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16 Of Your Sex Questions, Answered

16 Of Your Sex Questions, Answered

by Team Champ - May 03, 2024

We’ve all been there, even if we’re too embarrassed to admit it. Wondering if that sex myth you’ve heard is true, wondering if something you’ve experienced is normal, or Googling tips and tricks for better sex. Because of the taboo around sex, it can be hard to figure things out. Although we think it should be normal, it’s not always comfortable to bring up these topics with your friends or your partner. Even if you do find an answer from a friend or the internet, how do you know if it’s accurate? That’s where we come in. We’ve taken your top questions and answered them, according to an expert. So, if you have a question that’s been sitting in the back of your mind, keep reading, and we might have the answer for you!

Does masturbating make you last longer?

Masturbation, especially a couple of hours before sex, can definitely help your stamina. Think of it like running — the first time you go on a run, you might only last 5 minutes before you get winded. The more you do it, the longer you’ll be able to run. We're not saying that masturbating will make you last hours on end, but if you’re ejaculation too quickly, take matters into your own hands.

One tactic is to try to extend how long you masturbate for before achieve an orgasm. If you typically last 2-3 minutes, try to extend it to 4 minutes. You can do this through edging - stop and start a few times before finishing, take a couple of deep breaths and distract yourself (try thinking of sports or tomorrow's lunch plans) before you climax.

As we already mentioned, masturbating a couple hours before you have sex can help delay how long it takes for you to orgasm when you actually have sex later in the day.

How do I know if my partner is really having an orgasm or just faking it?

The only way to truly know is to ask them. It's possible to observe some bodily responses when having an orgasm such as the vagina constricting, quickening of breath, trembling or shaking, but not everyone will experience these (and they can happen without an orgasm). As you get to know your partner more, you may have a better sense of how their body reacts when they orgasm.

If you’re still not sure, then talk about it. Create a safe and comfortable space for them to share what they do and don’t like. Be prepared for them to share if they have faked orgasms previously. Don’t take it personally and instead focus on being glad that they felt comfortable enough to tell you. This is a great opportunity to adjust your game plan, try new things, introduce toys, and have even better sex moving forward.

I couldn’t get hard the last time my girlfriend and I tried to have sex. I don’t really want to try again and be embarrassed if I fail. Is there something wrong with me?

We've all been there before. It’s totally normal and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. There are a lot of things that can lead to this including stress, medication, and distraction - check out our article on ED.

Our brain is actually the biggest sex organ, so when we have a lot going on in our head, it can directly impact arousal. Did you have a big meeting coming up at work? Was your to-do list in the back of your mind? Are you trying out a new SSRI / antidepressant? These situations can all affect whether we're able to get and keep it up. Even though it can be frustrating, sometimes it’s just an off day and there’s no rhyme or reason. If you’re consistently finding it challenging to get an erection, check in with your doctor to see what’s going on.

Before you have sex with your partner again, chat with them about how you’re feeling. Let them know you felt a little embarrassed and are nervous about trying again. If you keep those things to yourself, it can stick with you and potentially impact the next time you do have sex. Put it on the table, wipe the slate clean, and get back to having great sex.

Can a penis actually break?

They sure can, and no, it’s not because there’s a bone that you never knew about in your penis. When erect, the penis fills with blood in two cylinders called the corpora cavernosa. Then, there’s a lining that goes around those cylinders called the tunica albuginea. When the lining tears, it’s considered a fracture in the penis.

The most common cause of a fracture is if you slip out during penetrative sex and thrust against a solid part of your partner’s body, such as the perineum or the pelvic bone. But it can also happen when there is any type of forceful impact to the penis. According to the Cleveland Clinic, symptoms often includes “a popping or cracking sound when it happens, extreme pain that may or may not continue, immediate loss of erection, bruising and swelling from blood build-up under the skin, and / or blood in the urine or at the tip of the penis.” It’s not super clear how often this happens, so you don’t need to live in fear of it. But if you do experience any of these symptoms during sex, seek medical attention ASAP.

Shouldn’t my partner get wet enough without lube?

Our least favorite words when talking about sex are “should” and “shouldn’t.” Because every person is so different, there are very few norms. Some people have more natural lubricant than others, and how “wet” someone is doesn’t actually correlate to how turned on they are. Our friend, Emily Nagoski, PhD talks about arousal non-concordance in her book Come As You Are (see our Q&A with Emily). Your body might produce signs typically associated with arousal like getting wet or having an erection, but that doesn’t always mean someone is turned on. Similarly, you could be the most turned on you’ve ever been, but not get wet or have an erection. This doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with your body, it just means that your mind and body might not be aligned at that moment.

Whether your partner has a lot of natural lubrication during sex or not, lube is always a good idea.

Is it true that guys can orgasm through their butt?

It’s a different kind of orgasm than you might be picturing, but it is in fact true. Sometimes the prostate gets a bad rap because most people only know about it through the context of prostate cancer. Your prostate is the golf ball size gland behind the perineum (aka, taint). It produces fluid that helps sperm move along its journey from the testicles to ejaculation. It’s also known as the male G-Spot (or P-Spot) because it’s surrounded by a lot of nerve endings, and when stimulated, can lead to orgasm.

