No More 'Netflix And Chill'? Record Number Of Americans Not Having Sex

A new study published by the Washington Post has found that record numbers of Americans are not having sex, based on data compiled by the General Social Survey, which has collected and maintained opinion and experience data on US residents since the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago began the survey in 1972.

But the most shocking aspect to the study is the evidence revealing a rampant lack of gen-Z and millennial sex. Or perhaps this might not be so surprising, given the rise of online gaming as a near obsession among younger demographics, phenomena like Netflix binge watching, and fewer young men entering the work force. 

From the 2008 film, "Step Brothers"

The analysis found that 23% of American adults reported having no sex in the past year, or almost 1 in 4, according to the report.

In decades prior to the 2000's the percentage of those reporting no sex was generally at a steady level, represented for example in 1989 at 19%. 

To put things in perspective, in 2008 that figure dipped to about 9%, which means over merely the past decade the number of those regularly not getting any swelled by nearly triple. 

And perhaps surprisingly, it's younger adults who are driving the trend in sexlessness up, according to the Washington Post

The portion of Americans 18 to 29 reporting no sex in the past year more than doubled between 2008 and 2018

Within the 18 to 29 age range in 2018 reporting no sex, about 28% of that group were men, compared to only 18% of women. 

So essentially more twenty-something men are now not doing the deed than ever before, whether through willful refrain, or likely more realistically they're getting rejected more often. 

As The Hill summarized, there are multiple factors for the decline in sex trend among the younger demographic:

There are a number of reasons experts attribute to the decline in sexual activity, including technology, more people marrying or finding partners later in life and an increase in young men living at home.

The new analysis comes after data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this year showed a decline in sexual activity among high schoolers. 

Other likely explanations related to the steep decline in gen-Z and millennial sex include a greater willingness of young people to spend the majority of their waking hours plugged-in, either gaming or on social media or Netflix binge watching — though ironically this no longer translates to "Netflix and chill" apparently. 

From the WaPo study

Young men also are more likely to be living with their parents than young women: In 2014, for instance, 35 percent of men age 18 to 34 were living in their parents’ home, compared with 29 percent of women in that age group. At the risk of stating the obvious, “when you’re living at home it’s probably harder to bring sexual partners into your bedroom,” Twenge said.

One final factor that may be affecting Americans’ sexual habits at all ages is technology. “There are a lot more things to do at 10 o’clock at night now than there were 20 years ago,” Twenge said. “Streaming video, social media, console games, everything else.”

Underscoring this point, the share of people who are having relations once a week or more is on a downward trajectory: from 51 percent in 1996 to 39 percent today.

So the number of people not getting laid is clearly at a record high, and the study further revealed that "the number reporting sex weekly or more" is on the decline. 

Another bit of commentary on the WaPo study perhaps put it best: "This doesn’t just impact the young men, but it’s possible a lot of these dudes are fondling their phones and computer rather than... other bodies."