The year "2018" has such a futuristic ring to it, doesn't it? It almost sounds like it should be the time where sex ed lessons are finally accurate and available for everyone. But unfortunately, here we are in 2018, and that's not the case at all. There are still plenty of huge misconceptions about sex out there that young people are taught growing up. In an interview with Cosmopolitan for their February issue, Riverdale stars, Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes, shared misconceptions about sex that they're ready to set straight. Cosmopolitan asked the two starlets what they've learned to be the biggest misconceptions about sex in their life so far, and their answers were SPOT on, if you ask me.
“I’ve never liked this idea of 'don’t give him everything,' Like you’ve given someone all of yourself by having sex with them," Mendes told Cosmopolitan. "What’s valuable to me is giving you my love and my intimacy.”
Now, of course, what's valuable to you could be different from what's valuable to Mendes. I, personally, have never been able to have casual sex because it has felt a bit like I was giving something I found valuable to someone I didn't really respect. But that being said, I have friends who are totally fine having casual sex with people, so long as love and intimacy aren't involved.
This isn't to say her point isn't a poignant one. There's this misconception that every woman is like me and that sex is this HUGE commitment to all of us — such a huge commitment that going ahead and having sex with someone means you've given them "all of yourself." At the end of the day, though, nobody should decide what constitutes as "all of yourself" but you. Maybe, for you, having long emotional talks with someone feels like giving all of yourself. Or maybe having sex feels that way. The point is, that's your decision — not society's. And it's also up to you to decide whom you give parts of yourself to, and how much you give them.
Reinhart, on the other hand, explained to Cosmo that, for her, the biggest misconception surrounding sex was “the idea that sex is going to be the same with everyone" She continued with an example from her own personal experience to help prove her point:
That’s how I felt when I lost my virginity — I was like, 'So this is sex!' And then you have sex with someone else, and you’re like, 'Holy sh*t — this is so different.' What you want, what feels good to you — it’s all going to change with every partner you have.
As Reinhart mentioned, sex will always be different with every partner. People's bodies and preferences are so, so different, making for a unique experience with each partner. And your own preferences might change as you get older and more experienced. Just because sex felt one way with one partner, doesn't mean that it's always going to be that way with every partner you ever have.
I mean, just take a second to think about how awkward sex might've been the time you lost your virginity, compared to what it's like now. Sex is built up to be this AMAZING experience (which it definitely can be... eventually). But then, you lose your virginity, and it's... well, it's adequate at best. Just the other day, I overheard a teenage-looking girl on the subway say she never wanted to lose her virginity because all her friends had lost theirs, and she'd heard sex was "awful." Her concern wasn't shocking, considering losing your V is rarely a walk in the park, but it's important for young people to know that losing your virginity isn't always a deeply intimate, romantic experience straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel-turned-movie. On the flip side, it's also important young people understand that just because the first time isn't awesome, doesn't necessarily mean that sex will NEVER be awesome.
There are plenty of misconceptions out there about sex, but it's up to us to educate ourselves and make sure we understand what exactly we're doing with our bodies and what we're feeling in the process.
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