Some guys find prostate orgasms more intense, some don’t like it, while others do like the feeling, but don’t achieve an orgasm from it. If you want to try it out, you or your partner can start externally or internally. If you’re testing things out externally first, use a toy or have your partner massage the taint area. The prostate sits right behind those layers of skin. If you’re ready to dive in a little deeper, have you or your partner go in through the anus and find that same spot on the inside. Remember to use tons of lube, take it slow, and you can try similar techniques that you would for a G-Spot (like the come hither motion).

Even if you don’t orgasm from it, you might find that incorporating your prostate into sex adds a nice touch.

I’m in college and am still a virgin. I’m scared I won’t know what to do when it finally happens.

Having sex for the first time can seem intimidating. It’s an intimate and vulnerable activity. There’s also a lot of societal pressure put on the first time, but you’re ultimately in the driver’s seat of your own experience. Sex is a combination of instinct, a lot of communication, and skill. In the moment, there will likely be a natural flow, but the specifics of that flow are unique to the people involved. It’s up to you whether or not you want to share with your partner that it’s your first time. Some people feel like it takes the pressure off if their partner knows and some people would rather keep it to themselves. Either way, communication will be your best friend. Ask your partner if something feels good or what they want. Take your time and don’t rush into penetration. Foreplay is so underrated.

You’re probably not getting inducted into the Sex Hall of Fame the first time (or even first several times) you have sex, and that’s to be expected. Whether you’re having sex with the same person consistently or having sex with various people, it’s ultimately about figuring out what feels good for each of you. Practice (and communication) makes perfect. If you want to really impress your partner, and ensure safety, have high quality condoms AND lube on hand.

Is it true that you can pop someone’s cherry? What does it actually mean to pop someone’s cherry?

Yes and no. The idea that people with vaginas have a “cherry” to be popped has some (but minimal) anatomical basis, but the meaning behind the idea is largely incorrect. This concept came about as a way to determine if a woman was a virgin. People thought that if a woman bled for the first-time during sex, that meant she was a virgin because something had been “popped.” If she didn’t bleed during sex, that meant someone else had “popped” it before and she is no longer a virgin.

This is wildly problematic for a number of reasons. First, virginity is a social construct and it has no attachment to a person’s value. Sex can also mean so many different things to different people, so reducing it to penis-in-vagina penetration ignores all the other ways people might have sex with each other. Second, bleeding from penetrative sex isn’t the norm. Vagina-owners could have some spotting during sex, but there shouldn’t be tearing or a lot of blood. Using a high quality lube is one of the best ways to prevent discomfort and injuries.

Like we said, there are portions of this idea that are anatomically correct. In Anatomy 101, we talked about the fleshy layer (the hymen) that some people have at the opening of their vagina. If someone’s hymen is intact the first time they have penetrative sex, it could tear and may cause some spotting. But some people aren’t born with a hymen, some people have one but it’s perforated so it won’t tear, and others may have torn it by using tampons or even riding a bike.

Can vibrators desensitize someone?

No! This is totally a myth. Everyone has different levels of sensitivity and ways that they experience pleasure. For people with clitorises, they may need a stronger sensation that a vibrator can provide in order to orgasm or a vibrator may just help them get there faster. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you or your partner if that’s the case. If your partner is using a vibrator, view it as a tool, not the competition. If something can make your partner feel really good, why not use it? At the end of the day, pleasure is the ultimate goal.

Should I be eating more pineapple…?

Do you like pineapple and want to eat more of it, then yeah? In all seriousness, we’re assuming you’re asking to see if pineapples can make your semen taste better. This may be a surprise, but it’s actually true, kind of. Your diet affects your alkaline levels and that directly impacts the taste and smell of semen, body odor, and sweat. Ultimately, semen is semen and it’s always going to taste like it. But certain foods can increase or decrease the bitterness of semen. Typically, citrus fruits, celery, wheat grass, cinnamon, and peppermint are all things that can help cut down on the bitterness. Alternatively, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, garlic, asparagus, and spinach can give your semen an extra bite. We’re not giving any health advice on what you should or shouldn’t be eating, and we probably wouldn’t recommend basing your entire diet around foods that will make your semen taste better. But if you know you’re going to be having sex in a few days, there’s no harm in crushing a couple cans of pineapple juice.

Is it possible to have casual or friends with benefits sex without someone getting attached?

This is really going to vary from person to person and what they’re looking for. Having casual hookups or one-night stands can be a great way to have sex and experiment, especially if neither person is wanting a relationship. But casual sex, hookups, and FWB can mean different things to different people, so make sure you’re on the same page before jumping into bed.

For casual sex and hookups, you don’t necessarily have to go through a whole checklist of questions before jumping into bed, but it’s important to have similar expectations, especially regarding what happens post-sex.

Friends with benefits situations are a little trickier, it can be easier to get attached because you may be spending a lot of time with that person. But again, it comes down to what each of you are looking for. It’s even more essential to communicate openly about boundaries and feelings. Even if you both want things to start casually, things can change. Regular check-ins with each other will help prevent any hurt feelings.

