Why Are Millennials Not Having Sex?

Alone in Marina del Rey

Here Are 5 Reasons Why Millennials Are Having Less Sex (And What You Can Do About It!)

It’s not just Millennials: The Rate for Younger Adults Who Are Not Having Sex Has Skyrocketed Over 64%.

I believe that everyone should be allowed to choose whether to have sex or not, as long as this involves two consenting adults. I am not specifically worried that people are having less sex, but rather that the reasons for this drop in sexual activity reflect a drop in human connection overall.

I am particularly concerned that our culture makes it seem more rewarding to have a healthy resume than to have an IRL relationship with all it’s messy and complicated feelings.

Here’s what people are saying the reasons are that young people are having less sex — and why I disagree!

(Scroll down for the Real Reason people are having less sex. HINT: Dating Apps.)


Is Internet Porn Killing Dating?

I’ll just start here, because everyone cites the easy accessibility of internet porn as one of the main reasons people (especially men) aren’t interested in sex or dating any more. But there is more to it than that.

Porn isn’t the reason people don’t want real relationships, it merely makes it so much easier to tolerate what is already a cultural shift away from relationships.

Hookup Culture

Who even likes the hookup culture?

Hooking up in West Los Angeles

Sure, these days there is much less judgment of those who have brief encounters, and that’s a real improvement, but are those encounters really deeply satisfying? Of course not. Most of the people I know who enjoy the hookup culture are still hoping for a deeper connection at some point.

Just like porn, the hookup culture reflects the values that already existed—it is a result of the way our society is discounting the need for meaningful partnerships, not a cause.

Some Better Reasons Why People Aren’t Having Sex:


The good news is that many people are benefitting from an increased quality of life due to antidepressants. The bad news is that antidepressants can kill your libido. Although some people cite this as one of the ominous reasons people aren’t having sex, I have to disagree. Not only do people who are depressed often desperately need the support of medication, they also have trouble maintaining healthy relationships when they are struggling with depression. If antidepressants are a reason people are having less sex, they’re certainly not a reason people are eschewing real relationships. In fact, it’s sometimes the pills that make the relationship possible.

Logistics —

Okay, this is a real issue, but it’s an economic one more than a cultural choice.

For the first time in modern history (and by “modern”, I mean back to 1880!) more young people are living at home with their parents than are living with a partner. This generation is also the first in modern history that is expected to do worse economically than their parents. We all know that it’s just logistically harder to have a real relationship when you live with your parents- not to mention the drop in confidence that often goes along with the move back home…

 The Truth: Dating Apps Are Killing Relationships (and even Sex!)

Laughing at their Tinder Feed in west Los Angeles

Most single people I know have to gear up just to have the energy for so much rejection—they can only tolerate Tinder or Hinge for a few weeks (or even days!) before they have to log off and regroup for the next round. And there’s no guarantee you will even meet anyone IRL—often people you texted for days will just ghost you, and leave you wondering what happened, what you did wrong. The whole process is discouraging enough that many people just give up.

Before dating apps, the prevailing cultural norm was to give the other person a chance, and take some time to see if a relationship might work. Now the illusion of unlimited choice makes working hard to build a relationship with a less-than-perfect human feel like a real waste of time.

Don’t like the way she dressed for your date? Just ghost her. Don’t like the way he talked about his family? Back on Hinge for the next one. Don’t think his job is stable? Swipe left. Don’t think she’s hot enough? Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe left.

Before dating apps, people had to try harder.

I think it’s that simple. The illusion of choice is a powerful psychological force.

Dating in West Los Angeles

Now people think that if they just keep looking, they’ll find someone with whom they can have a perfect and easy relationship. It’s easier to just move on than it is to work at creating something meaningful. This creates a weird and unnatural situation where you have to 1. Be perfect or be rejected, and 2. Decide right away if someone is “right”—before you can possibly even know them. It’s enough to discourage anyone from dating!

Relationships are hard, and no one ever teaches you how to do it. So why do we think it’s natural and obvious to know how to build a healthy relationship?

Most of us had shitty examples growing up, so there’s that.

I believe that if we, as a culture, made a consistent effort to teach people how to have healthy relationships, they would be more willing to do the hard work to build one! Today’s society rewards young people not for having healthy relationships, but for having tangible measures of “success”. They don’t want to waste time working on relationships, and ultimately they don’t want to even waste time looking for sex. (see comments on internet porn and the hookup culture!)

studying alone in Santa Monica

"‘It's a highly motivated, ambitious generation,’ says Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University and chief scientific adviser to the dating site Match.com. ‘A lot of them are afraid that they'll get into something they can't get out of and they won't be able to get back to their desk and keep studying.’" latimes.com

Studying is a known path to success, dating much less so. When you’ve spent all of your life studying, and none of your life learning how to build healthy relationships, which one are you supposed to choose?

  • You can learn how to pick someone who will make you happy in the short run and in the long run.

  • You can learn how to be a good partner.

  • And you can learn how to build a healthy, loving, and supportive relationship.

If you learn these 3 things, well, dating apps will still suck. But… it just might be worth it!

And you will definitely have more sex.

Could You Use Some Help Finding “The One” and Creating a Wonderful Relationship Together?

Couple kissing on Venice Beach

 I have helped hundreds of clients find love and create healthy, loving and supportive relationships. Sure, you can ask your friends for feedback, but I will tell you like it is. I will help you clarify your own relationship values and teach you how to build a relationship that reflects them. I will help you determine your “deal breakers”, and also what falls under the category, “hey, everyone’s got something”. I will help you change what you can about how you behave in relationships, so that you can have a healthy relationship whether it’s with this person or the next one.

 If this piques your interest, give me a call at 323-999-1537, or shoot me an email at amy@thrivetherapyla.com, and we will arrange a time for you to have a FREE phone or in-office consultation about your specific situation and how I can help! I want you to have the wonderful relationship you deserve!