3/20/17
Why Are Americans Having Less Sex Nowadays?
by Liza Walter for YourTango

So you thought when you got married you’d be having more sex? HA! That’s what I say! HA!

OK, maybe in the beginning when it’s all fresh and new and exciting to be calling your partner your husband or wife, but after a while? Meh. Same old, same old.

Apparently, my line of thinking isn’t too far off.

A new study published in the Journal Archives of Sexual Behavior confirms my suspicions. It used data from 1989 to 2014 and found the following:

  • American adults have sex seven to nine fewer times per year than in the 1990s, which averaged 60 to 62 times per year.
  • In the early 2000s, it dropped, and by 2014, it was down to less than 53 times per year
  • In 1990, married adults had sex around 73 times per year which has since fallen to around 55 times per year in 2014 and is now LOWER than people who have never been married (they average 59 times per year)
  • In 1986, 66% lived with a partner and by 2014, that dropped to 59%
  • Oh, and here’s a fun fact: Those born in the 1930s had the MOST sex. BAM! Need some water while you think of Grandma and Grandpa on that sex swing rockin’ and rollin’ using Perry Como as a safe word?

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Though the study didn’t directly list causes for the drop in sex, it did include some possible factors:

1. We are preoccupied.


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Back in the olden days (did I really just say that?), we didn’t have a constant flow of social media news feeds and notifications and NETFLIX! When you come home from a long day, vegging out on the couch and binge-watching a show while scrolling Facebook seems to be way more tempting than grinding in bed, right?

OF COURSE IT IS!

How To Fix:  Good Housekeeping reports that relationship expert Andrea Syrtash says, “Many women say that there’s no time for sex, but admit to checking Facebook an hour before bed.” while Dr. Jane Greer, a sex therapist, says, “In other words, emotionally, you’re somewhere else.” Uhh … yeah! Jon Snow isn’t watching himself!

Powering down all electronics at least an hour before bed is a good way to make time for your honey.

2. We are depressed.


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As someone who suffers from depression and takes anti-depressants, I know all too well the side effects that come along with it. Loss of sex drive is a BIG one.

According to the World Health Organization, women are more likely to suffer from depression, but the actual numbers are astounding! More than 300 MILLION people all over the world are depressed. WHOA!

How To Fix It:  Well, you can’t fix depression. That’s number one. And you should never go off your medication without consulting your practitioner first. So what do we do if we want to remain on medication but also have a healthy sex life?

Here’s a video from YourTango Expert Nancy Philpott talking about this exact situation:

 

3. We are tired. 


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It’s hard to keep your head above water when bills are piling up and your paycheck is either the same or being dialed down to, oh, I don’t know, INCREASED HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS! Sorry, I had a moment. I’m OK!

But seriously, a lot of marriages now require two incomes just to kind of hit the mark of a middle-class family. And when BOTH partners come home after a long-ass day of talking to people, getting yelled at, and staring at a computer or actual physical labor, sex can be the LAST thing either party wants.

How To Fix It:  CNN reports that Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure says, “Some people are more aroused during the day than at night. Make your arousal pattern work with your schedule and that of your partner so you can enjoy physical intimacy.”

It may not be easy to have afternoon sex when you are trying to make partner at a firm and need to be there 12 hours a day, but what about morning sex?

“Sex can give you an energetic buzz. … You just have to be willing to push past the feeling of tiredness to experience the pleasure that will ultimately recharge you,” says Levine. “If you shift your schedule so you get enough sleep and re-prioritize your day to the essentials, being tired doesn’t have to be a factor that influences your sex life.”


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[And here’s one other possible cause suggested by Em & Lo…]

4. We can finally say “No.”

For millennia, sex was something a husband could rightfully demand — and take — from a wife, no matter how she felt about it. Consider the fact that wasn’t until 19-freaking-93(!) that marital rape was acknowledged by all 50 states as a crime…you know, as a real thing.

Thanks to the past century of feminist efforts, women’s rights to independence, pleasure, and bodily autonomy and integrity have become more accepted by society (though we still have a ways to go…Exhibit A: we have an admitted sexual predator for a president). So women these days probably feel more empowered to say “no thanks” to their husbands when they themselves are not in the mood; in more egalitarian relationships, they may not feel like sex on demand is a marital duty.

How to Fix It: If this is the case, it doesn’t need “fixing.” Remember, more sex doesn’t automatically mean better sex. An emphasis on quality over quantity may be a positive result of social progress. It really depends on the couple and how their libidos line up. Having great sex once a week may be a hell of a lot more satisfying than mediocre sex three times a week.  — Em & Lo 

This article was originally published on YourTango.com: Americans Are Having Sex Less Than Ever — And There Are 3 Big Reasons

Loveless Marriage OR Just Sexless?
There Are 9 Big Differences Btwn the 2!

 

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5 Comments on "Why Are Americans Having Less Sex Nowadays?"

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Eliza

I feel like I’ve always noticed this but never truly understood why. This makes some good points! Hoping we can fix it…

AlanK
Do you really and truly think people in their 80s (i.e., those born in the 1930s) are having more sex than anyone else? You have here either an artifact of the way the study data were analyzed or lots of people kidding around. Since everyone lies on sex surveys (invariably men report more partners and more frequent intercourse than do women, which is mathematically impossible) this isn’t surprising. What probably is real is that the amount of sex oldish people are having has increased; the data show that unlike the rest of the population, people over 65 are having markedly… Read more »
Em & Lo
But the study said “age and time period” were “controlled” for and also that “Age had a strong effect on sexual frequency: Americans in their 20s had sex an average of about 80 times per year, compared to about 20 times per year for those in their 60s.” So we don’t think they’re suggesting that grandparents are having more sex than millennials right now, but that over time people in certain age brackets are having less sex now than previous generations did. The writer here said that your grandparents HAD the most sex — not that they’re having it now,… Read more »
AlanK
I did misread that, although in fairness I don’t think that point was clearly made. But I still don’t believe it. Do you really think that in the days of limited privacy and ineffective inconvenient birth control our ancestors were randier than we are today? If you want to argue that boomers had more sex then than millennials have now–post-pill, pre-AIDS, major change in the zeitgeist–I might believe it. But I can’t believe that the Greatest Generation was also the Horniest Generation. Just as randy, sure–but more? More likely is improved memory: when I was a boy we went to… Read more »
Em & Lo

“uphill both ways” – that’s funny.

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