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The Sexiest 'Pacific Standard' Stories of 2015

In which we put on a little Barry White for you.
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(Photo: Bochkarev Photography/Shutterstock)

(Photo: Bochkarev Photography/Shutterstock)

Bow chicka wow wow. In 2015, Pacific Standard published a number of stories about sex—how Americans think about sex today, how often they do the deed itself, how to improve nationwide policy related to getting busy, and so on.

Let's start with how Americans are thinking about and having sex: Millennials have more liberal attitudes toward sex than any prior generation, according to research that staff writer Tom Jacobs reported on in May. At the same time—and more surprisingly—these Millennials have fewer sexual partners than those of their parents' generation.

Perhaps that's partly because they're meeting their needs with porn? Coinciding with the rise of home Internet, Americans are now watching more porn than ever. About the same numbers of people still disapprove of porn, however, which is unfortunate because, as Alana Massey argued in April, porn is not anti-feminist. In fact, as Massey points out, quantitative analyses of porn show that male and female characters are equally likely to initiate sex, and to be cast in powerful work positions. (That means equal numbers of porny lady and gentlemen bosses.)

OK, so there are a few things left for society to improve in its approach to sex. Maybe it would help if sex education were better. In February, Alice Dreger wrote about what an ideal sex-ed curriculum would teach, and argued that her suggestions should be a nationally required part of K-12 education. "After graduation, more of us are likely to go on to have sex than to engage in algebraic equations or close readings of poetry," Dreger writes. One would hope.

Pacific Standard also suggested some new approaches that might work on a more personal level. There's this story about what to do about post-sex anxiety or depression—which is common, so don't feel bad about it. And there's this story about a study that showed women and men find non-conformity attractive.

So polish up your obscure-music knowledge, and go get 'em, tiger.