Bedroom Insider

A blog about relationships, intimacy and sex toys.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Why Millennials Have Less Sex Than Older Generations

Intimate games in bed, passionate lovers

The millennial is full of articles about how hookup culture has taken the world by storm and young people are engaging in more casual sex and less likely to get married than generations that came before. If you believed all these posts, you'd think that people born between 1980 and 2000 are the most sex-up fiends ever. Yet, research finds that millennials are actually having less sex than other generations. How can this be?

Why Don't Millennials Have More Sex?

You might come up with a few of your own theories about why millennials are having less sex than their parents. Perhaps you think that it's because they have to work two jobs just to keep a roof over their head or spend more time watching porn and having solo sex than engaging with partners. Both of those things may very well be true, but researchers have investigated those factors, and the findings might surprise you. First, they've looked into hours worked and found that people who work more don't necessarily have less sex than other people. In fact, they may be having more sex. Secondly, at least one study has found that people who watch porn are actually having more sex, not less!

So if it's not porn or long workdays, why aren't millennials hopping in the sack more, especially if those two theories actually suggest that an increase in porn and sex should be linked to? There is one trend among millennials that could explain why they're having less sex than their older counterparts: marriage.

Millennials are getting married less frequently than their parents and grandparents, and they're waiting longer to do it. Studies in the past have shown that married people have more sex than single people, so this could be a significant factor in millennials' low rate of getting it on. A steady partner provides more opportunity to have sex.

Another not-so-surprising factor? Medication, specifically that intended to treat mental health issues. SSRIs, which are typically taken as a treatment for depression, have a well-known side effect: lowering libido. And millennials are prescribed medication for depression more than any other generation. So while they're working to be happy and healthy, their sex drives might be taking a hit.

The Internet has also been blamed for millennials having less sex than other generations, despite apps like Tinder and Grindr that fuel so-called “hookup culture.” While these apps may make it easier for people who are looking for sex to find it, the sheer number of devices at our sides at any given time provide plenty of distraction. Where millennials are watching TV, playing video games, or scrolling through endless Facebook feeds, Baby Boomers had little access to such entertainment and distraction. They didn't have a TV in every room of the house so that they could binge hours of TV on end. Sex it was.

This suggestion could be supported by data. One 2017 survey published in Archives of Sexual Behavior looked at how often Americans of any age were having sex. Compared to the 1990s, the 2010s were less sexually active. Researchers specifically found that people were having sex nine fewer times per year. While this might not seem like much, it adds up over the years. Remember that we're talking averages here, which means while some people may not be having less sex than they were twenty years ago, some people are having significantly less sex!

Some people might find this news alarming, especially if they feel like they're already having less sex than they want. Does this mean that people won't be having sex at all in another twenty years? While we're certainly hesitant to make such bold claims, there is are lessons to be learned after looking at these numbers.

How to Keep Your Sex Life Active

If you want to avoid being another statistic, here are a few things you can do.

  • Choose a partner who is sexually compatible. If you both prioritize sex as a significant element of your relationship and enjoy the same sexual activities, there's a greater chance that you'll remain sexually active – and satisfied!
  • Make sex a priority. Recognize that it won't “just happen.” Sometimes there needs to be effort. Plan date nights and examine your schedule to determine when sex works best. For some people, the sex-before-bed routine means they never have sex because they're always too tired. A quickie at lunch or roll in the hay before morning might be the better option to ensure you have sex.
  • Minimize distractions in the bedroom. This means leaving your phone and tablet on the kitchen counter, not putting a TV in your bedroom, or at least scheduling device-free time so that you can connect with your partner. Even if it doesn't lead to sex, this time is beneficial for your relationship.
  • Learn about your desire and what triggers it. Create an atmosphere full of those triggers so you'll want to have sex and not just find yourself wishing you had more sex but never being in the mood.
  • Talk to your partner about sex – outside the bedroom. Get into the habit of discussing what worked, what didn't work, and what you'd like to try together. Be game to make the fantasies of your partner(s) come true, as much as you can at least. 
  • Explore sexually. New activities, locations, and even partners can be quite arousing because of the novelty. Try new sex toys, bondage, talking dirty in bed, or sending sexy texts while one or both of you are at work. Avoiding routine means you're excited for all the sex you'll be having instead of putting it off. 
  • Take care of your health. Eat well, exercises, and get enough sleep. Good health, in general, is conducive for a better sex life. Pay attention to sexual side effects of any medication you might take. Keep up with pelvic and prostate exams. And if you do notice any changes, talk to your doctor immediately. Do not be afraid to talk to your doctor about any sexual concerns. She has heard them all – and more. 

The fact that millennials are having less sex than previous generations might sound alarming, but it's just a sign that things are changing. Remember that plenty of people are having lots of sex, and you can be one of those people as long as you make sex a priority.

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r