18-24 year olds are giving up sex

18-24 year olds are giving up sex

The French would abandon romantic transports. A recent study points to a significant drop in interest in sexuality, particularly among 18 to 24 year olds. Beyond the numbers, what do these metamorphoses of desire correspond to?

Alert ! Sex is deserting the bedrooms of France. Not since the 1970s have cuddles found so little place in the French calendar: 24% of 18-69 year olds say their last sexual encounter was more than a year ago. The frequency of intercourse is also eroding, with 43% of our fellow citizens declaring a weekly sexual encounter, compared to 58% in 2009. These are some of the figures which emerge from a survey carried out by the Ifop polling institute for the account of the Lelo brand with a sample of nearly 2,000 people. Its publication last February did not go unnoticed: newspapers and social networks relayed it and commented on it endlessly. No doubt because knowing what is happening in your neighbor's alcove arouses curiosity and provides points of comparison without having to ask for them, no doubt also because it undermines the (albeit already hackneyed) cliché. of a France, home of romance and amorous ardor.

Beyond that, the enthusiasm generated by this study, a few weeks after Emmanuel Macron defended “demographic rearmament”, invites us to question the way sexuality is experienced in our country. And to consider developments in this area in a context marked by the feminist revolution and changes within the couple.

The generations follow one another and, on this level, are not alike: the youngest are the first today to lose interest in the thing. Among 18-24 year olds, almost one in three (28%) say they have been sexually inactive during the last year. In 2006, they were only 5%. For François Kraus, director of the Gender, Sexualities and Sexual Health division of Ifop, these results are not entirely a surprise: “We already had some clues from abroad,” he explains. Particularly in the United States, Canada, Germany…” In fact, in the United States, the General Social Survey points to a drop in sexual activity, particularly among men between 18 and 24 years old: they were 19% at declaring themselves sexually inactive in 2008, 31% ten years later. While in Germany, between 2005 and 2016, the figure increased from 7.5% to 20.3%.

Pornography in one click

Nothing worse than screens to silence desire. Half of men under 35 living as a couple say they have already chosen to watch a film or series over sexual intercourse and 53% of them say they prefer to play a video game over sex. love. Sex therapist Violaine Gelly highlights other obstacles linked to screens. “The very easy access on the Internet to eroticism and pornography is harmful to the fantasy world. Especially since, if sexuality can seem complicated, online enjoyment appears very achievable. » For François Kraus, “Generation Z is completely immersed in digital technology. She struggles to perceive exchanges other than through this prism. And she can end up neglecting interactions with others in real life. »

At 30, Mélanie points out a “laziness” among men, which she associates with the new valorization of female pleasure. “In heterosexual relationships,” she analyzes, “girls demand longer, more qualitative relationships and therefore, inevitably, more energy-consuming for their partners. »

Screens kill love

→ 52% of 18-24 year olds say they have sexual intercourse per week, compared to 65% of 25-34 year olds and 59% of 35-49 year olds.

→ 42% of men under 35 living as a couple confide that they have avoided sexual intercourse to gain more pleasure from pornographic images or videos.

→ 50% of young men and 41% of young women under 35 living as a couple say they have already preferred to watch a film or series rather than make love.

Less but better

What if this decline also reflected an increased respect for consent, that of others and one's own? Within this new generation, individuals are perhaps more concerned about their partner's desires as well as… their non-desires, says Mélanie. And young people feel less obliged than their elders to fulfill “marital duty”. More attentive to themselves, they manage to free themselves from the injunctions decreed by a hypersexualized society. This is in any case the experience of Lucie, 24 years old: “In my past relationships,” explains the young woman, “I sometimes wondered: “It’s been a week since we last did it, it has to be done…” Today, it’s a question that I no longer ask myself. Several weeks can go by without me wanting to and that's not a subject. » In her office, Violaine Gelly receives patients in their twenties in the same state of mind as Lucie. “I see it as an awakening and a rebellion,” notes the sex therapist. These young women – few young men consult me ​​- come back to themselves, don't force themselves. They reconnect with their desires. »

And this does not necessarily deploy in the bedroom. “I live in Paris,” says Lucie, “where a lot of us live at 200 miles an hour with 15,000 things to do and see. If we perhaps consider sexual intercourse to be less necessary, it is because we also have other things to experience. » Violaine Gelly adds: “Desire is not only sexual. And, in our society, it can take many forms. This generation moves it into a range of possible fields. » Or wish to experience it differently. With her partner whose life she has shared for ten years, Daphné, 28, considers enjoying a “satisfying and joyful” sex life without it being frenetic. She estimates the frequency of their reports at once every two weeks. And if one of them doesn't want to, a code name allows them to let the other know.

Their sexual life unfolds, most of the time, without going through the prism of penetration, which is too painful for the young woman. “If I suffer, he suffers too,” she says. The fact that your loved one is having a good time is important. And men are no more machines than women. » She emphasizes: “Making love is prolonging love. Sexuality must therefore take the place that couples want. The main thing is to find a partner who is on the same page. The objective is to find moments for yourself, “à la carte”. No need to worry because society tells us to put sex at the center when we don't necessarily want to. » Mélanie doesn't say anything else: “If we make love less but we do it better, what's the problem? »

Similar Posts