 Vagina taste and smell

Newsflash ­­– vaginas do not and should not smell like roses and taste like candy. There’s even a myth that eating certain foods like pineapple can make vaginas tase ‘better’. MYTH alert! Vagina taste spans the spectrum from salty to sharp, briny to metallic. Its taste and smell can also fluctuate depending on where the vulva owner is at in their menstrual cycle.

Stigma surrounding vagina taste and smell also promotes douching. Health experts actually warn against using douches as this can disrupt natural ph levels. Vaginas are designed to self clean and regulate because they’re AMAZING. Trust yourself and if you feel like something is off, then seek care from a medical provider.

Sex Myth #12 Masturbation is only for single people

Unfortunately, this myth can create tension and misunderstanding between partners. But the truth is solo sex is always healthy and a form of self care. Masturbating while in a relationship doesn’t mean one person isn’t satisfied or there’s something ‘broken’. Elevating a partner to being the only source of pleasure not only adds undo pressure, but takes away from an individual’s ongoing exploration of new sensations and stimulation. The more we understand ourselves, the more we can share this knowledge with others. You what’s also hot? Mutual masturbation. This promotes intimacy, communication and shakes things up in the bedroom.

Debunking done. Now get to enjoying yourself!

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