Alright people, here’s the deal – I am about to get real with you about some beliefs that I’ve heard people saying about sex. When it comes to sex, the list of misconceptions, myths and blatant misinformation is longer than an extreme couponer’s grocery receipt. Today I want to offer up four of these popular beliefs and give you the cold, hard truth of it. Let’s get to it!
1) Lube is lube. You know what works as a fantastic lube for sex? LUBE! Not Crisco, or olive oil, or coconut oil, or Vaseline, or spit, or anything else that your friend’s boyfriend’s uncle told him would work. When it comes to grown up sex, lube should be a basic staple in the bedroom. And you can get it at just about any pharmacy or store like Target. Don’t go telling me that lube is too expensive for you to buy. You can get a decent lube for less than 2 days worth of the venti mochachino whatever you get at the coffee shop. Or you can go to your local HIV testing venue and probably get a few packets for free.
2) Negotiation will not take away the spontaneity of sex. Contrary to what some folks may think, taking a few minutes to talk about the activities you are about to engage in will not kill the mood. On the flip side, hurrying into that action and hitting stumbling blocks that make any of the people involved uncomfortable very well may downright bludgeon that mood to death. Setting boundaries and speaking up about your needs is sexy. And really, is anyone that doesn’t want to know your needs really worth fucking??
3) Condoms do not protect against everything. While condoms (if used properly) are generally quite effective (about 99%) in stopping the spread of many Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, they are not designed to be barriers against STIs that travel through skin contact. Think Herpes, Genital Warts (HPV) and Crabs (pubic lice), to name a few. It is still super important to use condoms, but it’s equally important to think of these things as well and to make sure you know you and your sexual partners’ STI statuses.
4) Yes, it counts as sex. Though many folks (especially teens and young adults) think that the only real sex is penis-in-vagina intercourse, the reality is that may different activities are, in fact, sex. Oral sex counts as sex, as does anal sex, hand jobs or any other situation where there is contact between one person’s body and other’s genitals. And that said, if you are not interested in exchanging fluids with each other, use barrier methods (like condoms) for these activities. When it comes to things like dry humping, mutual masturbation or any action where there is no genital contact, the distinction of “sex” is a little more up in the air for folks to figure out for themselves.
And as one added bonus popular belief,
5) Only yes means yes. Unless you are getting an emphatic “YES!” from your sexual partner, hands off the merch. “I don’t know,” “I’m not sure,” and “maybe” do not qualify as “YES.” If you have any confusion about your partner’s feelings on what is happening, ask!