We all have beliefs about sex.
Beliefs that have come from our families, our culture, our religion, the media and from our own experiences.
Any thought that you think repeatedly over a period of time and believe to be true (whether it is or not) is considered a belief.
Beliefs that have often been around so long you have stopped questioning them…
Or perhaps you’ve never questioned them.
We say that it is always a good time to question your beliefs. To work out whether they are true. It’s even better to work out if they are working for you, or against you. Knowing what benefits they provide, what limitations they may create.
Discussing your beliefs can be a great way of building depth, understanding and connection in your relationship too.
We offer 25 common beliefs here to give you a starting point.
Belief 1: Men and women’s genitals are totally different and there are only two types. Not actually true. Our genitals begin in the womb exactly the same and only differentiate at 6 weeks. The Y chromosome then develops and sends the male genitals to the outside. It’s why some people are born with a mixture of genitalia, as the individuation happens uniquely. This is also how women have a whole lot of arousal tissue under their labia, have a prostate and are able to ejaculate.
Belief 2: The clitoris consists of this little button at the top of a woman’s labia and that is all. The clitoris has now been found to have legs that extend from the head, or the glans of the clitoris. They extend down either side of the vagina, underneath the labia. Which makes arousal of the whole vulva area important to female pleasure.
Belief 3: Girls are born with an intact hymen that is ruptured by the penis during her first intercourse. When in fact the hymen comes in many shapes at birth, some intact, some with holes and some virtually non existent. Nothing to do with penetration, and to do with all sorts of negative consequences in some cultures. Bleeding during first sex is often more about roughness and a lack of lubrication, than a breaking of the hymen.
Belief 4: Before the full understanding of conception and the role of semen and sperm, men were thought to have nothing to with the creation of children. Women were thought to create babies all on their own.
Belief 5: Men are capable of having only one orgasm, and that this orgasm can only happen at the same time as they ejaculate. Even that orgasm and ejaculation ARE the same thing. Men have been found to orgasm and ejaculate separately, just the way women can both orgasm and ejaculate separately.
Belief 6: Masturbating whilst in a relationship means that you aren’t sexually interested in your partner. Not true at all. Masturbating can happen for many reasons- the partner is unavailable, or the persona is maintaining their most important sexual relationship- the one that begins with themselves from which all others spring from.
Belief 7: Men think about sex much more than women, every 7 seconds to be exact. Not true. Research discredits this persistent stereotype, which would amount to more than 8,000 thoughts about sex in 16 waking hours. In one study, the median number of young men’s thought about sex stood at almost 19 times per day. Young women in the study reported a median of nearly 10 thoughts about sex per day. Men and women in the study thought about food almost as much!
Belief 8: Women’s bodies are always hairless with tucked neatly tucked in labia… this has become a porn based myth that is not true. Having genital hair is a personal choice and labia come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours, and all are normal.
Belief 9: Sex is only good when you have an orgasm. The truth is determined by each individual couple. Some may include the degree of intimacy as a higher priority.
Belief 10: A man needs to have an erection to feel sexual pleasure. We’ve been in a room full of men in full bodied orgasm without an erection in sight. And a woman doesn’t need to be wet to be aroused.
Belief 11: The female GSpot doesn’t exist. Yes this one is still around. With just as many studies showing that the urethral sponge (GSpot) does exist, as does female ejaculation. It can just take time to awaken.
Belief 12: The size of the man’s penis determines the quality of the sex. Totally not true. It’s what he does with it that counts. It also depends on the size of the head, and even the angle of the penis. Good sex is also determined by the degree of female arousal. This is because arousal helps swell clitoral/vaginal tissues making them feel more snug. Even the tone of the pelvic floor muscles can make a difference.
For your information a review by the British Urology journal confirmed that (in Caucasian men at least):
- The average flaccid length of a penis is 3.6 ins/9.1 cms.
- The average circumference of a flaccid penis is 3.7 ins/9.4 cms.
- The average erect length of a penis is 5.1 ins/12.9 cms.
