So, You’re Not Having Sex?

A lot is being made in the media of how Americans having sex is dwindling. At first, I couldn’t make out really what was happening, and just wrote this off to a media spectacle, but the share of US adults reporting that they have not had sex in the last year has reached an all-time high in 2018. I found this article to be interesting.

Although lack of sex is attributed to the baby boomers and aging, researchers were also looking at the lack of sex driven by younger people. Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, said that the sexlessness attributed to millennials is related to the fact that they partner up later in life. She says the people in their 20s who don’t have a live-in partner will have less sex.

Why Less Sex?

What I found interesting was that since 2008, the share of young men under 30 reporting no sex had tripled.

One of the reasons attributed to this is for lack of workforce participation. After the last recession, men, and particularly young man, have fallen out of the job force, and researchers see the connection between that and lack of stable relationships.

The heavy use of digital technology, such as social media, and especially online porn, are also two other reasons.

I think there’s a perfect storm happening, in that a lot of men, especially young men, lack the skills and abilities to have a successful relationship, or even know how to date. They get a lot of their messages from porn or from other friends using porn, so that’s what they think it’s like to have sex, which is it not. Real sex is different from porn sex, but the line between the two blurs with increased use. A lot of men think that they need to act like porn stars to satisfy their partner, who is often not satisfied in this way because they might be lacking the emotional connection needed for women.

Sexual Energy: For Porn or For Real Sex

Another idea is that we only have so much sexual energy, and if guys are using this for masturbation and porn, that energy is not going towards the real sexual relationships in one’s life. When I talk with guys in therapy, they tend to get some or all of their sexual release from either porn, or masturbation, or both, so there’s not as much left at the end of the day to have a sexual encounter with their partner. What happens is that we end up having less real sex.

A lot of guys also have intimacy issues that have to do with emotional intimacy difficulties, which can often translate into sexual difficulties in the bedroom. Identifying those emotional intimacy issues and working on them can also lead to a more fulfilling sex life, which is something that guys often underestimate in its ability to produce a fulfilling sex life.

Feelings can also be repressed, and if you’re storing negative feelings towards your partner, without acknowledging them and communicating them, you’re setting yourself up to withdraw from your partner and break the connection and bond that you share. Dealing with those feelings might “reset” you and help you plug back in to the relationship, and to sex.

Working through sexual blocks is nothing to be ashamed about, because everyone has them. Sex brings up a lot of our unconscious stuff, so if you want a more fulfilling relationship, it’s worth working on those things, rather than retreating and hiding in porn or masturbation.

If you can work through some of those blocks, you would be able to have a more for filling sex life. A lot of times, we have had negative sexual experiences growing up, and haven’t been taught much about sex, because our caregivers or parents never had “the conversation” with us, and didn’t give men what they needed to thrive sexually. Also, awkward sexual experiences can leave imprints on us in adult life, which negatively affect one’s ability to have a healthy sexual life.

There are a lot of factors involved in a sex life that has diminished. Looking at the wide variety of factors, if you want a healthy, mutually enhancing sex life, is important, because what you don’t know could be hindering your success.

About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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