WORDS BY SIMON E. SMITH
Given the whole list of issues us millennials are dealing with: obsessing over eating healthily, dealing with loneliness, not being able to buy a house or dodging phone calls, you’d think we’d be bonking each other senseless as a distraction…but we’re not.
A recent American study found that overall, millennials — people born between the early 1980s and 2000 — have fewer sexual partners than baby boomers and those in Generation X, the group immediately preceding them.
Basically, if you’re in your twenties, you’re shagging less that anyone older than you was when they were your age…apart from your grandparent’s age when life was slightly interrupted…by a five-year long world war.
Perhaps this social trend is something you can associate with, especially if you’re in the midst of a particularly long dry spell.
But all this is strange because when Tinder and Grindr came onto the scene, experts believed that the ease at which people could hook up would encourage more sexual encounters. But they haven’t.
"The nature of communication now is anti-sexual," said associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Norman Spack. "People are not spending enough time alone just together. There's another gorilla in the room: It's whatever is turned on electronically." Meaning you’re iPhone is actually doing more for you than a living, breathing human being.
On the other hand, some experts believe it’s because better sex education is available at school. Now you know that casual, unprotected sex with strangers may result in you pissing fire for the next week. But more awareness of STI and pregnancy is making millennials more cautious, not turning them on.
Porn is also widely available too. Why make the effort trying to sleep with a real human when you can blast HD-quality porn round your house…for free. Brilliant.
The main problem is that social media has given the average millennial too many options to choose from. We all know the feeling. During college you pretty much knew everyone, and they knew you. On an average night out down the local club, you could guarantee to bump into a girl you were working on.
Now we have option overload. There're too many cuties floating around online. And while we’re constantly staring at images of photoshopped selfies, we’re having less real life interactions.
Good news though.
Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, isn’t worried.
“It’s probably a good thing,” she said. Noting that baby boomers were known not only for free love but also for high divorce rates, she added, “I think [taking it slowly] is going to lead to better first marriages.”
In the end, she predicted, the urge to shag will prevail. “Sex is a powerful drive, and so is romantic love. . . .The sex system is way below the cortex. It’s way below the limbic system,” on a level with thirst and hunger.
“They’ll get to the sex,” she said. “I’m positive of that.”