Sex Myths in the Media

Article Media

By Remy F.

When it comes to the media portraying sex, it is all about captivating the audience.  That means that oftentimes portrayals of sex and sexuality are exaggerated and informed by stereotypes that aren’t always true.  Here I will point out some of the most common sex myths in the media. Keep in mind, I’m not doing this so that you never enjoy a movie again, but so that the next time you watch a movie you can be aware of how the portrayals don’t necessarily reflect real life. More importantly, the sex you see in the movies doesn’t have to be a blueprint for your own sex life.

MYTH: Men can’t control their sexual urges.

Well, we’ve all heard this one our entire lives and the fact of the matter is that even if someone has a high sex drive, they can still exercise self-control and can ask for consent.  This means that if a person tries to engage in sexual activity with someone and has not asked that person’s permission, they are not only disrespecting the other person, they are committing sexual assault.  Next time you think it is romantic to act on sexual impulses, make sure it is okay with your partner by asking! Click here to learn about relationship abuse and power + control.

MYTH: Sex is the next step after kissing or making out.

I’ve noticed that in many movies featuring teenagers and sex there are only two ways we see teens engaging in intimacy: kissing and sexual intercourse. The truth is, there are many ways to express that you care about someone and you don’t have to immediately go from kissing to having sex. You can enjoy kissing, talking, hanging out, going to the movies, going on hikes, writing thoughtful notes, etc. It should not be expected that once you kiss someone the next step is automatically having sex.  To learn more about expressing love in the simple ways we don’t always think of, check out this article in Psychology Today

MYTH: People with ‘perfect’ bodies are having sex + if you want to have sex, you need a ‘perfect’ body too.    

The truth is, any person with any body type can have sex, they can enjoy it, and they can be good at it too!  A person is not valuable based on the shape of their body, they are valuable because of their personality and whether they treat others and themselves with respect. Always get to know someone before you make any judgments based on the way they look.  People of all shapes and sizes have and enjoy sex and you don’t need a particular body type to have self-esteem and sexual confidence.  You need mutual respect and consent between you and a trusted partner.

MYTH: Months, years, or long periods of unresolved tension between partners before someone speaks up is a normal and healthy part of a relationship.

If there is tension between you and a partner, the healthiest thing to do is to bring it up and talk about it.  Open communication brings people together and makes relationships stronger.  So while it may be more captivating to see unresolved sexual tension on the big screen, in real life it is more pain than is necessary and it’s actually unhealthy!  Click here to learn more about healthy relationships.

MYTH: Mountain Dew lowers sperm count.

There is no research supporting that Mountain Dew kills sperm and it CANNOT be used as a contraceptive.  While this myth may seem silly to some, it is actually a very popular belief among high school and college students.  If you’re looking for contraception methods to prevent pregnancy, check out our TeenSource page or this interactive comparison at http://bedsider.org/methods.  Remember, the condom is the only tried-and-proven contraceptive method that ALSO protects against STDs.