Review: Sex Myth

The Sex Myth: The Gap Between Our Fantasies and RealityThe Sex Myth: The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality by Rachel Hills

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Whenever I see a book mentioning Sex Myth, I'm intrigued to see what it is all about.  I picked up Ms. Hills' book with no expectations. In fact, I didn't read the blurb because I wanted to go into this blind with no expectations.  And even then, I must have had expectations because the book is not as I expected.

It is very clear from the first couple of chapters, Ms. Hills is an ardent feminist.  Her writing voice shows her concerns about how sex is still used to bind and constrict us, even in this day of loose morality.  There is also a bit of underlying frustration against a patriarchal society.  These all lead me to believe Ms. Hills is a woman of great learning, compassion, passion and an idealists.  I recognize these traits in her because I too was once this way.  I'm not sure if it is because I'm jaded or I've experienced the nuances of feminist sexuality which makes me think differently. It would be interesting to converse with Ms. Hill and see in ten years, if she still feels the same at the conclusions she's drawn.  Now that will probably not be fair because societal norms are constantly changing even when it seems the foundations stay the same.

Whilst there are many concepts/ideas Ms. Hills proposes in this book, the very start of the book lends me to believe, I would not agree with her musings.  Not that I think they are wrong.  Just that it is inapplicable due to where I am in life and how I feel about myself.

I didn’t feel unattractive and inadequate just because I wasn’t having sex. I felt that way because I lived in a culture that told me that my sex life was one of the most defining qualities of who I was. It wasn’t sex that was the problem, but the importance that I, and so many others, had attached to it. loc. 186-188

I can understand where Ms. Hills is coming from.  I just can't relate.  That is really what it comes down to for me.  Because for me, her anecdotes from twenty something women did very little for me.  What she did show was how so people are very concerned with their sexuality and how much they are getting.  What she presents is pretty accurate from my observations - the insecurities of young females.  I'm not disagreeing with her theory and her tests.  I'm not even arguing against the research she completed.  It just doesn't impact me because I've never felt pressure about my sexuality or my sex life.  The pressures of being a sexually desirable woman based on mass media is dead on for many women.  The need to feel "normal" or be accepted is also accurate.  Is someone really straight if they are okay with same sex porn?  The way Ms. Hills explores the stereotypes from fraternities to the "Madonna" complex only reveals more hype and myths. 

Basically, this book I would recommend to teenagers and in their early twenties.  It's for those who are still unsure of themselves and let others sway them in thought and behaviour.  Ms. Hills nicely summaries this in her last chapter, "the insecurities that plagued me in my early twenties feel a bit absurd.  It seems obvious now that the fact that I wasn't sexually active didn't mean there was something terribly wrong with me.  Nor did my lack of sex life negate any of the good qualities I had in my possession. (loc. 2757).  This book can possibly help open the eyes of youth who feel their self-worth is determined by their sexual appeal or prowess.  For me, a forty something married pansexual kinkster, it's been a long time since I cared what others thought of me based on my sexual preference, desires and frequency.

*provided by NetGalley

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