12 Weird Things People Used to Believe About Sex

by Audrey Andrews

on Sep 3, 2019


When I was a kid, I thought that people got pregnant just by sleeping in the same bed.

To be fair to my younger self, I was on the right track, but my explanation was definitely missing a few crucial steps.

We may all have believed something funny or illogical about sex before we were given The Talk by our parents or sex ed teacher – but that's nothing compared to what people have believed throughout the ages.

Cornflakes, sneezing, pineapple juice, 'loose' vaginas – here are 12 weird things people once believed about sex!

1. Bless You!

Ancient Greek physician Soronus wrote a four-volume treatise on gynaecology, but some of his findings haven't aged well at all.

We wouldn't recommend relying on his belief that sneezing after sex would prevent pregnancy.

Yep, you read that correctly – he specifically recommended squatting down, sneezing and rinsing out the vagina to avoid conception.

You'd be MUCH better off just using a condom.

2. I Can See Clearly Now This Myth Has Gone

Ever heard the old myth that too much masturbation can cause blindness?

In 1722 Swiss physician Samuel Tissot first published his book Onanism: Diseases Caused by Masturbation which, amongst other things, claimed that the loss of semen caused by masturbation could negatively impact your eyesight.

Luckily, this isn't true in the slightest.

3. A Gender Reveal Party, 19th Century Style

French physiologist Eugene Becklard, author of 'Becklard's Physiology', believed that the gender of your child depended on your orgasms.

Becklard described conception as though it was some orgasm competition, where the child would take after the partner that had the best climax.

"The party whose temperament predominates in the child was in the highest state of orgasm at the period of intercourse" he wrote.

You heard it here first!

4. The Itty Bitty Titty Committee

Don't get us started on the Victorians – the sex myths they believed are the stuff of legends.

During the Victorian era, it was thought that women who masturbated would end up being underdeveloped with flat chests.

It was also believed that women were susceptible to 'hysteria' and that the best treatment for this was to be massaged to 'paroxysm' (that's 'orgasm' to you and I). This is why the first ever vibrators were invented – check out The Magical History of The Wand Vibrator.

5. The Most Important Meal of The Day

If you think your favourite breakfast cereal is a wholesome, innocent way to start the day, J.H. Kellogg has something to tell you.

J.H. Kellogg, of Kellogg's Cornflakes, created his famous breakfast cereal to surpress men's urges to masturbate.

Kellog believed that a bland diet would quash the sex drive.

Tasteless food and no libido? It's a no from us!

6. Nice Girls Don't

Ruth Smythers was the author of the 1984 work Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride: On the Conduct and Procedure of the Intimate and Personal Relationships of the Marriage State for the Greater Spiritual Sanctity of this Blessed Sacrament and the Glory of God. We know, it's not exactly a snappy title.

Ruth wrote that new brides should "Give little, give seldom and above all give grudgingly. Otherwise what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of sexual lust."

To avoid all that nasty lust, Ruth recommends "feigned illness, sleepiness, and headaches" and, if those don't work, "arguments, nagging, scolding, and bickering". Sounds like married to bliss to us – not!

7. A One-Track Mind

"Men are so horny, they think about sex every 7 seconds."

No, they don't! The Journal of Sex Research published a university study that had 238 students measure how many times they thought about food, sex and sleep for an entire week.

The results showed that, on average, men only think about sex 19 times per day while women averaged about 10 sexy thoughts per day.

8. Sex & Sport

Coaches often tell their star athletes to abstain from sex whilst training for major games and competitions.

This myth has its roots in both Ancient Greece and China, the idea being that the pent-up sexual frustration would boost overall aggression and energy.

However, a study published in Frontiers in Physiology suggests that having sex will have little impact on your athletic performance and, if it does, it's more likely to affect your ability in a positive way rather than a negative one.

9. Stretching The Truth

"If you have sex with too many guys you'll end up with a loose vagina."

Enough already. Having multiple partners, using penetrative sex toys, having a partner with a large penis – none of these things are going to permanently stretch a vagina out of shape.

A woman can give birth to an entire human child, so claiming your schlong is big enough to stretch a vagina is laughable.

10. Age Is Just A Number


Sex isn't just for the young and beautiful – it's for the old and beautiful too!

Sure, no one likes to imagine their grandparents getting it on, but the fact is sex definitely doesn't stop once you start getting more candles on your birthday cake.

11. A Tear-able Lie


Bleeding after penetrative sex used to be treated as proof that this was the first time a woman had had in sex.

Although everyone's hymen is different, it is essentially just a membrane that exists inside the vagina opening. It can tear due to tampon use, playing sports or masturbation – the list goes on!

Some women might shed a few drops of blood the first time they have penetrative sex, but it won't be a big deal. Some women won't be born with a hymen at all. At the end of the day, virginity is a concept, anyway.

12. Have You Had Your Five A Day?


You may have heard that eating pineapple a few hours before sex will make you 'taste' better should your partner go down on you.

If you have a healthy diet and take care of your personal hygiene, you'll smell and taste just fine.

But that can of pineapple juice you downed while your lover was Uber-ing over to your place? It's not going to make the slightest difference, sorry!

Audrey Andrews is a student blogger for Lovehoney. In her spare time she loves to do craft, but would not advise knitting your own condoms.

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Audrey Andrews

Written by Audrey Andrews.

Originally published on Sep 3, 2019. Updated on Aug 5, 2020