Why Are We Not Having Sex?

A few days ago I came across an article that went viral on social media. It basically said that the sales of Karex Berhard, a Malaysian company that produces 20% of the condoms sold in the world, collapsed. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the decrease is around 40%, so much so that the company has had to start converting some lines to the production of latex gloves. As for everything else, the pandemic has taken a major toll on our sex lives. Research conducted in TurkeyItalyIndia and the US in 2020 all points to the decline in sex with partners as well as solo acts, directly attributed to lockdown.

In a recent study published in The Journal of Sex Research, researchers focused on changes in sexual desire and behaviors among young adults in the UK during lockdown. Two of the study's authors - Liam Wignall, professor of psychology at Bournemouth University, and Mark McCormack, professor of sociology at the University of Roehampton - wrote about it on The Conversation, describing the method used and the results of the research. According to their results, the number of respondents who engaged in each of these sexual activities (intercourse, solo masturbation, and watching pornography) during lockdown decreased compared with before lockdown.

The result is that young adults have fewer casual intercourse than their parents did at the same age. Of course, in these times of Coronavirus and lockdowns it doesn't come as a surprise. But a study by Rutgers University-New Brunswick (USA) points out that this is a trend that has already begun a few years ago. Researchers studied the sexual habits of approximately 2,000 unmarried American men and women between the ages of 18 and 23, analyzing data from surveys conducted between 2007 and 2017. The results show that only 24% of men and 22% of women had casual sex in 2017, compared to 38% and 31% in 2007.


What’s happening? Why are we not having sex? Despite the easing of taboos and the rise of hookup apps, millennials are living in the midst of a sex recession.

We can speculate about the cause of our dry sex lives - anxiety levels, hypersexualized pop culture, porn, unrealistic expectations about sex, online dating, fear of losing control, use of antidepressants - but the truth is that it is all these things together that influence our sex life. In addition to changing cultural norms, the increased availability of online entertainment may also plays a role in how often sex occurs, Julian's piece on The Atlantic explains. That means even people who are coupled up may choose to spend their free time on Netflix or Instagram rather than on sexual intimacy with their partner.

An other explanation could be that we are in the midst of a sort of post-horny era, a time when sex and love have been completely commodified. They've been downgraded, overtaken by career obsession and being a Girl Boss who works to adrenal fatigue. So, somehow, they could potentially be handicaps for the walk of life. These days, everyone's priority is to improve themselves; we all want to get to know the real us and become "the best version of ourselves”. Sex is therefore an option, not a necessity (or a pleasure). 


Written by Paige Trimbly

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