The Reason We're In A Sex Recession, According To The Sex And The City Author

When Candace Bushnell was in her 20s, meeting prospective romantic partners was relatively straightforward: Go to a bar and meet people.

"It's not about how you look — it's about your attitude," said Bushnell, whose column inspired the Sex and the City book and TV series.

However, when she found herself single again in 2012, the once-mastered technique yielded disappointing results. 

"When everyone's on their phone, the personality aspect of it goes away and it's like nobody is interested. There's something better on their phone," she said.

She chronicled her latest findings in her most recent work "Is There Still Sex in the City?"The answer to the book title's question is yes, but less, she said.

She told INSIDER that the so-called sex recession has been influenced by technology its butterfly effect on our attention spans.

And, amazingly, her thoughts aren't entirely unfolded. 

Celibacy rates have increased steadily over the past three decades, and in 2018 the share of people who reported not having sex for the entire previous year was the highest on record

A few decades ago, people didn't have that many leisure-time options, she told INSIDER.

"You could watch TV, you could get in your car and drive to a movie. You could go to dinner, maybe you could go to the theatre. When you put people together, they have sex." 

Today, however, people's options for entertainment are limitless — keeping people emotionally apart and sex off the table. 

She also credited our collective shorter attention spans for our lack of sexual motivation. 

"Some people's attention is so short it's too short for them to have sex," she said, adding that "proper" sex should take at least 20 minutes. "I think a lot of people feel like, 'You know what? I don't have time for sex. I mean, especially if it's not that great."

The rise in accessible porn adds to it, too. 

The phrase If something exists, there is porn of it used to be a clever internet meme; now it’s a truism. BDSM plays at the local cinema—but why bother going? Sex is portrayed, often graphically and sometimes gorgeously, on national broadcasters.

Sexting is, statistically speaking, normal.

Polyamory is a household word, condoms are a free-for-all and anal sex has gone from final taboo to “fifth base”, according to Teen Vogue (yes, Teen Vogue). 

It's even become a worry that the lack of sex Americans are having will cause an economic recession because having children is now seen as an option, rather than an obligation. 

However, Bushnell doesn't believe that we needn't fret. 

"The reality might be if people live longer, not everybody needs to reproduce," said Bushnell, who doesn't have children. "It doesn't worry me that much." 

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