Every week, it is a pleasure to bring you stories about sex. We hit all of the sexual Ws quite frequently. You know, the who, what, why, when, and where of sex. We also talk a lot about that all important H: how. Yet, sex isn't just about the doing. It is also about the not doing. Some people don't have sex. This week's Sex Stories We Love offers some reasons why people aren't into having sex.
Understanding Asexual and Aromantic
Let's start by making a clear distinction: there is a big difference between not having sex because you aren't currently connected to someone who wants to have sex with you and not having sex because your choices or sexual identity do not align to having sex at this point in your life.
Sometimes, those two notions get mixed up and create some nasty stigma that is hard to shake. We're focusing on the latter and discussing the various circumstances that bring people to not having sex. Primarily, and often most misunderstood, is that some people are asexual and aromantic. This sexual identity is often mischaracterized and shunned because of our society's ongoing belief in grow up + love = get married. Get married + have sex = kids. To not crave this paradigm gets people in a tizzy of complete confusion. Is it really so odd? We all have different tastes and interests. We have many different relationship models. Being asexual or aromantic is just one more. It is just as valid as all others.
Who Knew: Sex Is Complex!
Now, if you are someone for whom sex is an interest, recent studies show that there are many reasons why that interest waned during the last 20 years. All kinds of reasons! So many reasons. It's as if sex is not as simple as we previously thought. It isn't just about making babies. It isn't just about emotional intimacy. It isn't just about the pursuit of pleasure. It turns out that sex is actually tied to many other parts of our lives and those other aspects of ourselves play a significant role in how, when, and why we actually want to pursue sex...or not. On top of that, there are social and societal factors. Oh by, this is getting deep! What is happening around us in the world, including technological advances and social changes, can also influence our interest in sex. I don't know about you, but this is all so stunning to me. Okay, not really. It's not surprising at all. And Belinda Luscombe's article is a great, deep dive into how this revelation shouldn't be a shock.
Leavin' On a Jet Plane
Much has been made of the trend of Millennials having less sex. And it's true. Numbers don't lie. If you're to believe sitcoms and nostalgia films of decades past, young people should be hormone-fueled sex machines who crave little else in life.
Guess what? It turns out that there are plenty of Millennials and other folks who seek personal gratification in other ways. For instance, some young folks value travel more than entertainment, inebriation, and sex. And why not? Travel is a great way to expand your personality and worldview.
Of course, it could be argued that having sex will open up new worlds to you as well. Particularly if your worldview is prescribed to you by religion. It is no misunderstanding that some folks don't have sex because their religious conviction is strong. It is a problem, however, when folks lump religion into all talk of sexual repression. If that is your choice and it brings you personal fulfillment, people should understand your personal sexual path.
As with asexuality, there is heavy stigma attached to reconciling religion and lack of sex. Catholicism is often cited as being a negative influence on advancing sexual autonomy. If your religious identity is that of Catholic and your sexual identity is tied to those teachings, others need to understand that even if they disagree.
But let's also get into some nitty-gritty. Sure, there are overarching societal reasons why people don't have sex, but there can also be some personal and relationship reasons as well. Some are physical, such as exhaustion. Some are psychological, such as feelings related to body image. Some are connected to habits that would probably be best to reconcile and possibly change, such as dependence on phones and connectivity. What these all come down to is a deeper look into what is stopping you from achieving the fulfilling sex life you desire. Reflect on what these factors are telling you and make the changes you can.
Starting Over in School
Finally, maybe all of those years of bad, abstinence-focused sex ed took its tool on our sexual desires. Maybe we'd be in a better place to understand our complex sexual world as we were all taught, at an early age, that, if it is part of your identity, sex is a positive, personal experience. Who knew?