Spoiler alert: millennials aren’t tearing their clothes off as often, or as fast as you might think!
Picky, picky, picky.
If you’re a guy, is this how you would describe the female population right now? If so, it’s not just you. The millennial demographic–and particularly women–seem to be exhibiting an interesting mix of openness and caution when it comes to sexual activity.
Perhaps it’s a logical assumption to believe millennials are freewheeling sex fans, as some experts have compared this generation to the “free love” era of the 60’s and 70’s. After all, the hippies never had any trouble sleeping with multiple partners and in fact, they even promoted such behavior. Those unfamiliar with various nudist colonies and certain infamous communes should read up on the subject (though not all were quite this creepy, of course).
After the arguably extreme views and restrictions on sex in the 40’s and 50’s, the flower generation sought to break down walls and give humans the freedom to experience and experiment. “Are you happy?” was the rallying cry and the result was…well, it depends on your perspective. Some, my parents included, will say that on the surface, it appeared to be a healthy and necessary revolution. But when those teenagers and young adults invariably grew up (well, most did), they reflected on their behavior with rolling eyes and dubious comments. Two steps forward and one step back, or one step forward and two steps back? Hard to say.
Considering the current liberal bent in the country today, it’s no surprise to see various ideologies from the 60’s returning. But make no mistake: The millennials aren’t tearing off their clothes as fast–or as often–as one might think. In a recent poll at GirlsAskGuys that essentially asks, “Am I a slut,” we find that the overwhelming majority of participants claimed to be “conservative” i.e. having only 1-5 partners.
It’s also interesting to note that in this particular sexuality poll, a slightly higher number of girls voted for the conservative approach to sex, and there’s even a bigger discrepancy at the higher end, as 21% of men voted for “nympho” (20+ partners) and only 12% of girls had the same answer. Of course, we still live in a world where guys can brag about their conquests without fear of being branded with a negative label. Even so, if you think women between the ages of 18 and 35 are having more sex, or are more likely to have more sexual partners than their mothers, it seems you’re incorrect.
Therefore, men have an interesting challenge these days: They have to accept that while women are more empowered than ever, and they’re becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of sexual equality (a good thing, let’s not forget), it’d be a critical mistake to think girls are less cautious. Guys might’ve had it easier some decades ago, in fact, even before the women’s rights movement gained a full head of steam.
Those born in the 50’s and 60’s had an average of 11 sexual partners in their adult life, while millennials average about eight. That’s very statistically significant. And in this YourTango piece, we find some reasons for this change. For instance, many college students–41%, in fact–actually don’t enjoy casual sex and furthermore, they’re being more cautious about their approach. They’re checking up online, reading in-depth profiles, even conducting background checks. And of course, the fear of sexual diseases turns the tide as well. Now, if you’re a guy and you live on this planet, it seems it’s mostly women who are doing the checking up. Yes, it’s a safety issue–it’s only rational to be cautious – but this also proves that women are being increasingly careful.
So essentially, “picky, picky, picky” is apt. The question of casual sex remains a hot topic for just about anyone of a certain age, but you might notice the tone and phrasing of these questions. Many are inherently cautious or hesitantly curious, and the girls especially are quick to recommend tact and patience. They advise fellow females to tread carefully in the realm of dating and relationships, while still embracing the freedom and equality their grandparents didn’t necessarily enjoy.
For example, though some girls worry about “wasting their youth,” a surprising number of responses recommend discretion, as opposed to the far more reckless “satisfy me now!” mentality. So, we may indeed live in a world of instant gratification but for the most part, we shouldn’t accuse the millennial generation of being raging partyholics with an unquenchable thirst for sex. The changes to the sexual scene are becoming clearer and men in pursuit of women need to stay up-to-date.
Our parents may have laid that groundwork–a revolution paved with good intentions and apparently questionable results–but we kids are proving more mature. Both sexes are indeed, but perhaps the ladies are leading the way…and we men have to adapt.
Photo credit: Getty Images