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Sexless Millennials: An Inconvenient Yet Unsurprising Truth

10/08/2016 15:49

Last week, new research revealed that millennials are having less sex than previous generations. The study, conducted in the US, is causing a global stir as 18-34 year olds console one another through this dry spell.

As digital media usage continues to soar, we are tapping away on our phones more than ever before and consequently spending far less time indulging in actual human-to-human interaction. As James Corden put it in his US talk show 'you're telling me that the kids running around playing Pokemon Go and binging on Netflix aren't getting laid?' With one night stands just a swipe away, perhaps it is a 'less sexy time than it used to be'.

Social media has revolutionised the ways in which we interact with one another, particularly on an intimate level. More and more of us are resorting to dating apps and sites to meet partners, yet reports claim that a third of users have never actually gone on a date with someone they met online and 87% of Tinder relationships end after just one month.

Clearly, something is wrong. Are we skeptics? Romantics? Prudes?

The thing is, when baby boomers were within the millennial age bracket it was a radically different time. For many of them, it was the 1970's; the era of liberation where #tbt was a mere riddle and the port of call was sex, drugs & rock n' roll - instead, we have Tinder, belfies and #avocadotoast.

We're even going to nightclubs less, so much some of Britain's longest standing nightclubs have been forced to close down. One millennial confessed to The Guardian in March that her and her friends would rather 'chill in and relax' than hit the d floor.

Are we super chilled? Lazy? Dull as sh*t?

All this, Glamour indicates, comes on top of a plethora of self-doubt regarding the state of our careers and lack of financial security.

This less than optimistic state of mind is what psychologists have termed a quarter-life crisis. Excellent.

So that's less sex, less socialising and more anxiety. We're pubescent plants.

How did this happen?

In 2016, sex is glamourised on a multitude of platforms like never before. From saucy scenes in films to scantily-clad celebrities on magazine covers to Kendal Jenner's nipples - it's all around us. Seeing a naked body on screen used to be taboo, now they call it Game of Thrones.

Of course, sex sells - it would be foolish to argue otherwise. However, as new digital platforms continue to pop up like Starbucks', sexualised content becomes more accessible and more prevalent. The concept of sex has been overexposed. For some, perhaps it has lost its sentiment, as Sam Wei, 26, told The Washington Post last week 'there isn't really anything magical about it' anymore. In fear of sounding like a Robbie Williams single: is romance dead?

Not only are seeing an omnipresence of sex itself, but of perfect sex. Romantic comedies, Victoria's Secret models, Tom Hiddleston's bottom...

This heightens insecurities surrounding sex as our perceptions become jaded by the media; we inevitably compare ourselves to the lithe bodies, alluring soundtracks and highly produced love scenes that are a part of our culture.

For dating app users, these insecurities are amplified by the anticipation of rejection. Not surprising then that the Daily Mail recently reported that the majority of male Tinder users suffer from low self-esteem.

Could idealised and unrealistic expectations be discouraging our poor asexual millennials?

Perhaps we are to blame. Nicknamed 'Generation Me' in Dr Jean Twenge's recently republished book, who accuses millennials of being disengaged, narcissistic and distrustful unlike their predeceasing baby boomers.

Us? [takes selfie] Vain? [rejigs lighting] No...[Valencia filter - nailed it].

Social media has undoubtedly made us more aware of what we look like and more importantly, how we present ourselves aesthetically.

Instagram allows us to highly curate our lives while Snapchat actually encourages us to take prettier pictures of ourselves by introducing image-enhancing filters.

Could it be that we are less interested in sex because we are more interested in ourselves?

It's an interesting question...one I'll think about more once I've taken a pic with this new filter that makes my lips look fab.

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