6 Myths About Sex You Should Stop Believing (Including Why You Shouldn’t Read Too Much into Shoe Size)

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We’ve been through a lot together, from buying houses and choosing foundations to cooking dinner. We’re friends, right? Right, which is why we feel comfortable bringing up sex—specifically, these six sex myths that you might believe but definitely shouldn’t. (Including why you shouldn’t read into a guy’s shoe size and how, no, those oysters at happy hour probably won’t get you in the mood).

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1. Myth: Foot Size Corresponds to Penis Size

The truth: Sorry folks, there’s no way to tell how big a penis will be based on foot size (or hand size or ear size or any other physical indicator that isn’t the actual penis). During a 2002 study by the Department of Urology and St. Mary's Hospital in London, two urologists measured the stretched penile length of 104 men and related this to their shoe size. The two ultimately found that, “There was no statistically significant correlation between shoe size and stretched penile length.”

2. Myth: Men Think About Sex Every Seven Seconds

The truth: Fortunately for everyone, this one’s very false. If men thought about sex every seven seconds, that would mean about 8,000 times per day. In reality, according to The Kinsey Institute, 54 percent of men said they think about sex several times per day and 43 percent said it was a few times per week.

3. Myth: Women Are Naturally Less Interested in Sex

The truth: Though women might actively think about sex less often than do men (the above Kinsey study found that 19 percent of women think about sex multiple times a day and 63 percent think about it a few times per week), that doesn’t mean women wantsex any less. Speaking to WebMD, Sarah Hunter Murray, PhD, a marriage and family therapist and the author of Not Always in the Mood: The New Science of Men, Sex, and Relationships, said, “Not only is the idea that men have higher sex drives an oversimplified notion, but it’s really just not true.”

4. Myth: You Can’t Get Pregnant If You’re Already Pregnant

The truth: Well, this is terrifying. Superfetation is an extremely rare (like, almost impossible) but real phenomena that occurs when a pregnant woman continues ovulating, and a second fertilized egg is able to implant itself in the lining of the womb. But seriously, when we say it’s rare, we mean it’s rare: Per the ClinMed International Library, a repository and an open access publisher for medical research, there have been only ten reported cases of superfetation. Phew.

5. Myth: Eating Oysters Will Get You in the Mood

The truth: Before you whip out the bivalves (and chocolate and hot peppers), know that there’s not a ton of science behind the aphrodisiac powers of food. Though there have been animal-focused studies (like this one published in the Journal of Reproductive Science that found that the zinc in oysters raised testosterone levels and improved sexual competence in male rats), more human research is necessary to prove the link between one of our favorite summer snacks and our sex drive.

6. Myth: Sex Is Good Exercise

The truth: Sure, you burn a few calories while getting busy, but it’s a workout you’re after, you shouldn’t substitute sex for a trip to the gym. A study by researchers at the University of Quebec at Montreal looked at 21 heterosexual couples in their early 20s and found that women burned an average 69 calories per 30 minutes of sex (versus 213 calories during 30 minutes of light running), and men burned an average of 101 calories per 30 minutes of sex (versus 276 calories during 30 minutes of light running).

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sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...