There’s no denying it, our bodies can be downright weird and confusing. Add to that most of us get BS information from friends and family about how our bodies work, and it’s easy to see why half the human race gets around with no idea of what is actually going on inside them.
STUFF is the place we talk about all the weird things our bodies do. This month, it’s all about looking at some of those myths most of us believe whole-heartedly, no-questions-asked, and knocking them over with body and sex facts that will truly leave you wondering, ‘how the hell did I ever believe that?!’ So, let’s get started!
- Shaving does not make your hair grow back darker
We don’t know where this one came from, but we swear it’s been doing the rounds for like 500 years. For no reason whatsoever, mums have been telling daughters and girls have been telling friends, ‘don’t shave there, it will grow back so thick and hairy you’ll never be the same again!’
Well, we call BS!
Shaving doesn’t really change the way your hair grows, it’s a totally superficial thing — it happens on the surface of your body where your hair comes out, and goes nowhere near where your hair grows from. One theory is that because shaved hair is cut on and angle, it might appear thicker or darker from your POV looking down on yourself. But it’s not.
- Important sex fact: you CAN get pregnant the first time
We’re not sure how many of you have watched America’s ‘Teen Mom’ (it can be kind of addictive), but if you have, you know it absolutely is possible to get pregnant the first time you have sex.
This is another one of those rumours that started ages ago and just won’t let up, but sex is sex, no protection is no protection, and a sperm meeting an egg generally only has one result!
- Double bagging (wearing two condoms) is NOT safer
If you are having sex and you and your boyfriend are desperate not to get pregnant (good choice), sometimes the old ‘wear two condoms and you’ll be safer’ pops up in conversation.
What happens when two layers of rubber are put on top of each other and then rubbed vigorously together? They break!
- You can get a UTI from sex
This one is true, it is not uncommon for girls to experience a urinary tract infection after sex. This can happen for a number of reasons, but the most likely is simply that you haven’t cleaned up properly once you’ve finished getting down to business. During sex and especially foreplay, bacteria from your vagina and colon can get swept up into your urethra (where you pee from) and can infect that area.
To avoid infections, head to the loo and pee after sex (it washes everything all out), jump in the shower or have a little ‘basin’ wash after having sex. UTIs can contribute to issues like incontinence, even in young women, so it’s important to stay on top of this one!
- It’s so not normal to pee a bit when you laugh
Speaking of incontinence, a huge myth that women of every age seem to believe is that it’s totally normal for you to pee a tiny bit (sometimes more) when you cough or laugh or sneeze. But it isn’t. It really, really isn’t!
Peeing even the tiniest, littlest bit when you don’t intend to means you can’t control your bladder the way you should be able to, and it’s called incontinence. On the bright side, some simple pelvic floor exercises should be able to strengthen your muscles and give you back control.
- Important shopping fact: shampoo doesn’t cure split ends
When you cut or split your finger, if you bandaid it up, over time it will usually heal and you won’t even have a scar there to mark your injury! But this type of repair doesn’t happen all over the body.
So many of us are taken in by shampoo and conditioner ads that tell us we can fix our split ends if we just use this or that product. The truth is, hair is not like your skin on your finger, hair is dead — where it is split at the end doesn’t grow or live at all anymore, meaning it is impossible to cure split ends without cutting them off.
- Sex facts worth knowing: not all STIs have symptoms
We’re not sure about you, but when we did sex ed at school and did the term on STIs we saw a lot of messed up stuff. There were lumpy, dark blue-looking penises, warts and puss-filled bumps and tiny crawling crabs. Ugh. We looked at them and thought, ‘it would be impossible not to know you have an STI’. But the truth is, some people have STIs without even knowing it because they aren’t displaying any symptoms.
As examples, you can have HPV or Chlamydia without ever even knowing it. It’s important you get an STI test before each new sex partner, and insist your partner does too, just so you know if you have any STIs to share. You can get an STI test simply by asking your doc.
- Skinny isn’t always fit
We heard this saying recently, ‘skinny girls look good in clothes, but fit girls look good without them.’ We are so hell-bent on being skinny, no matter what and regardless of the cost, that we forget that just looking skinny doesn’t necessarily equate to looking and feeling better.
Everyone naturally has a different body size and shape, and also ability to exercise. Being bigger does not mean you can’t be fast, agile, skilled, fit and bodylicious. Think about it, all footballers don’t just look like Archie from Riverdale, many of them are in fact big men (think ‘Blind Side’) who, on face value, wouldn’t be looked at as fit. But those guys are so quick, so reactive and so powerful!
- BO isn’t always a sign of poor hygiene
If you’re someone who sweats a lot (and there are a lot of us out there, welcome to the club!), you will know that sometimes, no matter how many times you shower, how much deodorant you put on and how little movement you participate in, you still manage to raise a sweat.
Sweat is largely hormonal, it is not necessarily a sign of hygiene, so someone who showers twice a day and is clean-as-a-whistle can still get BO.
- Sex facts: size doesn’t even matter
Boys and girls both fall victim to this one, boys because they are told big penises are better, and girls because they are told the more often they have sex or enjoy it, the bigger their vagina will be. Both of these statements are not true! Studies have found women don’t like a penis that is really big because not only can it be uncomfortable, it can also be too long and can miss the g-spot!
There is BS everywhere about our bodies and sex lives. What other myths have you heard?