Break.com Breakdown: Why Aren't Millennials Having Sex?

Break.com Breakdown: Why Aren't Millennials Having Sex?

It's been well known news for some time now that Millennials just aren't that into sex compared to earlier generations.  A study of 27000 people for the Archives of Sexual Behavior revealed that Millennials are having less sex, with less sexual partners, than any generation born after WWII. Not just right now, but compared to what Baby Boomers or Gen Xers like myself were doing back when we were their age.  Not only that, but 2.5 times more Millennials are choosing to have no sex at all, compared to Gen Xers when we were their age.

More recent news suggests it's only getting worse. And it's a problem throughout the industrialized world. Nowhere worse than Japan, where almost none of their Millennials are having sex at all, and where recently people have started to just get into non-sexual 'marriages' with their friends, because dating is just too horrifying.

The Japanese have a term for younger men who seem to have lost all will, ability, or interest in sex; they call them "Herbivore Men".  That's pretty clever, though around here, we just call them "Millennials". 

But WHY has this happened? What are the reasons for this catastrophic, potentially apocalyptic decline in sexual interest, completely contrary to normal biological imperatives? What's causing it?

Let's "Breakdown" the possible reasons:

FIRST: What It's Not About

Is it Because of Conservatism?

Conservatives have, for most of living memory, been pretty anti-sex.  Maybe millennials feel intimidated by evil Republicans who are scaring them into not having sex?

I don't think that's too likely. For starters, you can call President-Elect Donald Trump a lot of things, but "prude" is definitely not one of them.  The new Right-wing, almost everywhere in the western world, is young and also fairly non-judgmental about sexual issues. Young conservatives have even become a lot more tolerant of LGBT sexuality.  The new Conservative Youth, except the religious ones, tend to be libertine.

And the religious Millennials? Well, they're some of the ones getting the most sex, albeit within the 'sanctity of marriage'.

Anyways, most Millennials aren't conservative politically.  Could it be they're just really prudish sexually-speaking? It doesn't seem that clear cut either. For a start, most Millennials say they're very favorable and open to all kinds of sex (straight, gay, kinky, etc) IN THEORY. Sort of like how they're 'opposed to corporate culture' in theory.

They just don't do anything about it. It's not that they're 'holding out for marriage' either; those Millennials that are having sex are having more one-time hookups and way less long-term relationships than other generations.  Though even then, those have way less sexual partners in their 20s than the average Baby Boomer did (only about 8 compared to the hippie Boomers' 12). 

OK, so Could it Have Been bad Sex-Ed?

Nope. Millennials are the most super sex-educated generation in... well, maybe since the dawn of time. Before their balls dropped or they got their first visit from Aunt Flo, little Millennials had already gotten a level of detail about sex from their schools that would probably have been thought of as a criminal act a century ago; to say nothing of the fact that they'd seen a ton of porn on the internet.

Sure, there's a few places in the US bible belt (and nowhere else in the equally sex-starved western world) that teach "Abstinence Only" Education. But you've probably guessed by now that places where kids are taught abstinence-only actually have more Millennial sex than places that didn't, and more early pregnancies. But even in those areas, the number of pregnancies is declining; not because of the sex-ed, but just because of the Millennials, even the redneck ones.

Is it Because the Economy is So Bad?

Millennials are famous for two things: complaining about how poor and in debt they are, and having mommy and daddy pay for everything. More Millennials continue living at home longer than any other generation. And living in your parents' basement when you're 28 might seem like a possible cause for getting less sex.

But there's a few things that work against this theory. First, most Millennials don't expect other Millennials to be living independently. This is just normal to them. They get their parents to come to their freaking job interviews, for Christ's sake!

Second, there's always been poor people, and poor people have often had way more sex than people busy with careers.

Third: rates of sexual activity haven't just declined in North America, where people used to be expected to move out on their own by no later than their early 20s. It's also declined all over Europe, parts of Asia and Latin America, which are areas where cultural tradition made it totally normal to live with your parents right up to your 30s. In some of those places, it was even cultural tradition to be poor as shit.

Well, Then is it Because the Economy is so Good?

This is a $65 rock, with a half-container made of hand-stitched leather. A rock. You can't currently pay $65 to buy this rock, because it's sold out.

