According to everything we believe to be true, sex should be at an all time high. Ever since the sexual revolution of the 70s, sex has slowly morphed from something that never got a lot of limelight into something that is normal for most people to talk about and discuss. Overall, society has become much less ‘prudish’ by most definitions. So why are people having less sex now than in the 1950’s?
A recent article written by Kate Julian goes into great detail about modern sexual trends. Surprisingly, even with the advantage of the internet and society being more connected than ever, people are making less connections and are more shut in than previous generations. People don’t only have sex less, they also date less, and get married less. There has been a steady decline of relationships in general in the U.S. While this may carry some benefits, such as teen pregnancy being at an all time low, what is the cause of this?
Most experts agree that the largest cause of this issue is that young people have stopped having partners. Even with the decline of marriage, the rates of cohabitation have not substantially increased. But this does not particularly strike at the root of the issue. The “why” behind the “what” is not really addressed. So what is the issue?
Sex is free and readily available
With the rise of the internet, porn and other sexual services are available to most people with just a few clicks. Americans are masturbating a lot more. Many studies cite masturbation as being dangerously addictive and having many negative side effects. This can be seen most prominently in Japan, where a culture of porn has created a problem. Men don’t pursue women. It is easier to not be in a relationship, and because stimulation is so readily available to them, they don’t have much to lose.
Because this porn epidemic has desensitized people to sex, it stops being special. It becomes more of a base need fulfillment rather than something people enjoy. Porn also teaches bad sexual habits. “There’s reason to think that porn may be contributing to some particularly unpleasant early sexual experiences. Studies show that, in the absence of high-quality sex education, teen boys look to porn for help understanding sex”. This only works to create false assumptions and turn everyone off to the idea of sex.
We’re being told relationships aren’t important
We have created a trend in this culture. Young people are being told to wait until we’re established to start dating. And it’s working. Serious relationships have declined substantially in recent years. Studies show that only 50% of women in their 20s are dating, and that number decreases as time goes on. Young people are dating less, and this can mostly be attributed to parents telling them to focus on their school instead of going on dates.
““There’s immense pressure” from parents and other authority figures “to focus on the self, at the expense of relationships”—pressure… that extends right on through college”. This issue not only heavily increases the chance that a child does not find a relationship at all, but actually promotes and encourages hook ups over substantive relationships. This shift has made young people think of “hooking up” as the more responsible thing to do. Not only is falling in love not sought after in young adulthood, it is actively avoided. This is creating more single people than ever.
All of this creates the issue of intimacy
If people have been conditioned to believe that relationships aren’t as important as their work and they can satisfy themselves easily with the internet, we lose intimacy with one another. More and more people are becoming antisocial shut-ins and are being encouraged to do so. Because sex has become something so easy to have, we actually end up losing it all together. Not to mention the relationships, partners, and happiness we lose as well.
I would never encourage anyone to have sex outside of marriage, I think doing so has actually helped cause this issue, not fix it. But I do think people should get married. People should be pursuing relationships and settling down. Society is healthier when we do. We should be asking people out on dates and trying to find our future husbands and wives. We’re better off for it.
So go ask someone out.