9 Lies About Sex
- by Ligia Brubaker, Certified SRA / Dibbles Institute Educator My name is Ligia and I am a certified Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist. Most educators who chose this path choose it because they have had several bad experiences, they made a few bad choices, and they’re trying to share the message that there is another way of making choices. They hope teens who hear their message will make smarter choices and will end up with fewer scars. I come from the other side of the camp. I’m what the world calls a “good girl”. I didn’t make a lot of mistakes as a teen (or adult, as a matter of fact), and that’s not because I was smarter or better than everyone else. It’s because I was surrounded by good people who knew how to live healthy lives, and regardless of whether I wanted to take their advice, they gave it. I grew up in a very stable family and although we went through a war of independence from socialism when I was 5 years old, I did have a solid group of adults around me who had enough life experience and enough wisdom to teach me what is the safest path in life. I am 35 now, and I did have more than one sexual partner. I got married when I was 21, as a virgin (I hate that word and I’ll explain why). My first husband died (when I was 25) after 3 years of marriage. I then lived alone for 8 years (and didn’t sleep around!), and at 32-ish, I married my second husband. I became sexually active again with my second husband. I want to be very franc and honest about what sex is and what sex is not. It makes me SO angry that people lie to you guys because when it comes to the quality of life that you have, no one should try to make a profit off you, resulting in detrimental consequences for something that is so powerful like sex. So, let’s look together at some lies that the sex industry sells you. 1. Once you start having sex, you can’t stop. That is an utter, full blown black lie. Yes, you can stop. I am not special. I was able to be sexually abstinent till I was 21, then I was sexually active till I was 25, then I was sexually abstinent till I was 32, and now I am sexually active again. There is nothing wrong with being sexually active for a time and then becoming sexually abstinent, and there is nothing impossible about it. 2. The more you practice, the better you get. Not true. This is actually not only a lie that hides the truth, but it is a lie that destroys any chance you have to actually enjoy good quality sex. The truth is, the LESS partners you have, the better the sex is. And this is the science behind it:
Your brain is TRAINABLE, and sex is a language. When a baby is born, the odd and weird sounds that the baby makes are actually accents and sounds from all the languages of the world. To us they sound weird because we don’t know all those languages. But a baby’s brain has the capacity to learn and to speak any language that people around him speak. As time goes by, the brain needs more storage space so the baby can learn how to move, how to read, how to do math, how to play sports, etc. The brain will start pruning out all the sounds that the baby doesn’t need to use in the language that he or she is trying to learn. So by the time the baby is an adult, it will speak his/her own language best, and maybe a few other languages for the fun of it (but not as a native!). That is exactly what is happening with “the art of sex” in our brains as well. When we have our first partner, the first time we have sex with that person is—honestly—NOT great at all. We don’t know where things are supposed to go, we don’t know what the mechanic of it is, and we don’t know what we’re supposed to do. Our sex brain is like a blank sheet. The second time we have sex with the same person, we already know that there were things we did or there were things they did that we didn’t like. So, we avoid them, and we try to do more of what they like (for obvious reasons!). What that means is that your brain learns what sexual pleasure is with one particular person when you have sex. It’s like learning a language together with another person; a secret language that only the two of you know and can speak. It’s magical. However, if you do change partners, everything that you know about sex is not true anymore. It’s not like you can learn a routine and apply it on any female or male body out there and everyone will react the same. One person might like to have you whisper sweet things in their ear, another person might be freaked out by it. Sex is not a can of Spam that you can serve anyone, and everyone will get fully satisfied and happy and excited with it. Sexual pleasure is unique to every person and it is not repeatable from one person to another. Sex is not something that you can get better or worse at by yourself. It is something that you get better at with one exclusive lifetime partner or worse by changing partners. My first marriage, as I said, was in the context in which we both had sex for the first time. We discovered sexual pleasure with each other, and that pleasure was dependent on both of us. There is nothing that only one of us could have done better to improve it, because the amount of sexual satisfaction that each partner gets is directly dependent on BOTH partners. In my second marriage, both me and my husband had “experience”. Do you know what we had to do with all that experience? We had to fight very hard to forget it and start from scratch. Coming to a point where we are both satisfied and enjoy our time together took a lot longer than in my first marriage. And I know it was the same from my husband’s perspective. I had way more conversations about sex in my second marriage with my second partner than I had in my first marriage. Bear in mind, I am lucky enough to have an awesome husband who wants a quality relationship with me—what if I wasn’t? Sadly for you, you live in a world where everyone tries to sell you something. Some people are trying to sell you porn, others preservatives or LARC, others try to sell you abortions. Others simply try to take sex from you and satisfy themselves. And here I am, selling you nothing, and telling you to be careful who you believe, because once you sleep with your second partner you will know that I am right. If my advice as a certified specialist in this field is not persuasive enough, look up a couple adults you trust; one that only had one partner for their entire life, and one that had several partners. Ask them how fulfilled they are with their sexual life. 3. Watching porn (with or without your partner) helps. It really doesn’t. It will help you get turned on and it might