Americans Are Having Way Less Sex Than They Did 20 Years Ago

Despite countervailing evidence, we might not have the most sexualized culture in the world -- hifalutin lube dispensers and Fitbit condoms be damned. Even with the scourge of hook-up apps like Tinder and Grindr and millennial stereotypes parroted by Dr. Phil and the like, a new study claims that Americans are having less sex than they did in the ‘90s.

We’ve clearly fallen off the sex wagon. The study, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, cited data collected in the General Social Survey from the late '90s to 2014. The takeaway: American adults had sex nine-fewer times in 2014 than they did in the late '90s.

While your imagination is probably running wild with various reasons for this dearth of humping, let’s cut right to chase and let the research speak for itself: “The results suggest that Americans are having sex less frequently due to two primary factors: An increasing number of individuals without a steady or marital partner and a decline in sexual frequency among those with partners.”

Historically, married people have more sex than single people. But married and cohabiting couples only had sex 56 times in 2014 -- a marked decrease from an average of 67 times in 1989, per the New York Times. Meanwhile sexual activity among un-partnered people has been relatively static, but still low when compared with couples. 

And yes, ubiquitous handheld devices that draw your attention away from potential sex do play a part in this. Social media can totally distract you from sex, researchers note, as the study specifically cites Facebook and Netflix as potential reasons that Americans aren’t getting laid as much. In other words, there’s too much stimuli these days to be sexually stimulated.

Anyway, if other research on the topic is to be trusted, this news shouldn’t be that disheartening. Why? You only need a small amount of fulfilling sex to be happy.

[h/t New York Times]

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.