Give me a break, sex doesn’t last for hours.
Recently, Policy Mic put together a completely dead-on list of myths about sex that we need to stop teaching young impressionable girls. But girls aren’t the only ones whose formative sexual education can make or break the way one interacts with their sexuality for the rest of their life. According to a study done by the CDC, only 81 percent of men are taught how to say “no” to sex by the time they graduate high school and a sad 62 percent are taught about different methods of birth control.
Outdated ideas of gender roles impact men just as much as they influence women. Everything from Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” to the Steubenville football players to Old Spice’s Man Your Man Could Smell Like shapes the way young men see themselves and the way they’re sexualized. Before we can all start having better sex, here are some lies we need to stop feeding boys about how “real men” have sex.
1. A big penis is the only way to ever please a lover.
The prevalence of size queens and people who say, “But it really does matter,” are only hurting everybody’s sex lives. Studies have pegged the average penis size somewhere between 5.1 to 5.6 inches. But that’s certainly not the images men are hit with in porn or the rare times dicks are flashed in mainstream movies. All this talk about dick size gives men anxiety about their girth and their ability to please their partners, but studies have pegged up to 77 percent of women don’t care at all about dick size. As the saying goes, it’s not the size of the tools, but how you use them.
2. Sex lasts for at least an hour.
A lot of emphasis is put on men lasting longer in bed, with many products out there attempting to get men to go on for hours and hours. But the average inter-vaginal sex lasts only 7.3 minutes. Shorter sex isn’t exactly “short” — it’s the norm. It’s up to both partners to be respectful enough of each other’s pleasure to make sure that both are satisfied, whatever the duration of intercourse itself.
3. Men always want sex.
Just as the myth that women don’t want as much sex as men exists, society also assumes that men are indefatigable, relentless sex zombies. It’s okay to not want sex, and sometimes, men don’t.
4. Sex ends with a man’s orgasm.
Just as a lot of women can’t orgasm though intercourse alone, sex can still be sex without a male orgasm. It takes the average man about seven to 14 minutes to reach orgasm during sex whereas it takes women anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes — which means, sex doesn’t need to end just because a man has ejaculated. Thinking that way puts a lot of pressure on the male orgasm and leaves the partner’s pleasure by the wayside.
5. What you see in porn is what happens during sex.
Porn is full of huge dongs, ever-moaning women, money shots, fetishes, and extreme sex acts. But, as men come to realize after having sex for a while, solely jackhammering away is generally not the way to go. Not realizing that there are distinct differences between porn and sex — entertainment and reality — is damaging to both partners and puts too much pressure on everyday sex.
6. Men should always initiate sex.
This is simply not true. Men are always cornered to make the first move — first to call, first to ask out, first to head to the bedroom — but initiative doesn’t make someone “manly,” and deciding when is right should be up to both parties.
7. Circumcised penises are the right kind.
There are many camps when it comes to circumcising men, but it really doesn’t matter. Just as with all aesthetic or religious choices, there is no one right way to be. In fact, studies have shown that despite urban legend, circumcised penises don’t influence sexual pleasure. While only 33 percent of women in one survey said they prefer an uncircumcised penis, a large part of that turtleneck fear is that women just aren’t as exposed to them. (But ask anyone who has played with an uncircumcised penis, and they probably don’t care either way.)
8. Men are in charge of buying condoms.
As Policy Mic points out, it’s expected that men buy all the condoms and women just sit back and ignore protection. While it makes sense that men might want to be their own condoms to get the right size, brand, and flavor of their choice, they shouldn’t be the only ones stocking up on rubbers.
9. All men are born with penises.
That’s not say having sex with a man relies solely on the individual’s ability to get an erection. Transgender men and gender queer individuals have sex, too. Being a real man is about knowing oneself as a man.
10. Everyone around you is having sex.
A study from 2013 revealed that while it’s expected that most high school boys are already having sex, in fact only 35 percent of 16-year-old boys have had sex. Meaning: not everyone around you is actually getting it on. While movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin depict not having sex as an emblem of shame, the truth is, there are often lulls in people’s sex drive and sex frequency throughout a lifetime.
11. Liking butt play makes you gay.
Here’s a little lesson: men, gay or straight, have a prostate gland. It’s a walnut-sized gland that’s part of a dude’s reproductive system. Men can achieve an orgasm from anal sex or a prostate massage alone. Which mean when a guy is requesting “butt stuff,” like a finger in the ass or a rim job, it doesn’t mean anything about his sexual orientation.
12. Going down on someone isn’t masculine.
Going down on someone doesn’t make you a pussy, it makes you good in bed. Besides, studies have shown that the main evolutionary drive behind men giving oral sex isn’t about reciprocation, it’s about sustaining a relationship. Amen.
13. Men can’t get some kinds of STIs.
While there are some wild rumors out there about some men, especially straight men, being exempt from certain STIs, the fact is, that’s simply not true. While it’s harder or impossible to test for some STIs, like HPV, in men, guys are still very capable of catching and spreading STIs, including HIV. Just because boys don’t always have the same symptoms as girls doesn’t mean they’re superhuman.
14. If you buy someone dinner, you’re getting laid.
Sex — unless one of the parties is being paid — is not commerce or an exchange. Picking up the tab on your date’s meal doesn’t mean you should be rewarded with sex. It doesn’t mean anything except that you paid for chicken parm.
15. When men can’t get erections, it means they don’t want sex.
Sometimes, men don’t have a boner. This could be because they’re not in the mood, because they drank too much, they’re on medication, or depressed. There are literally a million reasons why a man sometimes can’t get it up. While some studies have pegged up to 52 percent of men as experiencing some sort of erectile dysfunction in their lives, it’s important to note the presence or absence of an erection in the bedroom doesn’t always have to do with sexual desire. And it has nothing to do with masculinity.
16. Men think about sex every seven seconds.
C’mon. Just stop.
Image via HBO.