It’s SHAG Week here at UON so all week we’re talking about sex! A good understanding of sexual health and safety starts with knowing the facts, so let’s get down to brass balls…I mean tacks with fifty facts all about sex.
Sex is a workout. Women burn 69 (nice!) calories every 30 minutes of intercourse. Men burn 100 calories in the same timeframe.
Your largest sex organ is your brain. How sexy.
There are three different types of erections. Reflexogenic, psychogenic, and nocturnal. Reflexogenic erections come from physical stimulation, psychogenic from thoughts, images, or sounds, and nocturnal erections arise from dreams.
Lips are the most exposed erogenous zone in your body. So get kissing!
A clitoris has twice the nerve endings as a penis. A clitoris has 18 parts that are mostly unseen. Some suggest that the origin of the word is from the ancient Greek kleitoris meaning ‘little hill’.
Vaginas have pH balances. pH balances vary from person to person. A balanced range is in between 3.8 and 4.5 which is, coincidentally, about the same as beer and tomatoes.
Stay away from scented soaps. When washing downtown, try not to use scented products as they can lead to a pH imbalance. For people with vaginas, this can mean you can contract thrush.
People with penises have up to 5 erections a night on average. The cause for random erections (both in the day and night) isn’t really known. We just know that it’s completely normal.
Penises can fracture! Unlike most other mammals, there are no bones in the human penis. However, penises can still fracture. Mostly caused by sexual mishaps, a penile fracture is extremely serious and immediate medical treatment should be administered.
Semen is calorie low. Semen contains less than one calorie per average volume and is also rich with zinc! Nutritious.
Vibrators were invented to cure women of hysteria. Lol.
About 211 million pregnancies occur each year. This is according to the World Health Organisation.
In Australia, around 70% of women use contraception. The most popular is the contraceptive pill.
Approximately 214 million women don’t have access to modern contraception. This number is in developing regions and doesn’t account for women in developed regions who also face contraception inequity through poverty or coercion.
Condoms for vaginas exist! ‘Internal condoms’ are much less common then condoms for penises, but have become much more user-friendly in recent years and can be bought online, at some pharmacies, and at family planning clinics.
You can be allergic to latex. If your condom is leaving you rashy and/or irritated, you may be allergic. Try some non-latex alternatives which can be found in most stores and pharmacies.
The right size condom will always fit. If a sexual partner tells you that their penis is too big for a condom, that’s straight up not true. The right size condom will fit a penis well, and if they have truly never experienced that then it’s time to do a little shopping and see which size fits best, literally.
Removing a condom during sex without consent is assault. This is called stealthing, and it’s not on. In Australia, 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 5 men have experienced stealthing. If you want to remove a condom during sex, this needs a new or ‘fresh’ consent from your sexual partner.
Lube has probably been around forever. Where there was sex, there was lube. Each part of the world had different lube preferences like yams or seaweed, but in Ancient Greece olive oil was the go-to. People still use coconut oil and other oils as lube today but be careful! The PH balance in the oils can mess with your vaginas natural PH balance and cause infection. Plus, using oil with condoms may cause the latex to break.
Pubic hair protects your genitals. Pubic hair is like eyelashes in that it traps dirt and potentially harmful bacteria from your genitals. So whilst you may choose to remove your pubes, remember that they do actually serve a purpose.
Pubes can’t grow as long as the hair on your head. Pubic hair only has a life of around three weeks, so it will only grow so long. Sorry, if you want luscious locks down there, maybe purchase a merkin.
There’s a haunted vagina out there. A book was once written about a woman whose vagina becomes a haunted gateway to the land of the dead. Thought you should know.
Sex toys are ancient. Like us, the ancients were also fond of sex toys. The Greeks were renowned for their use of olisbos, which is essentially an ancient dildo.
The word ‘penis’ comes from the Latin for ‘tail’.
Corn flakes should never turn you on. Mr Kellogg invented them because he thought that bland food would make people stop touching themselves.
Penis rings have existed for centuries. A penis ring is a male sexual device designed to prolong and enhance performance, usually made of rubber or metal. The first ones were made of a pair of goat’s eyelids stitched together, often with the eyelashes left on for extra sensation.
Cleopatra is said to have invented the worlds first vibrator. The famous queen filled a box with bees…you get the picture.
