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The Sex Myth

The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality

By Rachel Hills
13-minute read
Audio available
The Sex Myth: The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality by Rachel Hills

The Sex Myth (2015) is about the various myths and misunderstandings that surround people’s sexuality today. In the past, bigoted ideas stemmed from a lack of information. Today, however, a superabundance of information about sexuality puts modern lovers under considerable pressure to perform and meet the perceived standards. Find out how the old myths have been replaced by a whole new set of misguided ideas about what kind of sex we’re supposed to be having.

  • Virgins who feel pressured to have sex
  • Readers who feel sexually inadequate
  • Women wondering why they always end up talking with other women about men

Rachel Hills is an Australian journalist who currently lives in New York City. Her writing has appeared in a number of publications, including Vogue, New York Magazine, Cosmopolitan and the Atlantic. The Sex Myth is her first book.

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The Sex Myth

The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality

By Rachel Hills
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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The Sex Myth: The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality by Rachel Hills
Synopsis

The Sex Myth (2015) is about the various myths and misunderstandings that surround people’s sexuality today. In the past, bigoted ideas stemmed from a lack of information. Today, however, a superabundance of information about sexuality puts modern lovers under considerable pressure to perform and meet the perceived standards. Find out how the old myths have been replaced by a whole new set of misguided ideas about what kind of sex we’re supposed to be having.

Key idea 1 of 8

Despite Western society’s sexual liberation, people today aren’t necessarily having more sex.

Do your parents or grandparents ever complain about today’s generation being too sexually active?

Such concerns aren’t that uncommon. There have been many changes in society over the past 50 years, changes that have utterly transformed the way we see sexuality.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, there was a classic familial structure – the nuclear family – and the morals of the time dictated the postponement of sex until after marriage.

Today, our culture is much more accepting of same-sex couples and single people being sexually active, and, as a result, there are far more single people these days. Between 1960 and 2013, the percentage of single adults in the United States rose from 15 percent to 28 percent.

And just as sexually active singles and casual sex have become more widely accepted, so has the idea of people being in a committed but open relationship.

So, with all these societal changes under way, you can forgive people from previous generations for thinking that people are having more sex than ever. Plus, there are shows like Girls Gone Wild that might lead one to think that it’s common for today’s girls to get naked in exchange for branded pieces of clothing.

But, in reality, people aren’t having as much sex as you might think. Even though it’s more acceptable to be sexually active these days, it doesn’t mean everyone is doing it all the time.

From 2005 to 2011, in the United States, sociology professor Paula England conducted the Online College Social Life Survey. It revealed that while 72 percent of college students engaged in some form of casual sex during their years at college, it was hardly a daily occurrence.

During their college years, 40 percent of students had less than three sexual encounters, and these didn’t always involve intercourse. In fact, only 30 percent of the students in Professor England’s study had ever actually had sexual intercourse.

So the next time your mom seems concerned about today’s generation, you can tell her that even the college kids are pretty tame.

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