You might think Gen Z are having a tonne of sex, but turns out they'd rather work out at the gym than get it on.
New statistics from global fitness brand LES MILLS have revealed that the younger generation would rather ditch sexy time for some serious sweat sessions, trading in ‘Netflix and chill’ for workout thrills.
Over a third (38%) of Gen Z say they would rather work on their fitness than their sexual prowess and an even higher percentage (39%) would rather hit up the gym than spend time with their significant other.
Sex seems to have tumbled right down the to-do list, but why?
According to relationship psychologist, Barbara Santini, there are several underlying reasons Gen Z are prioritising activities such as working out over sexual encounters, including the digital influence.
"Gen Z's inclination towards activities other than sex can be partly attributed to their immersion in digital and social media worlds," she explains. "This generation is bombarded with a plethora of online content, which often includes unrealistic portrayals of sex and relationships. This constant exposure can lead to a skewed perception of sex, making it seem less appealing or overly complicated compared to more straightforward activities like exercising."
The evolution of relationship dynamics, also has a role to play, according to Santini.
"Today's younger generation views relationships and sexuality through a different lens compared to previous generations," she explains. "There's a greater focus on individuality, self-exploration, and career development, sometimes at the expense of romantic or sexual pursuits."
"Additionally, the awareness around sexual consent and the spectrum of sexual identities has led to a more cautious approach to sexual encounters," she adds.
The main culprit, however, could be due to mental health and stress.
"The rates of anxiety, depression, and stress are notably high among Gen Z," Santini says. "The pressures of modern living, from career ambitions to social expectations, can significantly dampen sexual desire."
Santini says that when coping with mental health issues, sex often takes a backseat to self-care and basic functioning.
But a lower libido doesn’t have to be a permanent bedroom fixture for Gen Z or anyone, Santini says there are some simple yet effective ways to rediscover your sex mojo.
In a world where everything is curated, being vulnerable with your partner can create a deeper emotional connection, fostering a more passionate sexual relationship.
Take a digital detox
Reducing screen time, especially before bed, can improve mental clarity and reduce stress, making way for more intimate thoughts and feelings.
Remember there's more to sex than the physical act
Understanding that sex is not just a physical act but an emotional and spiritual experience can enhance its appeal. "Exploring tantric sex or mindfulness-based sexual practices can offer new dimensions to your sexual experiences," Santini suggests.
Create intimacy outside the bedroom
Building intimacy in non-sexual ways, like through deep conversations or shared hobbies, can organically lead to a renewed interest in sex.
Instead of viewing exercise as an alternative to sex, consider it a complementary activity. Physical fitness can boost confidence and body image, directly impacting sexual desire.
And of course, sex in itself is a good way of keeping fit and way more fun than busting out the burpees!
"Passionate kissing by itself can burn around two calories per minute," sexologist and biomechanics coach Ness Cooper, a sexpert at LoveHoney previously told Yahoo Life. "You could end up burning just as much as some less intense 15-minute exercise programmes burn."
Seek professional guidance
If the lack of sexual desire is persistent and troubling, consulting a therapist can provide tailored advice and strategies to address any underlying issues.
Cultivate a holistic lifestyle
Integrating practices that nurture the body, mind, and spirit – such as yoga, meditation, and balanced nutrition – can invigorate all aspects of life, including your sex life.
"The decline in sexual activity among Gen Z is a complex issue with roots in cultural, technological, and psychological factors," adds Santini. "By addressing these areas and adopting a holistic approach to life and relationships, it's possible to rediscover and enhance your sexual vitality.
"Remember, sexual desire is not just a biological drive but an essential component of our emotional and psychological wellbeing."
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