When it comes to sex education, many Brits have felt left in the dark, leaving the nation believing in many myths and falsehoods about sex, pleasure and their health well into their adult lives.
Sexual Health Awareness, Lovehoney has run a survey revealing the most prevalent sex myths in the UK and partnered with a sex expert to debunk the most common misconceptions about sex.
Erectile dysfunction is a normal part of growing older
Believed by a third (34%) of Brits. Almost 70% of men / those with penises will experience erectile dysfunction by age 70. However, we shouldn’t classify it as normal, as there are many reasons it can affect an individual and vary from person to person.
Anyone experiencing erectile issues should see a medical professional determine the cause. Once the cause of erectile dysfunction is found, whether psychological, physical or a mixture of both, there are many treatment methods to help manage symptoms.
Sex shouldn’t be painful for women if they are attracted to their partner
Believed by over 1 in 4 (27%) Brits.Being attracted to your partner doesn’t stop sex from being painful if you’re experiencing pain during penetration. Being attracted to your partner can mean you become aroused easier when thinking or being with them.
This can produce more vaginal lubrication naturally but may not solve intercourse-related pain. There are many reasons someone may experience pain during penetration but whether or not you’re attracted to someone isn’t one of them.
You can tell when you have an STI
Believed by 1 in 5 (21%) Brits. Sometimes STIs can go unnoticed due to the incubation time before they become active in the body. Even when an STI is active and showing up on test results, there aren’t always symptoms. This is why getting tested regularly is important, as we can’t always tell if we have contracted one.
You can get an STI from a toilet seat
Believed by almost 1 in 5 (18%) Brits. STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) don’t spread on toilet seats, and those that spread through contact with bodily fluids don’t survive outside the body long enough to be transmittable by sitting on a toilet seat. The fear of transmitting STIs via toilet seats has been going around for too long.
Pulling out is an effective method of contraception
Believed by 15% of Brits. While precum often only contains trace amounts of active sperm, someone could get pregnant from pre-ejaculation penetration. This means that the pull-out method isn’t always reliable.
Other key findings
- Almost 1 in 3 Brits do not seek sexual health advice from any source.
- One in ten men gets their sexual health advice from porn.
- Understanding the importance of communication is the number one thing Brits wished they had learned about sex sooner.
- Feeling sexy in your skin was one of the most popular lessons women wished they’d learned sooner, with a third (33%) agreeing compared to only 19% of men.
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