What are the keys to a healthy sexual relationship? We’re guessing you’ll say being in the mood (or at least not so dead-tired, you can barely move), and of course, a good, loud orgasm. Well, you’d be wrong, says Barbara Lee, sex coach and author of the book Sacred Sex: Replacing the Marriage Ethic with a Sexual Ethic. In fact, Lee says, it’s about time we got real about what to expect from sex and intimacy. Ready for some grownup sex ed? Here are 5 widely believed myths about sex we’ve all been subscribing to for way too long.

THE 5 SEX MYTHS YOU NEED TO STOP BELIEVING

Myth 1: You must reach orgasm to be satisfied. 5 Myths About Sex—Busted, Once and For All

Truth: Sometimes sexual interaction does not end in orgasm and guess what? That’s perfectly fine. Believe it or not, it is not a sign of failure if you don’t or your partner don’t come. Stress, health issues, sleepiness, even an unexpected leg cramp can all act as deterrents to a sexual climax, but that doesn’t mean that sex can’t still be enjoyable, fulfilling and intimate.

Insider Tip: If you are too concerned about how you or your partner ‘performs’ then you are not spending enough time relaxing, being authentic and enjoying yourself—and having fun messing up the bed.

Myth 2: Men are always in the mood and ready for sex.

Truth: Men are not sex machines in perpetual motion just waiting for their next opportunity to engage and explode. Listen up: Men are sometimes not in the mood. A man’s sexual desire has a lot to do with his own sense of self-worth, his emotional state and his comfort with his partner. Sexual interest naturally comes and goes. In other words, it ebbs and flows. Even for men.

Insider Tip: Don’t hold your man to different standards than you’re subject to. There may be valid reasons your sex life is waning

Myth 3: No one wants to be caught cheating.

Truth: Many people, particularly women, have affairs because they actually want to be caught. Whether they realize it or not, they want the affair to call attention to the problems in the marriage. They want the affair to be the catalyst that ends the marriage so that they can move on. Sometimes, they need the assurance of a new relationship before they feel they can leave an unhappy one.

Insider Tip: If you sense problems in the marriage, suggest counselling as soon as possible. There are usually signs that your partner may be cheating.

Myth 4: Affairs break up marriages.

Truth: Affairs do not create problems within a marriage. Affairs are what people do when they are unable, for whatever reason, to deal directly with the problems they are having with their partner. When two people are having difficulties, an affair allows them to “blame” the cheating partner or even the third party.

Busted 5 Myths About Sex You Need to Stop BelievingInsider Tip: Honestly look at what’s happening inside the marriage first.

Myth 5: Sex addiction is all about sex.

Truth: Sex addiction is not so much about sex as it is about unresolved issues within the individual. There are generally underlying issues of shame and lack of self-worth that fuel a need for outside affirmation. Responding to sex addiction by heaping on additional layers of shame is not productive and in fact can contribute to the very problem that needs to be solved.

Insider Tip: Try not to heap on shame and guilt. Those emotions will detract from the problem and may even make it worse. 

5 sex myths you need to stop believing

Barbara Lee, aka The Sex Minister, works with organizations to empower and equip people to make healthy sexual choices. In her book, Sacred Sex: Replacing the Marriage Ethic with a Sexual Ethic, she gives you the insight and the tools you need to celebrate your sexuality and treat it with moral integrity.

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