You’ve probably read the stories in the press about what’s being called the “sex recession”. It’s the name that’s been given to the trend for younger people to have significantly less sex than their predecessors did at their age.
So what’s the real story? A whole generation that can’t be bothered? Younger people who are insecure and stressed out? Or is it that the fear of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is putting people off sexual encounters?
Everyone Having Less Sex, According to US Surveys
A study by San Diego University, reported by Time magazine, found that American adults were having less sex each year, on average, and that this applied across gender, race, education and job levels. The number of times people have sex has dropped from an average of 62 times a year to 54 times. All adults, including Millennials, are having less sex. And the birth rate in the US is as low as it was during the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s.
Quality Matters More Than Quantity
Is this one more thing to get depressed about? Not really, once you take a look at the research. For one thing, the researchers point out that the amount of sex someone is having doesn’t predict how happy they are with their sex life. What’s more, research suggests that people who have sex more than once a week don’t have better relationships than people who have it once a week.
Interestingly, the fall in rates of sexual activity has coincided with a fall in the divorce rate – at least in the US. Younger couples are waiting longer to have sex, and if they get married they do so at a later age. And research has shown that married people have more sex than single people.
Do the findings translate readily to UK society? Yes, probably, because there is so much similarity in culture between the US and the UK. But we’re lucky that we can at least arrange an STI test London wide from www.checkurself.org.uk/plus without much fuss, so we can avoid the anxiety of not knowing our STI status.
As for the sex recession, remember that less sex doesn’t necessarily mean a less enjoyable sex life – in some circumstances it can mean a better one!