Weird myths about sexuality
You'd think that by now, we as a species would have pretty much figured out sex, what with Hollywood and the Internet constantly pumping us full of messages on the subject - and we all know that if there are two things that can be universally trusted, those two things are Hollywood and the Internet. We believe sex is a natural and, well, wonderful thing. But you have to admit that certain aspects of sex can be a little weird — even outrageous. Here are the weirdest and most unbelievable of the bunch.
Thinking of visiting the Heart of Dixie? Just make sure you pack plenty of sex toys because you can’t buy them in Alabama. While it’s hard to believe, Alabama still has a law on the books that bans the sale or purchase of “any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs. While the state’s Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act has been challenged multiple times, including in a federal suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, it’s still the law in Alabama. The good news is Alabama residents can legally cross state lines and stock up on as many dildos and French ticklers as their hearts desire — the toys just can’t be sold or purchased within the state.
You’ve got to hand it to the Canucks — they have a good sense of humor. As Sarah Aspler at BuzzFeed reports, Canadian law prohibited “homosexual acts” and “sodomy” — which included oral and anal sex under the statute — until 1969. So it took them long enough, but at least they eventually came around. By contrast, the United States didn’t toss out its oral sex laws until 2003, when the Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws in 14 states in Lawrence v. Texas.
According to Dr. Debby Herbenick at Kinsey Confidential, the sexuality information service of The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, a woman’s vagina can almost double in length when she’s aroused — a process called vaginal tenting. “During sexual excitement, muscular tension pulls the uterus upward, which has the effect of making the vagina both longer and wider. Now, instead of being 3-4 inches in length, a vagina may reach approximately 5-6 inches in length.” Dr. Herbenick notes that vaginal tenting may explain why a woman sometimes feels tighter to her partner during intercourse.
In recent years, the United States still has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any industrialized country in the world. Part of the reason is the patchwork quilt of sex ed programs among the states — many of which teach “abstinence-only” sex ed. The lack of comprehensive sex ed in the U.S. has led to a startling number of misconceptions about sex and safe sex among adults. In fact, Sarah Jio at Glamour reports that a study conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that 59 percent of single young women “think it’s at least slightly likely they are infertile if they haven’t gotten pregnant from unprotected sex.” In reality, a woman who has regular unprotected sex has an 85 percent chance of becoming pregnant within one year.