A study came out last year finding that young adults – between 18 and 24 – were having less sex than they used to. A lot less, in fact. For men in that age range, 31% considered themselves sexually inactive. This is compared with 19% who considered themselves sexually inactive when the survey was done 15 years earlier. Thats more than a 50% increase in sexual inactivity in just 15 years. For women, the trend – while not as extreme – is similar. 13% were sexually inactive in 2016-2018, versus 7% in the earlier survey.
So, why are so many more men and women sexually inactive? The theories seem to revolve around two main rationale: they are more stressed and depressed and they have more access to porn and therefore don’t need sex. Both of these reasons seem intuitively plausible. Couple that with the fact that people seem to spend less time in physical contact, opting for online chatting and social media, and you probably get the reasoning behind a sex-scarce society.
Personally, I find this a little sad. As David Raikoff often said, humans a creatures of touch. We crave closeness and intimacy. And when we don’t get it we are worse off for the absence. It makes me question the cause and effect relationship above. I have no doubt that more time spent at home leads to less intimacy and less sex. But I wonder if the same can be said of stress and depression… is stress and depression leading to less sex. Or is it the other way around. Is less sex and intimacy leading to more depression and stress?
For me, I know that when events arise that prevent me more having sex – an athletic injury, time away from partner, ect… that inevitably leads to be feeling more stressed and sadder. I think this may be a situation where we need to start with the solution in mind. We need to find ways to be more intimate and have more sex.. and good feelings will follow.