9 Myths About Sex and Intimacy
by Jennifer Strailey
What makes for great sex? Everyone has his or her own ideas. What makes for lousy sex? Many things, not the least of which are these myths about sex and intimacy:
1. A candlelit meal is the ideal start to a romantic evening. Not if you want it to end in sex. "Food," says myprimetime.com columnist Marty Klein, Ph.D., is a great sex killer. "[It] slows your metabolism, diverts your energy and can make you sleepy."
2. Sex should be a straight path to orgasm. "In real life, sex is rarely like this," says Klein. "We begin to take off our clothes, and may worry about how we look. All of these concerns can interrupt our excitement."
3. Abstinence is many things, none of them sexy. Not according to relationship experts who believe that taking a breather from all sex, or from just intercourse, can rev up desire and lead to new avenues of mutual pleasure.
4. Great sex is the best way to prove you're a great lover. Just the opposite is true, says Klein. "Great sex is about forgetting who you are — forgetting your ideas about masculinity or femininity, your desire to look good, maintain your dignity or patrol the boundary between you and the other person."
5. Women want intimacy more than men. "This myth hurts both women and men," says Klein. "It dishonors the genuine desires for connection that many men feel, and confuses and isolates them. It also forces responsibility for good relationships onto women."
6. Men always want sex. No, they don't, says clinical psychologist and therapist Bernie Zilbergeld. And the sooner they admit it, the more enjoyable their sex lives will become. He says men would experience less anxiety, fewer performance worries and greater comfort in the bedroom if they had sex only when their personal conditions were met.
7. Erection difficulty is the worst kind of sexual problem. "Erection difficulties and rapid ejaculation are among the most easily resolved sexual complaints," notes Klein.
8. Sex ends with divorce. John Berndt, a clinical psychologist specializing in divorce, believes as many as 20 percent of divorced couples end up sharing a bed at some point. And most of them aren't headed for reconciliation and remarriage.
9. Men only like super-skinny women. "Most women underestimate men's ideals for female weight and shape," says Klein. Most men like a little more meat on the bones. "Those skinny models are found in women's magazines, never men's."
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