Even after all that, feelings may still get involved because we’re human and sex is intimate. If you sense that you or someone else is starting to get attached, don’t ignore it or hope that it will go away (it probably won’t). It can be a lot of fun to explore casual sex, but stay aware of how everyone is feeling along the way.

I know women have to pee after sex. Do I need to also?

Peeing after sex can help flush the bacteria that causes UTIs from the urethra. Since vulvas have shorter urethras than penises, the bacteria don’t have to travel as far to cause an infection. So it’s less important for men to pee after sex, but there’s never any harm in doing so.

How do I know if I’m a normal size?

Hopefully we’ve emphasized the absence of “norms” in sex, bodies, and experiences since everyone is so different. But if we’re talking averages, a 2020 study found that the average length of an erect penis was around 5.1 to 5.5 inches, whereas a 2014 study estimated flaccid penises average around 3.6 inches. That same 2020 study noted that “45% to 68% of men wish they had a larger penis” and “most men believe that the average erect penis is over 6.0 inches … for many their ideal penis length is considerably longer than that.”

The underlying question here is often “does size matter?” That’s really going to vary from person to person and size isn’t the main determinant of good sex. Ultimately, it’s about finding the positions that work best, sometimes incorporating toys, and talking about what does and doesn’t feel good. Those things matter far more than size.

My wife doesn’t orgasm without a vibrator. I feel like I should be able to make her orgasm by myself.

Like we said in the answer to “do vibrators desensitize someone,” vibrators are a tool, not the enemy. It makes sense why you feel like you should be able to make her orgasm by yourself, but that’s because of the societal expectations placed on sex. Just because she isn’t finishing without the vibrator doesn’t mean you aren’t making her feel good. Orgasms aren’t always the end goal. Sex can still be good without an orgasm. And ultimately, if a vibrator brings her pleasure, then use it.

If you want to feel a little more connected to your partner while she uses the vibrator, try lending her a helping hand. Another option is to use the vibrator during oral sex, fingering, or penetrative sex. Experiment with different ways that make you feel “involved” in the process.

Do I really have to worry about STIs, there’s PrEP now?

There’s a lot of information when it comes to STIs. If you want a deep dive into STIs, check out our 107 Facts About STIs blog. While you shouldn’t live in fear of STIs and there have been huge developments in sexual medicine, unsafe sex can have very real consequences. The eight most common STIs can be broken into two categories: curable and incurable. Curable STIs include syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis. Incurable STIs are hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus (HSV), HIV and human papillomavirus (HPV).

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is only used to prevent HIV for people who have an ongoing risk of getting HIV. It’s incredibly effective, however it doesn’t prevent any other STIs besides HIV. It reduces the risk of getting HIV by 99% for people receiving vaginal and anal sex, but it has to be taken regularly and prior to an exposure. There currently isn’t any data on how effective PrEP is in preventing HIV for those on the “giving” side of vaginal and anal sex. PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is an emergency medication when you’ve been exposed to HIV within the prior 72 hours. It can be more than 80% effective, and every hour counts in starting it after an HIV exposure.

PrEP and PEP are awesome resources for preventing HIV, but shouldn’t be used as a replacement for other safer sex practices and it doesn’t protect against any other STIs besides HIV. If you’re interested in taking PrEP for ongoing HIV risks or need PEP after a recent HIV exposure, we recommend you speak with your doctor.

People with any of these STIs can live long lives, managed symptoms, and continue to have amazing sex lives. However, if they are untreated, they can lead to complications and sometimes death, but remember getting an STI (even an incurable one) is not a death sentence. At the same time, avoiding getting an STI should be your goal. The only way to protect against STIs is to use a barrier method aka condoms. Not a fan of the feeling of condoms? We have ultra-thin condoms you can keep on hand. We promise, these condoms feel way better than having any STI. If you have been exposed to a STI or are having any symptoms, check in with your doctor as soon as you can.

Are there things I can do to get better at sex?

Being “good” at sex is all subjective. You could be having the best sex of your life with one person and having the worst sex of your life with someone else, even though you did all the same moves. There is no tried-and-true method that will make you a true sex god (trust us, we’ve tried). Instead, it takes a lot of practice, trial and error, and yes … communication. We know that you’re probably tired of us telling you to communicate, but communication really is the key.

Sex is a team sport and how you play is only as good as how you work together. Sometimes learning to play as a team can take practice. Instead of thinking about how you can get better at sex, try thinking about how you and your partner can work together to have better sex.

There will never be an end to the questions people have about sex. Humans have had sex since the beginning of time and it’s still a stigmatized topic. It’s hard to know what things are myths, what’s normal, or if you’re doing things right. Even if you had the most in-depth sex ed ever, there’s not a universal rubric or FAQ sheet to refer to. But if you learned one thing from all of this, communication is key inside and outside of the bedroom. Whether it’s talking about your recent hookup over beers, asking your friend for tips and tricks, or sending this article to your group chat, the best thing we can all do is to keep the conversation going.