For people who complain constantly about how hard their economic lives are, Millennials are famous for spending insane amounts of money on stupid crap. Like rocks with hand-stitched pouches. Or super-expensive half-rotted organic vegetables. Or vegan cat food. Or four $10 lattes per day. Or a new $400 phone every 8 months.  Sure, a lot of them are buying all those things with Other People's Money (most often mom and dad's, but sometimes food stamps)! But clearly "I can't afford to go on dates" is not really the reason why Millennials aren't having sex. 

Could it be Existential Fear?

Millennials sure are afraid of a lot of things. There's a lot of things they could theoretically be justified in being afraid about (9/11, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, the decline of our civilization, dirty bombs, robots taking all our jobs).  There's also a lot of stuff they're clearly afraid of which aren't any of the above; these are a generation that collectively wet their pants whenever someone they moderately disagree with comes to talk at their local college. They get triggered by Halloween costumes, and rush off to their safe spaces when they see someone has written the word "Trump" with colored chalk on their campus!

But please, for f*ck's sake! The Gen-Xers had freaking AIDS to deal with, back when it killed you in 3 years and not 20. We even made an unbelievably godawful musical about it. But we still screwed. We had higher crime rates then, and we still did it. We had the Oklahoma City bombing and the first WTC attack and Waco, and we still did it. Half of us thought the world was going to end in the year 2000 because reasons, and the reaction to that is just to f*ck more. You know... "like there's no tomorrow"?

Hell, the Baby Boomers had the freaking Cuban Missile Crisis and lived every day of their 20s, 30s and 40s under the constant threat of total nuclear annihilation, and they still screwed even more than the Gen-Xers did.

So no, we can't blame ISIS for this one. 

SECOND: The "Maybe a Tiny Bit But Mostly No" Causes

Is it Because of Porn?

The prevalence of internet porn has sometimes been pointed to as a possible cause. But this really doesn't hold up to me.  Obviously, the ease of getting porn online has made the life of the porn-consumer more convenient, but it was never actually all that hard to get porn in the old days, if you were over 21, which is what who we're talking about here. And while pornography-viewing has been found to alter the type of sexual activities people like to engage in, no serious study (that is, not funded by Mormons or anti-sex Feminists) has ever found that it led to a decrease in real sexual activity, and at least some have found that men who watch pornography tend on the whole to also engage in MORE real-life sex, all other factors being equal.

In other words, as much as some social conservatives might wish it wasn't so, the only people who are using porn and not having sex are people who wouldn't have gotten to have normal sex in the first place.  It might be that porn reduces the likelihood these people will pay for prostitution services, and choose to move toward other kind of online-sex interaction like the hugely growing xxx-webcam business today.    But anyone who could have a chance to have real non-paid-for sex isn't missing that chance on Porn's account.

Why do people think otherwise? Well, first, because it's the kind of argument that at first glance sounds right: it plays to prejudices and lies we tell ourselves about porn. It feels counter-intuitive because of all the old puritan biases we still have about porn being some icky thing only icky people do and not something that almost everyone does.  Second, it's because the Social Conservatives (religious types, mostly) and the Feminists have teamed up on this. They both hate (most) sex, hate free love, hate sex workers, and hate the idea of a society where they don't get be all moralistic about controlling what other people do with their bodies.
Now, it still may be possible that there's a slight impact of the way we use porn now on how people interact, and in that sense, connected to our next entry, you could say that there's a very tiny impact of porn on the reduced sex rates of Millennials. Not really because of the 'sex' part of porn, but because of one thing that is a wee bit to blame:  how much of our daily activities are spent on the computer as a whole may be part of the problem.

Is it Because of Social Media?

Some Millennials, when interviewed on the subject, have suggested that dating is just too much trouble compared to virtually hanging-out on 'The Instagram' or wherever the hell Millennials go these days.  Social media tends to allow the user to really control their social interactions, instantly alter their level of commitment, and make it all about them, all of which Millennials really seem to love.

So, it MIGHT be part of the reason, that the amount of our lives now spent online, instead of in real-life face-time social events, has naturally reduced our opportunities for the real-time interactions with people that are part of how we traditionally got sexual partners.

