Do you know everything about sex? Think again, for the more someone claims to know, the less they generally do know.
Alicia Stanton, a board-certified OB/GYN and the author of Hormone Harmony, who specialises in treating men and women suffering hormone imbalances, has listed the top nine sex-related myths and what the real scoop is about sex, desire, and making it all work, reports Fox News.
Myth: Interest in sex decreases with menopause
Reality: Many women maintain hormonal balance and interest in sex through menopause. And pregnancy and menstruation are no longer a concern, so spontaneity can reign. Also, they are typically more confident and knowledgeable about what they want, so sex has the potential to be better than ever.
Myth: The only hormone important for libido is testosterone
Reality: Although testosterone is very important for libido and sexual function in men and women, other hormones play a part as well. Estrogen is actually very important for desire in both men and women. Also, a high level of cortisol, our 'fight or flight' hormone, works against libido. If your body thinks that you're running for your life, literally or figuratively, it is not going to be very interested in sex.
Myth: If you're truly in love, desire for sex and high libido should come easily
Reality: Relationships and making a real connection with someone take time and energy. Relationships require as much attention as anything about which you are passionate. Focus on keeping your partner and his or her interests high on your priority list and you will find yourself discovering new ways to connect and keep the passion alive.
Myth: If you're healthy, you should want sex all of the time
Reality: A wide variety in sexual appetite or level of libido exists. The way you know if you're having the 'right' amount of sex is if you and your partner are both happy with your level of activity. There's no need to compare yourself to others.
Myth: If you're connected with your partner, you shouldn't have to ask for what you need
Reality: Even if you and your partner haven't previously spoken much about your sexual relationship, it might be good to start talking. This is especially true if you're entering a new phase of life, including childbirth, menopause, or andropause, often called male menopause. If you begin to notice changes in your body or sexual desire, be sure to let your partner know what's going on. And, remember, communicating about what feels good enhances the experience for both of you.
Myth: Your most important sex organs are "south of the border"
Reality: Although those places are lots of fun, remember that your brain is the biggest sex organ in your body. You always have the ability to choose how you feel and think about sex and your sexuality. The desirability a man or woman feels about himself or herself is a very potent aphrodisiac. If you feel irresistible, your partner will find you irresistible. Passion is contagious!
Myth: If you don't have a partner, there is no sense in having a libido
Reality: Having a loving relationship with yourself is essential. Even if you don't currently have a partner, feeling sensual and desirable will add passion to many aspects of your life. It takes practice to learn what arouses you and what a potential partner finds arousing. Learning to pleasure yourself is an important skill that you can continue to enjoy on your own, or that you can teach to a partner one day.
Myth: Women are the only ones who have problems with low libido
Reality: Although the sexual desire disorder known as low libido is more common in women, it occurs in men as well. Some physical causes include alcohol, various medications, stress, hormone imbalances (such as low testosterone), cocaine use, brain tumours that produce the hormone prolactin, diabetes and other major diseases such as cancer.
Myth: Hormonal issues are the only cause of low libido in women
Reality: There are hormone imbalances such as low estrogen, low testosterone, hypothyroidism, and high cortisol from stress, but there are many other potential causes as well. Physical problems such as vulvar or vaginal pain or dryness may cause an increase in frustration and reduced libido. Surgery or other major health conditions like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure or arthritis can also reduce libido.
Also, relationship issues, psychological issues (including depression), alcohol, tobacco use and weight issues may contribute to low libido.
Photograph: Moni Sertel, Deutschland/Wikimedia Commons