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Are we in a sexual recession?

Three tips to try to slow it down

Are we in a sexual recession? Three tips to try to slow it down

After the pandemic, many anthropologists focused on the influences exerted by the experience of the health emergency on population habits – particularly in the Western world. Among these, changes in sexual life have also found ample space, with extensive national studies emerging four years after the introduction of the first restrictions. In France – according to a survey by the Institut Français d’Opinion Publique – the frequency of sexual intercourse from 1970 to today is said to have decreased by 26%. The same applies to the number of sexually active individuals – declining by 15 percentage points in just the last eighteen years. Moreover, in France, 39% of women and 55% of men feel they are not having enough sex. The survey in question, commissioned by the sex toy company Lelo, is part of a broader study, but researchers agree that the pandemic has played a central role in shifting many people's approach to both sexual pleasure and romantic relationships. The French newspaper Le Monde has thus compiled a series of tips to address this potential sexual recession – here are the top three.


1. Don't be discouraged by the passing of time

@steven Why men love p*rn more than their partner!!! Relationship therapist guru @Esther Perel original sound - Steven Bartlett

Generally, in a relationship, the longer time passes, the more desire crises arise. Statistically, couples that do not feel the weight of the years are very rare, but this is considered a completely normal trend. According to journalist Maïa Mazaurette, author of the article in Le Monde that often addresses sexual topics in her column, sexuality needs to be renewed just like anything else, such as a diet or a library: it should thus be open to external influences, in terms of fantasies or experimenting with new practices – both individually and as a couple. It's also important not to forget that the mind is also an erogenous zone and must be engaged with fantasies. This is especially true when practicing self-stimulation: when there is no other person who can enhance arousal, one must learn to stimulate desire in other ways.


2. Increase offline presence

@mysecretcase Cosa ne pensate di questo fenomeno? #educazionesessuale #psicologa #sessuologa #sexrecession #recessionesessuale #giovani #autonomia #indipendenza #social #socialnetwork #perte #perteee #virale #videoperte original sound - MySecretCase

Observing the curve of sexual frequency in the West, the decline has coincided with the spread of smartphones and social media. Especially for younger demographics, the potential constant access to the Internet has influenced daily experiences and development processes – at all levels, including the sexual sphere. According to Le Monde, on average two out of five people have avoided having sex at least once in favor of other activities related to being online. In this sense, it's important to train oneself to reflect on the course of one's sex life, whether in a relationship or not. A decrease in libido caused by a social imbalance – in turn due to an obsessive relationship with technology, often with social media – is not such a rare problem: the most useful way to address it is to talk about it with the partner, if directly involved, and strive to better understand oneself without being scared. Thus, the importance of working on one's desire should not be neglected, possibly even with the support of a therapeutic path.


3. Conceive sex in a more open way

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“If when we think of sex, vaginal penetration comes to mind immediately, it's because from a social and cultural standpoint it's considered the quintessential sexual practice,” reads the book Vengo prima io by sexologist Roberta Rossi. Even though scientifically speaking, “complete intercourse” refers to penetration, this shouldn't be considered the “ultimate sex.” As suggested by Le Monde itself, it's necessary to be more aware that sexual activity can be satisfying even without vaginal penetration. This practice shouldn't be seen as “the endpoint,” just as all other practices are not mere “foreplay.” Sex consists of different types of stimulation and interactions, all equally valid and important, and should not be conceived as something characterized by a more or less predefined course. As the French magazine Slate argues, globalization has also standardized sexuality, at the expense of peculiarities and specific practices.