Recently, studies have reported that millennials are having a lot less sex than our predecessors. While science has its explanations for the decline, I have a few ideas of my own about the inevitable decline.
- Career women have a lot less time for sex. Like many other women in the 21st Century, I have a job that is just as demanding as my boyfriend’s. I don’t have a 9-to-5 and I’m certainly not at home awaiting my boyfriend to come home so I can cater to him. I’m not passing judgment on anyone who does either of those things, but I don’t know many my age. It does seem like there might be a correlation between women and men having equally demanding careers and the lowered rates of sex among millennials.
- Millennials are generally really busy. Millenials are the side hustle generation. Almost everyone that I know has a main job and then some kind of money-making gig that they do on the side as well. Given that jobs straight out of college and even at a professional level don’t pay that great, we have to do what we have to do to make ends meet. This means our personal lives, and in particular our sex lives, tend to suffer as a result.
- There are a lot of cheaters out there, so no one wants to be vulnerable in that way. Social media will probably go down in history as a great evil of our generation. Why? For one, it’s made it easier to find out information like whether or not you’re being cheated on—it even provides you with a paper trail of sorts. It feels like every other post on Instagram is about someone exposing a cheater, talking about how to get over being cheated on, or giving up on dating because of the aforementioned problem. Put simply, exposure to cheating makes people feel less interested in dating and finding sexual partners—and we’re absolutely inundated with examples on social media of rampant cheating everywhere.
- Women aren’t settling for bad sex anymore. In conversations with my girlfriends recently, it’s apparent that none of us are having sex just for the sake of it or to say we’re doing so consistently to each other. Most of us would rather have zero sex life or sporadic amazing sex than consistently mediocre sex. We know our bodies, we know what makes us feel good, and we know how important it is to find someone with whom we have amazing sexual chemistry. If anything, this generation of women doesn’t accept that our sexual needs can go unattended to. We demand good stuff. As such, we don’t settle until we get it.
- People really want to fall in love. When it comes down to it, I think that many people place value on having sex within a meaningful relationship, meaning that a lot of us aren’t putting out until we’re in one. The hookup culture we grew up with in high school and college kind of sucks. For me and many of my friends, we want to take our time and find a partner that we mesh with sexually, spiritually, professionally, etc. rather than running around town and sleeping with everyone in sight. We want to find our forever person so that we don’t have a 50% divorce rate like our parents’ generation. Because of this, we’ve started to take our time and test things out first before sex makes everything complicated.
- People have absurdly high standards on dating apps. I feel like everyone I know is using dating apps to find a partner, and since photos are the only way to gauge attractiveness on the apps (no pheromones, no context, no across the room eye-f*cking), people tend to be so much choosier about the stranger with whom they are going to spend their genuinely precious time and money (understandably so). However, this translates into fewer opportunities for sex because everyone is pickier than they would be in real life.
- Economic realities are libido killers. Millennials have a lot to think about, especially as the oldest of us near our forties and the youngest of us are graduating from college. The reality is that many of us are inundated with student loan debt, low-paying jobs, and no way to save for retirement. Moreover, we’re probably headed for a recession soon. With all of that on our minds, who even has time to get in the mood for sex?
- Intimacy isn’t all about sex. Our generation knows that intimacy isn’t limited just to sexual experiences and I think that many couples (and even single people) understand that. As such, no one puts pressure on themselves to have sex all the time. Touching and cuddling are legitimate forms of pleasure for many people. Millennials have that figured out and down pat.