5 Sexual Fears That Science Says Are Bullshit

#2. Rejection Fuels Creativity, Intuition

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Being told "no" is the worst thing that can ever happen to you, aside from a bad thing actually happening to you, so it's natural to fear it. But you know the phrase "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"? And you know how that phrase is laughably vague because obviously having your arm cut off, for example, may not kill you, but it probably won't make you stronger, either? Like perhaps in a metaphorical sense, but even that's not guaranteed, because the trauma may leave you with a crippling fear of helicopters like that one doctor on ER?

Well, this is one of the rare instances where "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is actually true: Rejection can improve your intuition and ability to read others. The idea is that we've evolved from a society where social rejection meant death -- if a cave-teen was acting like a dramatic caveman loner, wearing a Slipknot (Except We're Cavemen) shirt and smoking cigarettes under the bleachers after rock-smashing class, they were, like, super easy pickings for any leopard who happened by. So when we get rejected romantically (or in any social setting), our brain goes into overdrive and starts focusing on what other folks' faces mean. Suddenly, we're attentive to what a fake smile or a forced laugh sounds like, specifically because we were rejected.

On top of that, rejection can actually stimulate creativity in certain personalities. People who already feel like outsiders will, in a weird way, be validated by that rejection, and then feel free to focus on their weird, outside-the-box creative endeavors. Ironically, being more creative also correlates to having more sex partners, so if you're a weird, artsy type, getting turned down will, in the long run, result in even more sweaty, slightly-kinkier-than-normal pounding.

#1. No One Is Having as Much Sex as You Think

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Our general concept of the sex other people are having is "a lot." Over the course of Seinfeld, if you'd like a super fucking weird example, George Costanza enters a relationship with 43 different women, and he's supposed to be the schlubby character who doesn't get ladies.

The reality? Men report an average of six to eight lifetime sex partners, while women report an average of four. In their lifetime. This isn't based on a quiz of nuns, by the way, but normal human people who run the gamut from feeling like they aren't having enough sex, to feeling satisfied, to wishing they weren't such impulsive slut-monsters, slaving away to the whims of their never-satisfied genitalliac impulses.

So what gives? How'd these numbers get so out of whack? Well, I have a theory: Right now, the Western world has more leisure time than at any other point in human history, and we have Netflix to fill that time, so fiction has a greater impact on our concept of the world than ever before. On top of that, we're probably skewing higher since not only are sexual relationships great drama, but like I said, creative people tend to have more sex partners, so writers, actors, and celebrities are probably working with an inflated understanding of what's normal.

That could be totally wrong. Who knows. My point is, don't worry about it. Even the averages I mentioned above are based on such a wide spread that there's pretty much no such thing as a "normal" number of sex partners. So stop feeling pressured. Fuck as much as you want.

What This Means for You

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You're free! Literally nothing bad can happen to you, no matter what! Bars are your oyster! Dance clubs are your candy store! Gyms are your third metaphor for opportunity! You're a wizard of every social situation, flirting your way through life because it can't go wrong!

I mean, OK, it totally can, I guess. Like you can be a creepy person who won't leave people you're interested in alone, or you might become a weird pick-up artist thing who tries to play games that will deceive people into boning you, which will make everyone hate you, and that's bad. I guess my column is more focused on shy people who feel like there aren't any options, or are being crippled by social pressure. The emotions and insecurities that turn you into someone who sees sex as a weapon or something. Don't have those feelings; there's no reason for it. It's so much simpler than you've been taught to think. Just figure out what you want, be respectful to everyone, and all that other shit will just fall into place.

Oh, and if you drop acid and watch The Lord of the Rings, skip right on over The Two Towers, because that shit gets way too dark. This is the sum total of all my wisdom in the world.

JF Sargent often makes other jokes about boning on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

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