The Book

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The Sex Myth book cover

The Sex Myth is a call for a generation to question how systems of power pull at the strings of our sexual experience. By unpacking the Sex Myth, we open the door to more equal relationships and more genuine pleasure.

Fifty years after the sexual revolution of the 1960s, men and women alike are told that we live in a time of unprecedented sexual freedom. That we have the ability to have sex when we want, how we want, and with who we want. That after years of hard won social change, we are finally free to express our desires.

But as renowned international journalist Rachel Hills found, who, what, and how we desire is still deeply regulated by cultural narratives and social expectations. The old taboos – around queerness, kink, and promiscuity – are still in play, but now they are accompanied by a new set of imperatives that position sex at the core of our freedom, our desirability, and our value as human beings.

At the root of this silent code lies the Sex Myth: the defining significance we invest in sexuality that dictates that we are dirty if we are “too sexual,” but that we are defective if we are not sexual enough.

The Sex Myth was named one of the best books of 2015 by the New York Times’s “Women In the World,” was listed in the Guardian as one of “23 books every teenager should read,” and was called a “Must-Read for Every Millennial” by the Self-Love Formula. Equal parts social commentary, cultural critique, and personal stories from 200 people across the English-speaking world, The Sex Myth presents an important new way to think about sex and gender.

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Reviews of The Sex Myth

“The Sex Myth provides a clarifying framework for understanding new versions of old contradictions”
– The New York Times Book Review

“The Sex Myth … invokes game-changing feminist interventions like Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique (1963) and Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth (1991). … Without falling into a kind of sex negativity, Hills makes the persuasive case that valuing ourselves through the prism of our sex lives was neither the point of, nor should be the continuing objective of, sexual liberation.”
– Australian Book Review

“Hills, a feminist, goes directly to where many feminist writers don’t—right into the hearts, rather than the hormones, of men”
– Mother Jones

“Despite the intricate discussion at hand … The Sex Myth feels something like a discussion among friends, rather than a polemic.”
– Men And Feminism

“Wildly accessible and compelling”
– Bookshelf Reviews

“I hope the Sex Myth as an idea comes into common parlance as another branch of the patriarchy/kyriarchy, because as Hills portrays it, it is excellent shorthand for expressing the ways in which we’re taught to think about what our sex lives should look like”
– The F Word UK