Myth vs. Fact
Think you're in-the-know about sex and can weed out fact from fiction? Put your knowledge to the test because we're about to separate fact from fiction and put some sex myths to bed. Here are some of the most popular myths we've heard about sex, including a few submitted by Stay Teen readers.
What's the craziest sex myth you've ever heard? If you've heard it, chances are someone out there believes it. Help us clear the air! Email us your favorite myths—we'll post the best ones here.
MYTH: Everyone is doing it!
REALITY: Don't believe everything you hear…it may seem like everyone’s doing it, but in reality, less than half (48%) of all high school students have ever had sex. People lie and exaggerate and can talk a good game when it comes to sex. But in the end, it doesn't matter who's telling the truth or not. The only truth that matters is what's best for you.
MYTH: You're a prude if you want to wait until you're older.
REALITY: Actually, you're being pretty smart. Every person is unique and many teens decide to wait to have sex. There’s a right time for each individual and each person has to decide for him or herself when that is. The truth is that most teens who have had sex say they wish they had waited longer and the younger teens are when they first have sex, the more likely they are to regret it—and the less likely they are to use protection.
MYTH: Guys are always ready for sex.
REALITY: Guys may have a reputation for always thinking about sex, but, just like all stereotypes, that’s not necessarily true. Think about it—you may love playing soccer, but sometimes, you'd just rather go to the movies. In fact, 2 out of 3 guys say they’d rather have a relationship but no sex—how’s that for busting this myth?!
MYTH: Girls never pressure guys to have sex—pressure always comes from guys.
REALITY: Again, there's that stereotyping thing causing lots of trouble. Every person, and every combination of people, is different. Pressure can come from anyone, regardless of gender, sexual experience, or age. 1 in 5 guys say they’ve been pressured by a girl to go further sexually than they wanted to.
MYTH: You'll marry the first person you have sex with.
REALITY: Sadly, this one is rarely true. Even though your first love or the first person you have sex with feels like the one you'll love forever, the reality is that most first time sexual relationships are romantic but short-lived. 8 out of 10 first time teen sexual relationships last 6 months or less and one-quarter are one-time occurrences.
MYTH: Drinking and drugs make sex much more fun.
REALITY: If you're drunk or high, it's hard to make good decisions about sex. 20% of 15- to 17-year-olds say they have done something sexual while using alcohol or drugs that they might not have done if they were sober. It might seem fun to have your inhibitions washed away by alcohol or drugs, but that also means you're less likely to practice safe sex and could end up with something much worse than a hangover: a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or an unplanned pregnancy. People are also much more likely to be victims of rape and assault when substance use/ abuse mixes with sexual activity.
MYTH: You can't get pregnant the first time you have sex.
REALITY: If you are ovulating it doesn't matter if it's the first time or the hundredth time you've had sex, you can still get pregnant. You get pregnant when the sperm fertilizes the egg. Neither the sperm nor the egg care how many times you've had sex previously. The only way to avoid the risk of pregnancy is to not have sex at all.
MYTH: Girls can't get pregnant during their period.
REALITY: There is a chance that you can get pregnant if you have sex during your period. Once in the vagina, sperm can stay alive for several days—that means that, even if the last time you had sex was three days ago during your period, you could now be ovulating and therefore you could get pregnant. It’s kind of complicated, so just remember this: ANY time you have sex you can get pregnant, so always use protection.
MYTH: You can't get pregnant if you've never had a period.
REALITY: You may ovulate 14 days before your first period so it is possible to get pregnant even if you haven't had a period yet.
MYTH: A girl can't get pregnant/ a guy can't get a girl pregnant if:
- you have sex standing up;
- the girl is on top;
- you have sex in a hot tub or a swimming pool;
- you jump up and down immediately after sex;
- the girl douches, takes a bath, or urinates immediately after sex;
- it's your first time;
- you're both virgins;
- the guy pulls out before he ejaculates or if he doesn't go all the way in;
- the girl doesn't have an orgasm;
- the guy and the girl don't orgasm at the same time;
- the girl pushes really hard on her belly button after sex; or
- the girl makes herself sneeze for fifteen minutes after sex.
REALITY: We're sure you've heard some of these whoppers, or maybe some even weirder ones. Forget who you've heard them from or how many times you've heard them. The truth is, you can get pregnant any time you have sex (unless, of course, you're already pregnant, which means you've got other things to worry about). Even if you use a condom or another form of birth control, you can still get pregnant. The only 100% way to prevent pregnancy is by NOT having sex. So if you choose to have sex, regardless of when and how, know what you might be getting yourself into. Check out our list of birth control options to learn more about the best method for you.
MYTH: There's no method of birth control that's 100% effective.
REALITY: Not having sex is a form of birth control and it is definitely 100% effective. If you aren't having sex, you can't get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. It's just that simple. Learn more about waiting.
MYTH: Drinking Mountain Dew will prevent pregnancy.
REALITY: The rumor that ingredients in Mountain Dew (and other popular sodas) lower guys' sperm count has been around for years, but the simple truth is that Doing the Dew doesn't do anything to sperm. Drinking soda isn't going to do anything but maybe give you a cavity.
MYTH: Condoms can be reused.
REALITY: Gross. Once a condom has been removed from its wrapper, you have to use it or lose it. And once a condom has been used during sex, it is no longer good—throw it away! Learn more about condoms in our Birth Control section.
MYTH: Girls can use a friend or sister's birth control pills—what's the difference, right?
REALITY: Wrong. Prescriptions have specific names on them for a reason: because they're for specific people. You can't use someone else's birth control for a number of reasons, namely, because it isn't prescribed to you. Learn more about the pill in our Birth Control section.
MYTH: Guys can use plastic wrap if they don't have a condom.
REALITY: Plastic wrap, baggies, etc, are great for food storage, but are NOT viable alternatives to condoms. Common household products will not protect you from pregnancy or STIs. Your best bet is to get out your wallet and buy some condoms. Condoms are specifically made to provide a good fit and good protection during sex, and they are thoroughly tested for maximum effectiveness.
MYTH: A girl only takes birth control pills right before she’s going to have sex.
REALITY: Birth control pills are made up of a series of hormones that must build up in your body to be effective. The pills are meant to be taken in a specific order at about the same time every day. When you skip a day or skip a non-placebo pill, it’ll alter the effectiveness of the birth control. Learn more about the pill in our Birth Control section.
MYTH: The pill is completely effective the first day you begin taking it.
REALITY: Unfortunately, it can take up to one full month (or one full menstrual cycle) for the pill to become completely effective. Doctors most often recommend using a second form of contraception (like condoms) during the first few weeks that you're on the pill. Learn more about the pill in our Birth Control section.
So how'd we do? Are we missing any myths? Did we get all the main ones? Email us other myths you've heard—we'll post the best ones here.