Most people are curious about sex. Google processes over 3.5 billion search queries per day (Google Search Statistics)—tens of millions of which, performed under the cloak of anonymity, are about sex. What are the most frequently asked questions concerning sex on Google? Are they about extramarital affairs? Kinky fantasies? Sexual positions? Surprisingly, no. Usually they are practical and straightforward, and tend to be about sexual anatomy (Stephens- Davidowitz, 2015)—for example, “How big should my penis be?” and, “Is it healthy for my vagina to smell like vinegar?” Further, Google reveals that people are much more concerned about their own sexual anatomies than the anatomies of others; for instance, men are 170 times more likely than women to pose questions about penises (Stephens-Davidowitz, 2015). The second most frequently asked questions about sex on Google are about sexual physiology—for example, “How can I make my boyfriend climax more quickly?” “Why is sex painful?” and, “What exactly is an orgasm?” These searches are clear indicators that people have a tremendous interest in very basic questions about sexual anatomy and physiology.
However, the accuracy of answers we get from friends, family, and even internet “authorities” to questions about sex is often unreliable (Fuxman et al., 2015; Simon & Daneback, 2013). For example, when Buhi and colleagues (2010) examined the content of 177 sexual-health websites, they found that nearly half contained inaccurate information. How about we—the authors of this module—make you a promise? If you learn this material, then we promise you won’t need nearly as many clandestine Google excursions, because this module contains unbiased and scientifically-based answers to many of the questions you likely have about sexual anatomy and physiology.
Are you ready for a new twist on “sexually-explicit language”? Even though this module is about a fascinating topic—sex—it contains vocabulary that may be new or confusing to you. Learning this vocabulary may require extra effort, but if you understand these terms, you will understand sex and yourself better.