I-Team member Breanna Kerr compiled a list of common sex myths and went straight to the experts: the folks at UNC Student Wellness. She spoke to trained UNC Student Wellness Health educators Diana Sanchez , Kate Fahje , and Caress Roach as well as Fred Wyand , a spokesman for the American Sexual Health Association to answer your burning questions in this Q&A. Information and statistics from Planned Parenthood’s website is also included.
MYTH: There is a perfect “number" of sexual partners.
Fact: “Sexuality encompasses a broad spectrum, and there is no perfect ‘number’ of partners,” the Student Wellness specialists said. “Some people will choose to have no sexual partners, and some will choose to have more than zero. What’s important is to know yourself and what is important to you, and of course to always remember to obtain affirmative consent with any and all sexual partners.”
MYTH: The pull-out method is an effective form of contraception.
FACT: “Withdrawal can work but can also be really tricky and even the best intentions can go awry,” Wyand said. “It takes a lot of experience and is unpredictable. Plus there might be sperm in the pre-ejaculate (still not clear how much of a risk pre-ejaculate poses, though). That’s not to say it won’t work, but it takes a lot of trust, communication, and timing. Not a bad idea to think about using another type of contraception if available and practical. And on that note, keep in mind that while birth control methods like withdrawal and the pill/implants/shot can prevent pregnancy, they don’t protect against STDs.”
MYTH: You can’t get pregnant in a hot tub, a pool, or any general body of water.
FACT: “Whether one is in the water, in a pressure chamber, or on the moon makes no difference,” the Student Wellness specialists said. “An act that’s risky for pregnancy is defined by the nature of the act itself, not where it occurs! Water offers no protection against pregnancy.”
MYTH: It’s bad for a woman to have sex while on her period.
FACT: “Sex on your period is not dangerous or bad — it’s is a matter of preference,” the Student Wellness specialists said. “You and your partner can discuss if this is something you want to do. Due to the blood, there is a risk of transmission for STIs and HIV, so we highly encourage the practice of safe sex, like condoms and dental dams.”