The word ‘vagina’ comes from Latin meaning ‘sheath for a sword’. This is pretty lame but there’s an abundance of nicknames for vaginas, most of them too silly or misogynistic to print. Find out what your partner prefers and go from there.
Sperm was once used as invisible ink. In WW1 British spies discovered a way to make invisible ink using semen. The head of the M16 at the time, Captain Mansfield Cumming (yes, that’s really his name), apparently stated: “every man has his own stylo”.
Ancient Egyptians used crocodile dung for contraception. This involved inserting a poultice of chopped crocodile poop into the vagina. A rather snappy solution.
Ancient Romans preferred a type of seed as contraception. The seed, silphium, was apparently so effective that it was harvested into extinction by the horny Romans. The shape of the silphium is also said to be where we derive the iconic love heart shape from.
The word ‘vagina’ was first used in film in a Disney cartoon! The cartoon was about the menstrual cycle.
People ‘crack’ their penises. Taqaandan is a technique mostly practiced in the Middle East. It involves bending the erect penis until it cracks, removing an unwanted erection. This has resulted in penis fractures before, do not attempt.
Kissing is germy af. A ten-second kiss with tongue can spread over 80 million bacteria between mouths. Gross.
Humans have bigger penises than primates. You may not have thought it, but we humans far outdo our primate cousins in terms of penis sizes.
Vaginas change size during sex. Vaginas can expand by 200% when sexually aroused! This is an unbelievably cool fact.
Porn is really popular. I know this seems obvious, but according to Triple J’s Hack survey of 2019, more than 2 in 3 young Aussies are watching porn.
Men watch porn way more than women. The same survey results show that a whopping 93% of young men watch porn, compared to only 58% of women.
Gen Z love to masturbate. According to a recent study, 57% of Gen Z masturbate weekly, more often than any other age group.
Celebrity fantasies are what get people off. Celebrities are a masturbation muse for 1 in 3 men and 1 in 5 women. An unsurprising stat, given that J Lo and her iconic Versace dress was the reason that Google images was invented.
STIs can be transmitted via sex toys. Be sure to always clean your toys, and don’t forget to use them with a condom. If you are using a toy with multiple partners at once, be sure to place a fresh condom on for every new partner.
STIs are more common than you think. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 1 million STIs are acquired every day worldwide! There are about 10 – 15 common STIs and genital conditions but the ones you’ve likely heard of are chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhoea, and HIV.
Herpes is old. This STI has been around since Ancient Greek times, and the name herpes comes from the Greek word herpein, meaning to creep or crawl.
Hepatitis B may be one of the oldest infections in the world. In 2018, researchers found DNA fragments of the STI from 4,500 years ago! This STI is still around today in an evolved form.
Chlamydia is incredibly common. Often referred to as the ‘common cold’ of the STI world or ‘the clap’, it is the most frequently reported STI in Australia. It has been increasing steadily in the last decade.
Safe sex isn’t all that common. According to Hack, only 39% of young Aussies always practice safe sex and 8% never do. Be proactive out there, and if your sexual partner doesn’t want to have safe sex remind them of that chlamydia stat from earlier.
Foreplay is not merely a suggestion, it actually makes sex better! Foreplay is as important as the act itself and will lead to much more satisfying sex. This is particularly true for penetrative sex with a vagina since foreplay allows for your cervix to shift and leads to easier penetration. It’s called fore-play for a reason, so play around with your partner and see what they like! This is less of a fact and more of a life lesson, you’re welcome.
Drugs and alcohol affect consent. If your sexual partner is too drunk or too high, they can’t consent. If they don’t know what’s going on around them, it’s not consensual sex and it needs to stop.
It’s okay to say no! Consent is key. This is something everyone should know and abide by. Straight up, it’s perfectly fine to not be in the mood. If you don’t want to do it, let your partner know.
Communication is key. Checking in with your partner is a great way to make consent sexy. Ask them if they like what you’re doing, how much they like it and find out what they want. Good communication is proven to improve your sex life, so more talking equals more moaning. Have fun!
It’s SHAG Week at the University of Newcastle from the 2nd to the 6th of March! There’s a bunch of activities and workshops to attend throughout the week which you can see here.
There are a range of support services at the University available to students regarding sexual health and safety. Click here for advice and information about sexual health, here for support around sexual harassment and safety, and here for counselling information. If you are an LGBTQI+ student who is in need of support visit this page for resource options.
Feature image via: University of Newcastle. Inset gifs via: Giphy