I've been writing about sex for more than three decades (yes, that old!).
But I find it rather depressing that some of the sex myths that were kicking around when I was studying psychology at university are still widely believed today.
Here's seven, stubborn commonly believed 'facts' about sex that have absolutely no basis in reality at all.
Continue reading after the cut.....
1. Good sex is spontaneous and happens naturally
Nothing makes me more annoyed than when people say to me, 'Sex should be spontaneous and happen naturally. If you have to plan things and make an effort, you're with the wrong person'.
This type of thinking isn't just naïve and immature, it makes people question perfectly good, happy relationships.
When you've been living with someone for ten years, it's highly unlikely you'll suddenly pass them on the stairs, be overcome with spontaneous lust, rip their clothes off and have your wicked way right there and then.
Good sex in long-term relationships is very often planned sex with both partners making a huge effort.
These couples make time for sex, put it top of the priority list not bottom, are curious about sex and open to finding new things to do together.
They compliment each other sexually, know exactly how their partner likes being touched but also that preferences change in a heartbeat, so it's essential to be able to talk and read body language.
'Making an effort' is a decidedly unsexy, dreaded phrase. But if you do make an effort, the result is seriously good sex.
2. Sex should be great every single time
Some people are sexual perfectionists, waiting for the perfection conditions to have good sex (both free, both horny, both having great hair and body days, no kids around, one glass of wine in, both relaxed etc) and expecting perfect performances every time (both adoring every single thing you do to each other, both having an orgasm, preferably together).
A healthier, more realistic model for sex looks like this.
For every ten sex sessions, it's likely four will be OK, four will be good, one will be fantastic and one boring or even disastrous.
If you're not having the odd disaster in bed, say sex therapists, you're not challenging yourselves by trying new things.
Stop putting the pressure on and stop counting orgasms.
Instead, simply aim to connect physically and give pleasure to each other.
3.Sex is much better when you're young
Ask Dame Helen Mirren for her opinion on this one.
Last year (at 69) she described her sex life as 'great, just wonderful' compared to the 'paranoid and empty' sex she had when young.
One Relate survey found during our supposed 'peak' sexual years – our 30s for women (based on peaking estrogen levels) – most couples are so busy dealing with kids, mortgages and careers, sex is largely ignored or a source of stress rather than pleasure.
Sexual confidence, according to this and other surveys, truly appears to peak between the age of 60 and 69.
Another 2015 study found around 54 percent of men and 31 percent of women in their 70s and 80s have sex at least twice a month.
Not just for the young then.
4.People stop watching porn once they're in a relationship
I get a lot of emails from people saying they're deeply upset that their partner is still watching porn and masturbating when they could have 'the real thing'.
But watching porn in private – often indulging a 'secret' turn on that perhaps we don't want to share with a partner – is something lots of people enjoy as well as sex with their partner.
They are two different experiences, both enjoyable.
So masturbating solo doesn't mean your partner's not completely satisfied with the 'real' sex you're having together.
Lots of people also satisfy a higher sex drive through masturbating rather than hassle their partners for more sex than they want to have.
5.Men feel like sex all the time
Society gives a nod to female desire fluctuating throughout the month, partly to do with hormone changes and menstruation.
But both men and women have certain times of the day, week or month when they feel like sex more – or not at all.
What he's eaten, how much sleep he's had, his general health, stress levels, how well you're both getting on, low self-confidence, medication, how much he's had to drink: the same factors that affect our libido, affect his as well.
6.Sex is about power
True, sex is about power.
But it's about giving up power, relinquishing control and allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
We're all sensitive about sex.
No one wants to be told they're a bad lover and no one wants to be called 'weird' or told they have 'something wrong with them' if they 'fess up to wanting to try something new or unusual.
It takes guts to be completely honest and open about what you really want to do sexually with your partner.
Couples who compete in bed – each wanting to have power over the other – have wary, cautious sex, not wanting the other person to have 'something on them'.
Letting go and letting your partner see the true you are key ingredients for a sex life that thrives.
7.There's something wrong with you if you can't orgasm during intercourse
US Sex therapist Vanessa Marin says she 'absolutely despises' the way we talk about female orgasm as a society.
Share your thoughts....thanks!