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All Your Burning Questions About Sex Answered Right Now

It's time to separate myth from fact.

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Arina Shabanova
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Sex is the most wonderful, beautiful yet mysterious act we ever discovered. Sneakily discovered, through whispered tales in fifth grade, through giggled lectures in sixth grade and finally through the real deal in 12th grade. It’s no wonder we have no idea how to discern the myths from reality even now at the ripe old age of 41. So once again we turn to the experts to finally ask the questions we’ve been wondering about for the past decades, and separate myth from fact.

You’re welcome.

Do most women have an orgasm through intercourse alone?


The reality is that only about a quarter of people with vulvas consistently orgasm through penetration alone, says Suzannah Weiss, a certified sex educator, sex coach and writer. “The rest need clitoral stimulation in order to experience consistent organisms,” she says. “So don’t believe what you see in porn — often, the foreplay is more important than the sex if you have a vulva and want to orgasm.”

Does a bigger penis equate to better sex?


Since most women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, it’s not the penis that’s going to make or break sex for them — it’s more likely their partner’s foreplay skills, Weiss says. Research shows that most women actually prefer an average-sized penis, as a huge penis may be painful. 

Can women actually ejaculate?


Yes, squirting is real. It’s not understood how or why some women ejaculate during orgasm, but it’s true that some women do it. Ejaculating and orgasm don’t have to happen together, although they usually do. “Some nonbelievers claim it is pee, but it is mostly fluid from the Skene’s glands on the wall of the vagina,” says Justin Easty, general manager of The Hot Spot in Australia. The Skene’s glands, which are known as the lesser vestibular glands, are two glands located on either side of the urethra. The glands secrete a substance that lubricates the urethra opening. The function of the Skene’s glands is not fully understood, but is believed to be the source of female ejaculation during sexual arousal, Easty says. 

Does sex make your vagina loose?


There are two groups of muscles that determine how tight the vagina is: the walls of the vagina and the pelvic floor muscles. During sexual arousal, the vaginal walls relax to allow penetration, tighten during orgasm and again after arousal has died down, Easty says. “Women who are anxious during sex, especially if it’s their first time, may not be relaxed, and so the vaginal wall muscles are tighter,” he says. Having lots of sex doesn’t permanently stretch your vagina, Easty says. When you stretch your mouth and cheeks while eating, you aren’t left with a permanently stretched mouth. The muscles in your pelvic floor are stretched during childbirth, but they are usually back to their original size and shape in six months or less. The pelvic floor muscles are the ones you squeeze when you’re holding in your urine. And like all muscles, regular exercise can help. Kegels can strengthen the pelvic floor and vaginal wall muscles.

If you fantasize about someone else, are you unhappy with your relationship?


Most people fantasize about people other than their partners, says Lori Beth Bisbey, a psychologist and sex and intimacy coach in the United Kingdom. “It is a healthy way of exploring variety without negatively impacting your relationship,” Bisbey says. “These fantasies are a place to try out ideas and see what you think of them.” In fact, she says, masturbation often increases during relationships because partners’ sex drives increase, and they aren’t always able to coordinate times to have sex. If your libidos don’t match, masturbation allows for release without needing your partner to be in the mood for sexual activity. 

Do all men want sex all the time?


“I work with a lot of heterosexual couples where the female partner has a higher desire for sex than the male,” says Natalie Goldberg, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Beverly Hills. This tends to clash with the stereotype that men always want sex and women don’t. Being in a relationship where your sexual needs are not being met is frustrating, but when couples find themselves in a dynamic they perceive as the opposite of normal, it adds extra frustration to an already challenging situation, Goldberg says. “It’s likely that the male is already withdrawing as a result of feeling ashamed or pressured, but to further feel like his lack of drive makes him less of a man tends to lead to more shame and withdrawal, not motivation for more sex.”