Our attitudes to sex might change over time. For a lot of young people, it is something that they are happy to talk about, but actually enjoying the act is another matter entirely. It seems that millennials might be spending more time talking the talk and not walking the walk.
A survey has suggested that there is a reason millennials aren’t as sexually active as previous generations have been. The reason? That they are scared of intimacy. How did they come to this conclusion, and what does it mean?
The Next Steps Project
The Next Steps Project, better known as the Next Steps Liaison Project, aims to help put youths on a positive path following detainment. As a result of this, they want to know more about the young people of today, finding out exactly how they feel about certain issues.
Together with researchers from the Department for Education and University College London, they have tracked 16,000 people born between 1989 and 1990 since they were around fourteen years old. They would regularly interview them in order to uncover more about their lives.
Doing these kind of interviews over such a long term is great, as the researchers could then see the changing attitudes of the interviewees. They might uncover that their attitudes change as a result of their experiences, or that their situations have altered over time.
Not having sex
The researchers interviewed the participants back in 2016, when many of them would have been around 26 years old. During this interview, one of the big questions that came up was sex. They wanted to know just how many of the millennials have had sex.
The results were pretty surprising. It seems that one in eight had never had sex, according to the answers that they have given. What is interesting about this is that previous generations tend to have around one in twenty as virgins at a similar age.
This might not even be an accurate figure. There is every chance that the figure is higher, as a number of participants did not want to answer any questions relating to their sex lives. Either way, the estimated figures show a huge difference in generations. Why is that?
Why millennials stay sex-free
As you can imagine, there are a number of different theories as to why millennials aren’t having sex at this age. Psychoanalytic psychotherapist Susanna Abse spoke to the Sunday Times about it, stating that “millennials have been brought up in a culture of hypersexuality which has bred a fear of intimacy”.
Abse goes on to stating that we have unrealistic expectations of sex, thanks to the society we live in. Expectations of bodies play a huge part, as she states that “the women are always up for it with beautiful hard bodies and the men have permanent erections. That is daunting to young people”. These are standards that they are worried they might never meet.
Sex also seems a lot riskier, considering the amount of leaked nudes, revenge porn, and uncertainty when it comes to consent. Remember the badly thought of consent app? All of these factors are making people take sex seriously.
Waiting is now the norm
I remember back when I was in my late-teens, still a virgin. Almost all of my peers had been sexually active for some time, and so I felt out of place. Even though I was nineteen when I finally lost my virginity, I still felt out of place. Now it seems that waiting to have sex is the new norm.
But is the reason millennials are waiting to have sex really because they are scared of intimacy? What if it is simply because they take sex seriously and want to ensure that they get it right? Is that such a bad thing?
I am really curious to get your thoughts on this. Are you a millennial who has waited to have sex, or do you believe that this idea of being “scared of intimacy” is a load of crap? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment in the box below.