But that really means that how 'courtship' happens is just changing.  There's less getting to know each other through awkward dating, and more getting to know each other online. The way Millennials have shifted so much of their social lives over to the internet may be part of the answer, but it's certainly not a smoking gun. And this is one of the symptoms of the no-sex problem that will probably get better over time as our whole society becomes more adjusted to an online society. 

Third: The Real Causes

Could it be The Environment?

Millennials love blaming Climate Change on all kinds of crazy things, like their pets being depressed, or Islamist Terrorism.  But could there be something about the Environment that is making Millennials have less sex?

Well, some studies seem to indicate that Millennial men have on average 17% less testosterone than Baby Boomers did.  There has also been a significant reduction in sperm counts; the average Millennial today has about HALF the sperm count of what our WWII-era forefathers did.  We can't totally pin down the causes yet, but among the most likely suspects are the effects of plastics on our body, fertilizers and other modern chemicals on our food, the changes in our diet in general, obesity, or stress.  There's even some people that think it may be some kind of inherent biological trigger in response to large populations. But the most likely to me is the overuse of hormones  in our food and chemicals/plastics in our water.  Women's physiology is also affected; we know from birth control side-effects that the heightened estrogen makes women less interested in sex (ironically), so long-term exposure to the same chemicals lowering male sperm counts may also be making Millennial women less interested in finding sexual partners even when they're not on the pill.

This can definitely be part of the problem. 17% is not a small difference, it could make a lot of difference in terms of the sexual assertiveness of men. It's not a joke, Millennial men are LITERALLY more feminized than 20-year olds in 1945. And contrary to what Feminist propaganda claims, that's not a good way to get some.

It isn't enough by itself to be the only reason, however. It may be an underlying cause, but there's also a variety of cultural factors that have played a major part. 

What About Feminism?

Millennials have grown up their entire lives being taught by 3rd-wave-Feminist education systems that all men are potential rapists and should feel ashamed for their gender, that family and relationships are patriarchal exploitation, and that women who actually like men to be masculine are traitors to the cause. So there's definitely something to this one.

When colleges routinely push the notion that vocal (maybe even written) consent is required for EVERY STEP of sexual activity, I'm not sure we should be surprised that way less millennials are having sex. 

(Yeah, that's real arousing right there, when your foreplay is paperwork)

If every college girl has been terrified by feminists of being raped, and every guy is terrified of feminists falsely accusing him of rape, you might figure feminism has something to do with the Millennials' huge sex deficit. 

Now it's true, Feminism has been around for a long long time. But it shifted from being largely sex-positive in the 60s, to becoming increasingly hostile to sex, starting with straight sex and then sex in general, in the 80s, 90s, and the last 16 years.  People like Andrea Dworkin were pushing stuff like "all heterosexual sex is rape" since way before Millennials were born, it's true...

But this only gradually came to win influence. In the early 1990s, feminists attempted to push this nonsense on the Gen Xers, the particular "step by step active consent" code where saying "wanna screw?/Yeah" and then not stopping unless one person said to stop, would somehow be considered RAPE, because you need to stop and ask "do I have your consent" for every single kiss, touch, movement, or position, or you're an evil patriarchal rapist. You know what we Gen-Xers did about it? We f*cking laughed at them. We mocked them in articles, on the news, we even made a couple of stupid comedies about it.  We laughed them right into oblivion. 

Or so we thought. But as the brilliant Christina Hoff-Summers pointed out, "3rd wave feminism lost the Political Correctness war, but won all the faculty chairs". They never really left, and just laid low and slowly took over the whole education system until the dumbass Millennials came along.  While Gen Xers were still raised largely as latch-key kids with very little supervision, the mollycoddled Millenials spent their entire childhoods going from one supervised-playgroup and soccer-club to the next. And they decided that since those Feminists were pretending to be "authorities" they had to be obeyed in the same way these prissy little conformists have obeyed every other authority they've ever had constantly supervising them in their lives and telling them what to think, because they've never known even the tiniest taste of freedom to do otherwise.

So certainly, the prevalence of Feminism on Millennial culture has had an effect on how willing Millennials are to even bother having sex. How could it not?

