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Millennials having less sex than other generations, wedded more to phones than partners


Millennials having less sex than other generations, wedded more to phones than partners

WATCH: Is your smartphone getting in the way of physical intimacy?

Millennials are the most active on hook-up apps like Tinder. But a new study suggests that the youngest, and techiest, portion of millennials (18-24) aren't having sex as often as previous generations.

We asked experts whether smartphones and social media, rather than acting as hook-up tools, could actually be getting in the way of people having sex.

The answer? Maybe. Here are five possible reasons why, according to sex therapists and psychology professors.

1. People are spending more time with each other online, where they can't have sex.

"People have a need to connect and be around other people. But if you can meet those needs via social media...  then you don't actually have to be face-to-face with people as much.

"So, if you're not with people face-to-face, it decreases the probability, obviously, that you can have sex."

-- Ryne Sherman, PhD, professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University

As far as I know, people still can't have actual sexual intercourse over the internet.
Ryne Sherman

2. Smartphone porn and sexts are expedient alternatives to sex.

"Porn is more ubiquitous than ever. You can watch video at high quality from your own phone. Porn just feels like it's easier: [People] can take care of their needs, they don't have to get overly involved with heavy emotional obligations."

-- Michael Aaron, PhD, sex therapist

"[People] can sext [their] partner on a Wednesday, satisfy [their] sexual urges, and that's enough for [them]."

-- Michelle Drouin, PhD, professor of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

3. Smartphone love and addiction

"People fall in love with their electronic devices, because [the devices] respond to them so well. It says, 'Hello, how you doing? What can I do for you?'"

-- Stephen Snyder, MD, sex therapist

"With people having nomophobia [fear of being unable to use your smartphone] and having more addiction to their cell phones, I think it's becoming harder and harder for them to put that technology away."

-- Michelle Drouin

In some cases, getting those 'likes' might be replacing that need [for sex].
Michelle Drouin, PhD

4. 'Likes' and retweets feel just as good as sex.

"People's favorite part of sex usually is when their partner has an orgasm, because they're feeling, 'Wow, look what I did.' These days, you can get that same affirmation experience through electronic media -- you can go viral, you can get hits, you can get 'likes.'"

-- Stephen Snyder

"The neurochemistry of social approval can mimic the neurochemistry that we have from other pleasurable activities, like sex."

-- Michelle Drouin

Do you suffer from nomophobia?

5. Hook-up culture means more time choosing sex partners, less time actually having sex.

"You pick up your phone, you have millions of choices of people you could connect with... and never have to commit to the one who would be there to have sex with you every day."

-- Michelle Drouin

"If there was a store with 30 types of jam, versus a store with three types, at the store with 30 types no one bought anything. The more choices you provide, the more inactive people are in the faces  of all these choices."

-- Michael Aaron

Somewhere along the line, if you're going to have sex, you have to decide on one of the jams.
Michael Aaron, PhD

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