Young People Are Having Tons of Bad Sex

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A recent study by the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles has shown that millennials are having really bad sex, and often. More than a third of sexually active men between the ages of 16 and 21, plus 44.4 percent women of the same age, are unhappy and having bad or no sex.

The good news? If you are part of this group, there’s a lot you can do turn things around. Much of the bad sex stems from your mindset going in (heh). "Men said that anxiety over finishing too soon led to erectile issues," says sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman, author of Quantum Love. “Essentially, I think it boils down to the fact that we are all scared to be our whole, vulnerable selves with our partners,” she says, “Instead, we are trying to perform for each other — especially men.”

Women may have a hard time believing it, but actually men are desperate to please their partners — though it's not out of pure selflessness: failure to please calls their masculinity into question. “Women have been socialized to be very passive and disconnected from their sexuality. Many women don't even know what they enjoy sexually, so how can their partner?" says Berman. "With a lack of direction, their partner begins to think, Am I doing this wrong?, which distracts from his own pleasure.

The good news is that research shows that sex does improve as we age. “Women are better able to reach climax, and they are more confident in the bedroom, which I think means better sex for their partners as well,” says Dr. Berman.

As for sex frequency, milennials are actually having much less sex than previous generations. Experts think it could be because they grew up in the throes of AIDS epidemic, but it could be because we are simply more knowledgeable about sex. “It's not a mysterious, rarely discussed event any longer. Everything from masturbation to different kinks to anal sex to bisexuality has been normalized," says Berman. "I think this allows people to make smarter, more informed decisions — like, 'Do I really want to go home with this guy tonight or would I rather just use my vibrator?'”

Casual sex can be fun, but it also comes with a lot of risk, and this generation seems to be much more risk-averse. “And that's great, according to Berman "But it’s also important that we learn to let go of that anxiety once we are in the bedroom," she says. "Otherwise, the sex just isn't going to be that good!”