Cast members from HBO television series 'Sex and the City' / Getty Images/Handout

We asked sex expert Samantha Evans of Jo Divine to help us dispel some of the biggest misconceptions

There are plenty of myths around sex and our attitude towards pleasure. In popular culture, it is often built up as something illusive or male-centric - so it's not surprising that many people still feel misinformed in the 21st Century. With that in mind, we have picked 11 of the most commonly-circulated myths with the aim of setting the record straight. 

1) "Orgasm is the only goal during sexual intercourse"

Sam at Jo Divine says: Many people view sex as a journey, focussing on arriving at your destination ( having an orgasm), rather than enjoying the scenery on the way, but sex is about so much more. Sexual intimacy should be what feels pleasurable to you. Through exploration, each sexual encounter can be a new adventure, not always ending in the same conclusion.

Many people are dissatisfied with their sex lives if they are unable to orgasm, either through poor stimulation, lack of sexual knowledge or just an inability to let go - but one of the stumbling blocks is that we are so worried about it. Instead of letting the wave of pleasure flow over us we need to switch the chatter off in our heads. If you are constantly thinking, “Am I there yet? Will it happen? When will it happen?” you won't get there.

2) "We all have multiple orgasms"

Sam at Jo Divine says: Well, some women do but not all of us can or do. Often women find that their clitoris and vagina is extremely sensitive after orgasming and don’t want it to be touched again, other women enjoy this sensation and are happy for more.

3) "Men think about sex every seven seconds"

Any actual "evidence" of this is fairly weak. If you thought about sex every seven seconds, this would add up to around 7,200 individual thoughts of sex each waking day. While it is commonly believed that men think about sex a lot more than women, last year a group of researchers at Ohio University tracked thoughts involving food, sleep or sex of 283 college students by means of a tally, for one week. Male students thought about sex an average of 19 times during the day (the female students reported 10),but they also reported more need-based thoughts overall.

4) "All women orgasm"

Sam at Jo Divine says: This isn’t true as some women experience anorgasmia whereby they cannot orgasm. This doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy sexual pleasure. Orgasm tends to be the end of the journey but travelling to that point can be just as much fun than reaching it.

5) "You can tell the size of a man's penis by his shoe size"

Many people still seem to use feet as an indicator for size... elsewhere. But in 2002, a study of 104 men at University College London found absolutely no correlation between the two. Another conducted in Canada of just 63 men found a very weak link, as well as one between penis length and height. It's definitely not certain, so for now we'd suggest the only thing you'll learn by a man's shoes is his taste in fashion.  

6) "You can only orgasm through penetrative sex"

Most women require clitoral stimulation to experience an orgasm and 70 percent of women achieve an orgasm clitorally.

Depending on what position you have sex, some women are able to orgasm this way and is probably due to stimulation of both her clitoris and G-spot which causes this.

You can increase your chances of orgasming during sex by using a small clitoral vibrator or vibrating cock ring.

7) "He comes first"

Sam at Jo Divine says: Female orgasms are just as important. If a woman finds a male partner has beaten them to it, why not have your orgasm during foreplay or just tell him he can’t come before you do - this can make sex feel more intense!

8) "Faking an orgasm is OK"

Sam at Jo Divine says: It’s a disservice to your partner by not teaching them what works best for you, even if you don’t want to hurt their feelings.

Most people appreciate a little guidance when it comes to pleasuring their partner. Even if you don’t orgasm it should feel pleasurable, so make sure to tell your partner what you want.

9) "Sex is just like it is on TV"

No, it’s not- it’s noisy, messy, smelly and awkward at times too. You never see couples using lube, grabbing tissues and dashing to the loo afterwards to clean up.

10) "Condoms ruin sex"

This is a no brainer. Using condoms means your partner cares and you can relax, enjoy what is happening and worry about getting pregnant or contracting an STI.

Often the sensation of “not feeling anything” is due to a lack of lubrication so adding a little can make it feel more pleasurable.

Make sure you find the perfect fit because men who find condoms uncomfortable could be wearing the wrong size.

11) "Sex needs to last hours"

Sam at Jo Divine says: Sex should last however long you want it to. Contrary to popular belief that sex needs to last for hours to be considered good: many couples enjoy satisfying sexual intercourse which lasts between 3-13 minutes, according to Penn State Erie researchers Eric Corty and Jenay Guardiani (2008).

Some women find long sex sessions, while men can find this boring and often prefer for it to end sooner rather than later. Other people enjoy slow, sensual sexual pleasure. It depends on who, where, when, why and how you have sex.

If you only have time for quickie sex, then three minute sex is perfect and extremely satisfying. You may not orgasm but it’s fun and might lead to a longer session later that day.

So dispel these myths, and enjoy better sex.

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