Sex: We all like to believe that there are signs that can guarantee that we’ll get some and the getting will be good. I thought sex stereotypes for most people died in their undergrad dorms, but apparently there are still fully functional adults that believe race and gender somehow place you at an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to what you’re working with in bed.
At one point or another, I’m sure you’ve overheard someone make some generalization on sex based on one or two experiences they’ve had, or more likely, what someone else has told them, but in all honesty they usually just don’t apply. Take a look at some common sex stereotypes people like to throw around that have no factual basis whatsoever:
1. “White girls give better oral.”
For some reason, this stereotype has some longevity to it and I believe there are white women who feel the pressure to go out of their way to make it true. When I asked a few guys about their experiences with different races and oral sex, they all agreed this one might actually be true…well at least 20 or so years ago. This stereotype stems from the belief that white women are typically subservient and willing to go to any lengths to please their man sexually….another unfortunate stereotype that’s not always true. What the guys did agree on is that the women who they enjoyed oral sex from the most were the ones who seemed to enjoy it themselves and didn’t seem scared or disgusted by the deed regardless of what race they identified as.
2. “Black woman don’t perform oral sex.”
I remember the only conversation I ever had with my mom that even hinted at oral sex. It was extremely awkward and all I took from it was that, “Good girls didn’t do dirty things like that.” The funny thing about sex is there’s a big difference between what many women say they don’t do and what they actually don’t do. What goes down in your bedroom is your business, and everything isn’t for everybody.
I do think it’s important to stop upholding this belief that oral sex is dirty or deviant. With black women having such an explicit history of sexual objectification, I think as a community we sometimes overcompensate to be symbols of respect and sophistication and the last thing that represents respect is being on your knees in front of man. Wife, mother and maneater don’t have to be mutually exclusive roles. The most empowering thing we can do in terms of our sexuality is own what we find pleasurable…regardless of what your mom or your man tells you belongs in your mouth.
3. “Black men are bigger.”
Being born with more melanin doesn’t mean God was generous all around. You can choose to believe that being black makes you a Mandingo or King Cobra by default, but scientific evidence has proven time and time again that black men aren’t really packing that much more than other races. Data from The Kinsey Report suggests that if black men are bigger than other races, it’s only slightly. The average erect pen*s of a black male is 6.3 inches while the average white male measured at 6.2 inches. Unfortunately, Asian men consistently measure shorter than both white and black men in various research. Now you can retire the belief that if you’re dating a brother you can look forward to weeks of walking funny, because the truth is, either Brad or Bryheem could have you waddling.
4. “Girls with tongue piercings and tattoos are freaky in bed.”
Contrary to popular belief, everything a woman does to enhance her body isn’t for some man’s approval. I’ve actually had my n*pples pierced for two years, and if I am a little more adventurous in bed it has nothing to do with the fact that there is a steel barbell going across my areola. Let me let you in on a little secret: Women do things to enhance their bodies all the time simply because we think it’s se*y or cute. Not because we want to wave a tongue ring across our teeth like a freak flag. Don’t believe because a woman has a butterfly fluttering above her butt crack that she’s about to do the damn thing in the bedroom. I’m sure there a plenty of pierced body parts out there who have never seen any position but missionary.
5. “Church girls are the biggest freaks.”
Somewhere in between all that saving has to be some sinning, right? There are plenty of pastor’s daughters who have probably proven this stereotype true. I wouldn’t consider myself a Sunday school teacher, but I went to Catholic school for ten years of my life and I could understand how the more that the subject of sex is avoided and forbidden, the more it builds someone’s curiosity. Not every girl goes from the pew to the stripper pole. You can love the Lord AND be sexually confident. As much as men like to believe the rumors are true, bible study is not a breeding ground for Sister Freak-A-Leek.
6. “All white men are “breast” men.”
Not all white men want a Popsicle stick with perky double-D’s. Some of them liked a** long before Sir-Mix-A lot said it was s*xy, but once this stereotype got started, it stuck. “What most men like are proportions,” explained some of my male colleagues. “I’ll take a nice a** AND some decent breasts. I never understood that one or the other BS. Why can’t I like both?”
7. “Women are more emotional and attached after sex.”
