Ever feel like there’s a mass market for wrong information about our bodies? Do you leave a conversation with a friend or finish reading an article or website and wonder if what you’ve learned is the truth or one of those nasty myths? Just about any subject you’d hear about has them … and the human body has more than it’s share. Now Scarleteen’s taking the time to debunk some of the most common misconceptions.
We understand that all people are different, and that it’s those differences that make humans so wonderful. Because the body is so similar and yet so diverse, there’s often many questions and millions of misconceptions. Now we want to set the facts apart from the myths. Do you know the facts about the body, or have you fallen for some myths?
FACT: Not all women shave. Some shave all the time, some only shave on occasion and some never do. And all of that's fine, because whether or not to shave is a personal decision and a personal preference. There are no physical benefits from shaving. You'll also want to think twice before deciding to shave to please a partner: body hair is perfectly natural and normal, and anyone who is turned off or grossed out by it probably still has a little maturing left to do before they're ready to engage in partnered sex. Bottom line: if you want to shave, go ahead. If your partner is interested in seeing you shaven, talk about why and how you feel about that. But don't do anything you're not comfortable with. Whether or not you shave is about YOU alone.
FACT: Our bodies aren't factory-made. We're all different and unique and there is no one way that we all should look. There are many different ways for nipples to look, both for men and women, and that's perfectly okay. Our little quirks and differences are what make us interesting and human.
FACT: No. Not all body types are the same and there isn't one weight that's healthy for everyone. The weight that's good for you depends on how tall you are, what kind of a life you lead, how fast your metabolism works, and many other factors. If you've got good eating habits (eating small meals throughout the day, getting all your food groups in, staying away from fatty foods or empty carbs) and get enough exercise, chances are you're healthy, no matter how much you weigh. It all depends on what weight you feel best at.
Some people naturally weigh a little more, others weigh a little less, but as long as they are healthy, that's totally okay. If you're not sure whether your weight is healthy for you or how to eat in a way that's good for you, just make an appointment with your GP or a nutritionist to gain a better understanding of the topic.
Check the research: Wikipedia: Body Mass Index
FACT: Some women like their nipples stimulated. So do some men. And then there are people who don't get much out of nipple stimulation, always or some of the time. As always when human beings are involved, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. If you want to know whether your partner enjoys nipple stimulation, just ask them.
Check the research: WebMD: Orgasm from Nipple Stimulation
FACT:It's not possible for a woman to be inherently too tight for intercourse – the vagina always has the capacity to expand to accommodate things inside of it. The vagina is a muscle, and when a woman is relaxed and sexually aroused, the muscles will loosen, the cervix will pull back, and the vagina will 'grow bigger'.
If a woman is relaxed and aroused, she should be able to fit in a finger, a toy, or a penis without a problem. However, it is possible that when a woman is not very aroused or just not in the mood and attempts penetration anyway, that intercourse will feel 'tight'. If that's the case, you'll want to slow down and give yourself some more time.
FACT: This idea actually generated years ago when men coming home from World War II were asked what they were looking forward to most – many of them said milk. Looking back through records, however, one would find that the men during the war drank powdered milk - perhaps they really just missed drinking milk that didn’t need to be made – and not some symbol meaning the mother’s breast signaling home.
Men are attracted to a whole host of different things. Some like large breasts, some like small breasts, and some don't care either way because they are a lot more interested in other body parts. And, heck, some men are not attracted to women altogether. As to the reason for what any given man is attracted to, we could theorize about that from an evolutionary point of view, but ultimately it really just comes down to individual tastes and preferences.
FACT: The vagina does not have very many nerve endings beyond the first inch or so. This means that any sensation a woman feels during intercourse is more a general feeling of fullness than any sort of specific sensation. Also, the vaginal canal is, on average, about five inches long. This corresponds to the average penis length, and means a penis being any bigger than that would not make much of a difference. Plus, studies show that a majority of women don’t orgasm from intercourse alone, anyway. For most women intercourse has to be paired with other stimulation.
FACT: Probably the most significant thing that a person can find by looking at the size of another person’s feet, ears, nose, and hands is what size shoe they would likely buy, if a pair of kid’s earmuffs would fit in the winter, how large a nose plug they’d need to buy for swimming, and how many marbles they’d be able to hold if they needed to.
Doesn’t quite hold the same attraction – but it certainly holds more truth. The size of a man's penis is determined entirely by genetics and cannot be discerned by the size of any other body part, or their general size and body type.
FACT: Puberty starts at a different age for everyone. Women tend to start puberty a little earlier than guys, but that's just a general trend, and not a rule. Most people will go through puberty at some point between the ages of about 10 and 20, and when exactly you start and finish puberty is not a big deal.
It can feel a little awkward if you are the first to start developing, or if it seems like everyone else has already started and you're still waiting, but your body will go at its own pace and you'll have to respect that. If you're ever worried about the pace of your body, or if you're confused about some of the changes you're going through, a visit to the doctor should answer all your questions.
FACT: Take another look at the answer to question number 5: The vagina is a muscle, and though it changes in size and expands when a woman becomes aroused, it will go right back to its original size once the arousal fades. This means that intercourse, or any other sex, does not alter the shape of the vagina permanently, and that there's no way for anyone else to tell whether a woman's still a virgin or not.
The only way to know whether a woman's had sex, is to ask her.
And hey, let's not use vague and potentially harmful concepts like 'virginity' to begin with, okay? It's a social concept, rather than a medical or legal one. The definitions and meanings can be intensely personal. For example, if you define loss of virginity as happening at heterosexual intercourse, then do homosexual people never lose theirs? And do you also include non-consensual sex in that definition? As you can see, it's pretty touchy. And since it also doesn't really serve a purpose, we prefer not to use it.