The Sex Myth: The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality

Rachel Hills. Simon and Schuster, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-4516-8578-7
New York–based Australian journalist Hills explores the sex lives of Millennials across the English-speaking world in this incisive look at contemporary sexual realities. According to Hills, media hype and other factors have created a “myth” of hypersexual young adults who measure their worth by how often they hook up. Drawing from research, an informal survey, conversations with 200 men and women (primarily those in their 20s), and more than a thousand emails, Hills tells a different story: plenty of Millennials aren’t extraordinarily active sexually, yet those who aren’t often worry that they are somehow abnormal. Borders between “normal” and “deviant” sexual behaviors have been redrawn over time: once, “too much” sex was considered abnormal; now, “not enough” is considered a problem. In numerous interviews, Hills shares the intimate details of her subjects’ lives, examining how they feel about themselves as they encounter, explore, and come to terms with their sexual identities. Hills calls for another bold change in cultural attitudes toward sex, arguing that in order for upcoming generations to be truly sexually empowered and liberated, they must first reject mistaken ideas linking sexual prowess and frequency to one’s overall value as a human being. Agent: Rebecca Friedman, Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 08/04/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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