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5 sexual health myths to know about

28 March 2016, 11:08 Dr Eve

Is sex better when you’re younger?

People of all ages experience sexual anxieties. They are anxious about their performances and their responses. Younger people are still learning how their bodies work, and so they’re not always aware of what would create satisfactory sexual pleasure. They are also not always assertive enough to ask for what they want, so sex can be disappointing and frustrating for them. Unfortunately many women still worry about their reputations so they are hesitant or afraid to fully expose their sexuality. As women age, become more confident in general and learn about their bodies and sexual needs (through masturbation and partner play specifically), sexuality tends to become way more interesting and satisfying. Women care less about their reputations as they age and can find a voice to tell a partner what they enjoy sexually. Sex is generally speaking better when a woman feels emotionally and physically safe with herself and a partner, when she likes her body and feels in control of her life.

Do women experience vaginal dryness simply because they’re not turned on enough?
Vaginal dryness happens for many different reasons at all ages and stages of life. In younger women, premenopausal women who are healthy, women who do not have diabetes and are not on medications that might dry out their mucosa, vaginal dryness is caused by lack of genital or mental arousal. Penetration will be uncomfortable, even painful. Across all ages, lack of stimulation causes vaginal dryness.

If a woman has genito-pelvic pain sexual disorder, she will struggle to tolerate any vaginal penetration. She will automatically be dry, which will add to her pain. If a woman is on an oral contraceptive, she may well experience painful penetration with vaginal dryness. She needs to consult a health care provider and seek an alternative contraception.

From the age of 45 years old, women go into peri-menopause and with the resulting loss of estrogen, their vaginas become dryer and dryer over the years. If there is no hormone replenishment, she will develop vaginal atrophy, which means her vagina will struggle to automatically lubricate and sex will be painful.

Should you not have sex when you’re on your period?
Having sex while menstruating is a very personal choice for each woman. There is no physical harm that could happen should you decide to have sex while menstruating, and it’s completely safe to do so. The only caution is that couples should use condoms, as sex during menstruation poses a higher infection risk, as it is considered a “less safe” sexual activity. Many women feel particularly aroused during their menstruation and want to be sexual. It’s a conversation she needs to have with her partner and get consent from him/her.

Do women actually watch and enjoy porn?
In my recent research into Cyber Infidelity for my book Cyber Infidelity: The New Seduction (Human & Rousseau 2015), women claimed to watch porn 0-5 hours a day. Female porn includes viewing erotic images as well as reading erotic literature such as 50 Shades of Grey. There is a whole genre of porn just for women, including porn based on stories with an added element of romance. And women tend to watch porn for couples too, such as porn made by Candida Royalle. Women primarily watch porn alone, while some enjoy watching it with a partner (especially with a cyber infidelity partner). Women use porn to become educated and aroused. However, women should not imagine porn as “real sex”, as it is purely for entertainment.

Is sex purely physical? Is it just about your genitals?
Sexuality means different things to each person, at different times of their lives. At times it is a physical, genital release and at other times it is a gateway to intimacy. Women are socialised to only have sex in a relationship. However, those social messages are undergoing a forced change now, as social media has given women the freedom to express their sexuality online via sexting or even take it offline very quickly. Relationships have also changed, giving women more freedom to express their sexuality without the rigidity of a formal relationship (as in casual sex). Women express the highest sexual satisfaction with sexuality when they are alone and masturbating, and the highest level of intimate satisfaction when they are being sexual with a beloved. Sexuality is thus a combination of genital stimulation and hearts embracing. We want both to be healthy, so using Evarmiles adds genital satisfaction, which in turn makes women more confident and emotionally satisfied.

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- Women24


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