Sexual Myths - Faulty Beliefs That Can Seriously Screw Up Your Sex Life!

How To Stay Faithful In A Long-term Relationship!
(And Still Have Great Sex!)

One of the reasons why people find that they are having less sex in a long term commitment than they would like is that they hold some faulty sexual beliefs.

I call them sexual myths, which are simply faulty beliefs that can gradually erode your sexual self-confidence, your sexual performance, and the frequency with which you have sex.

These sexual myths are listed below in no particular order. If you find that any of these match your own beliefs then we encourage you to examine them carefully to check out how true they actually are for you in your relationship.

In most cases you will find, with a little examination, that these faulty sexual beliefs are holding you back from achieving your full sexual potential.

1 There is a widespread belief that good sex comes from knowing a variety of sexual techniques and positions, and being able to put them into practice with a high degree of skill.

But sexual techniques can be a substitute for sexual feeling; being preoccupied with technique at the expense of connection with your lover may give you a technically skilled performance during sex, but may take away much of the satisfaction and pleasure, and indeed the intimacy, of sex.

It's a mistake to allow yourself to be deluded into thinking that all you need to have good sex is a repertoire of sexual techniques and positions: "doing sex" is not a substitute for "feeling sex".

You can build your own sexual feelings by engaging in intimate and pleasurable acts that increase your sexual arousal, and allow your sexual desire and actions to flow from that rather than the other way round.

There are men whose sex life is about sexual conquest, about satisfaction gained from having many women sexually; but such men may not have a high sexual drive so much as a need to prove their desirability or sexual prowess, or to boost their self-esteem.

And the myth of the "real man" who can seduce almost any woman he chooses is an interesting one: it's not a myth in the sense that there are men who fulfil that stereotype. But it is a myth in the sense that sexual satisfaction is very rarely achieved by innumerable conquests; if it were, there would be no need for ever-more sexual conquests!

A man who is driven by his need for sexual conquest is rarely in touch with his own sense of sexual pleasure, and his lovers rarely feel that they are making love with a complete person; there is a sense of being with a technician, perhaps even an automaton -- thrusting away hard and fast, using great sexual techniques, but no more human than a vibrator! It's like a performance!

However, I would also add that in some cases, such sexual behaviour in men is driven by delayed ejaculation, the inability to ejaculate during sex, which is caused by emotional or psychological issues such as anger towards women, withholding from women, and even resentment against one's sexual partner.

It's hardly a recipe for happy or fulfilling sex. What this means in practice is that you do not have to be a master of technique to be a good lover.

A good lover is a lover who is in touch with himself and his feelings and his partner's needs, a lover who knows enough to vary the sex, bring his or her partner to orgasm, take his or her own pleasure, and feel confident about how they enjoy sex.

As you can imagine, that's a more likely recipe for both long term faithfulness and long term sexual pleasure. (Footnote: this makes interesting reading.)

2 Of all the faulty beliefs that often go with the performance oriented approach to sex, the most prominent is this: it is the man's job to give the woman an orgasm during intercourse.

Women who believe this are likely to have high expectations of their lover. He in turn, is likely to be a polished performer, but unfortunately both of the partners are likely to see sex as something that is "done" by the one to the other, rather than as a mutually enjoyable and intimate exercise in human relationships.

The couple may not even realize that there are plenty of other ways to reach orgasm than through intercourse. When a man and a woman have such unreasonably high expectations, they are very likely to lose interest in sex at some point because of the lack of emotional connection between them.

Many men are fixated on the idea that they need to give their partner an orgasm, and preferably through sexual intercourse.

When men become critical of their performance -- either she had an orgasm or two or three, or he is a failure in bed -- misery may not be far behind. If a man is judging his sexual performance on whether or not his partner has an orgasm, and she does not, it is highly probable that he will find a mistress with whom he can demonstrate his sexual prowess more effectively.

Needless to say, this means that the fault lies with his partner, so that the chance of re-establishing intimacy and their sexual relationship developing positively are both reduced.

