It’s About Time These Sexual Myths Got Totally Debunked

Myth: any invented story, idea, or concept; an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution

Women's Health

I remember a wife once telling me that, although she wasn't the biggest fan of doggy style, she was down for the cause because she was trying to conceive a boy. We were having this conversation on the phone so she couldn't see my facial expression. Still, I definitely did lightly chuckle as I asked, "So, you really believe that, huh?" The "that" I was referring to is sexual positions can determine a child's gender.

If you're someone who is currently trying to make a baby, two conception myths that are important to unlearn is 1) orgasms make it easier to conceive and 2) gettin' hit from the back will give you a son. The truth is, having sex while you're ovulating is what makes conception possible and, as far as a child's gender goes, what one doctor said in "There Is No Magical Position or Food to Help Conceive a Boy or Girl" is spot-on—"If sperm carrying an X chromosome fertilizes the egg, a girl or female (XX) will be conceived. If the sperm carrying a Y chromosome fertilizes the egg, then a boy or male (XY) will be conceived." It's as simple as that.

It was recalling that conversation that inspired me to address a few other common sexual myths; most of which I've directly heard come out of people's mouths. You know, it really is amazing how, like gossip, a myth can travel pretty far as if it's the gospel truth even if/when it's a flat-out lie. But the good thing is, also like gossip, if you want to get down to the facts, there is enough information available to get to a reputable source so that you are able to totally debunk a false belief.

And, as far as sexual myths go, here are 10 that need to be completely and finally put to bed—well, to rest.

1. You Can’t Get Pregnant on Your Period


I'm hoping that more people than not know that this is totally a myth. Although it's not super-duper likely, the reason why it's still possible is because, if your period is not regular, you have sex towards the end of your cycle and early ovulation occurs—BAM! There you go. The reason why it's possible to get pregnant while you are on your period is sperm, on average, can live in you for 72 hours. So, having sex on the fourth day of your period could mean that sperm sticks around for three more days and…there you have it. Moral to the story—if you don't have a regular cycle and you absolutely do not want to get pregnant, but you do want to engage in a little bit of period sex, make sure to use a condom. At all times.

While we're on the topic of sex and pregnancy myths, please don't fall for the whole "You can't get pregnant from pre-cum" stuff either. Although pre-ejaculate doesn't contain as much sperm as ejaculate does, there is some, and one sperm is all you need for a pregnancy test to end up with positive results. So again, if you're not on birth control, use a condom. And speaking of birth control, let's debunk a pill myth right quick.

2. Birth Control Makes You Gain Weight

Any time you decide to take something to alter how your body naturally functions, there is a certain amount of risk that's involved. Any reputable doctor will tell you that. But if you are shying away from the pill because you think it will cause you to gain weight, this too is a myth. Now before you give push back on this, the reason why you might pack on some pounds during the first few months of taking the pill is because a side effect can be water retention. But rest assured that, what the pill isn't doing is causing you to gain actual fat. Plus, birth control pills contain a lot less hormones now than they did back when your mama was on them, so that's even more of a reason to not be too concerned about weight gain.

3. All Men Cheat. If Not Immediately, Eventually.


With articles out in cyberspace like "The Future of Infidelity Is Female", and studies that indicate 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women have cheated in their relationship, it's clear that both genders are fully capable of being unfaithful. As far as what increases the possibility of cheating in a relationship, some of the factors include being financially dependent on your partner, men having an upcoming milestone birthday and being older rather than younger. Women are more likely to engage in an emotional affair (which is still cheating, by the way) while men stand a greater chance of participating in a sexual one. Another key point is, of half of the people who have cheated, it was with someone they considered to be a close friend.

Keeping all of this in mind, while I think that all of us know that there are probably more people who are out here being unfaithful than any study is able to reveal, still, the percentages are far too low to be out here resigning to the fact that all men cheat or will eventually cheat. Why do some people seem to not only believe but project otherwise? One article said it's due to their personal experience. Meaning, if they've been cheated on before, they think all men have done or will do it. Other people do as a form of deflection (if I put the focus on you, you'll be paying less attention to me and what I'm doing). And still, many just repeat what they hear others say.

But to come to the conclusion that ALL men cheat—not only is that not rooted in fact but it's a pretty bleak approach to men and relationships overall. Again, it's a myth. Let it go.

4. Married Couples and Seniors Have Less Sex Than Anyone Else

If you're someone who is hesitant or even scared to get married because all you can think about is how little sex you'll end up getting in comparison to your bachelorette life, this is another myth that needs to get cancelled right here and right now. According to the Kinsey Institute, while 50 percent of married young couples are gettin' it in 2-3 times a week, over 50 percent of singles haven't had any in over a year.

As far as seniors go, 73 percent of those between the ages of 57-64, 53 percent of those 64-75, and 26 percent of seniors who are between the ages of 75-85 not only still have sex, they do it at least 2-3 times a month. Not only that, but half between 57-75 and one-third between 75-85 still participate in oral sex too. Seems to me like marriage and old age are things to look forward to, not dodge at all costs.

