When Woody Allen famously said, "I don't know the question, but sex is definitely the answer," the whole world seemingly agreed. This three-letter word can evoke so many things, from gender, to one-night stands, to loving relationships, to a variety of interesting positions. The mere mention of it can turn a straight laced human being into a shivering wreck.
But why the obsession? Why are we so hung up with the idea of sex and the practice of ones 'naughty' experiences? Our lives in the bedroom are forever projected right in front of us, analyzed and picked apart, ridiculed , applauded, or instead judged for doing it wrong this whole time. It's literally everywhere, from what clothes you decide to wear in the morning to what you choose for dinner at night. The concept just sells and we know it.
However, the fact of the matter is, if our ancestors weren't as obsessed with the deed as we are today, then we probably wouldn't even be here at all. At the end of the day, the act is designed for one thing and one thing only, reproduction. That's right, we shouldn't even be doing 'it' unless we're prepared to reproduce, so why do we continue to do it? Well, the answer is clear enough, but its history is much more blurry. So, to debunk those popular myths and open your mind to some of the strangest theories regarding our love for this tiny word, here are 15 myths about sex throughout time.
15 Educated Women Cannot Reproduce
Whatever you do just don't educate a woman! That's right, and it wasn't that long ago that people believed this either. With women only allowed to enter higher education around the mid 1870s in the USA, many Ivy League institutions chose not to follow suit. Instead opting to wait a while, voicing their concerns that a woman's place is at home with her children, not in the confinements of a classroom. In fact, in 1920, the average age for a woman to get married was just 21 years old, popping out children soon after. Therefore, if a woman did indeed want to continue her studies, she wouldn't even have had the chance to, having been shuffled down the altar with a couple of kids by the time she was 25. With the old age attitude that an educated woman won't reproduce still as prevalent as it was then, the idea of women choosing to no have children still sends shock waves across the world.
14 You Can't Get Pregnant While On Your Period
Sadly, this myth has persistently stuck around, somehow stubbornly refusing to disappear, entering the minds of many who profess to its actual certainty. With both men and women, lecturing to the masses, "don't worry, I read that you can't get pregnant on your period", this old age folklore has screwed over a number of boys and girls, and created a fair few surprises in 9 months time.
So, to settle it once and for all, it's not true! Yes, it may be extremely unlikely but that doesn't mean it's impossible. For instance, some women have extremely short cycles, meaning that as soon as you are done menstruating, another egg is waiting just round the corner, in need of that little sperm, who incidentally might just have a really long life span itself. Yes, that's right, sperm can stick around for up to 5 days, when in the right environment, so if you find yourself having a really hospitable womb then you are in big trouble. At the end of the day, you can get pregnant any time, any day of the month, so if you don't want to get knocked up, use protection.
13 The Size Of His Feet Is Unrelated To His Member
Big feet, big meat huh? How many times have you seen both men and women, nod towards the size of one's foot then proceeded to wink provocatively? Sorry to disappoint, but if your crush is holding an exceptionally large shoe, then it has absolutely nothing to do with the size of his package. Being a rumor that has existed for a number of years, two Canadian doctors set out to find the truth. Measuring the height, foot size, and penis length of 63 men, the two doctors found that the correlation was indeed a bunch of nonsense. Two Korean doctors followed with their research revealing the same findings. So the next time a guy tries to brag about his big shoes, you can bring him back down to earth and tell him it's BS. Big hands, however? Well, that's to be determined...
12 Pies Are Just Inverted Sausages
Here's something you don't hear everyday. With women's parts a subject that has been discussed at length throughout history itself, this theory is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to where women get their sexual organs from. However, with the inverted penis joke holding the most theories, it was thought that the vagina was a complete carbon copy of the male sexual reproductive system, only inside. With the ovaries acting as the testicles and other various organs acting as others, the clitoris began causing some debate. Unable to find its male counterpart, mad cap scientist Andreas Vesalius suddenly announced to the world that women who had one were anomalies— so, all of them? Yes, despite being a physician and it being highly likely that Vesalius had seen a number of women himself, he still stubbornly believed his theory to be real. He even cited that these anomalous women were actually hermaphrodites with inverted penises. Confused? Yeah, us too.
