After my posts on dating and relationships, it’s finally time to talk about sex.
I cringe every time someone else peddles any of the following ideas about sex. While some of it is just annoying, other pieces on this list are downright dangerous.
Note: this is all pretty heteronormative because many of these negative ideas have been around for ages, when people assumed everyone was straight.
Bad Sex Advice and Sex Myths That Need to Stop
If you have sex before marriage… you’re cheating on your future spouse/ you’ll have problems with married sex/ you’re damaged goods/ no one will want to marry you/ etc., etc., etc.
I briefly introduced these damaging ideas in my review of Dianna E. Anderson’s book, Damaged Goods. I will cover everything more in detail when I write a Feminism 101 post on Purity Culture.
Basically, there’s this idea within many Christian (and other religious) circles that premarital sex is an unforgivable sin that will ruin your life forever.
Sex is a personal decision. Period.
Can premarital sex negatively affect a marriage? Sure. But so can just about anything else. Overbearing parents or meddling in-laws. Medical issues. Childhood trauma. Financial struggles. To act like premarital sex is some singular issue that will cause insurmountable problems in marriage is just not based on reality.
The vast majority of Americans today have premarital sex, but it’s hardly a new trend. So let’s stop with the hand-wringing, okay?
On the other hand…
You must have sex with a person before getting married, or you’ll divorce for sexual incompatibility.
Real talk here.
Dan and I waited until marriage to engage in coitus. We’ve figured things out just fine.
While I do actually agree that sexual compatibility is important, a fact too many folks entrenched in Purity Culture ignore entirely, I disagree that you must have premarital sex to guarantee sexual compatibility.
I’ll say it again.
Sex is a personal decision. Period. Aka not having sex is also a personal decision.
Not having sex with your spouse before y’all tie the knot can be a problem. Like I said above, lots of things cause marital problems, though. Most potential issues from sexual incompatibility can be prevented by talking about sex very frankly and frequently prior to getting engaged. That, and having adequate scientific information, which leads me to my next point.
Penetration is supposed to hurt/ Virgins are supposed to bleed
Let’s get something straight. I’m not invalidating the experiences of women who did bleed or did experience pain during their first (or second, or third, or other) sexual experience.
But pain or bleeding indicates a problem.
Check out Laci Green’s video on hymen myths.
If there’s pain during vaginal penetration, one of three problems is present.
- The partner is being too forceful
- The woman is not sufficiently aroused or the couple has not used sufficient lubricant
- The woman has vaginismus
Too many women suffer needlessly because of this perpetual myth of pain and bleeding.
All men want sex all the time/ Men only care about sex
Let’s give men a little bit more credit. They’re human beings, complex in their feelings, needs, and wants. While the average man has a higher libido than the average woman, that doesn’t mean he’s motivated solely by his sex drive.
Men care about love, about family, about work, about all sorts of things other than sex, that can impact their sex drive.
Besides, this idea completely erases asexual men.
Pretty much anything from Cosmo
Does anyone take this sex advice seriously? So much of it just sounds painful!
Enjoy this post? Check out the others in the series!
What would you add to this post? Share your thoughts in the comments!
P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who nominated me to be your Favorite Real #WCW! If you would vote for me now, I’d really appreciate it.