If you’re like most people, chances are pretty good that you spend a fair amount of your time thinking about sex. If you’re not actively having it or feverishly chasing it, you almost definitely fantasize about on the regular. It might be tempting to think you know everything there is to know about it, but trust us when we say nothing could be further from the truth.
If you’ve always wanted to know just how much you don’t know about everyone’s favorite intimate topic, then you’ve come to the right place. The following are just a few delightfully random facts about sex we’re sure are complete news to you.
Kissing is a pretty germy business
Anyone who’s taken a basic biology class is probably well aware that the human body is home to staggering numbers of microorganisms (over 100 trillion, to be specific). It also only stands to reason that a fair number of those must live in the human mouth. Even so, it’s unlikely that your mind is on just how many bacteria and other microorganisms you’re exchanging with that other person every time you lean in for a kiss.
A 10-second kiss can actually facilitate the transfer of over 80 million bacteria. About 500-700 different species are represented in those numbers. Don’t worry though! Very few, if any of them, are actually harmful. In fact, many experts theorize that the immunity-boosting exchange of those bacteria is part of the reason why kissing evolved in the first place.
People die having sex a lot more frequently than you realize
You no doubt already know it’s possible for people to die having sex, but how often does that actually happens? If you’re like most people, you probably think dying in flagrante is something that’s theoretically possible, but also incredibly rare.
According to the Postgraduate Medical Journal, about 0.6% of all sudden deaths occur while the person in question is getting busy. That’s about 1 in every 200 sudden deaths – quite a bit when you consider the sheer number of random ways you can die. The actual root causes can vary drastically, but brain hemorrhage and cardiac arrest are the most common.
Every man you know most likely achieved his first erection before he was born
Here’s another random fact about sex. If you simply assume it’s not possible for unborn babies to get erections, it’s time to think again. Not only is it possible, but it happens quite frequently. Doctors and medical personnel have known about this for decades thanks to the magic of ultrasound technology, but if yours never mentioned it during your routine pregnancy check-up don’t be surprised. Some patients find that information unsettling, so most docs keep it on the downlow.
“Post-sex blues” is actually a thing
The idea of post-coital bliss or “afterglow” is such a deeply ingrained concept in our society that we simply assume everyone experiences it after a particularly satisfying roll in the hay. What we’re less aware of is the fact that post-coital dysphoria (or blues) is also pretty common, especially among women.
According to research, about 1 out of every 3 women experiences it at least occasionally. Associated symptoms include irritability, restlessness, melancholy, and even sadness so intense that it involves bursting into tears. Although no one is 100% sure what causes it, most experts consider it to be biological in nature, as opposed to psychological.
Some populations enjoy a lot more sex on average than others
You’d think couples around the world would be having about the same amount of sex, but this is far from the case. As a general rule some populations definitely get laid more often. The Greeks are leading the pack, as couples in Greece tend to have sex about 138 times a year on average . Who’s in last place? That honor goes to the Japanese, as couples there only get down and dirty about 45 times a year on average.
If you’re a woman who’s never had an orgasm, you’ve got famous company
If you’re a woman who’s never experienced a big finish, it might be tempting to think you’re the only one, but you’d also be dead wrong. What if we told you the late, great Marilyn Monroe, arguably the most desirable female sex symbol of the 20th century, was in the same boat? Marilyn herself actually confessed exactly that to a female friend once. Despite loving sex and having had numerous lovers plus three husbands, she’d never experienced an actual orgasm.
Condoms have been around for a lot longer than you probably realize
You might think barrier method birth control is a relatively new development in human sexual history, but it’s been around for an incredibly long time. In fact, the oldest depiction of a man wearing a condom is a cave painting estimated to be between 12 and 15 thousand years old. There are also numerous reports throughout the ages of people using anything and everything (up to and including crocodile dung) to enjoy the magic of sex without having to worry so much about pregnancy.
Semen can actually double as invisible ink
Yes, you read that right. If you’re ever in a jam that finds you in desperate need of invisible ink, your salvation is only as far away as the nearest pair of testicles. During World War I, a few members of the British Secret Intelligence Service discovered that semen works like a charm as a substitute for other forms of invisible ink. Apparently the sole reason they stopped using it was the terrible smell it develops once it starts to age.
Men that break their penises on purpose exist
You may already know that it’s possible to break a human penis (although hopefully not from actual experience). What you may not know is there are men out there that purposefully do it on the regular. It’s a Kurdish practice known as “taqaandan,” which is a word that translates roughly as “to click”.
To practice taqaandan, the man uses one hand to grasp his erect penis at the base. He then uses the other to snap the upper portion of his shaft using a quick, sharp jerking motion. It’s said to be a painless way to get rid of an unwanted erection when done correctly. Some men in the habit of doing it also seem to find the popping sound that results to be satisfying. (Please do not try this at home.)
Some animals actually die if they don’t have sex
Although you might at some point have been so sexually frustrated you thought you were going to die if you didn’t get some soon, you naturally knew this wasn’t possible. There are those in the animal kingdom that aren’t so lucky though. For instance, it’s possible for a female ferret to die if she goes into heat and fails to mate at some point during that period.
Some people’s fetishes are oddly specific
You may know that the sheer range of possibilities when it comes to sexual fetishes is pretty expansive. However, it’s unlikely that you truly understand just how expansive it can be. In fact, some fetishes are more specific and niched than you ever could have thought possible.
For instance, a person with a climacophilia fetish is sexually aroused by the act of falling down a flight of stairs. Someone with a nasolingus fetish gets their most intense sexual kicks by sucking on another person’s nose while stygiophiliacs are turned on by thinking about hellfire and damnation. There are even people out there that are aroused by the thought, presence, or sight of bees and wasps (melissaphiliacs).
Hormonally speaking, men aren’t as “manly” as they used to be
Modern men actually aren’t as manly as their ancestors were (at least not hormonally speaking). The average man today comes attached to testosterone levels and sperm counts that are a mere fraction of what they would have been just a century ago. By that, we mean they’re only about 25% of what they used to be.
Sex can cause you to lose your memory
Or at least that’s the case if you’re experiencing transient global amnesia. It’s a condition that occurs when something causes deoxygenated blood to flow toward the brain, temporarily shorting it out in the process. The specific variety of abdominal tensing and straining associated with sex can potentially cause this. There are other possible situations that can cause it as well, including sudden immersion in very hot or very cold water.
Don’t start worrying too intensely that your next sexual encounter will literally erase your mind though. Transient global amnesia is not only very rare, but it’s temporary and quite unlikely to reoccur. How’s that for a mind-blowing experience!