Feeling down because you’re sexless in the city? You may be suffering under the weight of what author Rachel Hills calls “the sex myth.”
For her new book “The Sex Myth: The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality” (Simon & Schuster, Aug. 4, $12), the feminist blogger spent six years combing through research studies and interviewing more than 200 men and women ages 16 to 32 across the US, Canada, Australia and the UK about the kind of sex they were really having — or not having.
Here, Hills debunks five of the biggest myths about getting it on.
Myth No. 1: You should have sex at least twice a week.
Hills says that most women she spoke with felt that if they were in a relationship they should be having sex twice a week, minimum, but a study in Britain found that the real average is slightly under five times a month. “There are other things that make up the quality of a relationship — how much you enjoy their company, or laugh when you’re with them,” she says. “The quality of your relationship can’t be summed up by how often one person penetrated another.”
Myth No. 2: Men just want sex all the time.
“Men are not insatiable sex beasts,” Hills says. “Just like women, they are complex, three-dimensional human beings.” 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.
Myth No. 3: If a man doesn’t want to have sex with you, you’re physically repulsive.
“If the guy you’re seeing doesn’t want to have sex with you as often as you’d like, it doesn’t mean he finds you unattractive,” Hills reasons. “It might just mean he has a lower sex drive than you do.” Women shouldn’t feel “ugly or worthless” when their man doesn’t want sex, she says, relating back to the idea that gettin’ it on isn’t his first priority all the time.
Myth No. 4: Only losers aren’t having sex.
“In American culture, the only acceptable reason not to have sex is that you’re highly religious,” says Hills. But 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. “We’re sold this idea of swinging singles going on an endless stream of Tinder dates, but among singles I’ve spoken to, it’s common to go months or even years between getting laid.”
Myth No. 5: Great sex is always spontaneous.
“At the beginning of a relationship, the mere presence of our partner . . . might be enough to signal to our bodies that it’s time for sex,” Hills says, explaining those kitchen-counter encounters. But it’s OK if desire doesn’t always happen that way. “It might take a bit more effort — stronger accelerators, and the absence of stressful ‘brakes’ — to turn us on.”
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