The corollary of this is that the partner the female partner feels that she is a failure because she's not having an orgasm.

She may know that it is possible to enjoy sex without an orgasm, but neither she nor her partner get pleasure from sex, because he feels like a failure if she does not have an orgasm, and she feels like a failure because she is not free to enjoy sex without an orgasm.

It's even possible that the couple may come to believe that orgasm is a means of expressing power within the relationship.

So, if she does not have an orgasm she is holding something back from him; if he does not give her an orgasm he is holding something back from her. Every sexual encounter then becomes an ordeal in which both partners are being tested for their sexual competence and generosity.

Very few women in fact reach orgasm through intercourse alone. The majority of women reach orgasm through clitoral stimulation which takes place either before, after, or perhaps even during intercourse itself.

For a woman to reach orgasm through vaginal penetration and thrusting by her partner, without the adjunct of clitoral stimulation, is quite uncommon, and requires the man to have rather more staying power than is normal.

Indeed it is quite likely that a man who can thrust for long enough to give his partner an orgasm during intercourse may be experiencing a condition known as delayed ejaculation: which happens to be one of the most important indicators of a man whose approach to sex is performance oriented.

One answer for a couple trapped in this situation is for them to become more sensual, more relaxed, and more intimate through exercises focusing on closeness and touching. The details of how to do this are given in the program for great sex on another section of this website.

3 Sex is basically for the man and it is the woman's duty is to provide it when he wants it.

This is a myth that still exists in many relationships, simply because it is so deeply ingrained into the fabric of our society and culture.

This may sound like an astonishing assertion in this day and age, but there is plenty of evidence that even when couples share much of the household routine and much of the childcare, there are still ancient forces at work inside the bedroom.

Any woman who was brought up with the idea that it was a woman's duty to care for her man may well believe that she needs to provide him with sex whenever he wants it. And of course there are plenty of reasons why, even today, women feel obliged to provide sex to their man: for one thing, it can stop him straying -- stop him finding a more obliging, easily available woman who will provide him with sex whenever he wants it.

But the problem with any relationship that depends on the woman giving sex to her man is that there is an implicit obligation on the woman to have sex in response to the man's demands, and that is likely to be the kind of sex that she does not enjoy.

But even if she does not enjoy it, she may feel obliged to act as though she does.

And here, unfortunately, is the beginning of the faked orgasm. And the beginning of the faked orgasm is the end of honesty around sex in the relationship, and most likely the end of mutually satisfying sex itself. (Or at least the hope of achieving mutually enjoyable and satisfying sex.)

4 Closely tied in to the belief above is the myth that men have to lead and women have to follow during sex.

There may be an element of truth in the assertion that men get satisfaction from a sense of dominance in sex while women get a sense of satisfaction from being less dominant, receptive, and perhaps even passive to some degree.

However this does not mean that men always have to lead, initiate, and satisfy their partners. Nor does it mean that women always have to be the passive recipients of the man's penis and ejaculation.

There can be great satisfaction from both partners in a relationship where the woman initiates sex some of the time, and where the woman is confident enough to take the role of the dominant, active partner during sexual intercourse.

The classic example of this is the seduction routine that some couples go through where the woman decides that she will seduce her partner and leads him into the bedroom.

If she feels dominant she can take a woman on top sexual position, she can thrust her hips and pelvis, and she can control the speed and rhythm of thrusting so that she determines when she will reach orgasm.

Believe it or not, such a routine can be incredibly threatening to men who have the belief that they must be the dominant partner. Relaxing, giving up control, taking a more passive attitude during intercourse -- whatever you call it, this simple change in the couple's sexual dynamic can be incredibly threatening to the male partner.

So of course can issues of ill health, sexually transmitted infections, and physical discomfort due to health conditions such as hiatal hernia or arthritis.

The threat goes beyond the simple act of sex: the men who have the need to be in control during sex often have the need to be in control in life and in the relationship as well, and not being in control can seem incredibly threatening to their sense of emotional security. The answer is to become more trusting, emotionally open, and sexually aware of their partner's needs, in the privacy and security of the bedroom.

