Here’s Why We Are Having So Little Sex

Couple in bed with pets
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If you are one of the people enjoying copious amounts of sex, you might be surprised to learn that sex is on the decline. If you are one of the people for whom sex has declined, you might be pleased to learn that you are not alone. Time explores why it is we are having so little sex.

“If Matt’s story sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. Americans are not having sex. They’re not having sex in droves. According the General Social Survey, a profile of American behavior that has been gathered by the National Opinion Research Council at the University of Chicago since 1972, the fraction of people getting it on at least once a week fell from 45% in 2000 to 36% in 2016. One study of the GSS data showed that more than twice as many millennials were sexually inactive in their early 20s than the prior generation was. And the sharpest drop was the most recent, in the years 2014 to 2016.”

The statistics leave little doubt that sex is on the decline. One of the reasons suggested in the piece is that fewer people are getting married at an early age. And contrary to popular opinion, married people have more sex than single people. Because more people are choosing to remain single longer, young adults simply have less opportunity to copulate.

Getting married is not the only factor. The piece is quick to note that married people are also falling down on the job and represented the biggest drop in sexual activity. Parents with kids age 6 and younger are unaffected. But parents with children between age 6 and 17 are having less sex. This might be due to more child-centric parenting.

Using smartphone in bed
  Couple in bed with pets / Getty Images

Perhaps the biggest culprit is personal technology such as the smartphone. If you and a partner are inclined to have sex out of boredom, technology provides you with fewer opportunities because your boredom is alleviated by other means.

You can read the news that interests you any time of the day or night, play photo-realistic games that engage all the senses, and even access a variety of sexual entertainment via unlimited adult videos. There are only so many hours in a day. The time that used to be filled with casual sex is now competing with other compelling distractions.

An important takeaway is that the reduction in sex is not necessarily a bad thing, and should not be spun as a problem. Fewer sexual encounters may open the door to more quality experiences. There is no set amount of sex we should have, and no reason to believe that the effects of having less sex are negative.