What Do You know About Sex: True or False – Sex, Love and Romance

By: Lauryn Evans

Take a moment to ask yourself this question and reflect: how much do you know about sex? I know that my sex education provided at school was poor and lacked anything considered proper. I went to a catholic school for nine years, and it was there that I first experienced double standards. I recall my grade 7 sex education teacher, who also taught us religion, referring to one’s vagina as a “treasure box.” You should only open your “treasure box” for your special someone with a very special key. If you are opening your “treasure box” for more than just your special-keyed-someone it means that your treasure will lose its value. Eventually, no one would want your treasure because who wants treasure that has been opened multiple times. However, we never heard someone sticking their key in multiple treasure boxes losing their value. Her words, not mine. 

To translate what this meant without using the metaphor of the treasure box and key, she stated that if someone with a vagina is to have sex with more than just the person they are to marry, then they are not as valuable. Of course, this also follows the importance of purity on the woman’s side that the Catholic religion likes to “encourage.” I can easily capture the rest of this “sex education”: remain abstinent until you are married. Don’t want to get pregnant? Easy, abstinence. Fearful of STIs? Abstinence! Have a question that pertains to sex? Do not fret; abstinence is the answer. 

Of course, I got older and discovered more, but there were many things I never learned about in sex education provided at school. For example, in grade 10, they brought in probably around 60 dildos for our class and we practiced putting condoms on them. They told us we could even taste some of the flavoured condoms they brought if we would like. They answered all of the questions in the question box, and you know if you have ever taken a sex education class through school that kids put in some of the weirdest and most graphic questions, but they only spoke about sex in a heterosexual lens. The lack of inclusion of the 2SLGBTQ+ community has impacted many, and I know this is true for myself, but it is true for many others. 

The first time I heard consent even be mentioned in sex education was during my first year of university (2018). When a sexologist came in for new student orientation, I was mind-blown. Here it finally was, and it only took five years for it to be mentioned – someone must give enthusiastic consent. Another thing that was said that has stuck with me is that someone’s “yes” does not mean anything if “no” does not feel like a safe option.

Reflection on my own sex education experiences motivated me to write this piece. First, let’s take a look at some common beliefs about sex. 

  1. True / False: For it to be sex, penetration is required. 
  1. True / False: You only need to get an STI test if you are concerned you have contracted an infection. 
  1. True / False: There is no such thing as being too big for a condom. 
  1. True / False: You can’t use condoms if you are allergic to latex. 
  1. True / False: Anyone with a vagina can penetrate from penetration alone.
  1. True / False: Vaginas can reveal how many partners they have had through tightness/looseness. 
  1. True / False: You can get pregnant on your period. 
  1. True / False: You can get pregnant from pre-cum.
  1. True / False: If you have genital herpes, you cannot have sex. 
  1. Truth / False: The clitoris is tiny in size. 
  1. True / False: Good sex only ends in orgasm. 
  1. True / False: Having a partner interested in introducing sex toys means they are not satisfied with their partner alone in bed. 
  1. True / False: If your partner says “yes” once to sex, then that means sex is always a yes. 
  1. True / False: Anyone can get HIV.
  1. True / False: Foreplay is not necessary. 

Answer key: 

  1. True / False: For it to be sex, penetration is required. 

Reasoning: The idea that sex requires penetration is entirely false and is a notion that seemingly forgets that not everyone that has sex has, or is having sex, is doing so with someone with a penis or with something that simulates a penetrative object (ex. dildo). ‘Sex’ and ‘intercourse’ are often used interchangeably and now that we have discussed that sex does not require penetration, intercourse on the otherhand usually encompasses sexual penetration.  

  1. True / False: You only need to get an STI test if you are concerned you have contracted an infection. 

Reasoning: STI tests are your friend! Before becoming sexually intimate with someone new, ask them if they have been tested and if there is a way for them to confirm that they do not have an STI that could be passed on to you. STIs do not always have visible symptoms. Just because you cannot clearly see something does not mean it is safe. Get tested before a new partner, still get tested after. You can have a vaginal, anorectal, and/or oral STIs. When you get tested, it is important to be swabbed everywhere that applies to you. Never engage in sexual activity with someone if you have an STI and have not disclosed with them. There is no shame in having an STI, but there is shame in knowingly spreading it to others and disregarding their health and choice. 

  1. True / False: There is no such thing as being too big for a condom. 

Reasoning: Listen, I have stretched a condom from my fingertips past my elbow and it did not break. If they say they are “too big” for a condom, they are lying. Plain and simple.

