6 Insane Sex Myths (That Are Actually True)

#3. Hickeys Can Cause Strokes and Paralysis

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The Myth:

"That weird kid from history class told me that he gave himself that hickey with a vacuum cleaner to make it look like he had a girlfriend."

"Holy shit, tell him not to do that, man! I met this kid at camp whose friend did that and died."

Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
Which still barely cracks the top 10 of disturbing vacuum cleaner sex tricks.

The Truth:

In case you don't know, a hickey, or love bite, is a sign of affection whereby your partner puts their mouth on your neck and sucks so hard that it leaves a long-lasting mark. Yeah, it's actually pretty fucking weird when you see it written out like that, but what's weirder is the fact that it can apparently give you a goddamn stroke, which is even less romantic.

A Maori woman from New Zealand freaked out a little when her left arm suddenly stopped working one day. Needing her arm to do various arm-related things, she decided she should hit up the local ER. When the doctors looked her over, they decided that she'd had a stroke and gave her some blood thinners as part of the standard treatment, although they had no idea what might have caused a healthy woman to stroke out like that.

AwakenedEye/iStock/Getty Images
No, not that kind, either.

But then one of them noticed a bruise on her neck right next to a major artery. The woman told them it was a hickey, presumably rolling her eyes at the clueless nerds. But when they examined it closer, they discovered that the woman had been hickeyed so hard that it had bruised a major artery, which clotted to the point of stroke and potential paralysis. Doctors could find no other recorded examples of this happening, although obviously that doesn't mean it hasn't happened -- it's not like this is the first thing they check for on stroke victims.

#2. Food Allergies Can Be Transmitted Through Semen

Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

The Myth:

"My hairdresser warned me to be careful, since I'm allergic to peanuts. Her sister's face swelled up like a balloon when she gave her boyfriend a blow job after he had eaten some trail mix."

The Truth:

We covered semen allergies before. They're pretty terrible on their own, what with the baby batter making you swell up and itch or giving you the flu, but the dangers of unprotected sex can be even more subtle than that: It is also possible for food allergies to be triggered by semen if the guy you're doing the nasty with has recently eaten the thing you're allergic to.

Krzysztof Ziarnek, via Wikipedia
Which begs the larger question: "Why the hell were you eating ragweed in the first place?"

Just ask the British woman who had what might be the first recorded case of a sexually transmitted allergic reaction. Her boyfriend ate a few handfuls of mixed nuts, but, knowing about his lady friend's debilitating Brazil nut allergy, he showered and brushed his teeth before making his move. Still, after they finished up, the woman began to experience the tell-tale signs of having ingested nuts, and not the kind of nuts that she thought she'd had in her mouth. After going to the doctor, their fears were confirmed when the doc did one of those skin-prick tests with his nutty semen.

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
"Judging by the giggling coming from the lab, I'm pretty sure your results came back positive."

That's right -- in what must have been the most awkward hospital visit of all time, the doctor asked him to eat some Brazil nuts and then rub one out into a vial so that he could smear it on his girlfriend's arm, at which point he would have been right to ask whether he could check the guy's medical license.

#1. Cheating on Your Spouse Can Cause Injury or Death

Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The Myth:

"You'd better be careful if you're thinking of cheating on that nice girl, because karma will always catch up with you in the end. Death karma."

George De Sota/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The kind terrible Seagal movies are named after.

The Truth:

We mentioned earlier that boner fractures are more common among unfaithful partners, due to the "Let's try it on my motorcycle!" nature of the sex they're having. But it turns out those guys are getting off easy.

People have been spreading urban legends about infidelity causing death since time immemorial. It's easy to see why -- there's no better way to discourage immoral behavior than to perpetuate a rumor that God will strike you down for it. But surely, as far as biology is concerned, there shouldn't be anything dangerous about infidelity, because it's not like nature cares whether you and the person you're boning have matching rings, right? Well, here's where things get weird.

Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images
Weirder, anyway. These are usually some off-the-menu hijinks to begin with.

Sure, people just stop being alive during sex sometimes. That's not really news, since TV and movies have been playing the "old man dies on top of his young girlfriend" bit for years. Studies report that roughly 1 percent of sudden deaths happen during some bedroom hanky-panky. But here's the thing: Of that group of people, almost all of them were cheating on their significant other.

That means that if you're getting some on the side, you might want to make sure you lay off the pork rinds and go for a jog once in a while. Also, some sad news for cheating d-bags everywhere: The fatalities are almost exclusively dudes. Although they were usually with a much younger woman, so we guess that's a trade-off you've got to choose for yourself.

Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
"He died as he lived: drunk under some woman he met on Craigslist."

As you can guess, the logic is similar to the penis breaks -- those older guys in full midlife crisis mode are trying to go extra hard, while also feeling the fear of getting caught and the excitement that comes with banging a secretary in their office. That winds up being a little too much for the ol' ticker (or whatever other organ was the weak link in their system), and before they know it, they've humped their way right off the mortal coil. We'd offer some word of caution here, but it's not like it would actually stop anyone, right?


Aaron Granger is a chemist and likes to write about science projects in his spare time. He updates his website, Impractical Science, roughly whenever.

For more on bumping genitals together, check out The Sex Ed Lessons You Wish They'd Taught You.

Related Reading: Cracked has plenty of sex myths to bust, too. Married people don't have less sex. But hey, some people totally do get their dicks stuck in pool filters. For a scientific explanation of the 'beer goggles' effect, click here.

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