Anyone who's been subjected to enough women's magazines may well have tried ill-advised "tips" like tying her Scrunchie where the sun don't shine. (Thanks, Cosmo!) Fact: There's a lot of stilted, sad and "so 1993" advice still lurking out there.
But we actually deal with sexperts every day, so we've done more than our fair share of reading on the subject. (And trust us -- as such, we can revive even the deadliest dinner party.) We've also come to realize a select few actually know what they're talking about.
And then there's just common sense. Things you might know deep down about sex but have forgotten, were talked out of by stupid books like "The Rules," or are too plain shy to try. We're here to change that. In fact, in front of God and my mother-in-law (who, thankfully, is in Paris, where all they watch is "Baywatch"), I went on national TV to discuss some of the unofficial societal sex "rules" we've all absorbed -- but shouldn't have. (You can see that video below.)
First, nine commonly swallowed sexual misconceptions, and the truth, which shall set your sex life free. Oh, and since we all know there can be too much of a good thing (think: Matthew McConaughey, shirtless), we recommend you not trot them all out tonight, lest your regular bedfellow suddenly wonder whom he brought home. Of course -- and this should go without saying -- safety first, ladies. The worst sex is the type that ends with you going, "Oh no, what if...?"
9. You Definitely Shouldn't Fantasize About Someone Else
Whether your tastes run more toward David Beckham or Zach Galifianakis, there's no good reason you should try to control where your fantasies go. In fact, we've got it on the record that women love to off-road in their heads. "In my experience, women fantasize way more than men do," says Ian Kerner, PhD and editor-in-chief of Good in Bed. "Men tend to only fantasize if they're bored and want to keep themselves aroused. Women are often very engaged by the sex they're having and fantasize anyway -- it's a great way to mentally deactivate."
Doing so doesn't mean "something is wrong" with your relationship. In general, says Ian, "Fantasies are just that -- fantasy, not reality. They're also inherently taboo. If they weren't, they wouldn't have nearly the same agency over us." Translation: Get as raunchy as you want to within the four walls of your mind. And, really, who's gonna know?
8. Toys Will Scare Him
Fact: Men like gadgets. Fact: Only 30 percent of women orgasm from intercourse alone. New fact: Designers just created the WeVibe, the first-ever sex toy that can be used during intercourse, to stimulate both you and him. Truth: All you have to lose is battery power.
7. Men Really Don't Like "Going There"
Did we mention that Ian Kerner also wrote a book called "She Comes First"? That's right, an entire book devoted to teaching men how to pleasure you. Here's what he found out, in the process, about how guys feel about going down: "In my experience, 90 percent of discomfort around oral sex comes from women who are afraid they don't taste or smell good, or are afraid they're taking too long. Women need to know that guys love doing this, and it allows them to relax and enjoy in a way they often can't during sex." In other words, ladies, get out of your own way -- and his.
6. You Have to Be "In the Mood" to Do It For anyone who's ever had a hard time getting in the groove -- for any reason -- this is going to come as welcome news. The latest research on female sexuality focuses on "mindfulness." In other words, experts have found that, while women might be natural-born Harlequin writers once we get going, it's harder for us to get there in the first place. "A lot of women have a hard time turning off the day, whether it's what their boss did or whatever is due tomorrow. Transitioning from non-sexual
to sexual is hard," says Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, a sex therapist based in California.
What to try tonight: 1) What Weston calls "transitions." It might mean a long hot bath or a short massage. "They're little acts that allow women to fully be there during sex as opposed to being persuaded into it," she says. And 2) the mindfulness part: When you're actually in bed, and your brain is still in overdrive, try breathing in and out, focusing on your breath, then honing in on the silkiness of the sheets, the smoothness of his skin, or the taste of the dark-chocolate-dipped strawberries he's lovingly feeding you. (What?!) This careful attention to sensual detail can be what it takes to get you in the mood -- even if you thought that's the last place you wanted to be.
5. You Should Never Talk Sex With Your Friends We're not going to trot out any experts here to tell us what we already know: Is sex sacred? Sure, it can be. Should it remain mostly private? Probably, if it's the guy you're going to be doing for the rest of your life. Otherwise, it's totally fair brunch fodder. We also know we have friends who've seen us through relationships good and ridiculous, I-saw-God quickies and long, depressing dry spells. And we like to call on their wisdom. In fact, if it weren't for a certain big-mouthed friend who dated a kinda-chubby guy, we might not know the wonders a bit of a tummy can have on a girl's ability to orgasm. But more than that we can't say -- it's between friends.
4. You Should Never Do It on the First Date No ...? Why not? Anyone who's ever gone on a first date wishes she had a first date with that much chemistry. And if you are blessed enough to sit across from a stranger so delectable that you can't wait to get him home, hell, we salute you. By all means, act on your right to extract as much pleasure from the evening as possible. And without sounding like your mother, we'd just like to say this: Anyone who tells you otherwise is just jealous. There will likely come a time when these where-am-I-who-is-he? mornings are things of the past, and the only thing you'll regret then is passing up the chance.
3. It's OK to Fake It
It is certainly OK not to have an orgasm every time you have sex. It is never OK to fake it. First, who are you faking it for? Certainly not yourself. Second, how is he going to learn? And don't give us that "I just wanted to get it over with" nonsense. If that's the case, for God's sake, let it be over with, but there's zero reason to pretend you're climbing the curtains for joy as you do. No, not even to impress your neighbors.
2. Porn Is the Enemy If you really measure yourself against girls who have more plastic parts than a Transformer, porn can be the devil. If you treat it like the titillating entertainment projected on your TV screen that it is, it's a great way to let others act out fantasies you would never dare, and get turned on by their efforts.
1. It Has to Be Perfect
We know the routine: But I didn't wax / shave / floss / spray tan / dry-clean / handwash my lucky La Perla / light the 102 Kama Sutra–scented tea candles. Word to the wise: Sex is supposed to be fun. Even if you're in your dumpy sweats, not your cute going-out top. Even if you just ate an everything bagel and have garlic breath and poppy seeds in your teeth. Even if it's awkward, or he says something stupid, or your romantic movie date was ruined because you misguidedly decided to see "The Bounty Hunter." First, take a look around at all the lonely single people and thank your lucky stars you have someone to have sex with. Then remember -- none of this will matter once you get your clothes off.
Carrie Sloan is the editor of Lemondrop. Her next quest is to figure out which culture has the world's most sexually advanced women. If you think you know, please follow her on Facebook and Twitter and tell her.
Get advice about love and relationships, sex tips, fashion tips, beauty news, ideas for entertaining at home, smart shopping, interior decor, women's health, thoughts on politics and news, plus funny videos, celebrity lists, and animal pictures on Lemondrop.com.