Because their minds are filled with misconceptions, it is not surprising that males growing up in our society find themselves in trouble sexually, says sex counselor and writer Michael Castleman. Among the myths he calls "obstacles to problem-free love-making."

Men have only one thing on their minds -- sex . They do think about sex a great deal, says Castleman. "Most men, however, prefer to say no from time to time." But unlike women, they don't have any practice at it. The typical male probably has "never said no to a woman in his life."

Women don't mean it when they say no. Many women are brought up denying their sexuality and feel a need "to be cajoled into bed." This confuses the male who doesn't know how far to go in coaxing. Advises Castleman: "The intelligent and sensitive man takes a woman at her word."

Men must achieve "instant" erections . Many younger males can, but by their 30s, cannot. This, says Castleman, "is perfectly normal, particularly after a stressful day at work, or a few drinks, or returning home to a broken toaster or problems keeping up with the bills."

The "universal hang-up" that penis size counts . "Most women are not all that concerned."

No red-blooded man remains a virgin past 18 . The "anxiety" this myth generates, says Castleman, "certainly is understandable given the tremendous pressure men impose on each other to shed their viginity early, then flaunt their vast experience ever after." Most men are "terribly embarrassed" to admit they remained virgins into their '20s or '30s, "and that embarrassment can last a lifetime." (Contrary to this myth, a 1976 survey indicated that 25 percent or more college-age males were still virgins.)

Men must take the responsibility to lead the woman through love-making . This can result in "the blind leading the blind."

Simultaneous orgasm is the goal . "For most lovers, things rarely work out that way."