“When you were younger, you might have believed in things like the idea that you could get an STD from a toilet seat or that guys reach their sexual peak at 18 years old,” says Dr. Michael Werner, a board-certified, fellowship-trained urologist & Medical Director of the New York Adropause Center, the leading treatment facility for male infertility and sexual dysfunction. “But now that you're older and wiser, most sex myths are pretty easy to spot. Still, there's the occasional snippet of sexual hearsay that keeps you guessing, and all that misinformation could be preventing you from making smart choices and living a healthier life.”
“It’s the right time to embrace the discussion of sexual education,” says Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, LMSW, MPH, PhD & Clinical Director of the Medical Center for Female Sexuality, a medical center committed to helping women solve their sexual health challenges and achieve a healthier, more satisfying sex life. “The best place to get information about your sexual health is from a medical expert in this field, but for whatever reason - convenience, privacy, or anxiety and urgency - people are searching the Internet for answers to intimate and important questions. The NYAC and MCFS’s goal is to ensure that women and men are well informed so that they can achieve full and satisfying sex lives.”
Below, Dr. Werner and Dr. Marcus reveal the facts behind common sexual health misconceptions.
MYTH: A Turned On Woman Is A Lubricated Woman
False. According to Dr. Marcus, “Some women’s skin is more oily or more lubricated than others. How much vaginal secretion a woman has is often a matter of genetics and life stage. Lubrication is based on the individual woman; and some women just have more of it than others.”
MYTH: “Real” Women Orgasm from Intercourse
False. Only 30% of women (that’s 3 out of 10 women!) can achieve orgasm from intercourse alone. 7 out of 10 women need additional stimulation from a hand, a mouth or a vibrator. Many women will enjoy orgasms while they are having intercourse but they will be using an additional method of stimulation on their clitoris while they are having intercourse.
MYTH: Size Matters
True. But it’s probably not what you think. “Of the hundreds of women we see here annually at the center we rarely, if ever, encounter a complaint about a penis being too small,” notes Dr. Marcus. “We do, however, have many, many women complaining that their partner is too large and that they have pain with intercourse.”
MYTH: A Woman Happy in a Relationship is a Woman Filled with Desire
False. It’s hard to make that case when you see teenagers with sky-high libidos. A woman’s desire is correlated to many variables and the quality of her relationship is only one. Stress, hormones, societal expectations and ability to get pleasure can play just as important a role as her relationship!
MYTH: Longer Intercourse is Better Intercourse
False. Wrong again. “Men who take longer in bed may actually be experiencing trouble ejaculating,” explains Dr. Werner. Average intercourse lasts 3 to 5 minutes with the man ejaculating after that period of time. Some women and men enjoy longer intercourse and can last 10, 20, even 30 minutes. Many women however will complain that their vaginas get sore after 7 to10 minutes.
MYTH: Only Wild Women Use Vibrators (Kinky Sex Toys) for Masturbating
False. Vibrators are the often the most effective way to reach orgasm for many women and are often used in partnered sexual experiences. Studies indicate that 52% of women have used vibrators and 40.9% have used them while having partnered sex. More and more “mainstream” women are discovering vibrators as a vehicle for healthier and satisfying sex lives.
MYTH: Women Peak Sexually at an Older Age than Men
False. It depends what one means by peak. Dr. Marcus elaborates, “Generally speaking, sexually peaking for women is defined by satisfaction as opposed to libido. For men, sexually peaking is defined by libido as opposed to satisfaction.” If one defined sexually peaking purely by libido, then men and women would both be peaking in their twenties. Testosterone levels decline with age across the reproductive years; by the time women reach their late 40’s, their blood testosterone levels are approximately half what they were in their 20’s.
About Dr. Michael Werner, MD, FACS
Michael A. Werner, M.D., FACS is a board-certified urologist who received his specialized fellowship training in male infertility and surgery and male sexual dysfunction at Boston University Medical Center. He lectures and writes extensively on these topics in medical journals and books.
Dr. Werner completed his Urology residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan and received his medical school training at the University of California at San Francisco. He holds an undergraduate degree in Biology from Harvard College. Dr. Werner’s private practice is limited to male infertility and male sexual dysfunction.
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