Jess Pardoe shares the shocking truth around our sex lives and the sad fact that we just aren’t doing it. Sex and relationship therapist Sally Baker offers her insights into what has caused this decline in the countries libido and suggestion for how we can a healthy sex life back on track.
Sex is, regrettably, a taboo subject. Few of us talk as openly about it as we should and, because of this, there’s a lot of stigmas surrounding it. If you sleep with a lot of guys, you’re a slut - if you don’t, you’re a prude. There are certain pressures on women in particular to perform, and guys aren’t off the hook either - with many being judged for their physical shape and size.
If you’re keen to have sex often, you’re an addict and, on the flip side of the coin, if you don’t feel like ‘doing it’ all that much - there’s a problem with you, or your relationship. That’s the way it’s been really for as long as anybody can remember. These opinions have been formed and revised through centuries and, unfortunately, they’ve been cemented too.
Have we finally peaked our judgements and caused a serious problem here with all of our social constructs and inane expectations?
A recent study has revealed that as many as 43% of respondents said they spend no time at all a week doing it - that’s huge. Amid countless attitudes around sex and how it should or shouldn’t be, these findings would suggest that actually, as a nation, we’ve put ourselves off it entirely. Perhaps it’s this, or maybe there’s something else resulting in our sexless relationships and social lives.
Speaking with Label, senior sex and relationship therapist Sally Baker explained that she’s “not surprised by the findings of the survey that says 43% of respondents said they spend no time at all having sex. It’s certainly borne out by my married clients who often come to me when their relationship is breaking down and sex for them as a couple is too often no more than a distant memory.”
Which of course, wouldn’t be helped with the amassed pressures on sexual partners to perform.
“Social media apps and websites might have made dating easier and available for singletons but their search for true connection with another human seems even more fraught for them with doubts and insecurities so hence a growing number are eschewing sex completely and choosing to socialise in groups instead,” Sally explained.
“With my work with couples, I ask if they are looking for an exit strategy or a way to reconnect and if it's the latter I get them to sign a contract with each other that commits to putting sex firmly sex at of their to-do list and that works wonders for intimacy and ending passive-aggressive behaviour.”
Sally’s proactive method of relationship counselling aims to omit the negative stereotypes around sex. And actually reveals that prescribing some good old fashioned love making - embargoed from social pressures and the idea of ‘what’s normal and what’s not’ - could actually be the key to salvaging many broken relationships and marriages.
Upon further researching, the same study also unearthed that 44% prefer watching TV in bed, and 46% are social media, too. With the same focus group being quizzed, it’s interesting to see that where respondents aren’t making love - they’re exerting their efforts on other material things instead. Perhaps it’s the way we’ve been conditioned, but since when did scrolling Instagram become more important than connecting with our spouses?
What’s more, according to research, abstaining from sex can heighten stress and decrease longevity - yikes.
Either way, with the countries libido at stake - it’s time to start talking to our sexual partners and addressing the issue around sex as to why, well, there’s none of it. If there’s ever a time to talk about it - it’s now. Be open with your partner as to why you think your sexual habits have changed or halted, is it external pressures, or is it the simple fact that you’d rather place your time elsewhere? As evidenced above, a lot of marriages break down at the hands of diminishing sex lives eventually so while it may not largely seem a priority for you at the moment, it’s always worth discussing.
The full study can be found HERE. 2000 adults were interviewed as part of this study.