But it too is not the final answer. Yes, I want to be perfectly clear that 3rd Wave Intersectional Feminism is worse than cancer (or in this case, worse than sperm-reducing hormones). But it couldn't have gotten to the position of absolute dominion it has if it wasn't for the Millennials themselves. 

(Adam Driver is apparently a "millennial sex symbol", which explains a lot right there) 

Maybe Millennials are just F*cking  P*ssies?

This is ultimately the final answer.  There are lots of contributing factors, but without this, the rest wouldn't matter.

And I say 'p*ssies' in the same sense as the venerable Jay-Z did, not in the sense of some kind of biological effeminacy but as in "having no goddamn sense".  Though in the case of Millennial men, they also literally have biological effeminacy.

This is not just 'damn kids' rant about how much Millennials suck. I want to be very clear about this. What I'm talking about here is the fact of Generational History.  They, as a generation, their zeitgeist, is just seriously messed up.  

Generations as a whole develop guiding factors in their lives as a historical period, and this is not the first time that one generation has shown LESS willingness to engage in sexuality than previous ones. In Ancient Rome, the emperor Augustus had to pass laws forcing Romans to have more children, because they just weren't into it. The Victorians are famous for being huge prudes, but we forget that they were the product of three generations of being successively less into sexual freedom. Before that, you had the Regency, and everyone was doing the wild thing with everyone.  The 1920s was more about free-love than the 30s, 40s or 50s would be.

In terms of recent generations, historians, anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists have tried to summarize the core values of each, what they are largely defined by. For the Baby Boomers, this is 'Meaning'; which explained a lot of the great and a lot of the terrible things they did. For the Gen Xers, it was 'Freedom', to be able to do their own goddamn thing and get out from under what they were expected to do, to define themselves as Individuals. For the Millennials, they are the generation of 'feelings'. Having been taught by their parents that they never have to nor should feel bad, they have been willing to accept all kinds of loss of freedoms (which is why we Gen Xers despise them so very very much), or even of dignity, in exchange for their feelings being protected. That includes things like embracing feminism and throwing away values that have defined our Western Civilization for hundreds of years, like free speech.

They're in a prolonged state of permanent infancy. They don't want some great sense of purpose, they already got the participation trophies for everything they've ever done. They don't want freedom, because they've been told their whole lives that's dangerous and they need supervision. So they want to be taken care of by people all too happy to keep them infantilized: helicopter parents, College Feminists, Collectivist political ideologies, Big Government. And not only are they incapable in their feelings-centric narcissism to risk having sex, how will they ever have kids?  Millennials are so far showing signs of having way way less kids than earlier generations, which could soon lead to the entire Western world looking like Japan in terms of birth rates. But how could they have kids? They're the kids! Forever, apparently.

So there is something just inherently wrong with them, that can be blamed on no single factor but should collectively be blamed right at them as a group.  The proof of this is how there are a few (very rare) Millennials who break the mold and prove to actually seem like semi-competent human beings. These are the ones who don't define themselves by the need to be constantly praised and never have their feelings hurt.

But for most, their existence is about organic soy, men's makeup, artisanal beard wax, the worst dumbass bikes ever, safe spaces, awful music, never working a day in their lives but expecting to be celebrities, and more. No wonder they aren't getting any: no one from any other generation can stand them, and they are horrified even by themselves.  The Millennial consciously choosing not to bother with intercourse is a kind of biological reaction after all; it's their subconscious realizing that they're so goddamn awful that if they try to pursue dangerous things like sex or relationships, their feelings will just get hurt. They know by instinct they neither deserve the chance to reproduce nor will ever find love, so why bother even trying? They're HAPPY to be "Herbivore Men", because it protects their precious snowflake feelings.

Even so, it's kind of a pity, because I think that if more Millennials were f*cking, that might just be the cure for what ails them. A good rutting can clear up an awful lot of psychic garbage, and these goddamn kids have that in spades.  If we could somehow capture them in the wild, take them to some facility and force them to mate with each other, they might just be f*cked right out of being so freaking annoyingly full of themselves, develop the backbones that have until now been latent, drop off the special-snowflake appendages, be able to exist outside of safe spaces, and generally evolve into actual people.

Someone should alert the World Wildlife Fund.