The millennial generation who are aged between 26 and 41 should be in their sexual prime, yet they are having less sex than any previous generation, several studies have shown. This is true for both casual sex and those in committed relationships. There are various theories as to why this might be, and of course, the pandemic restrictions didn’t help matters.
The disruption and lockdowns naturally led to fewer opportunities for casual sex, but cohabiting couples also struggled to retain their spark when they were spending 24/7 cooped up together. So is this just a temporary blip or a permanent change in behaviour, and what might be the reasons behind it?
The BBC recently pondered this question. They looked at both anecdotal evidence from social media accounts, and statistics collected from the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University in the US. A study of married adults aged between 18-45 found that 25.8% of those in the millennial age category were having problems with a loss of sex drive.
This might be because one partner loses interest in sex, and the other gives up trying to address the problem, leading to festering emotions of guilt, resentment, rejection, and low self-esteem. This in turn lowers the sex drive even further.
The BBC interviewed San Francisco-based sex therapist Celeste Hirschman. She said: “It’s become a shorter amount of time in which [couples] become sexless. [It used to] take around 10 to 15 years for couples to stop having sex with each other. Now, it’s maybe taking three to five.”
She added that she now mainly treats couples who are under the age of 46. She said: “Thirty years ago, a majority of the couples I treated for sexless marriage were 50-plus. The underlying dynamics are quite different than they were/are with older couples.”
One of the most common factors the experts cite when discussing the reasons for this is stress. There is an established link between sex and erectile dysfunction (ED) which is the medical term for the inability to get an erection or maintain one long enough for a satisfying sexual experience.
Stress and anxiety can cause ED, regardless of age. Although most men will experience the occasional erection problem, if they are under 40, it is more likely to have a psychological cause than a physical cause. Stress is a normal reaction to challenging situations, but if it becomes chronic, it can have a debilitating effect on a person’s sex life.
When the body is stressed, it releases more of the hormone cortisol, which suppresses the production of the sex hormone testosterone in men. Stress also impacts the nervous system which is responsible for generating feelings of sexual arousal.
The millennial generation in particular has faced a lot of challenges in their lifetime, with the great recession of 2008/9, rapid rates of internet-driven lifestyle changes, and the pandemic. It is perhaps no surprise that they are suffering from lower sex drives than older generations.
If you are experiencing problems with ED, you may be interested in booking a consultation with an online pharmacist, who may be able to recommend cheap sildenafil as a course of treatment.