We Debunked 7 Sex Myths We're Tired Of Hearing

Photographed by Ashley Armitage.
Quite possibly one of the scariest things ever is that one out of five guys thinks he can’t get a woman pregnant if they have sex standing up. That means that a whopping 20% of men who sleep with women are completely misinformed about how baby-making works. Yikes.
Unfortunately, misinformation about sex (and safer sex) abounds, and too many people enter adulthood without the knowledge necessary to make sure the sex they’re having is safe, consensual, and pleasurable. And that’s something we should all care about.
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So, since there are a million sex and birth control myths out there, and we want you to have all the facts straight, here are seven of them, debunked just for you.
Paige Whipple works for The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a private, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy.
1 of 7
All lube is the same.

This is totally false. There are four types of lube: water-based, silicone-based, oil-based, and other liquids, like saliva or household products (such as lube, coconut oil, or baby oil). But all slippery stuff is not created equally. Oil-based lube should never be used with condoms (since they can break down condoms), and silicon-based lube is a no-go if you use a diaphragm or sex toys made out of silicone (remember: like dissolves like). Flavored lubes can be fun, but they definitely shouldn’t be used for penetration — they can contain sugar, which does not belong in vaginas (if you want to avoid infections).

Water-based lube is usually the safest choice, because it won’t harm a condom or your sex toys. If it doesn’t last as long as you’d like, revitalize it with some more lube or even some saliva.
2 of 7
IUD insertion is the worst pain ever.

For some women, it definitely may be the worst pain they’ve ever felt. But, for others, it’s just a pinch. (And for those who’ve already gone through childbirth, it’s likely a cakewalk.) Also, considering the mental pain of realizing you forgot your pill or having to run to CVS in the middle of a blizzard for Plan B, the set-it-and-forget-it IUD could keep you from mental and emotional turmoil for the next three to 10 years. (Not to mention, IUDs are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.)
3 of 7
You can DIY a condom with some plastic wrap or a Ziploc baggie.

No, no, and no. Household materials are not good substitutes for a condom. Not only can they tear more easily, but they don't fit properly and can get displaced or lost in an orifice during sex. Condoms go through a rigorous testing process to make sure that they fit well and prevent STIs and pregnancy, so just throwing anything on in their place could lead to transmission of infection or an unplanned pregnancy. If you find yourself without any condoms, either run to the store or hold off until next time — it’s not worth the risk.
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4 of 7
"Pulling out" is the easiest form of birth control.

Just pulling out is easy, but pulling out correctly is a whole different ball game. With typical use, withdrawal is only 78% effective at preventing pregnancy. The first thing to consider? Pre-cum can contain sperm, so although there’s no proof that pre-cum causes a pregnancy, there’s no proof that it doesn’t, either. It’s also difficult to perfect the timing and routine of pulling out — and even once you do, accidents happen! Your best bet is to use a condom in addition to the pull-out method every time, but especially in the beginning when you’re first getting the hang of it. The only truth to this myth: Pulling out doesn’t require a doctor’s visit, prescription, or trip to the store, so yeah, that’s pretty convenient.
5 of 7
Men hate wearing condoms.

Good news: 67% of men don’t mind wearing a condom, and 80% say wearing a condom is better than not having sex at all. Go, men! The truth about this one is pretty straightforward: Even if wearing a condom isn’t his favorite thing, he likes having sex with you more than he hates wearing the condom.
6 of 7
You have to take a break from birth control and "cleanse" your body every so often if you ever want to get pregnant.

There is no medical need to “cleanse” your body of hormones or stop using hormonal birth control until you’re ready to get pregnant. Being on the pill for a long time doesn’t affect your fertility or ability to get pregnant once you stop taking it — in fact, studies suggest that the Pill can reduce someone’s risk of developing cancer. You can get pregnant just a few days after you stop taking the pill (or if you’re vomiting), so make sure you stay on top of your BC game until you’re ready to get pregnant. If you do want to take a break from hormones, don’t throw in the towel on safer sex altogether — there are plenty of reliable non-hormonal methods, like fertility awareness, ParaGard (a.k.a. the copper IUD), and, of course, condoms.
7 of 7
You can’t get pregnant if you have sex in a hot tub.

You can get pregnant if you have sex anywhere: in a bed, in a hot tub, at Disneyland, or on the moon (though that last one isn’t proven). The chlorine and heat in a hot tub won’t kill sperm, so unfortunately, getting down and dirty in a hot tub isn’t an effective method of birth control. (Same goes for STI transmission.) Having sex in water can actually be harder, because the water washes away natural lubrication and can house bacteria and other nasty stuff that you don’t want in your bodily crevices. Bonus fact: You also can’t get pregnant just because someone ejaculated in the water.
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