Why we’re not having sex.
Let’s talk about why we’re not having sex—and why modern lifestyles could be to blame.
l ast summer, Sophie Fontanel published The Art of Sleeping Alone: Why One French Woman Suddenly Gave Up Sex. The book chronicles 12 years of celibacy by choice, first embraced when the author was 27. “I’d had it with handing myself over,” she writes. “I’d said yes too much. I hadn’t taken into account the tranquility my body required.” Fontanel is a long-time editor at ELLE France, and people were alarmed by the idea that a Frenchwoman—a member of the nation that practically invented seduction—would trade in the excitement of someone else’s warm hands for the calm of lavender milk baths and a cold bed.
But Fontanel is not the only one sleeping alone. While most of us haven’t deliberately turned to celibacy, recent research claims that people across the developed world—including Canada, the U.S., the U.K., France and Japan—are having less sex (typically defined as intercourse) than a generation ago.
A 2013 study published in The Lancet found that Britons aged 16 to 44 reported having sex less than five times a month— h