For this to happen both partners have to agree that they are equal participants in every sense in the act of love.

5 Loss of erection is a disaster.

By now you may be able to see a thread running through all of these myths about sex and intercourse: the myth is that we have natural, gender-determined roles to play while we make love.

To any man who subscribes to the myths 1 to 4 listed above, loss of erection will seem like an assault on the whole of his masculine being.

And yet the simple truth is that as men age loss of erection becomes very much more likely during sex: even for a young man loss of erection is not uncommon, though it tends to occur in certain well-defined situations such as putting on a condom or when performance anxiety takes over. It may help you to know about erections come and go during sex; there is a natural rhythm of arousal and lowering of arousal for all men during sex which is reflected in the fact that a man's penis becomes harder and less hard as he makes love.

For example, some men find it astonishing that they lose their erection whilst giving their lover cunnilingus. The reassuring truth is that this is normal, and, given the right kind of stimulation, his penis will soon return to full erection.

Yet a man who does not know this, or a man who judges his sexual performance to be a success only when his penis is rigid and erect from beginning to end of the sex act, will be very disturbed by his loss of erection.

And of course when his partner expects him to perform on the job, as it were, she may also be distressed by his loss of erection, interpreting it in all kinds of ways that bear no relation to the reality of the situation (for example: he doesn't love me any more, he doesn't find me attractive, he doesn't want to have sex with me).

6 A real man can last as long as he wants during sex.

In fact the actual truth, as the majority of men are only too well aware, is that ejaculation control is rather a difficult skill to acquire.

The majority of men ejaculate within five minutes of penetrating their partner, and a very large number ejaculate within two minutes of penetrating their partner. Whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing is hardly the point; it is as it is.

And yet a man who believes that he should be able to thrust vaginally for an indefinite period of time is disconnecting from the reality of sex and most people's experience.

And to do that he must also disconnect from his partner and probably also from himself as well, so that he becomes nothing more than an automaton, a thrusting machine; a man who may be able to continue thrusting for long periods of time, but whose satisfaction from sex will be greatly diminished, and his connection to his partner will be remote, to say the least.

 It's much better to accept that we are programmed to ejaculate quickly and to ensure that each partner gains sexual pleasure and satisfaction in a whole framework of sexual activities of which intercourse is only one part.

For example, it's highly pleasurable for most women to receive cunnilingus from their partner before he enters them. In this way it's actually possible for a woman to have one orgasm and be raised to the threshold of another before her man inserts his penis.

If the couple time this right he can thrust vigorously and bring her to orgasm whilst enjoying the pleasure of her orgasm while inside her -- closely followed by his own, which can be a very powerful experience for both partners.

This type of orgasm rivals the merits of the much vaunted simultaneous orgasm (a rather difficult thing to achieve, and no better than that which has just been described).

7 The man should come first (or the woman should come first).

This is taking turns to an absurd degree! There's no given rule about who should come first or second. It's much more about enjoying sex and a sense of spontaneity, rather than a prescribed routine which means you always give way to your partner. That's not how sex is, or at least not how it should be!

For couples who basically know enough technique to enjoy an orgasm, and who know enough about each other to be reasonably sure what their partner will want from them, it's much more fun to see how sex evolves during each session of lovemaking.

For example, on one occasion she may start masturbating him and he may become so sexually excited that she carries on until he comes; the couple then have a rest before he is aroused again, perhaps by fellatio, after which they enjoy intercourse.

The woman may not reach orgasm at all in such a session of sex.

Alternatively, on another occasion he may bring her to orgasm by cunnilingus before entering her thrusting and coming quickly (which he will almost certainly do because he's so aroused from having had his face in her vagina!).

On yet another occasion a couple may engage in alternate sessions of intercourse, oral sex, cuddling, and mutual masturbation until they reach climax in one way or another... but the point is it doesn't really matter as long as the couple are enjoying what they are doing, so why bother about who comes first?

