How Much Do You Really Know About Your Sexual Health?

September is Sexual Health Awareness Month. How knowledgeable do you think you are when it comes to your sexual health? The World Health Organization defines sexual health as a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality. So this month, we’re not just talking about STDs and sexual dysfunction, we are talking about the whole shebang! There’s so much to know about sexual health. I thought I was pretty knowledgeable, but as it turns out there’s a whole lot of learning left for me…and I’m willing to bet, for you too.

I’ve pulled together some surprising facts about sexual wellness. I’m also exposing some common myths. This is your chance to test your knowledge and see how much you really know about your sexual health this Sexual Health Awareness Month. Is your knowledge entry level? Or are you a sex expert?

The Most Common Sexual Health Myths

How many of these did you believe?

Myth 1: Oral sex is safe sex: While you can’t get pregnant from giving or receiving oral sex, STDs can still be passed between participants.

Myth 2: Big penises stretch and ruin a vagina: I don’t know which douchebag came up with this line of BS, but it is a bunch of BS and science agrees with me. The vaginal canal is a muscle and does not permanently stretch from having accommodated a large penis or toy. The vagina is incredibly resilient and bounces back quickly.

Myth 3: You can tell if someone has an std by looking at them: The ONLY way to be sure if you or your partner has an STD is by getting checked.

Myth 4: Douching after sex prevents pregnancy. It does not.

Myth 5: Using a vibrator will ruin your vagina and cause dead vagina syndrome. Doctors and sexologists alike agree that “dead vagina syndrome” is a nonmedical, fear-mongering term invented by people who don’t really understand female masturbation, orgasms, pleasure, or vaginal and vulvar anatomy.

Myth 6: Virginity. Period. It doesn’t exist.

Sexual Health Facts You Might Not Know

Fact 1: Use it or lose it is real! (In some cases): There is a condition called clitoral atrophy in which a woman’s clitoris may shrink and lose sensation if she goes long periods without experiencing stimulation or arousal. Hormonal changes and lack of blood flow to the clitoris may also cause this condition.

Fact 2: The clit isn’t the only thing that you can lose: Vaginal atrophy is a real thing. Vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) is thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls that may occur when your body has less estrogen. It most often occurs after menopause, however, you can reduce your chances of experiencing it by having regular penetrative sex with a penis-owner or yourself. Regular penetrative stimulation increases blood flow and cell growth in the area.

Fact 3: There are 26 treatments for sexual dysfunction in men and only 2 for sexual dysfunction in women.

Fact 4: There are at least 24 types of orgasms that researchers have discovered. How many of these have you heard of or experienced? Clitoral, G-Spot Orgasm, P-SpotOrgasm, U-Spot Orgasm, O-Spot Orgasm, A-Spot Orgasm, Vaginal Orgasm, Blended Orgasm, Coregasm Orgasm, Anal Orgasm, Multiple Orgasm, Squirting Orgasm, Full Body Orgasm, Handsfree Orgasm, Breath Orgasm, Oral Orgasm, Nipple Orgasm, Ruined Orgasm, Dry Orgasm, Mental Orgasm, Energy Orgasm, Spontaneous Orgasm, Sleep Orgasm.

Fact 5: 81.6% of women don’t orgasm from intercourse alone.

Fact 6: 95% of heterosexual men usually or always orgasm during partnered sexual activity compared to just 65% of heterosexual women.

Fact 7: 5-10% of women have never orgasmed.

Fact 8: 59% of women have faked an orgasm.

Fact 9: Women take an average of 14 minutes during partnered sex to orgasm – an average of 8 minutes during masturbation

Fact 10: 86% of homosexual women usually or always orgasm during partnered sexual activity compared to just 66% of bisexual women and 65% of heterosexual women.

Fact 11: 92.4% of women are able to orgasm from masturbation.

Fact 12: Vibes are good for sexual satisfaction! For heterosexual women, their partner’s knowledge and enjoyment of their vibrator use is a huge predictor of sexual satisfaction.

Fact 13: Men take 5.4 minutes on average to orgasm. 

Fact 14: Women take an average of 14 minutes during partnered sex to orgasm.

Fact 15: Orgasms are good for mental health. Orgasms reduce depression and anxiety.

Fact 16: Sex can help fight insomnia: During sex, your body releases prolactin, a hormone that helps you feel rested and relaxed. If you orgasm it also releases oxytocin, a hormone that promotes sleep.

Fact 17: Women suffer from sexual dysfunction too! Believe it or not, men aren’t the only ones who experience sexual dysfunction. If you are a woman or vulva owner and you’re struggling with your libido, check with your health provider.

The fact is, that consensual sex, masturbation, and orgasms are fantastic for your physical and mental health. But, sexual health is complex. It permeates multiple areas of your life, so the more you know, the healthier and happier you’ll be.

It’s important to get regular checkups with your sexual health provider. Women and people with vulvas should get regular pap smears and STD screening when sexually active. Men and people with penises should talk to their providers about which exams are important to have at various ages and of course, get screened for STI when sexually active as well.

I’ve just scratched the surface with some fun (and not so fun) facts about Sexual Health and wellness. This National Sexual Health Awareness Month, take some time to research and read about sexual health and sexuality. After all, knowledge is power…even in the bedroom.

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