That people are having less sex now than they did, say 30 years ago, is no big surprise. And while we often blame our phones, social media and video gaming, it is clear that there are number of contributing factors to this trend and there is no clear-cut answer. Are people too busy to have sex, or is it because they’re constantly on their phones, do couples have certain inhibitions as far as sex and intimacy is concerned?
In a bid to better understand this trend, Gadgets has spoken with Matthew Bartolo, a counsellor specialising in sex and relationships and the founder of the multi-disciplinary Willingness Team that offers professional services related to family, sex and health.
Good sex requires good health and a good relationship
Bartolo started off with something undeniable: “In order for people to have a good sex life, they need to be in good physical and mental health, and of course they need to have a good relationship”.
He explained that current lifestyles that many people choose to lead don’t allow them to have a healthy sex life. Many get home from work with little to no energy, while others are disconnected from their partners because they’re online.
So what other factors have contributed to the fact that people are generally having less sex than previous generations?
Porn & performance anxiety are variables
Bartolo believes that pornography and performance anxiety are definitely variables in this equation.
“We often see that people who are more drawn to pornography rather than wanting to connect with their partner. Others feel performance anxiety, even in long-term relationships.”
Instead of looking forward to pleasuring themselves and their partner, the reality is that a number of people consider sex to be somewhat of a chore, said Bartolo.
“You see, many people will feel that they’ve failed if they don’t manage to give their partner an orgasm, or if they don’t get an orgasm themselves. And this of course makes sex seem like a task that you do in order to get the other person to reach orgasm.”
This is a real pity, because in a life full of expectations and goals, sex offers the type of intimate space to simply be with your partner. Instead, we’re all comparing ourselves to other people’s bodies and the way they perform.
Do some prefer to masturbate then?
Bartolo said that certain lifestyles have made many not feel any desire to even give themselves pleasure through masturbation. Others see masturbation as a quick, less stressful fix than actual sex with their partner, while there are a number of people who are ‘addicted’ to porn and feel the need to masturbate, but then not have the desire to be intimate with their partner.
Is all of this a matter of concern? Bartolo doesn’t mince his words: “It does worry me as I feel that even in the most intimate of spaces, society has made people feel insecure, not good enough, and that they need to be productive”.
What we have now is a transformation of this space that can serve people to spend some quality time at the end of a long, hard day, where they can boost their confidence and recharge their mood and relationships. Sadly, this ‘space’ is slowly becoming another goal-oriented task.
Reality check: Does your lifestyle allow for good mental, physical & sexual health?
“Do reflect on the life you’re choosing to live, also to analyse whether it’s allows for good mental, physical and sexual health. If it does not, you might want to consider some life spring-cleaning and decluttering.”
After all, a reality check every so often can only lead to good things.