For most of us Brits, memories of sex education lessons involve an awkward teacher, embarrassed kids, and a weird demonstration involving a banana and a condom.
Unfortunately, when we grow up with the guesswork and half-arsed videos played in a dusty classroom, misinformation runs rife and plagues our sexual decisions.
And new research from Lovehoney shows we still believe an awful lot of myths and misconceptions about sex and relationships.
As a result, they’ve put together a handy guide to the most commonly believed myths about sex – and why they’re so very wrong.
Believed by a third (34%) of Brits.
Sexologist Ness Cooper, said: ‘Almost 70% of those with penises will experience erectile dysfunction by the time they are 70.
‘However, we shouldn’t classify it as normal, as there are many reasons it can affect an individual and these can vary from person to person.
‘Anyone experiencing erectile issues should see a medical professional to find out the cause. Once the cause of erectile dysfunction is found whether that is psychological, physical, or a mixture of both, there are many treatment methods to help manage symptoms.’
Believed by over 1 in 4 (27%) Brits.
‘Being attracted to your partner doesn’t stop sex from being painful if you’re experiencing pain during penetration,’ explains Ness.
‘If you are attracted to your partner it can mean you become aroused easier when thinking or being with them, and this can lead to producing more vaginal lubrication naturally, but may not solve intercourse related pain.
‘There are many reasons someone may experience pain during penetration but whether or not you’re attracted to someone isn’t one of them.’
Believed by 1 in 5 (21%) Brits
Ness said: ‘Sometimes STIs can go unnoticed due to the incubation time before they really become active in the body.
‘Even when an STI is active and showing up on test results, there aren’t always symptoms. This is why it’s important to get tested regularly as we can’t always tell if we have contracted one.’
Believed by almost 1 in 5 (18%) Brits
‘STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) don’t spread on toilet seats, and ones that spread through contact of bodily fluids don’t survive outside of the body long enough to be transmittable through sitting on them on a toilet seat.
‘The fear of STIs being transmitted via toilet seats has been going around for far too long.’
Believed by 15% of Brits
If you’re still using the withdrawal method, it’s time to reconsider your options.
Ness said: ‘Whilst precum often only contains trace amounts of active sperm there is a possibility someone could get pregnant from penetration that has pre-ejaculation.
‘This means that the pull-out method isn’t always reliable.’
The city with the worst case of sex misinformation in the UK is Belfast, with 84% of those surveyed in the city believing the most common sex myths. Following closely behind, is Cardiff with 81% of participants believing sex misinformation, and London with 79%.
As for the rest of the top 10 worst cities for sex misinformation, these are the top culprits:
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