Why Millennials are Having Less Sex than Other Generations

The Problem

Our younger generation doesn't seem to have a lot of sex. This seems weird considering that we live in a generation that is more sexually covert than ever, and in a generation that frequently uses apps like Tinder & Bumble. You would think we would be swimming in sex, but the statistics show otherwise. What is holding us back?

Why Millennials are Having Less Sex than Other Generations

Various Explanations

Lets start with the effect of social media/smartphones on our generation. In communication theory, we generally want to reduce conflict and uncertainty as quickly as possible in a conversation. Smartphones also give us the option of 'avoiding' conflict. When you're not entirely comfortable with a conversation in real life you might opt for another one digitally on the spot. Perhaps this has made our generation less capable of dealing with conflict, and thus when talking to a potential partner, our discomfort makes us more likely to avoid conversing with them and visit the comfort of our smartphone instead.

Why Millennials are Having Less Sex than Other Generations

Okay, but what about Tinder? People who study Behavioural Economics seem to love talking about the logistics of online dating (Look at Dan Ariely for example). Most of these people seem to conclude that women become much pickier when given more dating options. Women on Tinder are more likely to stop dating and go back to considering their other options. As a result, many women stay single because they seem incapable of picking the 'one' given the illusion of choice.

Why Millennials are Having Less Sex than Other Generations

Many women also wonder why men rarely approach. Why would you when there is online dating? Given these logistics its a vicious circle of failure. You can avoid conflict by dating online, but being given more choices makes it hard to find the right person.

This explains why the percentage of people dating has gone to 62% (down from 86%), but what about casual sex? Isn't that why people use Tinder to begin with? Well, when millennials do end up having sex, it is now more common for it to be done casually (like friends with benefits, one night stands, etc). These don't seem to last though, and that might be whats accounting for less sex in general.

there's also the idea that our new environment (with tech) has made parents more child-centric which is different from solely expecting children to be 'home on time for dinner'. This, according to Yamallis Diaz, a clinical assistant professor child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, might make it harder for children to go through relationships and deal with problems on their own.

Why Millennials are Having Less Sex than Other Generations

Conclusion

Smartphones are cool, but we might want to use them a bit less. When you're in a work environment, turn off notifications and sounds that might pull you away from your environment. Don't be afraid of interacting with everything around you. Also, Tinder is a waste of time.

Also, let me know if you disagree with anything or what you thought of this MyTake 😉


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Most Helpful Girls

  • I went to a seminar from a marriage and family therapist and they said the same thing. Millenials have too much instant gratification and they don't know how to wait for things or communicate well because they have a phone and online dating.
    It's really sad that we have junk food and junk sex more often than not

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  • According to one study I read, a few things came to light.
    Millennials feel an enormous pressure to perform (in all aspects of life), and that can cause msny to set expectations around sex too high. Perhaps due in part to seeing all kinds of male-enhancement ads and penis envy/inferiority complexes perpetuated on sites like GaG.
    This same study notes Millennials enjoy sexting. 48 percent of Millennials sext at least once per week This could reduce the “urge” to have actual sex and alleviate the pressures of performance surrounding actual sex.
    Also in the age of tinder and the “hook up” mentality, many are having “friends with benefits” sex instead of relationships which also reduces the number of sexual experiences.
    BUT, that same study also says
    50 percent of men and 44 percent of women have two or more orgasms during one session. So there is that as a counter balance. Lol.

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Most Helpful Guys

  • I agree with your take and I too am a communications studies major.

    The reduce conflict and uncertainty is a good concept and idea to roll with however, I disagree when it is applied to online dating and texting because when looking at profiles we can assume certain things about a persons character. But there is still a lot of uncertainty because as a lot of people online know about cat fishing or bots. As much as people don't like conflict and uncertainty, online profiles aren't verifiable and people will always make themselves look better in front of others. That's why this theory (in my mind) works only when you are just getting to know a person in person. I think this concept was to understand the purpose of small talk but small talk is kind of dead when online dating as you have information the person you like. Therefore there is less to communicate to get to know the person.

