While most sex myths are easy to identify, there are a few that have survived the test of time despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Check out these sex myths fully debunked by (mostly) scientific research.
If men really thought about sex every 7 seconds, this would amount to approximately 8160 sexual thoughts per day (assuming they’re awake for 16 hours). It’s a wonder they get any work done!
Though I don’t know the source for this seemingly absurd statistic, there is a body of research that offers a more realistic perspective. For example, one study at Ohio State University found that men think about sex an average of 19 times per day. Women reported an average of 10 sexual thoughts per day and the findings suggest that men generally spend more time thinking about other biological needs like food (18 thoughts per day) and sleep (11 thoughts per day).
We can all breathe a sigh a relief knowing that this isn’t true. Sure. Erections may arise with ease during the teen years and hormone levels may surge, but thankfully sex isn’t just about hard penises and high testosterone levels. Science tells us that sex generally gets better with age which makes sense since sexual satisfaction is intrinsically linked to confidence, communication skills, body image and relationship satisfaction.
Not only are men happier in their relationships when they cuddle with their partner more frequently, but sexual satisfaction rates are higher in committed relationships. One study which analyzed the results of 197 scientific research projects found that factors positively correlated with high sexual satisfaction include intimacy, strong communication, assertiveness and personality similarities between partners. Interestingly, the same study found that having more sexual partners is linked with lower levels of sexual satisfaction.
I’ve met several men who admit to faking it and the research suggests that they’re not alone. One survey conducted by AskMen.com revealed that fourteen percent had faked it once and an additional twenty percent had done so more than once.
While it may be easier to fake it using a condom (which hides the sticky evidence), orgasm and ejaculation are actually two distinct processes, so faking the former is a possibility. One of my clients (age thirty-five) offered this explanation for his one-time Oscar-worth performance:
“I was on antidepressants and they hit me hard. I didn’t want to upset my ex girlfriend or make her think that it had anything to do with her or her sex appeal, so I ‘Tom Hanks’d’ my way out of the situation by moaning, groaning and faking little body spasms.”
Another client, age forty-six, provided this insight.
“I’ve faked it a few times. Both times I had been drinking and was totally exhausted. Once I knew she had finished, I figured my job was done. I love sex and my lover is fantastic, but sometimes a man’s just gotta catch some shut-eye.”
We tend to paint women’s arousal as far more complex and time consuming than men’s, but the reality is that many men like to take it slow too. A study at the University of New Brunswick revealed that men and women desire an average of eighteen and nineteen minutes of foreplay respectively. When it comes to desired length of intercourse, men report wanting it to last an average of eighteen whereas women would cap it at fourteen.
*Please note that most of the research referenced in this article refers to cis, heterosexual men. We need more research with trans men, non-binary folk and gay men!