Although most schools are required to include at least some form of sex education in the curriculum, the thoroughness of said education varies wildly from school to school and era to era. For every one of you lucky enough to have received detailed instructions about how to put a condom on a cucumber, another was merely subjected to a slideshow about genital warts and a hurried lecture on the benefits of abstinence, delivered by a red-faced softball coach.
This means there's an excellent chance that whatever you were taught about sex is either partially misleading or dangerously incorrect. So, once again, it's the Internet to the rescue.
Warning: Final entry contains a drawing of a vagina!
5 Myth: Condoms Are Effective 97 Percent of the Time
"You didn't use protection?" is the default exclamation when anyone who isn't married and between the ages of 20 and 35 gets pregnant. It's also a pretty loaded question, because "protection" is generally cultural shorthand for condoms, which suggests that pregnancy would have been impossible had the couple in question had the foresight to wrap the penis up in baby-thwarting latex. It makes sense -- as the labeling on most Trojan packages will tell you, condoms have about a 97 percent efficacy rate. Sure, 3 out of every 100 couples are going to get a squealing, sleep-destroying surprise, but what are the chances one of those people will be you?
eskaylim/iStock/Getty Images, Iwona Grodzka/iStock/Getty Images
"Please, don't ask me to do math. My brain is a little light on blood right now."
As it turns out, the chances that your condom will betray you are much higher than you think. That 97 percent success rate everyone quotes, while technically correct, is stretching the truth thinner than a rubber pulled over a basketball. The actual success rate of condoms is around 82 percent, leaving their failure rate a whopping 18 percent -- six times higher than advertised.
The figure on the box is only referring to how often those failures result in pregnancy when the condom is used perfectly. This doesn't mean simply using a condom every time you have sex -- there's a surprisingly specific set of instructions you need to adhere to in order to prevent unwanted man juice leakage, sort of like the rules about keeping a Mogwai from turning into a gremlin. If condoms are your sole method of birth control, chances are one of you would be an accidental parent within a year.
We recommend condoms in conjunction with balls-in-the-saucepan.
When you open the condom package in the heat of the moment, do you always carefully examine the product to make sure it has a reservoir tip, and if not, pinch the tip, leaving approximately one half-inch space in which sperm can collect? No? That's a shame, because that's incredibly important. Otherwise the condom could overflow, or straight-up burst like one of the Nazis from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Do you always remember to slap on a whole bunch of lube? Failure to do so will increase chances of the condom breaking due to excess friction. If you did remember to use lube, did you make sure it was water-based? Anything other than water-based lube will dissolve the latex of the condom. We're beginning to think that the high success rate boasted by proper condom use is because 97% of people no longer want to have sex after doing all that bullshit.
And that's just putting the condom on. Literally anything else that happens during the actual act of intercourse can decrease a condom's effectiveness, like pulling out too early or too late, getting the condom twisted around or crooked -- basically all of the haphazard, tumultuous rolling around that makes sex sex. That's like designing a raincoat that will fly apart with the smallest gust of wind.
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Better use two condoms, except HA HA that reduces the effectiveness, too.
We're not saying that you should totally abandon condoms (they are 0 percent effective in that scenario). Just don't rely on them as your sole source of de-babyfication, and make sure you're following all of the directions instead of slapping one on like a drunken clown trying to tie a balloon animal around a tree.
4Myth: Wet Dreams Are Something That Only Teenage Boys Have
The term "wet dream" is one of the grossest bits of slang to ever make it into other walks of life ("This matchup is a basketball fan's wet dream!"), and every teenage boy can remember finding out what it was, one way or the other. If you go to a teen health website they're happy to tell you that, "... a wet dream is when semen (the fluid containing sperm) is discharged from the penis during ejaculation while a guy's asleep." Though we suppose kids today would be more likely to consult Urban Dictionary, which will tell them pretty much the same (that it's "what happens when you ignore your penis for too long and it decides to plot out revenge"). It sure is crazy to be a male going through puberty, right?
"Later, my penis tried to get revenge on me by stabbing my dog!"
But as happens so often with anything having to do with sex, the ladies get ignored completely ... even though 30-40 percent of them orgasm in their sleep, just like the dudes. Hilariously, scientific studies on this subject discuss female wet dreams like they're trying to track down the Loch Ness monster ("... there is an extensive lack of information ... Since 1970, only one new study concerning female nocturnal orgasms has been published ...").
"I recommend a hysterectomy and a lobotomy, just to be safe."
On top of the lingering idea that a sex drive is something that only boys have, there's the fact that it simply doesn't happen to all women (unlike wet dreams for males, which are nearly universal). So if a confused young girl asks her mother if her orgasmic dream about Liam from One Direction is a normal part of growing up, she's more likely to get a response of, "No, either the real Liam broke into our home last night, or you have been molested by an Incubus. In either case, you are no longer a virgin, and must be banished from the village."