Miley Cyrus: "Sex Is Actually Really Beautiful"

The 19-year-old opens up about sex and coming to the realization that her "whole life isn't one giant press junket"

Throughout her teen years, Miley Cyrus seemed like she was constantly struggling to balance her naughty and nice sides. In a new interview, the 19-year-old pop star shows that she's reached a more mature understanding of herself -- including her sexuality.

"For me, [being sexy] is not the point. You're not sitting there trying to be sexy. If people find you sexy, you take it as a compliment," Cyrus said during an interview on Lifetime's The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet Thursday. "And people look at it the wrong way, especially if you're young... People are so scared of seeing a woman being like, 'This is who I am, and you're not going to change it.'"

The former Hannah Montana star, who's dating The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth, told de Cadenet that she doesn't let her sexuality define who she is.

"The girls that really base how much they're worth on the sexual favors they can do for somebody, that makes me really sad. Because sex is actually really beautiful," she declared. "It's the only way we create, and it's the only way the world keeps going... it's a beautiful thing, and it is magic, and it's when you connect with somebody. And it isn't how much you're worth. Your worth isn't based on that, your worth is based on how you feel about yourself."

Another thing Cyrus has recently figured out: She doesn't have to pretend to be perfect all the time.

"I feel like I was so trained in interviews to be the 'All-American family,' or whatever. And then I looked at it one day, and what I was saying really wasn't true anymore. I just got so set in the way of saying the same thing that I did when I was 12 years old," Cyrus explained. "I guess I kind of realized that my whole life isn't one giant press junket. I don't always have to be smiling all the time, and like, always have the perfect answer."

Guess it's hard to get all that Disney coaching out of your system! Cyrus admitted in the interview that, in retrospect, she's not sure that she would have chosen the life of a tween star. But rather than regret it, she's trying to move past it.

"A good friend of mine says, 'If you let your past be your present, it will inevitably be your future,'" she told de Cadenet. "I don't want to feel tied to anything that obviously isn't me."

You can see the full interview here. Watching it, we were surprised at how thoughtful and introspective Miley has become. In less than an hour, she convinced us of something that none of the sexy outfits (like the one she wore at Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards) or minor scandals ever could: Miley Cyrus has finally grown up.

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