This column is a reader submission from johnsnowfosho. To learn how to make a submission, click here.
This is not a drill people! I repeat, not a drill! No no, it’s not nuclear war. This is something much worse. Far worse than the 2008 economic recession, it has come to my attention that we as Americans are in a Sex Recession. That is right, you read that correctly, we have recessed our putting the P in the V. So call your local congressman, a lady of the night, fire a text off to an Ex. Let’s put our egos and standards aside to get this nation back on track. Who’s with me!?
Why are we in a Sex Recession, you might ask? I mean who doesn’t like sex? Everyone knows sex sells. Well, according to data collected by the General Social Survey, the average adult had intercourse 52 times a year in 2014, 12 intercourses less than the average adult during the 90’s. Anecdotally, 52 times a year would be a new PR for me, but from a population’s perspective, sex as we know it is vanishing.
In her recent article published in The Atlantic, Kate Julian covers several contributing modern day factors as to why the kids aren’t getting their freak on. Lets break down some deets that’ll help you get ready to freak… a leak. Annnddd explain my own personal Sex Recession.
About 60 percent of adults under age 35 now live without a spouse or a partner. One in three adults in this age range live with their parents, making that the most common living arrangement for the cohort. People who live with a romantic partner tend to have sex more than those who don’t—and living with your parents is obviously bad for your sex life.
There are some gentleman, and maybe even some ladies, out there who’d rather stay at Mom and Dad’s playing Red Dead Redemption and Fortnight. I’ve never played these games, but perhaps they’re better than sex? You’d think at some point you’d get hungry or even horny and head outside. Then again, sex requires effort. Why seek something from someone that I can do myself…
Too Much Chicken Choking
From 1992 to 2014, the share of American men who reported masturbating in a given week doubled, to 54 percent, and the share of women more than tripled, to 26 percent. Easy access to porn is part of the story, of course; The vibrator figures in, too—a major study 10 years ago found that just over half of adult women had used one, and by all indications it has only grown in popularity.
According to Kate’s “research,” there are nearly 10,000 vibrating options on Amazon and when porn is but a few clicks away on our smartphones, it’s no wonder masturbation has spiked and sex has declined. I may not know a lot of things, but I know my way around me. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and most importantly, stress-free.
Netflix and No Sex
Even people in relationships told me that their digital life seemed to be vying with their sex life. “We’d probably have a lot more sex,” one woman noted, “if we didn’t get home and turn on the TV and start scrolling through our phones.”
That’s it. I’m switching back to a flip phone. All I do is scroll and scroll, wasting valuable time that I could be having sex.
The Dating App Allusion
In reality, unless you are exceptionally good-looking, the thing online dating may be best at is sucking up large amounts of time. As of 2014, when Tinder last released such data, the average user logged in 11 times a day. Men spent 7.2 minutes per session and women spent 8.5 minutes, for a total of about an hour and a half a day. Yet they didn’t get much in return.
And then we get to the dating apps, the precious Tinders and Bumbles. I can’t tell you how many old, married dudes I’ve heard utter the phrase, “If I had these apps when I was single, I’d be tearing it up.” No, you wouldn’t. For average looking folks, these apps result in more self-doubt and confusion than potential mates. The catch-22 is that for a lot of us, myself included, finding someone organically isn’t feasible anymore.
No Sleep For the Sexless
Other sources of sexual inhibition speak distinctly to the way we live today. For example, sleep deprivation strongly suppresses desire—and sleep quality is imperiled by now-common practices like checking one’s phone overnight. (For women, getting an extra hour of sleep predicts a 14 percent greater likelihood of having sex the next day.)
As if there wasn’t enough motivation to sleep. Please ladies, for the love of god, get some rest!
Anxiety is No Friend to the P or V
Among the contradictions of our time is this: We live in unprecedented physical safety, and yet something about modern life, very recent modern life, has triggered in many of us autonomic responses associated with danger—anxiety, constant scanning of our surroundings, fitful sleep. Under these circumstances, survival trumps desire.
Ironically, one would imagine that sex could relieve anxiety, but yet the anxiety cripples us into celibacy. It’s time to face our fears and get naked, people!
It’s The End of The Sex As We Know It
Like economic recessions, the sex recession will probably play out in ways that are uneven and unfair. Those who have many things going for them already—looks, money, psychological resilience, strong social networks—continue to be well positioned to find love and have good sex and, if they so desire, become parents. But intimacy may grow more elusive to those who are on less steady footing.
Ominous words Kate…ominous words. Looks like this dry spell I’ve got going ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.
As a millennial, I’m happy to see that it is not my fault I’m on a dry spell. I’m merely a product of my environment. Leaving my bed is tough and socializing with people, let alone the opposite sex, is soul crushing. Modern life is headed in a bizarre direction that has us connected more than ever before, yet isolated into depression.
Here I stand before you, urging you to fight with me against the advances of technology. We were put on this planet to do one thing and that is to be freaks in the sheets. Don’t let the robots win. Let’s make it a goal that 2019 goes down as the year of Sexy Time. Let me clarify, protected consensual Sexy Time, of course. But nonetheless, let’s put the bone to the grindstone.