11 The Big 'O' Will Make A Woman Fall In Love
Whatever you do, just don't give her an orgasm, or risk another lady weak at the knees begging you to marry her. Yes, another myth regarding female sexuality: the idea that as soon as a woman climaxes, she'll automatically fall head over heals in love with you. True? Of course not! With sex obviously a huge part of ones eventual relationship, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the deal-breaker, and the same goes for men. However, that doesn't stop people from believing such nonsense, especially with the common thought that suggests women release a 'love hormone' when experiencing this climactic event. Named oxytocin, which is released during child birth and sexual activity, the hormone acts as a type of glue, creating a strong bond between the woman and the other involved. Producing an involuntary chemical commitment, no matter what the situation, as soon as a woman orgasms it is said to bring a trusting bond along with it. While the release of a hormone may be true, it is by far not a 'love hormone', and can disappear along with the other offensive and ridiculous myths regarding female sexuality.
10 The Pull-Out Method
Just as persistent as the period/pregnancy parable, withdrawing just before you blow is said to be full proof. True? No, of course not! Just as stupid as the previous myths, withdrawing literally has no plausible evidence to back it up. Firstly, most people forget about the pre-stuff, which is basically exactly what you think it is, however, although it doesn't always contain sperm, it usually does, therefore once those little guys find a way through, they are not going to stop for anyone, no matter what you do. Secondly it is completely irresponsible, with pregnancy becoming the least of your worries, this method opens the doors to a whole new world of other nasty diseases. With up to 60% of couples all trying it at least once, the pull-out method is as common as it is to wear a condom. However, the simple answer is that it just doesn't work, so don't even bother.
9 Playing With Yourself Causes Blindness
We've all heard them, if you do it yourself too much, you'll go blind, you'll damage your genitals, God will send you to the fiery pits of hell, you'll develop mental health issues, and the strangely intriguing, you'll go green. But why all the hate? With 98% of the population admitting to having participating in this act at least once in their lives— the other 2% are obviously lying.
Leave it to the ancient Greeks to promote the deed. They actively encouraged it as a valid form of sexual productivity. However, in the early 1700s, Dutch theologian Dr. Balthazar Bekker claimed that those who performed solo would later find themselves with a variety of problems, including vomiting, nausea, decreased libido and impotence, thus spawning the tales of blindness, etc. With Bekker going on to suggest that those who continued would find themselves struck down with madness or even epilepsy, those who could not bear it would eventually go on to kill themselves. Charming.
8 Men Want It More Than Women Do
Throughout history, it has always been claimed that men are more sexually active than women, with numbers and figures used to suggestively back up their claims. For instance, it is commonly believed that men think about getting down and dirty every seven seconds, a theory that is often debunked as often as it is believed. However, women are not the prudes that history suggests, proven not only with the timeline of female sexual activity but also in the present day. Whereas there may be some truth in that women tend to display more of an emotional side when it comes to love-making, it doesn't necessarily mean that they don't want it, especially in the context of relationships and married couples. The only issue being is that society tends to focus more on male sexual practices and genitalia rather than what women like to get up to in the bedroom. While bananas are embraced and peaches usually shamefully ignored and censored, it is no wonder that men are often stereotyped as the more promiscuous of the two genders.
7 Careful, She'll Bite!
Another hilarious bit of folklore, is that of the vagina dentata, meaning it's got teeth! Appearing throughout history among a number of prominent religions, it was known to be a cautionary tale, used to discourage rape. Stemming again from the fear of female anatomy, the snapping V also expresses the fear of male castration, in that it represents the mouth of hell itself. Along with deterring rape, the monstrous danger zone was also used to restrain men from having extramarital affairs, and conversely practicing in premarital relations. For example, as the man proves his strength by resisting and fighting off the toothed creature, once married, he is then able to claim his prize, free of sins from the Gods above. Influencing movies such as the incredibly funny Teeth, the evil that is a woman's parts still crops up to this day, quietly scaring men all over the world.
6 The Victorians Rejected Intimacy
With the Victorians famed for leading sexually repressed lives, prudish tales of sexual identification and a notion to only endure intercourse when necessary, the reality actually couldn't be further from the truth. Not only were Victorians constantly in each others pants, but they were just as saucy and racy as we are nowadays. Yes that's right, as Victorians were actively encouraged not to discuss such things in front of others, the idea that they didn't really enjoy rolling around between the sheets has floated around ever since. Interestingly enough, celibacy was discouraged due to the mortality rate being at an all time high, everyone from the milk man to the old woman at the end of the road were doing it. And as long as you weren't committing that mortal sin of solo action, then you were doing just fine.
