There are so many myths about women and sex that it’s difficult to know where to start unravelling the truth from f(r)iction. Here, we’re tackling four that are still widely believed, even today when gender equality rules.
1. Women aren’t ‘supposed to’ enjoy sex
When it comes to sex, there’s no ‘supposed to’. There’s a harmful, enduring myth that women are only ‘supposed to’ have sex to procreate, or to make men happy. Both of these are completely inaccurate.
The truth is that plenty of women enjoy sex – even love it! And they have sex when they want to, with whomever they wish, for a multitude of reasons that don’t include procreation. Critically, women should never have sex only to make a man happy or because they feel pressure from a man to do so. And as for having children? A woman always has the right to choose whether to procreate or not.
2. Women have a lower sex drive than men
Not only is this untrue, but many women crave sex just as much, or even more, than some men.
Classically, women have been conditioned to believe that they should sit around and wait patiently for a man to make advances. That they should be passive and not show any interest in pursuing sex. Fortunately today we’re coming to acknowledge that women’s libidos are not unlike men’s, and that women are just as entitled to go after what they want without fear of judgement or slut-shaming. Go get it, girl!
3. If you enjoy sex, you’re a ‘slut’
Following on from the previous point, perhaps you’ve heard this ironic ‘joke’:
“Q: What do you call a woman who sleeps around?
A: A slut.
Q: What do you call a man who sleeps around?
A: His name.”
This quip serves to highlight the massive inequality that exists in the way society views men who sleep around and women who do the same. Historically, women who had several sex partners were considered ‘whores’ or ‘sluts’, while men who led the same sort of lifestyles were not.
Slut-shaming has come to light in recent years, and thank goodness for that. Today we recognise that women, like men, enjoy sex, seek it out, and are no less worthy of respect because of it.
4. Sex hurts
No, no, no! There are exceptions to this of course: sometimes your first time might be a bit uncomfortable, and if you’re not sufficiently aroused or lubricated, there’s also a possibility of discomfort. However, if sex is consistently sore for you, this points to a bigger problem and you should get it checked out right away. You may have an infection or another medical condition that requires treatment or diagnosis.
Read more: 5 Ways to make sex less painful.
All your sex questions answered by Marie Stopes
If you have concerns about sex, your body, or specific symptoms you’re experiencing, chat to us. Give us a call on 0800 11 77 95 or find your nearest Marie Stopes centre and make an appointment online.