If it feels like you’re not having enough sex it’s because you probably aren’t. But don’t worry—no one else is getting lucky either. A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior revealed that Americans — including millennials — are having less sex than they’ve enjoyed in the past, even though science has shown that having more sex is better for your physical and emotional health.

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Looking at data from 26,000 people during 1989-2014, researchers found that nearly every American is having sex less often: from marrieds to singletons; on the West Coast all the way East. The decline is especially steep after 2000.

In 2002, for example, the average adult had sex about 64 times a year. In 2014, that number dropped to 53. And while everyone saw a decline in sexual escapades, younger people, West Coasters and men had sex more frequently than their fellow Americans.

family Sex in America has declined, especially in the past 10 years, says researcher. Pixabay

The most surprising result, at least for study co-author Dr. Jean Twenge, PhD., is the dissolution of the “marriage advantage,” since marrieds presumably have a willing and able partner.

“It used to be that married people had more sex than unmarried people, but that's not true anymore,” Twenge tells Medical Daily in an email. “That's partially because people are now older when they get married. But even when age is controlled, the 'marriage advantage' is smaller than it once was. Married people are not having as much sex as they once did.”

In 2014, married people had sex about 55 times annually, a drop from the estimated 66 encounters from just 10 years before. Surprisingly, never married people had more sex than spouses in 2014 with roughly 59 occurrences.

Millennials, who are often credited with furthering the hookup culture, aren’t having sex nearly as often as their parents, grandparents or even great grandparents did at the same age.

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“Some Millennials and iGen'ers are certainly taking advantage of hookup apps like Tinder, but others have opted out or go this route only occasionally,” says Twenge, who also wrote Generation Me, a book about Millennials. “For example, studies find that the average college student hooks up, but does so only a few times a year. Someone who is living with a partner would thus have much more sex. ”

According to the study, with age and time period controlled, Americans born in the 1930s had sex approximately 63 times per year. Those born in the 1990s had sex only about 57 times a year.

Part of this is attributed to the trend of getting married later in life, as Twenge mentions. The study shows that older people have sex less frequently and the number of acts per year decline after the age of 25. Another likely culprit is the overall decline of people living with partners.

The report did not pinpoint a reason for why Americans are having less sex, but Twenge says it’s obvious something has changed in the past 10 years. Her guess? People are doing a lot more Netflixing and a lot less chilling. “Maybe people are looking at their screens instead of at each other,” she says. 

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