We think that kids believe the stupidest things, but turns out, so do adults. Throughout history, people have believed tons of crazy myths about sex, no matter how ridiculous they sound to us now. But at the time, these people thought they were right (and they probably thought they were like, really smart). I don’t mean to sound smug, because the reality is, even today people still believe a variety of sex myths. And, look, I get it. Sex can be uncomfortable. Sometimes it feels like limbs are everywhere, and it can be overall an awkward experience. For some people (not me because I publicly write about my sex life), the thought of talking about sex with their parents, friends, or doctor is scary and uncomfortable, so they turn to the internet, which we all know is not always the source of reliable information.
To be honest, as a kid, I was so uncomfortable with the idea of sex that I refused for my mom to ever give me “the talk.” Hard to believe, I know. All I can say is thank God that the internet exists, or I would definitely still believe some of my own absurd sex myths. Here is a list of some of the craziest sex myths throughout history, that you’ll have trouble believing other people even took seriously (I hope).
Farts Caused Erections
Aphrodisiacs are a beautiful thing. Oysters, chocolate, wine, etc. are considered to be aphrodisiacs. But we don’t typically think of foods that make us gassy to be foods to set the mood. But up until the 18th century, Roman physician Galen believed foods that are “warm and moist” (yuck) and “windy” (aka that make you fart) were aphrodisiacs. Spicy foods (specifically peppers), carrots, asparagus, and others were thought to get people horny. Why? Because people used to believe that erections were caused by wind inflating the penis. Oh god. I don’t even have time to get into all the ways this is wrong. I trust you all took some basic sex ed, yes?
Sneezing After Sex
People really used to believe this myth that in order to prevent pregnancy, you needed to sneeze. Greek Physician Soronus recommended a woman do squats, sneezes, and then rinse out her vagina to avoid getting pregnant. This sex myth is absurd … if I just
had sex did some exercise, I don’t want to do more exercise by doing squats. And if this were the case, no person with seasonal allergies or a cold would ever get pregnant. Honestly, I wish it were that easy—then we would never have unwanted pregnancies.
Masturbation Cures Hysteria
This sex myth is crazy. Starting in the first century A.D., hysteria was described as a female-specific illness and was a result of a “wandering womb.” So what was the cure? Doctor-induced orgasms. It was thought that an orgasm (known as hysterical paroxysm) could help cure a woman of her symptoms. As a result, the vibrator was developed to help doctors with their verrry difficult jobs. The worst part? “Hysteria” was considered a medical condition in the DSM (aka the psychiatry bible) until 1980!!! Aka 5 years after the Vietnam War ended and Jaws was released. (Ever realize that a hysterectomy is the word for when a woman’s uterus is removed? Yeah.)
You Can’t Get Pregnant From Rape
This list of sex myths could not be complete without a scarily recent one by Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin. In 2012, he told KTVI-TV that if a woman is legitimately raped, her body has a way of rejecting the sperm so she does not get pregnant. WTF?? The best part of his statement is that he said, “from what I understand from doctors.” I’m sorry, but what doctor is he talking to? Because they can’t possibly be licensed physicians. Also, don’t get me started with his use of “legitimate rape.”
Masturbating Ruins Your Eyesight
In 1758, Samuel Tissot, a Swiss physician, believed that the more semen a man lost from masturbating, the worse his eyesight would be. He wrote a whole book on the disease of masturbation. V curious about what other sex myths he believed. This sex myth also made people believe that masturbation causes a wide range of symptoms and that it is a disease in and of itself.
Periods Deform Babies
The French believed that if you had sex on your period and got pregnant, the baby would be deformed. The Curse: A Cultural History of Menstruation outlines the history of period myths. The book says that a baby conceived while a woman has her period will be “puny, languid, and moribund, subject to an infinity of fetid maladies, foul and stinking.” What vivid, gross imagery! There is also the myth that if you’re on your period, you can’t get pregnant. Although unlikely, it is still possible, making this among the common sex myths that people still believe. TBH people believe the craziest things about vaginas in general.
Thank god we as a society still don’t believe some of these truly ridiculous sex myths, but we still have a long way to go when it comes to understanding the human body (and particularly the female anatomy). If nothing else, this proves we really need better sex education.
Images: Giphy (3)
Nothing will transport you back to high school faster than being in a room full of people talking about some type of sex you’ve never heard of. Not that high school wasn’t fun, but who likes being reminded that once upon a time, they were a virgin who couldn’t drive? Even though it’s literally impossible to keep up with all the weird euphemisms for sex people come up with, you’re obviously not supposed to let on that you have no idea WTF truffle butter means. (You’re not going to like it. Or maybe you will—I don’t know the details of your sex life and I prefer to keep it that way.) I don’t know how people maintained a cool, sexually sophisticated façade before the internet, but luckily, we live in an era where you can pull up Urban Dictionary on your phone whenever you want. Blessings.