  1. True / False: You can’t use condoms if you are allergic to latex. 

Reasoning: While most condoms are made of latex, fear not, individuals who are allergic to latex, for there are options available to you! Latex-free options include: polyurethane, lambskin, and polyisoprene. Additionally, some brands available are: Durex, Trojan, and SKYN. 

  1. True / False: Anyone with a vagina can have orgasms from penetration alone. 

Reasoning: According to a study conducted in 2015, only 46% of women stated that they always or nearly always had an orgasm from penetration alone (Kontula & Miettinen, 2016). You know what that means… 54% of women could not achieve an orgasm through penetration. I assume that this number could be shocking to some, but I cannot say that this surprises me. Please, I encourage everyone to learn where the clit is. 

  1. True / False: Vaginas can reveal how many partners they have had through tightness/looseness. 

Reasoning: There are elastic-like muscles in the vagina that can stretch and go back to their original size. This is a myth and a horrible one at that. 

  1. True / False: You can get pregnant on your period. 

Reasoning: I’m sure many have heard that if you have sex on your period or at a certain stage in your perioid that you cannot get pregnant. Surprise! You can. 

  1. True / False: You can get pregnant from pre-cum.

Reasoning: A common misconception is that you cannot get pregnant from pre-cum. A study titled ‘Sperm Content of Pre-Ejaculatory Fluid’ published on PubMed Central (2010) concluded that a significant proportion of individuals with penises have motile sperm (sperm that is healthy and active) present in their pre-ejaculatory fluid. 

  1. True / False: If you have genital herpes, you cannot have sex. 

Reasoning: This is a myth that is very unfortunate. Having herpes does not mean you must have an unfulfilling sex life and it certainly doesn’t mean your new way of life is abstinence. Talk to your doctor if you have herpes and ask them every question possible. There are medications that can help you manage breakouts. Planned Parenthood offers insightful information into having sex while also having herpes. 

  1. Truth / False: The clitoris is tiny in size. 

Reasoning: Not all meets the eye when it comes to the clitoris (or should we say the powerhouse of the vagina). While the visible part of the clitoris (glans clitoris) is relatively small like a bean, it is only the tip! The clitoris is shaped like an upside-down wishbone. The clitoris can be anywhere from three inches to five inches in size! So the next time they can’t “find” your clitoris, remember it isn’t just the bean they’re missing out on. 

  1. True / False: Good sex only ends in orgasm. 

Reasoning: How do we classify what exactly good sex is? What I classify as good sex may not be applicable to you and vice versa. The truth is, sex does not always end in orgasm, but that does not mean that it was bad. You get to decide what good sex is to you. There are many other factors that can make sex good or bad, besides just having an orgasm. 

  1. True / False: Having a partner interested in introducing sex toys means they are not satisfied with their partner alone in bed. 

Reasoning: Sex toys are not competition or there to make one feel as if they are less than satisfactory in bed, nor is that what it means if someone is interested in introducing them during sex with their partner. Sex toys are one of the many ways people like to spice their sex life up. If you are not interested in using toys but your partner is, that is okay. Communication is important and it is important not to cross their or your own boundaries, even if it is to try and satisfy your partner. Sex toys can be your teammate, your collaborator, your right hand man. 

  1. True / False: If your partner says “yes” once to sex, then that means sex is always a yes. 

Reasoning: Just because someone has consented to sex before does not mean that they have consented to future sexual acts. If they said yes once, even nine times before, they can still say no and it should always be respected. 

  1. True / False: Anyone can get HIV.

Reasoning: According to the World Health Organization, HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids such as: blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. HIV can also be transmitted from a mother to the child during pregnancy and delivery (WHO, 2022). 

  1. True / False: Foreplay is not necessary. 

Reasoning: Foreplay allows for one to become more sexually aroused and enhance the overall sexual experience. Foreplay is especially important for those with vaginas as sex can otherwise be uncomfortable, even painful, if they do not get lubricated enough. Lube is your friend nonetheless. 

Resources:

Killick, S. R., Leary, C., Trussell, J., & Guthrie, K. A. (2010, December 15). Sperm content of pre-ejaculatory fluid. Human fertility (Cambridge, England). Retrieved September 8, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3564677/

Kontula, O., & Miettinen, A. (2016, October 25). Determinants of female sexual orgasms. Socioaffective neuroscience & psychology. Retrieved September 8, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5087699/

World Health Organization. (2022, July 27). HIV. World Health Organization. Retrieved September 8, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hiv-aids

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