So apparently, we’re having less sex than any other generation?
Yes, you read that right. The generation with the most dating apps made available to them, the generation who is the most sex-positive, and openly and outwardly public with the nitty-gritty details of their sex lives is falling short of every other generation that has come before us.
BDSM, anal sex, polyamory, all these things that would’ve once been considered taboo, obscene, or perverse are now considered to be kinks, or simply someone’s preferences. Our culture has never been more tolerant of sex in all of its shapes and forms.
These should be booming times for sex (well, maybe not now, given the pandemic we are all living in but I digress).
So why is it that us young adults are not hitting the same numbers as our ancestors before us?
Well for starters, many experts attribute the lack of sex to a decline in couplehood among young people. Fewer people have been getting married and for those who do, it isn’t until much later in life. Think about your parents and grandparents. How old were they when they got married and started having families? And how old you are …
Do you see yourself getting married and popping out kids any time soon? Couldn’t be me.
But who are we kidding, most people who are having sex these days are not doing it for the purpose of procreation.
In my research, there were a few reasons that were very specific to our age group and generation.
1. Hook up culture and helicopter parents do not go hand in hand.
It’s hard to take part in today’s hook-up culture when both you and your partner are living in your childhood homes with your parents.
2. Sex for one, aka masturbation, has become a default setting for most young people.
Given the amount of porn that is so readily available to us and the golden age of sex toys such as vibrators, nowadays it doesn't really take two to tango.
3. The internet has made it so easy to satisfy basic social and sexual needs.
With the rise of dating apps and social media, we’ve started to heavily rely on the interaction we get through those digital messengers and we lack a lot of in-person social skills. There's almost no incentive to go out into the real world and act on these desires. Over time, it’s become so much less acceptable to strike up a conversation in person without coming off as creepy.
4. Anxiety and depression induced by our screens.
The unhealthy relationship with our phones negatively impacts our libido. False images of perfection penetrate your mind while creating thoughts that affect your mental state. Constantly scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat can induce anxiety and depression because you feel like you'll never meet society's expectations. Since you may not be in the best mental state after hours on your phone, you can miss out on face-to-face interaction. Thus, missing out on face-to-face action.
5. Diminishing body positivity.
The inhibition that stems from insecurity and lack of intimacy leads to things like not feeling comfortable being naked around anyone. However digitally nonchalant we may be, we are considered to be prudish in person. Both men and women report that there is a direct correlation between body dissatisfaction and social media use. Not feeling comfortable in your own skin can complicate sex for sure.
Basically, the current sex recession is a domino effect of reasons. And here's how the dominos fall.
We are getting married a lot later in life than previous generations.
At the same time, we're also hesitant to move in with a romantic partner because we are so terrified of fully trusting someone.
So we end up living with our parents for deeper into our 20’s because financially that seems like the smartest decision to make.
Of course, living with your parents isn’t great for your sex life. So instead of going out to meet people and form bonds that could eventually morph into intimacy, you stay home and masturbate instead because it’s easier and less disruptive to your life.
And boom you find yourself, alongside millions of others,f stuck in a sex recession.
How do we pull ourselves up out of this sex recession, you might ask?
Personally, I have no idea. Probably go to therapy? And then go get that dick! And vagina! If you want! (Respectfully and with consent, of course).
Although there are no imidate answers to this decline in sexual activity, someday soon business will get back to booming. Or should I say banging hehe.