In the interest of pretending like you’re not totally vanilla, here are the definitions of 10 sex terms you’re too embarrassed to admit you don’t know.
1. Truffle Butter
Nicki Minaj wrote an entire song about this one, but if Googling it somehow slipped your mind and it’s too late to ask anyone, allow me to explain. Truffle butter is the result of going from anal sex to vaginal sex—apparently, it’s the tan shit (possibly literally) around your vag. In order to maintain my faith in humanity I’m just gonna assume it’s a thing that happens once and never again in any relationship, because the idea makes me want to puke. Also, hello, does nobody realize that’s a UTI waiting to happen? I am scarred.
BTW, the mess is also known by another name: Santorum. Please Google it because the origins of the name are the only good thing to come out of American politics since Jackie Kennedy’s dress sense.
I’ll keep this definition as short as the word itself: Chodes are short, fat dicks. This can be taken literally or figuratively—Jonah Hill, for example, could be considered a chode. Although he fits the definition to a T in other ways, Pussy Grabber-in-Chief is (surprisingly) too tall to fit in the category in the literal sense. And for those of you who are wondering, according to Google, Donald Trump is supposedly 6’2″, but given his clear Napoleon complex I’m going to declare that fact fake news.
The online definitions vary, but the basic definition of a creampie is when a dude’s semen drips out of you after sex. Because someone, somewhere will literally lick anything out of a vagina, creampies sometimes refer to when your partner licks said semen up once you’re done banging. I would take this time to ask “WHO DOES THAT??” but honestly, I don’t want to know. Please try to contain your vom.
Bukkake is not a trendy new sushi roll—it’s when a bunch of dudes jack off onto a woman’s body, which sounds enjoyable for precisely no one. Like, where do you gather all these dudes? What are the rules for eye contact? Do the men acknowledge that this is way beyond the rules of the bro code? What the fuck are women supposed to get out of it, aside from a lot of blackmail material? If I wanted to personally collect a whole bunch of DNA evidence, I’d work in a crime lab.
If you’re a bi betch or know anyone who plays for both teams, they’ve def complained about the idea of a unicorn before. Aside from being the mythical creature you asked for on your 9th birthday, unicorns are the nickname for a chick who joins a het couple for a threesome and enjoys it for some reason. Tragically for the swingers (read: fuckboys who don’t want to be monogamous but don’t have the balls to dump their GF) of the world, unicorns are way, way less common than porn would have you think. Which is precisely why they’re called “unicorns” and not “people in the bread aisle of your local grocery store”.
6. Tossing Salad
Once again, we have Nicki Minaj to thank for bringing this phrase to everyone’s attention. Tossing salad (like his name’s Romaine) is literally just going down on someone’s asshole. If you ever heard of The Human Centipede, it’s basically the sex version of that. If Queen Nicki’s into it, I guess it must be fun somehow even if it sounds like the fastest way to get e. coli and end up in the hospital. I’d rather just go to Chipotle.
7. Eskimo Sisters
We did an entire guide to the concept of Eskimo sisters, but if you’re crunched for time, here’s the short version. Eskimo sisters are two women who’ve had sex with the same person, AKA the #1 reason for failed friendships. (#2 is posting an Instagram where one person looks fat.) It’s a complicated, yet sacred relationship in any small social circle, but if you manage to navigate the awkwardness at first, it’s no biggie. Prominent eskimo sisters in pop culture include Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie (and possibly Marion Cotillard), Kristen Doute and Ariana Madix, and all the girls who make it to the fantasy suite on the same season of The Bachelor.
According to a bunch of scandalized articles written in 2014, bloodhounds are dudes who either don’t mind having sex with you while you’re on your period, or they’re actually into it. We would also call them “men”. The fact that “bloodhound” is even a term is proof we need feminism TBH. Unless your flow rivals the Red Sea, having sex on your period is not a big fucking deal, as we’ve previously established.
Because people are way too obsessed with how lesbians have sex, even straight people have heard of scissoring. Basically, it’s when two women rub their clits and/or lady bits together until someone comes or until they get bored. Most of the time, it’s more of a porn/male fantasy thing than an actual thing women do when they have sex, but I guess some lesbian couples actually like it. Maybe.
In case you missed the Broad City episode about it, pegging is when a woman wears a strap-on and fucks a man—yes, up the asshole. When a fuckboy tried to convince me to do anal (“pleaseeee? Just one time?”), I asked him if he would be willing to let me peg him, and that shut him down real quick. I’m just saying, nobody should expect their partner to take it up the ass unless they’re prepared to do the same.
