17 Things You Didn’t Know About Sex But Should

Sex is sometimes like that mysterious guy you see around at all the hottest parties—you know being with him feels great, but he’s quite complex and mysterious and you don’t fully understand it. Did you know these 17 weird, freaky and awesome things about sex? Here’s the 411!

  1. Women can orgasm in their sleep. You might think it only happens to men, but approximately one-third of women can experience orgasms while they’re sleeping. It’s called a nocturnal orgasm, during which the clitoris and genital area become engorged with blood. No wonder you wake up feeling so happy!
  2. Shaved pubes can make you sick. If you love going bare down there, perhaps it’s worth reconsidering. When you don’t have any hair on your genitals, it can make you more susceptible to getting sexually transmitted infections. Basically, hair acts as a barrier, reducing contact between infections and your skin.
  3. It’s common to fantasize about other people during sex. You might worry that your partner fantasizes about other people during sex with you, and sadly it might be the case. But admit it, you do it too! A study found that 46 percent of women admitted to fantasizing about people other than their sexual partners during a romp, while only 42 percent of men did.
  4. You can kill your own sex drive. There are many things that get in the way of sexual arousal, but did you know that not getting enough sleep can do it? A study found that sleep deprivation lowers levels of testosterone, otherwise known as the sex hormone, in men and women. Surprisingly, even six hours of sleep every night might not be enough.
  5. You blush during sex. No, not because those kinky moves are making you shy, but because of what happens to your blood during sex. Your blood vessels dilate, bringing more blood to your sex organs as well as to your skin, giving you a nice flushed appearance.
  6. Bondage could mean you’re healthier. If you feel awkward about confessing to liking BDSM, there’s a study that should make you more confident. People who use bondage, sadism, masochism, discipline or BDSM in the bedroom tend to be psychologically healthier than people who prefer regular vanilla sex. Why? The study found that they’re more open to new experiences, less neurotic and aren’t as sensitive when it comes to getting rejected.
  7. Sex is like getting high. It’s not just your imagination that you feel so fantastic after great sex—endorphins that get released during sex are similar to the high experienced after opioid drug use.
  8. Your vagina grows during sex. It’s not just during childbirth that a woman’s vagina increases in size. You probably know that it expands during arousal, but did you know it can grow by 200 percent? Wow!
  9. Your vagina also “tents.” There’s another weird thing your lady bits do during sex. It’s known as “tenting” when the lower part of the vagina constricts and the part that’s near the cervix dilates. The reason? It makes it easier for a penis to enter. You’re welcome.
  10. Sex can zap anxiety. You know that feeling of calm after sex? It’s not just from cuddling your partner (although that’s awesome). Sexual pleasure can reduce your feelings of anxiety because when your brain lights up with arousal, it also shuts down areas that are linked to anxiety.
  11. Your cervix doesn’t close after sex. Everything goes back to normal after sex, like your fast heart rate and your flushed skin, but your cervix stays open for up to half an hour! This is a (kinda gross) biological response that’s basically your cervix trying to keep semen on its path to the uterus so you can make babies. Ew.
  12. Sexual satisfaction in long-term relationships isn’t just about sex. You might think that you need lots of intercourse to keep your sex life in a good place during a long-term relationship, but you need more than that. A study found that people who cuddle, kiss, laugh together and say “I love you” during sex felt greater relationship satisfaction.
  13. Buying a sex toy can boost your sexual mood. Sex toys can be fun and make you feel aroused when you use them, but a UK study found that 61 percent of women find shopping for sex toys arousing in itself. Hmm. There is such a thing as a general shopping high, so maybe this is part of it?
  14. Sex injuries can be painful af. Ever wondered what some of the most common sex injuries are? According to a UK study, they include a pulled muscle, back injuries, cricked necks, and carpet burns. Stay safe out there!
  15. Semen is an antidepressant. No, this isn’t something your boyfriend tells you to try to get you down there! According to an article published in Psychology Today, sperm makes up roughly three percent of semen and the rest includes things like sugar, immunosuppressants, and—here’s the interesting bit—compounds that boost your mood such as endorphins, oxytocin, and serotonin.
  16. Sexual pleasure doesn’t end after sex. You feel the high after a session of amazing sex, but do you know the feeling will last up to two days? Yup, great sex stays with you, making you feel greater intimacy with your partner and overall relationship happiness, or “afterglow” as it’s known.
  17. The kama sutra isn’t just about sex. You might think of it as the sex bible, but it actually contains over 250 references to different types of kisses, along with tips on how to kiss. Proof that kissing is one of the most amazing, intimate things you can do.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.