OK. Before we dive into this particular topic, let me just say that 1) a lot of this data was cited before the pandemic (which means that not having sex because of COVID doesn't really fly here) and 2) if you're someone who's having less sex because you're abstinent by choice, believe me, I get it (check out "I've Been Abstinent For 12 Years. Here's How."). Still, because I am a fan of sex, I write A LOT about sex and I work with couples who should be having sex (also check out "What You Should Do If You Find Yourself In A Sexless Marriage"), when I noticed that there was article after article after article that said Americans are having less sex than they've had in quite some time—not only did it pique my curiosity, I knew that I had to share it with y'all. Because sometimes, it's not until something is specifically brought to our attention, that we'll even notice that it very well could personally apply to what we've currently got going on.
Anyway, some folks are calling this coitus valley a sex recession. Others, a sex depression. Either way, let's explore what in the world is going on—or rather, not going on—in so many bedrooms across the country, so that we can make sure that you don't become a statistic (if you don't wanna be).
Who’s Having Less Sex and Why?
Now, before you assume that the people who are having less sex are your grandparents, let me debunk that myth, right out of the gate. Believe it or not, there is something that's literally known as the 70-year itch. Not only that but a Duke University study revealed that around 20 percent of seniors over the age of 65 said that they are currently having better sex than they ever have in their entire life. Also, according to an AARP study, among those who are between the ages of 45-59, 56 percent said they are gettin' it in at least once a week and 46 percent of those between the ages of 60-70 and 34 percent of people over 70 said the same.
So, who is showin' out on the inaction tip right through here? You might be surprised.
Between June of 2019 and June of 2020, 1 in 3 men between the ages of 18-24 said that, not only had they not had sex during that time, they didn't participate in any sexual activity at all. (Wow.)
Next up. Millennials (those are people who were born between 1981-1996). They are actually the reason why the term "sex recession" was coined. The drop in their sex life went from 62 to 54 times a year, on average.
Then there's married folks. A June 2020 study that was published on The Knot said that 24 percent of the individuals who took part in their survey had sex four times a week before marriage; those same folks dropped down to nine percent after saying "I do", although it should go on record that 62 percent of men and 47 percent of women did wish that they were having sex more often.
So, why aren't these people doing-the-do more often than this? As I dug even deeper, it appears that several factors come into play:
While it would be awesome to put it all on the stress and pressure that come with work demands, guess what? Actually, it's the couples who are the busiest who seem to have sex the most.
Younger folks? It would appear that many are struggling with adulting on a whole 'nother level. In fact, some data says that because so many individuals between the ages of 18-24 are taking longer and longer to live an independent life, it's ultimately taking a toll on their sex life.
I'm not shocked in the least that social media and constant online interaction are doing some real damage. Not only is it causing some people to become overstimulated, many are actually getting used to the idea of solely interacting with other people on their smartphone and laptops instead of engaging in face-to-face interaction. Plus, there are other studies which say that social media can trigger depression-related symptoms, not to mention what always taking in photoshopped and filtered images can do to one's sexual self-confidence.
Don't even get me started on all of the questions I've got about "Americans aren't making enough babies to replace ourselves". It's almost like sex has become so recreational that folks forgot that it is how we populate the earth too (SDMH). Anyway, having less of a desire to have children plays a role in less copulation as well.
For married folks and couples who live together, there's also the sleep divorce thing. This is when couples make the conscious decision to not share the same bed. Some do it because one or both individuals snore. Some do it because they've got different sleep or nighttime patterns overall. Others do it simply to get some "me" time or space. Anyway, it would appear that these are on the rise. While some researchers say it could benefit sex lives overall, other experts think that it is just one more thing that makes sex more…complicated.
And then there's our diet. Aside from how much a lot of us eat sugar, salt and processed foods and all of this can throw our libido way off, 36.5 percent of Americans are considered to be obese while 32.5 percent are considered to be overweight. When we as women fall into this category, it can put our hormones into a tailspin. When men do, it ups their chances for high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction.
Gee. When you take all of this into account, it makes more and more sense why less of us are having sex, doesn't it? At the same time, these stats aren't something that you've got to—pardon the pun—lie down and take. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to keep this from becoming an issue in your own home.
5 Tips to Keep Your Sex Life Going Strong
1. Be intentional about having more sex. Sex doesn't just happen. We have to make it happen. And to make something happen, there has to be a plan. That's why I find it so fascinating that some people frown upon scheduling sex. Why? You get paid on pay day because you go to work at a certain time. You are able to get a lot of things accomplished because you plan them out to happen at a certain time. Don't let these rom-coms fool you—sex oftentimes needs to have a schedule because there are only so many hours in the day as well. Besides, we typically prioritize what matters to us, so if you want to have a healthy sex life, be intentional about having sex. To do so regularly and consistently, sometimes that requires a sex schedule—and then following through with it.
2. Connect emotionally, not just physically. When sex is just a physical matter, it's pretty easy to have sex with pretty much anyone. Know what else? It's also fairly easy to become bored and feel somewhat of a disconnect, even from the act itself. That's why it's important to make sure that you're doing your part to secure an emotional connection with your partner.
Go on dates. Have meaningful conversations. Learn the art of mental foreplay. Cultivate intimacy outside of the bedroom. Laugh together. There are some people I've been in relationships with where, I dug them so much on the mental and emotional tip that sex—including the amount—was never an issue. I was pretty much always down. If you're in a relationship and your sex life is tanking, what's your emotional connection like? The answer to that question can reveal a lot.
3. Unplug more often. There are some studies that say that it's because of social media that cheating is on the rise. Honestly, I think social media addiction is a far bigger relationship culprit because, if you're more interested in what's happening out on these Instagram and Black Twitter streets than what's transpiring in your own life, at the end of the day, that's a problem.
And how do you know if you're addict in this area? If checking social media is the first and last thing that you do every day. If you can't turn your notifications off. If you think you would just die without your phone being in your room at night or you can't even imagine going a weekend without being online. If you're neglecting other priorities to be on social media. Sometimes, we don't realize how attached we are to something until we decide to go without it. If you take out this upcoming weekend to "unplug", you might be floored by, not just how much more free time you've got but how much time you have to do…other things. #wink
4. Take care of your health. Feeling lethargic, to the point where sex totally disinterests you, isn't just some random occurrence. It could be your diet ("So, Here's What Your Diet Says About Your Sex Life"). It could be that your sleep patterns are all over the place. It could be that your hormone levels are imbalanced. It could be that you need to exercise. It could even be something that is related to your mental health; something that could benefit from a therapist/counselor/coach working with you to sort it all out. Remember how I mentioned earlier that depression and being overstimulated can play a role in one's libido drop? Sometimes you can't fix those things on your own. Sometimes you need a professional's assistance—and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is knowing that something is beyond your own capacity and not seeking out some reputable help.
5. Talk it out. Finally, talk to your partner; especially if you're in a long-term relationship. While everyone's sex cycles and patterns are different, if you feel like your sexual needs aren't being met, there's a chance that your partner may either sense that to be the case or feel the same way as you do. And here's the thing—one of the absolute best aphrodisiacs is open and honest communication. That's why it's so important to do it. Often.
Less folks are having sex. There's plenty of proof to support this fact. Now you know why and what you can do to prevent that from being a reality that you can personally relate to. Besides, it would be a shame of your grandparents were blowing you out of the water on the sex tip. From the stats that I've seen, it's not as far-fetched as you might think. Crazy, huh? Hmph.
Featured image by GIFs