6 Relationship Myths: Summer Edition


Could everything your friends told you be wrong? Our experts are turning up the heat and putting your biggest sex myths to the test.

1. “She can’t get pregnant if the air conditioning is on full blast.”

“Now that’s an old one,” says sexual anthropologist Harold Rawls. “It’s true that prolonged exposure to low temperatures can impair coordination, but, as a contraceptive technique, hypothermia is only effective about 60% of the time. Just because she’s shivering and disoriented doesn’t mean your seed can’t hibernate in her womb until she thaws out. Advocates for this ‘air conditioning theory’ sometimes reference the declining Inuit population, arguing, ‘hey, it’s working for them!’ Of course studies have shown that this has less to do with ambient room temperature and more to do with the difficulty of removing sealskin pants.”

2. “She thinks my tractor’s sexy.”

“The truthfulness of this statement will depend on your definition of sexy,” says Brandy Brooks, second runner-up Miss South Carolina. “I believe a guy who isn’t afraid to get a little dirt on his hands is sexy. And taking a dip in the old watering hole with my farmer’s tan man is definitely sexy. But ask me if I think a tractor — a two-ton piece of machinery with 173 horsepower, 4.5 liter engine and a top speed of 25 miles per hour — is sexy, and I’ll have to say no. I don’t judge those who do; I just believe, such as our founding fathers, in the traditional definition of sexy.”

3. “Sex is always hotter on the beach.”

“Everyone agrees that a little sand can help jazz up the friction,” says Shelly Tills, author of 101 Places to Lose Your Panties. “The place where most couples disagree, however, can be summed up in one word: Loggerheads. Face it, guys: Just because that moonlight stroll on the beach turned into a roll in the sand doesn’t mean Mother Nature’s work is finished. If your lady isn’t bothered by that 300-pound sea turtle laying eggs beside you, then you should also be able to put it out of your mind and pleasure her. If you can’t, work your way up. Ask her if she’ll fondle you in front of a box turtle. If she protests, complaining that this is a step back, let her go. The relationship probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway.”

4. “She won’t mind me wearing her bikini bottoms.”

“If you’re out of clean underwear, I say go for it,” says Bjorn Melkøya, psychology professor at Hammerfest Community College, Norway. “Summer is so short that by the time most women find their bikinis in the back of the closet, it’s already time to put on the snow tires. Men also wear women’s bikinis as a way of exploring their feminine side. It’s good harmless fun — unless the behavior ‘graduates’ to other activities, such as wearing them on your head. This can be particularly dangerous (not to mention unhygienic) in tropical climates, such as Miami, where women constantly experiment with juice cleanses.

5. “She’d love me more if I were blind”

“In certain parts of the world, yes,” says Jonathan Chen, author of Tying my Shoes in the Dark. “In China, each summer thousands of men make the pilgrimage to the remote village of Lushi, where locals renounce fireworks, viewing it as a form of ‘population control.’ The men gather in the village square and, as a political statement, stare down the barrel of a lit Roman candle. The message of this statement is vague. Nevertheless, the women of Lushi view these men as ‘marriage material.’ Once a man has blinded himself, competition amongst the women to drive him to the hospital is fierce. Before lighting that fuse, talk with prospective mates. How is she with directions? Before going home with your pick, ask her if there are any low doorways that you should know about.”

6. “She’ll notice me if I write her name on my chest in sunblock.”

“This idea originated from the film Police Academy 5, when an officer wrote ‘Dork’ on Captain Harris’ chest as he slept on the beach,” says film buff Teddy Willis. “Word on the blogosphere is that Germans are buying up 1980s American comedy films at an alarming rate. They watch them on VHS and reenact their favorite scenes while on vacation. The word dork, as I understand it, is untranslatable in German. So, while in Mallorca and with video camera rolling, insurance agent Herr Saager wrote a girl’s names on his teenage son’s chest — a girl the sleeping boy had a crush on back in Hamburg — and uploaded it to YouTube. Anyway, the clip went viral, the girl saw her name burned on the kid’s chest, and now, according to one forum, the two are inseparable. Call me old fashioned, but what ever happened to dinner and a movie?”

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