“The Sex Myth”: Research Exposed By Rachel Hills

It is time to forge a new brand of sexual freedom, a freedom that incorporates the right not to do as much as the right to do. A freedom in which our sexual choices and histories are not burdened with such an excess of significance, in which there is no stigma attached to the gay, the transgendered, or the sexually audacious, but in which there is equally no stigma attached to the asexual, the vanilla, or the carnally prudent. Rachel Hills, author of The Sex Myth

The research that informs Rachel Hills The Sex Myth took about three years and involved about 200 people mostly between ages 16 and 32—inclusive of both straight and LGBT folks. The U.S., Canada, Australia, and Great Britain were represented.

According to Becca Andrews, Mother Jones, the overriding Sex Myth is “the misconception that people need to be good in bed in order to be ‘adequate human beings.’ But there are other myths too—and Andrews lists five:

  1.  If you’re not having tons of sex as a young adult, there’s something wrong with you.
    “…(R)esearch shows college students might be having less sex than we are led to believe. For example, the Online College Social Life Survey, a project out of New York University, found that 72 percent of college students ‘engage in some kind of hookup at least once by their senior year.’ But forty percent said they hooked up with three or fewer people during their college career, and only a third of the students had engaged in intercourse during their most recent encounter. One in five students hadn’t hooked up during college at all.”
  2. Your desires aren’t normal. “(N)o one was 100 percent sure that they were doing it ‘right.’ Hills thinks the media plays a big role in fortifying this insecurity.”
  3. You’re not hot because Hollywood said so. Not true, of course, but if you buy into this an indirect correlation could occur.
  4. Men don’t worry about sex. “Hills argues that men are confined to a single definition of sexuality, which makes them ‘arguably more vulnerable to the Sex Myth than young women’.”
  5. “Female sexual dysfunction” is all your fault. “…(O)ne researcher describes [this] as a ‘corporate-sponsored’ disease”—and an attempt to capitalize on the successful marketing of Viagra for men.

Jennifer Wright, New York Post, also lists five myths from the book. Sure, there’s some overlap, but still worth a look:

  1. You should have sex at least twice a week. “…(A) study in Britain found that the real average is slightly under five times a month.”
  2. Men just want sex all the time. “A recent study showed that only 25 percent of men would rather have a hookup than a relationship, and a Princeton University study revealed only one-fifth of men said hunting for girls is a key component of their social lives.”
  3. If a man doesn’t want to have sex with you, you’re physically repulsive. Rather, it’s often about his own sex drive.
  4. Only losers aren’t having sex. “…(A) national study showed the most common number of sexual partners a year for people aged 18 to 32 is one, and the second most common number is zero.”
  5. Great sex is always spontaneous. If often true in the beginning, not so much later on.

For more info about any of the above listed myths, please click on the source links.

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