8 Closely following on from point 7 is the belief that sex always has to be "nice" and polite.

Burping, farting, and stomach rumblings are all a part of sex. So is soreness, friction, fumbling and discomfort.

The fact of the matter is that to get into a position where you are enjoying sex with another person, you need to accept that there will be physical problems, both medical and non-medical.

But in fact sex can be downright dirty, loud, and exciting! And by dirty I mean that semen, vagina or bodily secretions, saliva, perhaps massage oil, and who knows what else, can mix together and get over bodies and sheets.

I mean that faces can be distorted at the moment of orgasm; that people can shout obscenities or invoke God as they come; that people can fart without being embarrassed; that flowback (seepage of semen from the vagina after intercourse without a condom) can spread over a woman's thighs and anus without her being embarrassed; and so on.... according to taste!

What all of these things represent is an acceptance of the natural quality of sex and what goes with it. To believe that we should all maintain a nice smile as we come, while perhaps just whispering quietly "Oh God" at the moment of greatest excitement is a huge disservice to sex itself.

Forget what you look like, for whatever you say and whatever your body does at the moment of orgasm will be highly exciting to your partner. (If a man needs to know how to control his ejaculation and last longer during sex in the throes of sexual abandonment and ecstasy, click on the link.)

9 So here we are back again at the question of control! What does 8 (above) mean if it doesn't mean that you can lose control during sexual activities without embarrassment or shame?

10 We spoke a lot about intimacy in what's gone before, and by now you may be thinking this means that all sex has to be a wonderfully intimate act and one should always feel close to one's partner.

Wrong! The truth is that all human relationships go through varying periods and degrees of emotional closeness and sexual intimacy: this is natural and how it should be. And the consequence for sex is this.

That sometimes you can have an impersonal "quickie" on the bathroom floor or in the woods or anywhere else you fancy, and during which you are propelled by sheer desire, not loving intimacy and romance.

A woman can make the choice to give her man sex even if she doesn't feel sexually excited: as long as the penis is sufficiently lubricated it can enter her vagina, and saliva can do this job as well as vaginal secretions can, giving him the gratification and sexual pleasure of a simple quick easy fuck, which, to be blunt, will mean nothing more than sexual gratification to him.

Nothing wrong with that. There's an article on this subject here. You may or may not agree with it.

11 And what follows on from number 10 above is that it is actually OK to refuse your partner sex if you really don't want it.

The belief that we are in relationship and therefore we should always give ourselves to our partners when they want sex is both untrue and quite damaging.

 There are many times when sex does not, and should not, happen: people really do have headaches, people are sick, people are tired, people genuinely do not want to be intimate, and so on, for one reason or another. There is nothing wrong with that.

12 Some people believe that fighting clears the air and is good for you.

And it's true that fighting can be a sexually arousing experience for many people, particularly when making up after an argument.

Fighting - which generally means slandering each other with high emotion and little thought to the consequences - seems to get rid of bad feelings. And it can re-establish distance between us, which may be empowering. But the reality is that people say things in anger which they do not mean, but which are still damaging to the relationship.

While fighting certainly can lead to sex it's actually rather likely that it does so because it simply raises emotional energy and passion.

There isn't a lot of difference, at least in terms of the way the brain works, between high levels of love, anger, euphoria, passion, sexual desire (and some would say even fear, grief and hatred).

In other words, it's actually quite likely that what you experience as intimacy and sexual desire after a fight is nothing more than a raised level of emotional arousal: it's not the fighting, it's the passion (where that word is used in its neutral sense of emotional intensity) that makes you want to have sex.

And if that's true (and even if it's not), the damage that is caused by the hurtful words spoken during the fight will still be festering in your partner's mind -- and the same will be true in reverse.

Furthermore, couples who have good communication have rather low levels of fighting, which tends to imply that it's not actually such a healthy thing as we might have come to think. Emotional intelligence is rather better at keeping sex fresh and a relationship on track, and it certainly leads to less fights.

Continued here.

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