We think we can explain why.
If you spend a lot of time watching screens or scrolling social media, it’s easy to believe that every young adult is enjoying a banging sex life. But like so many things in the media, it turns out that this isn’t exactly reality.
Nearly 50% of millennial-age women are actually dissatisfied with the sex they’re having, according to a new public health study from the UK. Of the more than 6,000 women of varying ages surveyed in England, about half of those in the 25- to 34-year-old age group reported that they experienced a “lack of sexual enjoyment” in the last 12 months.
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So why are so many millennials not finding joy in sex? The study didn’t offer any explanations. But based on the rest of the research in the report—which focused on women and reproductive health—we have a few ideas.
First, about 60% of the millennial-age respondents told researchers that they regularly dealt with reproductive health symptoms, such as painful periods. As so many women who get bad PMS and cramps know, menstrual issues can definitely cut into sexual enjoyment.
Also, roughly 35% of the 25- to 34-year-old women surveyed said that they were most worried about preventing pregnancy. It’s hard to lose yourself in sexual pleasure when you might be panicking about the condom breaking.
“Enjoying a fulfilling sex life is important for women’s mental and emotional wellbeing,” Sue Mann, one of the study researchers, told BBC News. “Our data show that sexual enjoyment is a key part of good reproductive health and that while many women are reporting sexual dysfunction, many are not seeking help.”
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The takeaway from the survey results? Every woman deserves a satisfying and fulfilling sex life—whether you have a partner or you enjoy solo sex sessions. If that’s not happening because of pregnancy worries, birth control you don’t feel you can trust, or another issue, talking to your ob-gyn about solutions is a good place to start.