    And as for the part about women getting pickier. If we go with the general notion that males always make the first move then we can also assume that woman do not have a sense of choice or experience in choosing first. So fast forward to the age of technology, now choices are everywhere. and I agree that we have more options today than ever before. And that is the problem for both parties because men can technically approach a vast number of women and women have a vast number of choices (assuming women are still passive). though I'll be using old data from OKC. in their article it showed that women are less likely to message guys first but those that do get a better response. Now I don't know the case for bumble and how that worked out but I can assume that there is a higher rate of response. Now, sex can happen on any platform however, there is a study on millennial's that showed that they maybe more focused on work, family, and home owning. as the e-state prices goes up, and kids are less likely to move out or more job focused, I think we can expect a drop in sex and dating.

    Also with the current political climate can also play a roll too. Another factor is that going out is expensive when you are trying to meet/date people outside of online dating.

    and if you don't have a private space, then it gets more complicated. So I agree with you, and there are too many reasons to count but that is was I think are the major factors for why there is a decrease in sex. It comes down to economics and social economics

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    • You inferred my current BA program from a mere few sentences talking about communication theory, that must make for some great doxing potential :p. I wasn't really trying to apply conflict/uncertainty reduction theory specifically to online dating, more to life in general. People love to dwell away from the real world and hide in their personal constructed bubbles for a safe space.

      If I were to assume a cause and effect relationship, I would assume that the incapability of learning to deal with conflict makes online dating seem like a very attractive option. In practice however, it falls short.

      Yeah there are a myriad of factors that come into play ofc. I thought these were somewhat relevant. I'll also look at the article you mentioned. Thanks for the comment!

  • Good, The less of our putrid disgusting species that procreate the better.

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What Girls Said 33

  • Yet rates of STD transmission are at an all time high.

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    • Funny enough, it’s the older generation, like the white hair set that are greatly adding to this number! Lol 😂

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    • @Daniel3035 First, is English not your native tongue? Second, the overwhelming majority of STDs are spread by sex. I stand by what I said.

    • What just happened here?

  • “Our younger generation doesn't seem to have a lot of sex.“

    — source? Also who is “us” in this context?

    Fuzzy terms used, plenty of assumptions made with no to very little factual information to back them up always make me a little wary..

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    • Good that you'e wary.

      The initial claim comes from research conducted by Jean Twenge. Here is the source
      link.springer.com/.../s10508-016-0798-z

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    • "Stop trying to strawman me.

      You're the one who hasn't been reading properly. Lets look at this quote from the study.

      In describing the trends in the text and tables, we will sometimes employ common labels for the generations such as the G. I. or “Greatest” generation (born 1900–1924), Silent (1925–1945), Boomers (1946–1964; some argue 1943–1960), GenX (1965–1979 or 1961–1981), Millennials (1980–1994), and iGen (1995–2012; for reviews, see Strauss & Howe, 1991; Twenge, 2014). These birth year cutoffs are arbitrary and are not necessarily justified by empirical evidence, but are useful labels for those born in certain eras.

      Oh wow, Millennials has been defined as 1980-1994.
      Trust me, I read academic literature all the time and I know what to look for."

      You do realise that you didn't prove anything with this entire paragraph though don't you?

    • Yeah my apologies, I misunderstood what you meant with your citation.
      I'll give you that. The changes you mentioned are indeed relevant to the APC analysis within the study.

      My apologies, you're right on this. I have to deal with people being critical all the time and I can't always keep a coherent understanding of what it is i'm arguing against.

      I thought you were referring to millennials as in being born in the 1960's, my bad.

  • Isn’t less sex a good thing? The older generation can finally stop calling us all sluts and other bullshit.

    Technology may be part of the reason people are less inclined to interact physically but there are other factors such as school and career interest. I personally think that it’s a good thing because young people should not be focused on sex and relationships when they could do something else much more productive and lucrative while they still have the energy and the drive to do so.

