People Reveal The Things It Took Them Way Too Long To Learn About The Opposite Sex

Rachel Ramlawi

Growing up there’s only so much we know about the opposite sex. It might boil down to only knowing that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Doll anatomy certainly doesn’t answer any questions, neither do the risqué PG-13 movies our parents might have let us watch. Sometimes these answers about the opposite sex don’t come until late in life and can lead to some pretty interesting, and humorous misunderstandings. Misunderstandings about how basic bodily functions work, about anatomy, and of course misunderstandings about the act of sex itself. The users over on Reddit were willing to share some of the humorous misunderstandings they’ve had about the opposite or even the same sex. Hopefully, we all get a good chuckle and don’t learn anything new as we read these 42 facts about the opposite sex that were learned late in life.

42. How Does it Happen?

I couldn’t figure out why it’s so common for men to pee on the seat and the floor around the seat. Is it that hard to aim?? Like, how the frick is this such a hard thing? Then I had a son and potty trained him. I remember the moment it clicked. He pointed it one way and the pee went a TOTALLY different direction. It defied logic.


41. Isn’t That Normal?

Not about opposite sex but still kind of fits the criteria.

I have a friend who has one testicle. When he was born, he had one removed due to birth complications (urethra wrapped around it, I think). His parents never mentioned it to him so as he grew, he believed having one testicle was normal. As he got into middle school, other kids kept making jokes about testicles.

He thought they were funny because of how people referred to multiple testicles and just played it off as part of the joke. In seventh grade, he discovered porn and realized the men in the videos all have two testicles. He confronted his parents in a really awkward conversation afterwards.


40. All the Way Down

My wife thought men pull their pants all the way down at urinals and asked if it wasn’t weird to see all those butts anytime I had to take a leak.


39. Call a Doctor

My wife’s manager (single male, 56+) made a comment three years ago that if you get PMS cramps and blood during a period, you should see a doctor immediately. The entire office still made fun of him till this day.


38. What is That?

Had a friend who only figured out what a clitoris was in a game of Cards Against Humanity at the ripe age of 26. He was the one judging the cards in a game with three guys and four girls. Someone played that as a card. He read the card aloud and goes, “I don’t even know what that is.”

Awkward silence ensued. Never felt so bad for someone in my life.


37. How Does it Get in?

Took me until high school to realize that the penis needs to get erect in order to enter the vagina. The sex-ed we had in grade school was ok—it talked all about the reproductive organs and what they do, but nothing about how actual intercourse worked. I spent too long wondering how the heck intercourse actually worked.


36. It’s All About Location

Where a woman’s vagina actually is. It’s much lower and tucked back than I thought. My now wife may have had doubts about whether or not I was a virgin, but within the first moments of foreplay she couldn’t stop laughing.


35. Bad Case of the Jitters

Women are just as nervous on a first date as I am.


34. Hang in There

That the tampon string just hangs out there, making a girl look like a party popper.


33. Period is Due

I had always thought a woman had her period once a month so I had it in my head that it was like a cell phone bill where it was every month on a specific date like the 15th.


32. Surprise!

I didn’t know that men ejaculated. I don’t know why. I was in for a big surprise the first time I had sex… I was 19 years old.


31. It’s Still Good

I dated my now husband in high school, and had an embarrassing attempt at foreplay. I didn’t really watch porn, so I literally just tried guessing what to do, and then asked if it felt good.

“Ummmmmm…….. not really.”

He still married me.


30. That’s Where Babies Come From

A friend in high school never paid any attention in sex ed. He was 18 years old when his girlfriend told him her period was late.

He thought it was weird. A few days later she told him “It’s ok, I got my period,” he said “Ewww” and went on his merry way.

Told a couple of chick friends how his girlfriend was acting strange. We had to explain the entire process of conception to him.

He was absolutely fascinated so we went all out with vagina diagrams, pregnancy, birth, periods. He would ask questions about it all day for months.


29. What Do Girls Do?

A long time ago in my late teens, a girl asked me really uncomfortable questions and she admitted she was an open book. I asked if she self-pleasures. She said “No. Girls don’t self-pleasure.”

I believed her for the longest time until I met my ex. Who then revealed she did. It was a combination of embarrassment and anger at being trolled.


28. Just the Tip

Not the opposite sex but of my own sex.

I watched Robin Hood, Men In Tights as a young child. They have a part in the movie about circumcision. Basically, they make a joke that circumcision is done with a mini guillotine. So for years I thought circumcision was cutting off the tip of the penis.

In middle school I was in the locker room and noticed a penis with no tip. This only confirmed my suspicion. I assumed he was circumcised and I was not. In hindsight I realize that the foreskin was covering the tip and he was actually uncircumcised and I was circumcised.

It wasn’t until high school when I told my first girlfriend I was uncircumcised and she had to explain to me that I was not. Some guy in the locker room and a short bit in a movie were not good evidence to argue my case.

But on the upside, I get to tell this story about once a year and it always gets a laugh.


27. Out of TP

Female roommate who grew up in a house with only females. Had a guy over. Guy needed to pee. She remembers there’s no toilet paper in the bathroom and runs to get a roll. He says it’s ok, I’m just going to pee. She’s confused. Didn’t realize that guys don’t wipe after peeing.


26. Firm

Breasts are soft. Being a loner meant I never felt any, and I assumed they are like muscular or something, not stiff, but firm nevertheless.