Am I saying I feel like pegging is a win for feminism? Basically yes. The more you know.
You know what sucks? Getting your period. Being cramped, smelly, and bloated is no way for any woman to live her life. But you know what sucks even more? Being hornier than usual due to period-related hormones but not being able to do anything about it because bae has a pathological fear of washing his sheets. Lucky for us 21st century betches, we have the internet and Lena Dunham to teach us that, despite what your Bible study teacher might say, period sex is totally a thing. Also, why are you talking to your Bible study teacher about period sex? Even if The Red Wedding is only something you talk about with your BFF after two bottles of wine, there is no reason you couldn’t begin to incorporate it into your life to make your period a little more bearable.
Unfortunately, here are a shitload bunch of taboos surrounding your monthly shark week that stand in the way of you and having sex whenever you please (thanks patriarchy!) and people who haven’t tried it usually assume period sex is either out of the question or super gross. In reality, it’s pretty normal, if a little messy. But like, all sex is kind of messy if you’re doing it right. Turns out, horny people will find ways to have sex, whether there is a little blood involved or not. Some people even like that shit. CC: Christian Grey. Plus, orgasms help fix your cramps. I repeat: Orgasms will get rid of your cramps.
If that’s not reason enough to convince your BF to dip his toes into the red tide, there are a bunch of other reasons you can bring up. Obviously, respect his boundaries and don’t go making anyone do stuff they aren’t comfortable with—you’re a betch, not a sociopath—but if you aren’t sure how to bring it up, here’s how to approach period sex with your BF.
1. Be Chill
Is there anything more anxiety-inducing than talking to someone who’s clearly nervous? When you introduce the topic, don’t make it out to be a bigger deal than it actually is—being awkward about your period just makes other people awkward too. Remember that menstruation isn’t actually disgusting; it’s just some blood. Trust me, dudes are so gross as a species that most of them get used to period blood fairly quickly once they’re given the chance. Feel free to bring up the time you found his masturbation sock under the bed, if he needs any reminders that his body is also disgusting.
2. Know Your Audience
There’s a difference between getting grossed out by blood in general and getting grossed out by blood because it comes from your hoo-ha. If your BF is the type to faint when he gets blood drawn, that’s probably exactly what would happen during period sex, especially during the first few days when it’s like a menstrual tidal wave down there. Basically, if someone is legitimately terrified of blood, you might want to just get used to getting yourself off when Aunt Flo visits (good thing we just did a roundup of affordable vibrators!). Just Venmo request him for half the price of a Hitatchi Magic Wand and call it a compromise.
On the other hand, if he’s perfectly chill with horror movies and Law & Order: SVU, period blood ought to be no biggie. If your BF is weird about your period, ask him to think about the reasons why. Menstrual taboos don’t go away overnight, but it’s a start. Plus, he might wind up more woke thanks to your sex life.
3. Know Thyself
Some ladies have super intense cramps during the first few days of their period, so they might prefer curling up in the fetal position and eating an entire pizza to having sex. Some people prefer that when they’re not on their period, TBH. As boring as it is to plan things, don’t offer to try out period sex with your BF if you know you’d rather be catching up on This Is Us. In my experience, the middle or end of your period is the best time to get it on, because you’re horny without feeling like your uterus is being liquefied and sucked out through a straw.
4. Stock Up On Towels
One of the problems people have with period sex is that it seems messy, and they’re not wrong, although I’d like to point out that sex generally involves a lot of bodily fluids anyway. That’s why towels exist. Put one down and you’re good to go. Also, maybe go for a darker shade.
5. Hit The Shower
If you and/or your BF are way too type A to have sex on a towel (or you hate doing that much laundry, we can empathize), there’s another solution: Use your period as an excuse for shower sex. However, while period sex totally is a thing, I’m still not totally convinced that shower sex is. Like, I’m supposed to put my leg up where? What if I get soap in my eyes? What if we slip and break our necks? I don’t want my roommate to find our corpses like that. Shower sex is more trouble than it’s worth, TBH, but if that’s what it takes to get you and your bf comfortable with a little blood then you have my blessing. Just be sure to text a neighbor and tell them to call an ambulance if they hear anything that sounds like two people slipping to death mid-coitus.
6. Bring Up The Orgasms
Seriously, I cannot reiterate this enough. Orgasms. Fix. Cramps. Science says so. Therefore, the orgasm-giver can feel good about themselves and their magical healing sex powers. So yeah, like all things in life, if all else fails just find a way to make the man think he’s good at sex and he’ll do whatever tf you want.
If your SO is still unconvinced, you’ve done what you can. Just do yourself a favor and stock up on vibrators for some solo period sex, where nobody can judge.