The Only Sex Advice You'll Ever Need
Does it seem as if everyone else on this planet is getting laid harder and hotter than you are? Maybe you're frustrated with feeling as if you have to define (and be defined by) what you choose to do sexually, or who you choose to do that with, ESPECIALLY if you have varied tastes that change as quickly as social media standard practices.
Could be that you feel less than a woman because of all the sex you are or are not having, or you try to exhibit your femininity by proving you're sexually desirable. The women of Hollywood sure are tired of being hired based on their sexual desirability...
These are some of the topics Rachel Hills lays out in her new book, The Sex Myth: The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality. And thank God for that.
The Millennial Australian author spoke with hundreds of people about their sex lives (funsies!) throughout her home country, the US, Canada, and the UK, most of them Millennials, and with representations from all sexual orientations and preferences. What resulted is a collection of conclusions, personal anecdotes, and first-person interviews that illustrates a social construct that's conceivably making us all question the hot and cool factors of our sex lives and sexuality: The Sex Myth.
What the heck IS the Sex Myth?
According to Hills, it's an ideology that regulates our sexual behavior despite the apparent modern "liberation" that's been sold to us since the women's lib movement and the sexual revolution of the '60s.
1) "The media myth of a hypersexualized society, visible in everything from moral panics over wayward youth to the saturation of sexual content in popular culture to the idea that to be sexually liberated--to be confident, free, and, about all, true to ourselves--meant being sexual in on very particular way."
aka, that frat-bro hottie you've got your eye on doesn't necessarily want to bang everything in sight, but he may feel pressured to appear as if he does so that he feels like he fits in and his cronies can stroke his ego. Also, you're supposed to f*ck like a porn star otherwise you're not being a woman.
2) "The cultural and emotional value invested in sex: The believe that sex was more special, more significant, a source of greater thrills and more perfect pleasure than any other activity humans engage in."
aka, your sex life = your identity and if you're not having sex the way society says you should be, you're not worthy.
If THAT doesn't hook you, here are some more highlights throughout the book that illustrate how the Sex Myth gets in your mind and messes things up.
Chapter 2: Sex: And Act Unlike Any Other
"We are taught that sex is the ultimate source of pleasure [...]. But we are also taught to fear sex as a source of corruption and moral decay--especially if you have the wrong kind of sex or do it with too many people. What ties all these believe together is the idea that in sex we will find our truth: not just of who we are as individuals, but of how we war faring as a society."
Ha, NO PRESSURE.
Also, to paraphrase, sexual desirability is promoted as a path to status and self-worth, and also a means to more sex, is economically desirable. That is, the more you care about looking sexy, the more lipstick you'll buy, and the healthier our economy is.
Chapter 3: Freaks and Geeks: The Trouble with "Normal"
"If the Sex Myth teaches us that sex reveals the essence of who we are, normality is the barometer by which we come to understand how 'who we are' is valued by other people. To be 'normal' is to be embraced, accepted, one of the gang."
"But whether or not we see ourselves as normal has less to do with how typical our desires an experiences are than with how closely they align with what we believe they should be."
Ahh... There's that pesky word "should" again. Always a red flag of unhappy living.
Chapter 4: Hot, Horny, and In Control: The Important of Desire
"In a culture that elevates sex as the heart of human vitality, being sexually successful means two things: desiring sex, and being desirable enough to be able to get it from the people you want to have it with."
"Desire and desirability are more than just stamps of social approval. They are a form of emotional armor, an illusory promise that if we shape our appearance and demeanor in all the right ways, we will be safe from pain or rejection."
"The pursuit of surface-level hotness and horniness might prevent us from fully experiencing desire, enforcing artificial limits on who and what we find attractive."
Yes. Just so much yes. She also goes into gender roles and how the Sex Myth muddles them to not only create cookie-cutter definitions into which we can easily place ourselves to feel as if we belong, but also how we man manipulate the image of sex, use sex, abuse others sexually, and hide behind sex to make ourselves feel better in the event we are looking for validation and feel as if we're different, not 'normal,' not liked or loveable, or not valued enough.
Chapter 7: Use It Or Lose It: The Performance Premium
"The truly 'radical' act might be to turn your focus to the sex you actually want to have--however 'kinky' or 'vanilla' it might be."
"And [...] you might shift the focus away from what sex says about who you are and bring it back to how it makes you feel."
THERE IT IS. The crux of Hills' argument, that your sex life, like any other identity-defining aspect of your life, is so.much.better when you do it on your terms, and not when you're living comparatively.
Ok, so, what's her point?
"To move toward a way of thinking about sex that is less fraught, more honest, and ultimately more free for everyone."
Look, she gets that shucking this mentality is Tough with a capital T. But...
"The Sex Myth fades into the background when we are secure in our choices."
YES. PREACH. To her, life beyond the Sex Myth is one of true freedom, which, to Hills, is achieved by just being you, and not worrying what anyone else has to say, or worrying about how you think you measure up to your friends or those in the media spotlight we idolize so fiercely.
After you close the back cover, you'll come away with the feeling like you can do whom and whatever the eff you want, as long as it's truly what and how YOU want. I, for one, feel reinforced in my knowledge that my sex life with my boyfriend is happy, healthy and hot—like, plugged into your Avatar, hawt—even if it's not happening 15 times a week.
So in conclusion, I'm putting this on the Must-Read for Every Millennial list. Srsly. EVERYSINGLEoneofyou. This should change your sex and dating life. For some of you this info will induce a game-changing, earth-shattering, watershed moment. For others, you'll be reminded of what it feels like to think and act for yourself, a reminder we ALL need from time to time when it comes to sex. Silly, slippery, sneaky sex.