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    • But then they've spent all their time on something else and don't start families.

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    • @AllThatSweetJazz
      I agree. The problem with having families past 30 is it can be a harder chance of having a baby. Once a woman is 26, her eggs start to detiorate and die. (I'm trained in fertility and fetal develooment) so the optimal time frame is between ages of 25-29 biologically. Which is a shame, considering maturity wise it's not the smartest time to start one. It's a catch 22 definitely.

    • @Lish89 Maturity-wise that seems fine, just don't be trash-people.

      I think being younger and using that youthful energy to parent kids is no less valuable than putting it into career. This is probably why it's typical to have some age difference in couples and stereotyped gender roles; in order to balance needs and optimize performance.

      It's just fertility though is it? There's other risks for the child and mother that also escalate with age.

  • Pressure to be perfect, established, and gagging for it.
    Most people suffer anxiety now due to apps like instagram.
    We generally all have a physical appearance preference but these apps change that perception.

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  • I think a lot of women are becoming smarter, more informed, about what to look for and what to avoid in a potential relationship partner - especially after reading books such as "Are Women the Stronger Sex" by Josette Sona. We've seen so many women, who've rushed into having sex, only to later on get their hearts broken - because she realized he wasn't the person she thought he was. Women want to avoid all that drama and pain.
    Having sex before getting to know someone is like putting the cart before the horse. And even though fiction (movies, TV shows, novels, etc.) would lead us to believe everybody and his dog 😄 are having sex at the drop of a hat - that's not reality. And when it is, the woman (especially) often regrets having done so.
    Sex is too important to be taken lightly and one-night stands/casual affairs often just leave us feeling empty and unfulfilled.

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  • Why is this bad, pre-marital sex can lead to many diseases, unwanted births, and heart aches in the future. Not always, but I don't wanna take that risk, no thank you!

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    • Because there's no martial sex either, because there's no marriage.

    • @AllThatSweetJazz please explain. When I talk about marriage, I am talking about the bond between two lovers through a constructed promise. Marriage is simply a promise to love only that person for as long as they live. When you have sex with only one (or two with remarriage), the chances of negative outcomes are very low. However, having sex with random strangers you meet at the bar could definitely lead to bad things.

      Sure promises can be broken, but the fact that the promise was formed still remains.

    • "having sex with random strangers you meet at the bar could definitely lead to bad things."
      Yes and that's not what "millennials are having less sex" means.
      It means that "the bond between two lovers through a constructed promise" has declined.

  • Less sex than other generations? I call nonsense. People of nowadays have more sex than ever. This is part of my study.

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  • Because we're tired, barely have enought money for rent AND food. Being blamed for everything all of the time is maybe starting to real world ramifacations.

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  • I don't have sex because I'm not giving it up to just any guy. I only have sex with men when I'm in a relationship with them and for no other reason. Even then I'm waiting until I am comfortable.

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    • Haha this is me! 29 in a month and only two partners!😁

    • @Lish89 I'll be 29 in February. I've had more partners than that, but I haven't had sex in 2 years about, and I've been single for just as long.

    • Fair enough. I agree with your statement though lol.

  • Although i do my best to revert this trend :D :D

    I think this trend is explained pretty easy by people not really looking for long lasting relationships in a very young age anymore. I mean 200 years ago with 18 most people were married and had children while today some of us didn't even finish education at that point.

    And than its all about freedom, live your own life, wait for the perfect partner aaaaand you end up close to 30 before you settle. I think the smartphones are less of a factor.

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  • I don't see the problem. More responsible sexual behavior means fewer unwanted pregnancies, fewer abortions and less STDs. Maybe Millennials are learning from their parents' mistakes.

    That would be refreshing.

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  • well my life is pretty great in that part hehe
    but nice take otherwise

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  • Is this really true? Then why are there many many more STD's through young people, surely if this was the case there wouldn't be so many?

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    • Young people often void the responsibilities that come with sex. Its as simple as that really. Less sex but when having it its done with different partners.