help your partner get turned on as well, but sex is not exclusively about being turned on, aroused, and releasing the sexual tension through orgasm. That is just the mechanics of sex. If you are interested in going through the mechanics of sex repeatedly, you can, but don’t confuse that with good sex. Sex, in its plenary meaning, means building a chemical, spiritual, emotional and physical connection between two partners. The fact that we like the mechanics of it is merely because if we didn’t like it, we wouldn’t do it! And if we didn’t do it, we would be extinct! It’s not like babies grow on trees, right? But removing all other dimensions of sexual pleasure and keeping the physical experience only is not satisfying in the long run. On the contrary, it cheapens the value of sex and it loses its capacity to satisfy. It actually leaves scars. On the long run, if your brain starts associating the act of sex with stimulation coming from another source other than your partner (like watching porn), it will become impossible to be turned on without watching porn. This is equally true for both men and women. Again, here is the gal selling you nothing. Remember that. 4. Virginity is everything. If you’re a virgin when you get married, you’ve done your part. False. I absolutely hate this concept. Virginity is not IT. Virginity is PART of it. The BIG “it” is this: INTEGRITY. What is integrity? Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. What is sexual integrity, then? It is the practice of being sexually honest and showing consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values in your sexual life. I was clearly not a virgin the second time I got married. But I had sexual integrity, and that sexual integrity continued throughout my entire life, regardless of the season that I was in—a single lady, dating, or married. Here is why I hate this term so much:
Because there are plenty of people out there that have anal sex but no vaginal intercourse, in order to “save their virginity”.
Because there are plenty of people who are sexually abused and they lose their virginity to the hands of an abuser.
There are also plenty of people who make mistakes, they realize they made a mistake; they stop, turn 180°, and start making smarter choices.
There are plenty of people who have critical health conditions and they lose their virginity through medical procedures—some of those procedures are urgent and the patient’s family needs to give consent while the patient is not even aware they will lose their virginity.
And there are plenty of people who get married virgins and then they cheat on their partners.
These things (with the exception of the medical situation) are possible because virginity is taken out
of the context of sexual integrity. Prior to finding your forever partner, your integrity should manifest through virginity, among other related behaviors. After you find your forever partner, your integrity should manifest through preserving the experience of sexual pleasure for one person only, always the same person—your lifetime partner. Virginity is part of sexual integrity, but it is not everything that there is to it. And I, for one, will not ever judge someone who lost their virginity outside of marriage. But I will, for sure, encourage anyone who has sex outside of their mutually monogamous lifetime relationship to think twice, regardless of whether they were a virgin on their wedding night or not.
5. Get married and you’ll stop cheating on your partner.
Absolutely false! Again, our brains are trainable. If you teach your brain that excitement comes when you change partners and get your dopamine rush by changing partners, a piece of paper will not change things. The reason why we teach children the right ways of living, and we teach them the social norms and the social codes of the society we live in is because people develop habits and lifestyles. The more we practice living in a particular way, the more we will live that way and the harder it is to stop living that way. If you spend your young years hooking up and breaking up, don’t expect a piece of paper to change your habits, because it won’t. Just like your mom’s note to do dishes won’t make you actually do the dishes (admit it! J ).
6. Everybody does it!
Actually, 63% of the students who finish high school have never had sexual intercourse. So no, everybody is not doing it.
7. Adults do it all the time!
No, adults do not do it all the time. Adults pay bills and work and eat and have a life. Sex is part of that life, but sex is not what life is revolving around. Adults who are single and choose to postpone sexual activity until they find the person they want to be with for the rest of their lives, they practice sexual abstinence.Adults who go under medical procedures or have conditions might choose to refrain from sexual activity. Pregnancy can be a deterrent from sexual activity.
Athletic contracts are limiting sexual activity for players around game times.
8. If my partner doesn’t know I’m cheating on them, it won’t affect them.
False. When you are cheating on your partner, the unique emotional connection that is between you has been intercepted by a third party.They might not know that there is someone else, but they will notice a change. Not to mention, cheating is actually really hard, if you care about either of the people you are involved with. See, between you and your partner, there is a unique world that is being developed. The language that only you two speak—sex—is part of that small universe; that small world where the two of you develop your relationship together. There is not one person that can work on creating two cultures; two worlds at the same time. Many have tried, but as many as have tried, they have all failed. Anyone who cheated on a partner, if they are honest, will admit that they should have handled their relationships differently.
9. If it’s legal, it’s okay.
Wrong again. Not everything that is legal is morally okay and not everything that is morally wrong is condemned by the law.
Cheating on a partner, lying, gossiping, these things are all wrong but not illegal. Once upon a time, it used to be illegal to cheat on a marriage partner, but right now, it is not. Laws change. Morality doesn’t.
I would like to end this brief article by also mentioning that I never came across people who became sexually active after being involved in a mutually monogamous lifetime relationship (which is what we call “marriage” for short), who regretted waiting. I have also never met a person who lived for a while in the hook-up culture who didn’t regret having multiple partners.