There is scientific evidence that men and women’s brains process sex differently, but that doesn’t mean everything with estrogen thinks that sex equals commitment, marriage and children and everything with a prostate gland penetrates and keeps it pushing. In my opinion, I think it’s easier for men to naturally separate the two, but don’t assume every women that has sex wants to start picking out save-the-dates. It’s also important for women not to view feelings as a sign of weakness. I am bothered by this trend of women trying to prove that they can have sex with no strings attached. You don’t have to be ashamed of getting the warm fuzzies from the smell of his hoodie. What matters most is that you can be honest about your situation and what you expect from sex.
8. “Men think about sex more than women.”
An Ohio University study revealed that, in a college-aged population of 163 mixed-gender respondents, the median frequency of sexual thoughts for men was just 19. Women, meanwhile, weren’t far behind at a median of 10 naughty thoughts per day. I’d like to think that’s because us ladies are such skilled multi-taskers; in addition to those new Steve Maddens, covering for our co-workers long lunch and thinking about what we’re making for dinner, we manage to squeeze in a couple of naughty thoughts about Trey Songz biting his bottom lip a few times a day. Booyah! Maybe you fellas just need more to do.
9. “Black women are the most “fertile”.”
I love how some black women throw around the fact they have a gang of kids as sign that God spent a little more time on their ovaries. If you have sex enough at the right time, unless something is seriously awry, you’re probably going to get pregnant. Sometimes it’s not the fact that you have a platinum status reproductive system, you just had a lot of time on your hands (or the right time on your hands) to get it popping.
In her story, “Are Black Women Baby-Making Machines?” Denise Cortes references the historical stereotype of the animalistic, hyper-sexual black woman that was created to justify rape and sexual exploitation for generations. Black women have been taught for years that an ample “ability” to pro-create balances our lack of intelligence. I think on some level many women have internalized these derogatory beliefs that were imposed on us centuries ago. At the same time, infertility is real in our community, but unfortunately many of us avoid it because we still associate the ability to make a baby with sexuality and femininity. Being mothers is only one of the amazing things we are capable of.
11. “Black men love rough sex/thug passion.”
Dear Black Man: Despite what popular culture tries to convince you, you don’t always have to be beasts in the bedroom all the time. Although every time I turn on the radio some rapper is talking about beating or tearing it up, it’s okay to want to take things slow, make love and engage in foreplay sometimes. It’s obviously getting Drake more play than Grand Theft Auto V. There is nothing feminine or weak about not wanting to break headboards and pull hair all the damn time. It’s time to let some of that pressure go.
12. “Gay men are sexually deviant by default.”
We all have our freaky fetishes, but there are still some close-minded people who equate homosexual sex with tentacle p*rn. Want to know a secret? There’s enough boring sex to go around and gay couples are having plenty of it too. Being gay doesn’t automatically equal a love for latex, leather harnesses bestiality and child p*rn, so people (including Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame) need to cut it out.
13. “Exotic always = s*xy.”
Brazilians, East-Africans, Bi-racial butterflies: being different automatically makes a woman a sex symbol lately. Everyone’s entitled to their own preferences and opinions, but I need people to turn down from the belief that everything that’s rare is automatically beautiful. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. You should be attracted to someone because you really are drawn to them, not just because you’re trying to start a trend.
13. “White women are wild and into threesomes, S&M and making sex tapes.”
I love the double-standard that black women can be featured on BET regularly twerking, tooting that thang and making it clap but when it comes to actual sex, suddenly we’re stuck-up, sanctified prudes. But with white women, however, apparently anything goes. I think we’re once again back to that “white women willing to do anything to please her man” bull again, but race has little to do with the limits today’s women choose or not choose to place on their sexuality. Just look at Beyoncé. Everyone is being an open book these days about what they’re willing to try in the bedroom.
14. “Having a bunch of kids means you are good at sex.”
I caught wind of this belief while watching BET’s “Being Mary Jane” during a scene where the main character talked to her niece about all of the kids she kept creating. I think secretly when some women get caught in a cycle of repeated pregnancies under poor circumstances, they begin to believe what redeems that is that they must be good at sex, otherwise why would men keep impregnating them? I don’t think many women truly believe this, but for those who do, don’t get it twisted: There are men out here who would inadvertently knock up a can of stewed tomatoes if it had a uterus. Repeated pregnancies don’t make you a p*rn star. Same goes for the guys. It’s one thing to choose to have a large family, but if you think that the ability to pro-create in anyway relates to your sexual skill, you need to do some soul-searching on other skills to add to your resume.
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.