      I guess that could explain the numbers. Despite that, there are much more people on earth now. I'm not sure as to how much the number of young people with STD's has increased relative to a percentage. I haven't looked into it, but there's always the option that 'there are simply more people, and thus more infected'

  • What? We are probably having more. Especially with this crappy hookup culture that’s popular right now.

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  • Probably cause we don't go outside

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  • Becoming smarter

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  • Interesting

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  • The main reason is porn.

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  • I though it was Gen z having less sex..

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  • Good take

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  • We are having more sex actually 👅🍆💦

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    • Ur not a millennial.

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    • @Gavyn lol but seriously tho I agree with you in some aspects (especially the snowflake part). But honestly I don't think young people are better or worse than ever before. We have positive and negative qualities just like every generation in my opinion.

    • 6d

      Are you guys dumb millennials are 1990s-2000’s and I am born in 2000 so I AM a millennial

  • Less sex? Guys only look at me for sex lol what u mean XD

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  • I actually agree. Also it seems millennial guys I've know. Have absolutely no clue how to please a girl. I've had one guy that wasn't a millennial and he was hands down the best.
    And one of my ex boyfriends not a millennial made me discover that i love having my neck kissed

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  • We are evolving.

    pregnancies, STDs for a little bit of pleasure, eh... no thanks im more than just a wet Pussy.

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    • Evolution favors those who produce offspring. We are devolving.

  • Well I am having more than I ever have in my whole life sooo lol and it ain't stoping hahah I am in love with my boyfriend

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  • You are fucking sick. Teens shouldn't have sex.

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    • It's natural for teenagers to have sex with each other, how is that sick?

    • @Uhhjsshshdh with each other? Lol
      Whoever downvoted is a spoiled brat

    • @Uhhjsshshdh Teens don't understand the ramifications of their actions because the part of the brain that handles foreseeing the consequences of actions isn't fully developed until around age 25. That's why. Unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and physically-safe sex (like, not doing stupid positions or not being too rough, etc.) are all things they don't fully have a grasp on.

  • Okay

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  • I must be an oulier. My sex life is going strong!

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  • I don't know but I am with my boyfriend. :) It is good.

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  • People are more isolated now with use of technology and do have the people skills that will lead to sexual relationship. It takes longer for personal in-person relationships to happen now.

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What Guys Said 50

  • I've heard this said but honestly don't really buy it. I think if millenials were really having less sex than there would be lower rates pf STDs and unwanted pregnancies, both of which are higher than they were in the 90s when I was a kid.

    I talk to a hell of a lot of people online - mostly guys - who tell me all about their hookup experiences, and I don't doubt it in these times.

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    • The claim is that we are having less sex, and when we do, we're less responsible with it. So the STD/unwanted pregnancy rates make sense.

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    • I never said it was untrue. I'm just saying that them boasting isn' anything new & it doesn't invalidate what studies have been finding.

    • @zagor And indeed it was. STDs were really non existant. My girlfriends used the pill, IUD, diaphragm etc. I'm 64 and never used a condom in my life. Of course I've been married for 36 years so I don't live in the modern world.

  • Where did you get the information on millenials having less sex than other generations? Was there any official statistics or research on this? Where are the sources for this? I'm presuming this is only your opinion that they are having less sex than other generations, doesn't make it facts or the truth.

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  • On the dating app front:

    Can't remember if it was Tinder or OkCupid (or both) but 80% of women swipe on 20% of the guys (and the guys were the flip of that). So - just based on match opportunities a lot of dudes are going to be up **** creek. Personally Tinder (and online outlets) have been great to set the stage before an in-person meeting - pre-qualification works both ways... so I'm very pro smart-phone driven dating - to a point. It's useful for certain things and takes time / technique to get right. That being said - it's only PART of a successful dating strategy. Takes work.

