Humans reached up to this stage civilization through evolutionary phase of over 200,000 years and this happened because humans mastered the art of survival and recreation and growth. The passion for recreation through intimate sex and birth is one of the most fundamental of the four basic human drive states. According to neuropsychologist Karl Pribram, “feeding, fighting, fleeing, and sex are the four drivers behind every thought, feeling, and behavior.” We are conditioned by evolutionary learning to woo a perfect partner to have sex for pleasure and reproduce. The passion to have sex depend not just biological but socio-economic factors.
If we go through the demographic charts, one thing that is remarkably visible is that the birthrate and total fertility rate, although not directly linked with sex frequency, is directly linked to factors like economic stability, socio-cultural behavioral changes, and lifestyle changes. After an aggressive phase hypersexuality during Baby Boomer era followed by a controlled sex phase of Millennials, we are entering the phase when the sexual activity is at historical low in Generation Z. This is just opposite of the popular perception about the hypersexual lifestyle of Gen Z.
A plethora of studies and surveys suggest that in between 1991 and 2017, the typical Gen Z phase, the percentage of the high-school students having sex during school years dropped significantly from 54% to 40%. Another study suggests that annual sex frequency dropped from 62 times to 54 times in a year. This sex absenteeism of Gen Z is pushing America on the Japanese path. So the question is why this shift in sexual behavior is it biology or just a phase of socio-cultural transition. Lets us explore some of the reasons and likely scenario if the trend continues for a longer period of time.
Gen Z Sex Absenteeism, Why?
One thing is for sure this Gen Z sex absenteeism is not biological in nature and there is no clue whatsoever regarding any major change in biology if we discount the individual cases of depression driven hormonal changes. This generation is rather healthier and more aware of health-related issues. So, what is the driving force that is pushing sex out of people’s lives? The Freudian theory of progression through five stages of psychosexual development is still valid for humans. Let us explore what is disturbing this five-phase progression?
- Lifestyle Issues
Gen Z is not getting involved in sexual activities because they might be missing the required bodily arousal due to several suppressing agents in play. The arousal gets undermined due to excessive distraction created by the 24×7 involvement in digital activities. You may like it or not you need to look inward to feel the passion for sex, these digital interfaces shut all possible windows of arousal. This hyper engagement in digital devices creates sleep deprivation, the biggest killer agent as this plays with your natural body clock. The minimal gratifications like sex talks, virtual dating kills the passion for real sex. Another biggest inhibitor is self-consciousness about body and taboos attached to sex-related weight gain. These factors get accentuated when the stress rises and depressing tendency creeps in. The hyper-competitive atmosphere could be another reason, when one is required to prove worthiness through academics it is bound to take all your pleasure activities out of life.
The point is these situations are not new to this generation only, the previous generation had their own challenges but they never sacrificed their sexual pleasure elements. Then why this generation is heading towards sexual rigidity?
See more about the challenges of each generation in this article from Business Today.
- Is it, Parents
Some of the findings suggest that Gen Z is staying longer with parents as compared to previous generations when they used to move out at a relatively early age and explore the world. Are this dependency factor and sense of insecurity with parents keeping them away from the natural wonder of sex? Excessive parental control with intensive conditioning of uncertainty in future is pushing teenage in the zone of responsible too early in life. This lack of passion for experimentation is the main culprit. From the parents’ perspective it is perfectly natural for them to be watchful as the only concern is safety and security of their adults. So, where is the solution? Who is going to tell kids, go and have fun?
- Virtual vs. Real
Whatever could be the reason whether parental control of excessive pressure to build a worthy career, the Gen Z has access to micro gratification tools available in a virtual space of bits and these micro gratifications through dating apps kill the passion to pursue real-world pleasure? Although the effectiveness of these virtual tolls in terms of pleasure is debatable, in short-run this is definitely impacting the urge to have real sex. Just opposite of the popular perception regarding easy availability of partner, the real-world experience is painful and distressing. The whole effort of searching suitable partner and taking the relationship forward goes in vain when one finds it difficult to be a virtual entity forever. When the foundation of the relation is not in the realm of reality the chances of taking it up to the level of pleasurable sex is very minimal. If we see in context of the previous generation, there was an element of proximity due to several opportunities to mingle and these mingling used to create passion for more closeness.
- Evaporating Romance
The biggest problem is that Gen Z considers romanticism as old-world trait and sees it as weakness in the path of career glory. Love is still in the air, but it is evaporating. As against the hype around sexual overtures created by media and entertainment world, in real space it is backfiring in real way. The junk food generation believes that if you can get your desire satiated via momentary hook-ups what is the need for an emotional drain of romance. Who and when created this mindset is tough to find but blame definitely shifts towards the earlier generations. Surveys suggest that almost one-third are abstainer, little mote that third are dabblers and almost quarter are hook-up enthusiasts and minuscule nine percent are in long-term relationship bracket. So, how to create a value system with romance at the center of activity?
- Bad Sex
This happens when you consume things that are not supposed be for you. When you watch porn of extreme sexual pleasure and try that on first date, it is bound to be a painful experience. According to some stats girls in 20s trying anal sex double to 40% between 1991 and 2012. In such scenarios the proportion of abstainers will definitely rise. Another big problem is the individualistic mindset of use only, as male partner normally never cares about orgasmic pleasure of woman partner, resulting in big “no thanks” for the next time. The faith and loyalty factor is on constant decline and girls are avoiding company of opposite sex. Is there any way out of this especially in this tech-savvy digital world? The answer is big no.
- Killer Individuality
Is it all about intercourse or pleasure? There is a definite trend of decline in sexual intercourse, is this trend actually applicable in gratifying pleasure like masturbation? The data says so. What kind of changes happened in just one generation that is killing the most natural instinct of humans? Is this the hyper individuality where nothing else but only self matters or just the sense of fear from the reality? One cannot blame sex industry for it as the industry evolved only when there is a demand. Will the trend change in the next few years? Maybe not, but the realization of the problem is most important. Once this Gen Z understands the challenge and repercussions they will definitely find their own way.
If we put conflicting data aside and talk about nor perception among Gen Z then there is definitely a lower level of expectation as far as sex is concerned. The most important part is that it is not disturbing them at all as they are taking it as a new normal. Is it about long term commitment of marriage and the fear of bondage, maybe or maybe not? The challenge isn’t this trend of declining frequency of sex, but the impact on childbirth and total fertility rate. As sex absenteeism in one generation will have a devastating impact on the socio-economy of the coming generation as there won’t be a workforce to sustain the old-age economy resulting in final chaos.
Let us go back to the basics, the favorite theme of the Gen Z. If we are there, then the ultimate goal should be the fulfillment of primary need of love, intimacy and happiness in the most natural way. Let us focus on organic orgasm and stay away from artificial intelligence-driven stimulators. Just one step at a time and you are there in the world of happiness where your dream will take shape and make you feel beyond self.