- The average circumference of an erect penis is 4.5 ins/11.4 cms
Belief 13: Female ejaculation is urine. The presence of prostatic hormones in ejaculation fluid show that it is chemically different to urine. Although at times it can be more chemically similar, especially if there is a lot of emotion going on, it is not the same. Ejaculation also comes from the prostate, not the bladder.
Belief 14: Orgasm and climax are the same thing. We say no, so do various studies. Of course, confusingly, some studies say they are the same. The typical definition of an orgasm is a peak of physical pleasure. One that is accompanied by pelvic floor muscle contractions, and for men the release of semen. Endorphins and oxytocin are released into the bloodstream. This is followed by a refractory period where no further arousal is possible. We would describe this as a climax. We find that orgasm can be defined as any experience of pleasure that expands through the body. And it’s accompanied by some sort of mind shift. A mind shift that makes us feel as if we are somehow different to how we were before. Our state will have changed. We have perhaps become more relaxed, more at peace, more open hearted, more connected etc.
Belief 15: Male sexuality is biological, female sexuality is psychological. We see that given the space, men bring a deep psychological and vulnerable aspect to their sexuality just like women do. It’s just that they are so often conditioned out of it and not given permission to express it. Ask any man who has been sexually rejected. And sex is often the only way a man can experience tenderness, softness, surrender, closeness, touch and affection in a culturally acceptable way.
Belief 16: Male sexuality is predatory in nature. Relationship therapist Esther Perel says in her experience it is the fear of being predatory that controls male sexuality more. For a man in relationship, seeing that he is pleasing his woman is such a turn on. Because it confirms that he is not hurting her, his deepest fear. Esther says women don’t have this fear. Women more often have a sense of caretaking. Taking care of her man before she can fully abandon herself to her own pleasure. She worries more about not pleasing him, than desiring to feel his pleasure.
Belief 17: Vaginal orgasms are the proper way for a woman to orgasm. Over 70% of women orgasm via the clitoris. She can often learn to orgasm vaginally, but it is not required. Mutual orgasms at the same time aren’t either. They’re nice when they happen but not worth pushing for.
Belief 18: It’s pathological if a man wants a lot of sex. It’s no more pathological than if a woman wants lots of romance or intimacy. Sex is his love language.
Belief 19: Women don’t like sex as much as men. They don’t want to initiate sex or be more in the active, rather than the passive role, in sex. And women are not as sexually adventurous as men. None of these are essentially true. Women have just been conditioned out of them for a few thousand years – good girls don’t, and girls who do are sluts. Given permission, which is happening more often these days, women can enjoy and seek sex just as much as a man.
Belief 20: Watching porn makes a man more likely to cheat on his spouse. In fact, the opposite has been found to be true.
Belief 21: If a man enjoys sexual touch by another man, or enjoys anal sex it makes him gay or bisexual. Same goes for a woman enjoying pleasure with another woman. These labels don’t apply unless you want them to.
Belief 22: Women want less sex as they get older. More often they want better sex as they get older. They do not peak sexually in their 30’s, they can peak at any age. It’s much more about how comfortable they feel with their bodies, themselves and their sexuality.
Belief 23: If a man loses his erection in sex it means he thinks his partner is not sexually attractive. A man can lose his erection for any number of reasons. Such as drinking too much, fatigue, stress about work or money, relationship issues or even past abuse issues. The same can be true for a woman who doesn’t orgasm during sex, it is not always about the skill of her lover.
Belief 24: Women are not as visually stimulated as men. Not true, again this is a symptom of their conditioning, they have simply shut it down.
Belief 25: Men who watch porn prefer it over sex with their partner. This is like comparing apples and oranges, they are two different things. If he IS preferring porn to sex with his partner, there is something else going on. As shown in the well researched book Ethical Porn for Dicks: A Man’s Guide to Responsible Viewing Pleasure by David Ley. Just like there is no officially such a thing as a sex addiction, something else is going on.
You can add even more of your own beliefs to explore.
Any thought that you think repeatedly that has a positive or a limiting impact on your sexual experience is worth exploring.