    The ladies these days:

    I have no idea what percentage of women are ok with these tactics but I can tell you both from personal experience and most of my male friends across age categories, false accusations, aggressive behavior, attacks on reputation, etc. are a hell of a lot more prevalent than people want to admit. Might be 5% of the women ruining it for the other 95% but it's very real. Dating has moved from the "fun" end of the spectrum further towards the "danger" zone.

    The guys these days:

    Have lots of male friends who have had a really hard time economically in this incredibly complex modern landscape. The younger ones are saddled with a ton of student debt. Many don't feel like they have much to offer - it's not exactly a secret that your employment / living status plays a big role in mate attraction. Paired with the issues above - that's the recipe for a de-motivated group.

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  • Our environment and much our food also contains xenoestrogens - estrogen-mimmicking chemicals. The hormone that drives your libido is testosterone. More estrogen = less testosterone = lower sex drive.

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    • I knew about xenestrogen, but haven't thought about it this way. Thanks :)

  • I don't think it's the phones. I think a guy can feel there's only certain places he can approach a woman and not feel like a perve. Some feel, it could be fine at a grocery store, but I'd feel weird doing so. The gym is a place with many women, but most are into their workouts and don't want to be bothered. So one of the worst choices to chat them up especially after thirsty dudes do it. The clubs and bars? Well not everybody likes them and they lost their luster. Plus one has to be quite the extrovert there as some have their walls up and the loud music can make it hard to talk and not much to really feel comfortable conversing or carry it. Places like work and classrooms were where I operated best as I have to know someone a little to open up to where my humor and charm and wit really comes out as well as flirting. I'm too busy, like calculating and figure out what to talk about or if I want to since everything feels forced. I'm very outgoing, or can be, but it's when I don't have to think, and just go with the flow.

    I'm very genuine and it's hard to fake that, so has to be natural for me. I hate small talk, it feels boring, so I feel I have to impress, which causes anxiety since I don't know where to start and just to go. When I'm in a situation like work where even if it's a new girl. I have like this mutual convo or reason to ask things or questions and conversation. So then from there the build of goes to what she says and spinning something funny to what she says and asking things about her and just able to get in a flow so much easier. I think more people are a little shy than you think, but now it's just figuring to go a different route. Tinder or bumble doesn't help anything and I don't thinkk people use them because they think it's an easier way to meet people.

    As bumble and tinder are harder. Women are even pickier and many guys have good look with them and I didn't and have been told to be good looking. Many women use those apps out of boredom and ego stroke so not really any plan to meet any guys which means most women are not meeting any dudes or any cute women aren't even if said guy is handsome. Guys more often are using them to literally meet a woman to date or for sex.

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  • Agree with your reasons (tech is mind numbing addictive) but add in porn, high std risk and the feminist man hate vilified sex (need notarized sex consent forms) and harassment psycho culture and the millennial dk goes limp.

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  • We have more weirdos now than we ever had. Less human interaction due to smartphones and online communication. And all the feminism and anti-rape stuff floating around makes men either very careful about how they approach girls, or stop initiating completely and just friend zoning everyone or not committing in general. The fact that more girls are on medication is also a concern because mentally they can be unstable when you least expect it.

    Put yourself in a guys shoes. Imagine you know a girl in a friendly way and she shows all the right signs that she likes you and hints at sex. You ask her if she consents, she says yes, and you do it. The next day, for whatever reason, she doesn't like you and files a rape case against you.
    OR
    your in a relationship but not for much longer. You need to break up, for whatever reason, and she doesn't like that and files a rape case against you.

    I've heard a handful of stories like these, and as a guy it kills my motivation to commit to girls. I've friend zoned and ghosted so many because this stuff which is always in the back of my mind.

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  • People before the 1970s (our parents and grand parents) married young between 16 to 24yo).

    I don't know about the West, but over here, having 6 to 10 kids is common.

    And if you translate that into 1 kid every 18 months, we're looking at 9 to 18 years of active sex life (bare without condoms).

    This alone shows people before the 1970s are sexually active, at least in the East.

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  • For me, it is that feminism has made women unbearable and disgraceful sluts who use men like disposable utilities and think STDs are a badge of honor. Nothing to be had which my left hand can't do better, safer and with less hassle... and that's just not enough to be bothered with.

