Now in paperback—Peggy Orenstein, author of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller Girls & Sex, turns her focus to the sexual lives of young men. “Eye-opening…. Every few pages, the boy world cracks open a little bit…. Even in the most anxiety-provoking moments of Boys & Sex, it’s clear that Orenstein believes in the goodness of boys and the men they can become, and she believes in us, as parents, to raise them” (New York Times Book Review).
Peggy Orenstein’s Girls & Sex broke ground, shattered taboos, and launched conversations about young women’s right to pleasure and agency in sexual encounters. It also had an unexpected effect on its author: Orenstein realized that talking about girls is only half the conversation. Boys are subject to the same cultural forces as girls—steeped in the same distorted media images and binary stereotypes of female sexiness and toxic masculinity—which equally affect how they navigate sexual and emotional relationships. In Boys & Sex, Peggy Orenstein dives back into the lives of young people to once again give voice to the unspoken, revealing how young men understand and negotiate the new rules of physical and emotional intimacy.
Drawing on comprehensive interviews with young men, psychologists, academics, and experts in the field, Boys & Sex dissects so-called locker room talk; how the word “hilarious” robs boys of empathy; pornography as the new sex education; boys’ understanding of hookup culture and consent; and their experience as both victims and perpetrators of sexual violence. By surfacing young men’s experience in all its complexity, Orenstein is able to unravel the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important realities of young male sexuality in today’s world. The result is a provocative and paradigm-shifting work that offers a much-needed vision of how boys can truly move forward as better men.
Peggy Orenstein is the New York Times bestselling author of Boys & Sex, Don’t Call Me Princess, Girls & Sex, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Waiting for Daisy, Flux, and Schoolgirls. A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and Afar, she has also been published in New York, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and other publications. Her TED Talk has received over five million views. She lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter.
Table of Contents
Introduction What About the Boys? 1
Chapter 1 Welcome to Dick School 7
Chapter 2 If It Exists, There Is Porn of It 39
Chapter 3 Are You Experienced? Life and Love in a Hookup Culture 73
Chapter 4 Get Used to If: Gay, Trans, and Queer Guys 105
Chapter 5 Heads You Lose, Tails I Win: Boys of Color in a White World 135