| Lifestyle, Psychology, Sex,

Why the world stopped having sex

Beatrice Lessi

I had a little shock, when I read this title on the Telegraph. Being a British newspaper, I suspected the article might have been written regarding England. But no, the report starts with nothing else than Paris, the City of Love, and the state of sex in France.

A poll by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) found that 24% of French adults between 18 and 69 said they had no sex in the preceding 12 months.

What is more alarming, is that this result mirrors those of other Western countries. Let’s go to Britain. The number of British teenagers having the first sexual experience by the age of 15 has declined by up to a third in the past decade.

Outside Europe, the least sexually active seem to be Japanese. A recent survey out this month found that more than 68% of marriages include no sex whatsoever.

Americans seem to also be part of this trend (not sexless marriages, but overall  diminishing sexual activity), according to data based on The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behaviour (NSSHB).

Births rates are also going down in most rich countries.

I could go on, and all studies are quoted in the above mentioned article. The world is, indeed, having less sex.

What intrigues me is why. Think about it. Why could that be?

The Telegraph does give some explanations, and they all make sense to me. Here are the main ones:

  • What one generation does intensely, the next one does less
  • Exhaustion
  • Women’s liberation from the social pressure of being sexually active
  • Women being more able to say “no”
  • Minorities that decide not to have sex (Muslims before marriage, asexual people, for example)
  • Self-pleasure being more accepted
  • Sex toys more accessible and democratic
  • More alternative things to do (reading, watching Netflix, social media scrolling, etcetera)
  • Technology (screens, porn and apps don’t really help sexual intercourse)
  • Stress about the state of the world. Wars, eco-anxiety, news
  • The idea that a functional love relationship needs to include sex is over

Reading all this made me think that such a phenomenon is not necessarily bad, and not necessarily here to stay. My personal opinion is that all of this can actually be ok, provided people are happy about it, which for sure isn’t always the case. Sex is part of well being, but also saying no, or having alternatives can be a very healthy thing to do.

So what’s your overall sensation about this, positive or negative? A mix of them?

I am going to ask around and discuss the subject, which I find it extremely interesting. And being a real optimistic, I remain convinced that the world, long term, is improving and becoming a better place to be.

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