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    • Not all women are like that though. I've had two partners. One for 12 years and second for 4 years.

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    • Whatever you want to believe is your choice buddy. Good luck in the world with your negative attitude. I choose to see the positive and will continue to do so, despite men like you trying to convince me otherwise.

    • @Lish89 Whatever, no skin off my hide.

  • Correction, it's Gen Z and the younger millennials that are. Gen Z mostly.

    They see what their parents and others have been doing and they realize it's hurting society.

    And who says teens don't know anything?

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  • I agree a 100%. As a millenial I learned the hard way that not all what online connection offers you is practical and that is actually more risky to have a romantic relationship online, than offline, therefore I rather the old school method of finding someone, since is a 0 waste of time because there is no idealistic ideas going on about your partner.

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  • I would bet it's in combination with the pussification of young men, technology, smart phones and people in general living sedentary lifestyles or laziness.

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  • Easy. Marriage. People used to marry and often by 22-24. You have more sex when you have a spouse than clubbing and staying single until 30.

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  • I mean great and all but there’s more to it than technology. What about divorce fears? Etc. And I mean a phone isn’t realistically stopping you just put it down and there you go. Pick it up later. Also have you tried online dating? If not go on tinder and make a profile and tell me how successful you are or if you get a reply.

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  • Its alright, I give it a few more decades until the human condition in western society disintegrates and we all abandon the vast industrial metropolis, wander back into the forest, into the dark age, into simplicity, like has happened time and time again in history.

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  • The reality is that we just dont have places to fuck. We dont want to do it our parents house because the walls are paper thin and we can't afford our own place.

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  • Millenials on average are having less sex. What is shown is that some men and most women are actually have MORE sex than ever before. But the ones who aren't having sex are really driving down the average.

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  • Yeah yeah I'm totally with you on "smart phones are bad," and all that, but... "Our younger generation doesn't seem to have a lot of sex. "

    How do you actually know that? Is there a study you read that led you to conclude that or something?

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  • Because we don't wanna get falsely accused of rape.

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  • New generation have move and better education about sex and become more careful. And this era life a lot harder then the older era.

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  • I wouldn't be surprised if some or any of this is true. With that in mind, I think the key is whether or not a person (regardless of generation) is willing and able to break the social norm and do what's necessary in life - whether it's to put the smartphone down and actually talk to people or to confront conflict and solve it. Yes, parents haven't seem to have done a good enough job with their kids the last several years. But the kids themselves need to take some accountability, as they have ignored and rebelled against their parents. There's many different factors as to why one person (or era of people) have sex less often. Each person must assess their personal life honestly and conclude on their own, if it's even necessary to assess. Not everyone wants to or should get married and have kids. We must stop pressuring ALL of our young people into our own agenda. Agendas aren't always good.

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  • They take things too seriously. You simply need to insert penis into vagina.

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  • Would it help if they simplified the number of genders?

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  • When I saw the headline question, I was just thinking- "probably too busy looking at their iPhones. "

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  • Porn man, that damn porn. That shit needs to be banned

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  • women are cock blocking like they are Heimdall from Asgard.

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  • The only reason is feminism. Women should not try to find different shits. Feminism, femdom and findom. Those things are the reasons men started to lost respect for women. Men became mgtow.
    İf women love men, men will love women. İf omen hate them, men will not love women. Feminism is a movement of hate, discrimination and sexism against men. No one should say to me bullshit like "this is not real feminism, look at the dictionary meaning" and sort of nonsense things. It makes men more angry and men lost respect for women more and more. Just try to understand men, love men, respect men, support men's rights. Every women should be meninist to achieve equality and supporting men's rights.

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  • Very interesting point on conflict avoidance and the impact of smartphones.

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  • I think the real reason why we aren't having as much sex is because we are well aware of all the consequences that sex could bring in our lives

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  • Maybe because people don't meet up in person anymore.

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