Most people think that millennials, due to hookup culture, are having sex like bunnies. But truth is, we’re not. Studies have shown that we are actually having less sex than any generation before us.
A 2014 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that Americans are having sex an average of nine times less per year than they did in the 1990s. While the “marriage advantage” is allowing couples to have twice as much sex as single people, the study also found that couples are having sex 11 times less per year.
This decline in sexual activity was most prevalent in college graduates and people who live in the South. The study speculated that the decline in sexual activity was a result of cultural shifts and an increase in social media usage.
Pullman speculates that millennial’s fear of risk leads to a fear of commitment, which explains why younger generations are more comfortable with “cybersex” than the long-term relationships that older generations were expected to commit to. This probably accounts for those age 70 and above having more sex than they did in 1989.
Pepper Schwartz, a sociology professor at the University of Washington, told The Washington Post that, compared to the generations before us, we as a society are not as concerned with establishing a physical connection over an emotional one. In a digital world where thousands of possible relationships are at our fingertips, people can be pickier about who they choose as sexual partners.
This ability to do so may be the result of the recent increase in female empowerment. More than 40 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 60 have reported using a sex toy and about 12 percent masturbate with a sex toy at least once a week.
“If it can’t be a stellar experience, they’d rather not bother,” said Holly Richmond, a certified sex therapist. “They know they can go home to great porn and high-quality toys that deliver grade-A orgasms.”
Psychologist Margie Nichols explained to CNN that compared to previous generations, women view sexual relationships as more of a choice than as a societal duty.
“It makes sense that women in relationships might be losing their sex drive and saying ‘no’ more,” Nichols said. “As opposed to my mother’s generation that just spread their legs and composed a shopping list in their heads during sex.”