5 The Puritans Despised It
Just like the Victorians, the Puritans have been known to have actively despised the practice of making love, from discussing it to even taking part in the devilish act. Famed for banning Christmas, among other fun things, the Puritans made their way from the UK with one thing in mind, to colonize the USA. However, in order to colonize, it also meant taking part in some unruly activities, forcing the Puritans to do what they hated the most, sex! However, just as the Victorians, the myth implying the Puritans' hatred towards the deed has long been exaggerated. In fact, although premarital relations were illegal in Puritan society, it didn't stop them from taking part in it, making 'shotgun weddings' a common occurrence. Given that they led such repressive and boring lives, banned from having any kind of fun whatsoever, it seems obvious that such activities were quite commonplace, with reports that the Puritans were at it all over the place. From bars, porches and farm ditches, to kitchens in front of their servants, Puritans were in fact quite a saucy bunch.
4 Women Are Just Really Bad Versions Of Men
Famed for a number of impressive and groundbreaking ideas, Aristotle was a man of great intelligence. Credited for basically creating science as a field of study, noted for teaching Alexander the Great everything he knew, dipping his toe in a variety of subjects such as metaphysics and music, to politics and poetry, he is by far, one of the most influential men in the history of the universe. However, what history tends to forget is that although highly intelligent and exceptionally skilled, Aristotle was also a massive sexist, resulting in a number of embarrassing and ridiculous theories about women. Seeing women as subjects to men, yet higher than slaves, he believed that all women were inferior, or in his words 'deformed males'. Claiming that "a boy actually resembles a woman anatomically speaking and a woman is, so to speak, an infertile male. She is female because of a kind of inadequacy being unable to concoct semen from nourishment, owing to the coldness of her nature".
3 Women Were Treated With 'Toys'
With vibrators commonly thought to be designed for female stimulation, they were in fact invented for another use all together. Created to cure the medical diagnosis of 'hysteria', a male-invented disorder that's attributed to sexual frustration and stress, women were told to 'relieve' themselves in order to reduce anxiety. However, with women often taught that sex was a practice only to be enjoyed by men, they were usually discouraged from enjoying it themselves. Seeing as they couldn't even deal with it themselves, there were many frustrated ladies. Not knowing what to do, a 'tool' was designed in order to relieve those who received the dreaded diagnosis, and with the added approval of the doctor, it was perfectly fine to partake. With the popular device later becoming a commercial product for those who wished to satisfy their needs at home, along came with it the boom of an entire industry, and, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
2 2. No Action On Good Friday
Regarded as a Christian holiday that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Good Friday takes place on the Friday that precedes Easter Sunday. Usually occurring in March or April, Good Friday is one of the larger traditions of the Christian calendar, with chocolate Easter Eggs being one of the more delightful rituals. However, with Good Friday usually gifted as a legal holiday with a day off from work being the norm, some countries take it further by banning dancing, horse racing, and even drinking alcohol. Proclaimed as a holy day, some countries even banned sex, with the Filipino tradition upholding a complete ban on the dastardly deed. Claiming that those who partake in such sexual desires will in turn be repaid with grave consequences, the decree states that your 'parts' will glue together until death. Ouch. Be sure to hold out until Saturday.
1 Oral Is A Deadly Sin
With oral sex, being the preferred form of sexual act throughout the Roman Empire, things suddenly took a turn for the worse during the explosion of the all mighty Medieval era. Not exactly known for its sexual extravagance, the Medieval times were a little lackluster in their quest for sexual prowess. Introducing a whole new book of rules and requirements that outlawed the practice of any form of sexual pleasure, oral sex was well and truly out. Suddenly becoming extinct, rendered sinful, and quickly banned, it was at this point that the wicked and hellish connotations grew. Forbidden to the masses, oral sex was still performed in secret, and became a common pastime. They even went so far as to establish a penance for the act (five years for guilty women, and four years for guilty men). Despite the risk— and the dangers of burning in hell— it seemed somewhat irrelevant (and totally worth it) as the act was as rampant as ever.