5. Pineapples Make Sperm and Vaginal Fluids Taste Better


Anyone who is totally down for a little oral sex action has probably heard that consuming pineapples is a surefire way to make sperm and vaginal fluids taste better. First of all, if you think that any food will make either of those taste like ice cream, that is the first myth that needs to be debunked. That said, it is true that diet can play somewhat of a role in altering the smell, texture and taste of these bodily fluids. It is also true that since sperm and vaginal fluids are acidic, and so is pineapple, eating (or drinking) some can cut some of the bitterness out of both. So can other acidic fruits like cranberries, minty herbs like fresh peppermint and celery, if you're looking for something that will make fluids less salty. But again, if you think that pineapples will turn sperm/semen into a pina colada, that's (unfortunately) not true.

To me, I think the bigger point here is the more water that someone drinks, the more fluid they are able to produce. This can be a great natural lubrication tip for women. But if "less is more" on the fellatio tip, you might want your man to steer clear of Big Gulps a day or two before y'all's "session". Just sayin'.

6. Men Are Hornier in Their 20s. Women in Their 40s.

If there's a myth that I hear women say, on repeat, it's that their sex drive is higher when they are in their 40s. There are too many articles to hyperlink to this particular point, but what I will say is, far too many factors (including hormone levels, how connected she feels to her partner, medications she may be taking, the kind of body image that she has and even her diet) play a role in a women's sex drive to narrow our libido to a specific age.

The reason why men in their 20s and women in their 40s tend to be "the perfect sexual storm" for so many is young lads are so hyped about sex and eager to please at that age while us women in our 40s have come to really discover what works/doesn't work and what we want/don't want that sex with a younger man seems to work like a charm. Between their energy and our clarity, that can make for some pretty interesting sex sessions between younger men and older women.

7. The Size of a Man’s Hands and Feet Are “Penis Size Predictors”


Listen, I didn't even need to do any formal research on this one to know that it's some bullshishery. There have been guys in my past who rock a size 13 who have an average size penis while men who wore a 9 ½ totally threw me for a loop. But if you need some scientific data to break the myth, this one right here bucks the whole "feet thing" while this one here says that, although finger-length sometimes plays a small role in predicting one's penis size, for the most part, hand size doesn't reveal much either.

So how can you tell what's up before actually seeing it for yourself? I'll just tell you what my great-grandmother used to tell me—"Cop a feel. Make sure it's real." Chile, why are we out here making things complicated when all of this old wisdom is at our disposal?

8. Penis Size Matters

I don't know what makes women think that a man needs to be "packin'" in order to sexually satisfy them. Especially since 1) women's most sensitive vaginal nerves are at the first 1-2" inside of our vagina and 2) over 70 percent of women don't even have orgasms from vaginal penetration alone. Definitely, if there is anything that has been birthed out of societal pressure and "fake news", it's that if a man doesn't have a big penis, he isn't able to please his partner.

Besides, with the average size flaccid being close to 4" and erect close to 6", seems like God made sure that so long as our nerve endings could be reached (including our G-spot which is about two inches inside of our vagina), then the rest is up to technique. And believe you me, many men with 9" are wack and some with under 7" are killer (check out "Unpopular Opinion: Size Doesn't Matter To Me" on this site when you have the chance). Let this dumb myth go.

9. Men Have Higher Sex Drives


I think one of the reasons why there's such a strong assumption that men have stronger sex drives than women is because a lot of us aren't as excited at the thought of casual sex as men are. It's not because we don't like the spontaneity or even that we have to be totally in love in order to have a good time. It's just that we have to consider things like what if we get pregnant by said random partner and, fellas if you're reading this, a lot of y'all suck at casual sex. Some of you need to be "brought up to speed" concerning what your partner wants or doesn't want and, if the sex consists of a one-night stand or something sporadic, you may not satisfy your partner as much (check out "Why More Women Are Saying No to Casual Sex" and "We Asked Women How They Feel About Casual Sex"). But don't confuse taking a pass on a five-minute romp in a public bathroom to women not being down for sex or it always needing to come out of some romance novel or rom-com.

In fact, there are studies (including this one and this one) that indicate that many of our drives are actually higher than men's. The reason why this oftentimes goes undetected is because men tend to think and seek sex out more than we do. But once we're interested and down for the cause, watch out—you're in for quite a night.

10. Oral Sex Is Safer

One more. I am in my mid-40s and I can't tell you how many times I have heard people my age and up say that they have oral sex more because it's safer. What in the world?! If by "safer", you mean that you can't get (or get someone) pregnant, then yes, you are exactly right. But if by safer, what you think is you can't contract an STD, you couldn't be more wrong. Herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HPV and HIV are all STDs that can be transmitted by giving and/or receiving oral sex.

That's why it's important to take an STD test (click here for one that you can take at home), even before engaging in cunnilingus or fellatio. If you or your partner have any cuts or mouth sores, you should wait until they completely heal. And, it's a good idea to wait until you are completely comfortable before you decide to engage.

Because another myth that must be debunked as we close is, as much as people try and act like it's not, oral sex is sex.

Choose your partner wisely, y'all. That's the biggest truth of all.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Who Knew Oral Sex Has An Official Time Limit?

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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