We debunked sex myths with Clemson’s very own ‘Sexpert’: Professor King

‘You’d be surprised how many people think the penis has a bone’

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, romance and love are in the air. But there’s also another thing on most college students’ minds: SEX. People think all college students think about is sex, and you know what, they’re not completely wrong.

We spoke to Professor Bruce King, a sexpert who teaches the largest class at Clemson, Human Sexual Behavior psychology. With over 600 students enrolled in the class each semester, students’ obsession with the topic is easy to see. If you earn an “A” in the class, you’re deemed a sex superstar, although most people already think they are one.


Do you typically have more boys, girls, an equal amount of both register for the course?

By far girls! The boys think they know everything. The boys typically take it for an easy A because obviously they’ve been having sex SO much, what more is there for them to know?

What’s the craziest thing that has happened in class?

People passing out during the childbirth films. And half a dozen times men have passed out when I start showing slides of female genitalia. It really boggles my mind.

Is a college age person’s sex drive higher than older people?

I think a vast majority of the students believe that women no longer desire sex after menopause. There is a discrimination in our culture that parents and grandparents aren’t having sex, and that they shouldn’t. But that is completely wrong and trying to overcome that stereotype is not easy.

What are some common beliefs among college students about sex that are untrue?

We mentioned already the sexual interest and frequency of people’s parents and grandparents. You’d also be amazed how many people think the penis has a bone.

What influences what people like in bed? Where does it come from psychologically?

That’s such a complex question and answer. It’s mostly social and based on a lifetime of experiences and interactions. It’s like a big learning experience.

Does having sex early on or later into a relationship affect it in any way?

I don’t know of a statistic off the top of my head. What I do know is there is a stigma to use a condom and that as soon as a couple thinks they are working towards a relationship, the condoms go away very quickly. Before any one of them has a history of the sexual backgrounds of their partners.

Are there tell-tale signs of attraction? How can you tell if someone is into you? 

Wouldn’t that be great if we had an answer to that! Without overt-direct acknowledgement, we are left with body language and vague verbal language, which quite frankly is often misinterpreted.

Do you believe sex is portrayed right in the media? 

Sex in the media rarely talks about the responsibilities. In sex scenes in movies and TV, how often do they stop and say ‘oh who has the condom?’ They just have all the fun parts. The consequences are rarely shown. And it leaves the impression that everyone is doing it, which is just not the case. So the media in fact is the biggest peer pressure there is.

What’s been your favorite part of teaching the course? Least favorite?

I don’t know if I have a least favorite part. I really enjoy the lectures on development, STDs, and birth control because it is such a huge value to the students. The only bad parts are that because of the huge enrollments, exam days can get crazy. There are also the few students at the end of the course who think I’m going to give a gift.

How do you explain your job to other people?

I’m very comfortable with it. Most people’s initial reactions are confused. They usually think it’s a ‘how to do it’ course, but I quickly explain it’s much more. It’s about anatomy, psychology, physiology, hormone, STDs, birth control, abuse, development, and so much more.

What’s the most important advice you have for college students?

Take my class! Cause chances are mom and dad didn’t talk to you. And if they did they provided you with very little details.

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