If you think your sex life isn’t what it once was, you’re not alone. People in the U.S. are having less of it today than they did generations ago, and a new study suggests that marriage may be part of the problem.
Married people typically had sex 73 times a year in 1990, researchers report in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. But by 2014 married couples were having sex just 55 times a year, trailing single people who did it 59 times a year.
“Some of this is due to age – people get married later now, but even when we take age into account, the marriage advantage in sexual frequency is smaller than it once was.”
As a rule, unpartnered people used to have less sex, on average, compared to those who were married or living together, or having kids, and people are also having less today.
For unmarried people, sexual frequency increased from 1989 to 2002, perhaps because of loosening norms about premarital relations, Twenge added by email. But then, around 2008, their sexual frequency started to slide and both married and unmarried people started doing it less often.
That might be because smartphones premiered in 2007, Netflix streaming video in 2007 and YouTube in 2006, Twenge said.
Our entertainment is more entertaining, and more on-demand than it once was. There are a lot more things to do at 10 p.m. at home than there used to be.
To examine shifts in national intercourse habits, researchers looked at survey data.
Among other things, participants answered questions about how often they made love in the past 12 months, and demographics like their education level and marital status.
The study also doesn’t prove that more sex necessarily makes people happier
As recently as 2002, the average American adult had sex about 64 times a year, but by 2014 that declined to 53 times a year. The decrease in sexual frequency was largest among those with a college degree, people in the South and married or divorced individuals.
It is clear that couples are happier, in general, than singles, especially for middle agers, for many reasons, among them is interpersonal complicity and sexuality so as long as inter personal sexuality is concerned, quality, much more than quantity is important.
“As the gap is widening between rich and poor and the middle class is disappearing, more people have to spend more time working, sometimes even two or three jobs, just to stay afloat. That doesn’t leave much time or energy for sex!”
Worldwide, fewer people are getting married and having kids, and people are also having less sex, said David, author of The Myth of Sex Addiction.
The trends in this study aren’t unique to the U.S. Ley, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. Are they a reason to be concerned? Who knows?
While it is well documented that females and males of many species can communicate through chemical signals called pheromones, there has remained some question as to whether humans can communicate this way as well.
Pheromones are airborne chemical messengers released from the body (through, for example, sweat and urine) that have a physical or emotional effect on another member of the same species.
Most animals smell or sense pheromones through a specialized half-moon shaped structure located inside the nose called the vomeronasal organ. Pheromone signals picked up by the organ are then relayed through nerves to an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, which is well known for its ability to alter emotions, hormones, reproduction and sexual behavior.
Ordinary, non-pheromone smells such as the scents of food or flowers are recognized by a different part of the nose called the olfactory epithelium.
The strongest evidence for pheromone signaling between humans had been revealed by Dr. Martha McKlintock, who discovered in 1998 that the menstrual cycles of women living together tend to synchronize because of the chemical messages released in their sweat.
The latest study, which appears in this week’s issue of the journal Neuron, used PET (positron emission tomography) scanning techniques to analyze the brains of 24 men and women while they smelled chemicals almost identical to the naturally produced sex hormones estrogen and testosterone.
Dr. David Berliner, an expert in the field of chemical signaling and CEO of Pherin Pharmaceuticals, which produces synthetic pheromones, says these findings corroborate that human pheromones do exist, and that women can communicate chemically with men and vice versa. This is a very important finding because it shows specific areas of the brain that are activated by these chemicals.
They also found the brains of men and women respond very differently to the hormones. Women’s hypothalami are activated when they smell the chemical similar to testosterone but not to the estrogen-like substance, whereas men’s hypothalami have the opposite response:
They are turned on only by the estrogen-like chemical and not the testosterone-like one. There is also sexual disparity between the specific sub-regions of hypothalamus that are activated.