25. One and Done

I thought periods were a one and done type thing, not a monthly ordeal. It made me wonder if my teacher was crazy sentimental when she told the class her daughters mark it on their family calendar to encourage the girls to track theirs.


24. Intimate Cleaning

My exes used IUDs for contraception that pretty much stopped their periods. At 24, my current gf is my first real exposure to a regular menstrual cycle. One time while getting intimate, she says “By the way, I’m using a tampon.” I ask “But… what’s it still doing there?”

Well, I thought you use it like a pipe cleaner and then take it out.


23. Hot Dog

Late into high school I didn’t know that tampons went inside the vagina. I thought they just laid there like a hotdogs in a bun.

15+ years later I still don’t live that one down.


22. Two Kinds of Holes

In my mid-30s… just found out that penises don’t have two holes. I thought there would be two different, you know, holes for the two different fluids.


21. Keep it Fresh

Hymens aren’t little vagina freshness seals.


20. An Education

Fun story: I’m a med student TAing for anatomy and we were dissecting the sex organs earlier this week. I asked one of the professors for help finding some of the structures so I could show the students what we were looking for. I said, “I’m woefully uneducated in female anatomy which is unfortunate as I am a female.” His response was, “It’s ok, you’d be surprised the number of guys who don’t know it’s called a ‘scrotum’ and not just ‘balls’.”


19. Period Piece

Boyfriend is 28.

He thought we carried around little containers of Vaseline to lube up the tampons before inserting them. He also just found out that some tampons have cardboard applicators (he was horrified on both accounts… “ISNT THAT UNCOMFORTABLE??!”)

He also just found out that maxi pads stick to your panties (and not your body, like a giant band aids).


18. What a Waste

I had to explain to my female friend that when you orgasm you do not ovulate. She is 25 and was afraid of having sex because she didn’t want to “waste her eggs.”


17. One and Done

As a child I thought sex was one moment of penetration and then over. Like, you roll around and kiss, then the guy sticks it in once and the sex over. I was basically getting ready to have sex for the first time when I learned that sex is considerably longer than that.


16. Nothing There

Okay so as long back as I can remember, I knew girls didn’t have male genitalia. But… I thought they just didn’t have anything there at all. Like it was just a smooth area of skin (like a Barbie doll), and that they peed from their butt, and that’s why they had to sit down, and use toilet paper when urinating. Eventually I found out the truth, but for years I believed girls just didn’t have anything there.


15. No Kissing Before Marriage

I thought that if a man and woman kiss, woman gets pregnant and has kids.

I had dodged a lot of smooches because of this dumb thought.


14. More Than One

That the urethra and the vagina are separate holes. I just assumed that was what took them so long when they went to the bathroom—they have to take out their tampons and put them back in again, right?

Dad didn’t know this either. He’s 58.


13. Not the Same Thing

Learned the difference between tampons and pads, I thought the words were synonyms…

God there is a big difference on application.


12. Functionality

I vaguely knew that some men had foreskins, but I didn’t know anything about how they operated or functioned until my late 20s. It honestly just doesn’t come up very often in the Midwestern United States. I also didn’t realize how rare intact foreskins were around here until then either.


11. Inside Out

Until I was about seven, I thought boobs were just lungs located outside the body.


10. Two Kinds of Dilation

When a woman in labor is dilated to a seven they are talking about her cervix not her pupils. I had heard the term in movies etc. for years and made the connection while watching a video in birthing class and embarrassingly exclaimed “oh that makes more sense.”


9. Play it Safe

My friend was close to 30 before he realized that the birth control pill did not prevent STDs. He was dating a mutual friend, and she suggested that they both get tested before having sex without condoms. He replied, “But you’ve been on birth control a long time.”

That’s how I found out it was super common for adult, educated men to make this assumption.


8. Clothing Confusion

Was in my mid-20s and had just finished having sex. The girl had been wearing black tights and as she was putting them back on, I was like, you know, I never knew tights were like, one thing. I thought they were two separate things, each of which you put on each leg. And she was like “…are you serious?”


7. Wipe Out

Never knew girls wiped after urinating until recently.


6. Like Clockwork

I have a friend who thought periods happened in exactly one calendar month. He said “wouldn’t it suck if you got your first period on your birthday, because then you’d be on your period on your birthday for the rest of your life?” Didn’t know where to begin explaining what’s wrong with that.


5. Super-Size Me

I didn’t know that tampons have sizes.


4. Cover Up

My brother thought women wore bikini tops, etc. because they didn’t have nipples and were embarrassed.

He was probably ten when I broke the news to him.


3. Push it

Not necessarily the opposite sex, but I was having my boyfriend feel a weird part of my bellybutton and he said “Man they must’ve pushed yours in wrong” and I was like “????.” Apparently, he thought that doctors push the umbilical cord in when you’re born and that’s how bellybuttons are made. He’s 21.


2. Hatch ‘Em

I used to think my testicles were my unborn kids. Like one day they would hatch and bam, I would have two kids! I was always confused when I saw people with like eight kids, and wondered how he walked before!


1. Suck it Up

Watching “one born every minute” (a show about women giving birth in the UK) and asked my SO where the umbilical cord went after being cut.

I guess I’d always assumed it just sort of got sucked back up into the vagina like the electrical cord on a vacuum.

I’m 27.



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