The past really was the good old days—at least in the bedroom. People in the ‘90s and early ‘00s were having more sex than we are now, a new study in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior found.
The researchers analyzed survey data collected from 26,620 Americans since 1989. They discovered that the average American was doing it 16 fewer times per year between 2010 and 2014 than they were between 2000 and 2004. They were also getting busy nine fewer times from 2010 to 2014 compared to 1995 to 1999.
Those who were married or in relationships were the only ones affected by this downward slope. Singles enjoyed the same amount of sex throughout the two decades. In the mid 2000s, Americans who had never married began having more sex than married people for the first time.
The researchers also found that people’s sex frequency declined the older they got. Those in their 20s were having the most sex, getting it on over 80 times a year. Then, the amount of sex declined by 3.5 percent each year after age 25. By 45, they were doing it 60 times a year, and that number dropped to 20 by 65.
So it’s not exactly a surprise that the same researchers found in a previous study that American adults’ happiness declined between 2000 and 2014.
“With less sex and less happiness, it’s no wonder that American adults seem deeply dissatisfied these days,” lead study author Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D., said in a press release.
Lead author and San Diego State University professor Jean M. Twenge found in another study that American adults’ happiness declined between 2000 and 2014. “With less sex and less happiness, it’s no wonder that American adults seem deeply dissatisfied these days,” she said in a press release.
Twenge doesn’t think we can chalk the results up to our busy schedules, since working people actually had more sex. However, there was a more drastic drop among people who had school-aged kids or avoided porn. The decline in the number of people with consistent partners could also be responsible.
Since frequent sex can improve your relationships and make you happier, our increasingly sexless lives could have negative consequences, the authors write. If you feel like you’ve hit a dry spell, try these tips for having more sex.