Ever wanted to know how much sex people around you are *really* having? Us, too.
According to a recent U.S. study, millennials (those born between the early 1980s to mid 1990s) have fewer sexual partners and are having less sex in their 20s and 30s compared to GenXers and Baby Boomers at the same age. They’re also apparently holding onto on their virginity for longer, despite being more chill than other generations about pre-marital sex.
Apart from a generational shift toward keeping it in your pants, relationship status can affect the amount of sexy times you’re having, too. According to a recent survey by Cosmopolitan, more than 50 percent of married women in their 20s wish they were having more sex. (Respondents cited reasons like being busy, tired and stressed from work for their decreased sexual encounters.) And when it comes to partnering up, many single women today are over dead-end dating and are opting to stay single.
FLARE chatted with eight Canadian millennial women about their sex lives—including how often they get down and dirty. While their answers varied, we want to make one thing clear: there’s no right or wrong amount when it comes to sex. Everyone’s sexual appetite varies, and as long as your encounters are consensual and enjoyable, you’re doing it right.
From getting it on nearly every day to not having sex at all, here eight women share their honest and uncensored answers about their sex lives.
Jillian, 26, identifies as straight and has been in a relationship for 16 months. She has sex three times a week
“The first night we met, my boyfriend and I had sex in a hammock all night. I think that our sex at the beginning was a bit under pressure because we were getting to know one another’s bodies and what we like. Now that we are 100-percent comfortable with each other, we are able to explore fantasies and have so much fun with sex.
I always thought I had a high sex drive, but my partner’s is significantly higher. Sometimes he is more into it than I am and vice versa, but when we are both on the same page, it can be amazing. I do find myself being frustrated when he wants to have sex and all I’m thinking about is my at-capacity DivaCup, my ’80s style bush and my to-do list for the day. Sometimes neither of us are in the mood, but we challenge ourselves with some foreplay because intimacy is a central part of our relationship. We gotta keep the fire going.
We are both enjoying exploring sex together. We like to have sex in the kitchen, on the couch and on the dresser to mix things up. We also talked about our all-time sexual fantasies and have worked together to make some of them come true. Our sex now varies between having sex, fucking and making love. I think the combination of the three throughout the week is perfect.”
Samantha, 27, identifies as straight and is currently single. She isn’t having sex with another person at the moment
“Right now, I am not having sex at all—if sex needs to be related to another person. But if sex with myself counts, I am having that at least three times a week. Got to stay healthy and release stress!
I am satisfied with my sex life right now, but only because I am satisfied with myself. My biggest challenge is not finding people I want to have sex with. This stems from the vibes that a lot of men give off (i.e. “if you show interest in me it means you want sex”), which is definitely not the case from my end. I am automatically turned off when I recognize that end game. However, to contradict myself, I would say that if a guy shows interest in a way that draws us together, and we have a mutual attraction, sex may happen. I have no problem dating, it’s just that the older I get the more men I meet that just want sex, so in a sense the idea of a “date” goes out the window.
I am a full-on believer in foreplay and intimacy, and I have a hard time connecting physically with those that I cannot connect with emotionally. Therefore, sex when single doesn’t seem as appealing to me. Respect is something I require, and most typically, I will not have sex with a guy I’m serious about until we are in a monogamous relationship, as I take the act a lot more seriously if I can see a long-term relationship with the person.”
Mya, 29, identifies as straight and is single. She has sex about every other week
“The biggest challenge I face is being a trans woman: I feel unsafe putting myself in a sexual situation without disclosing my trans status beforehand. It definitely reduces the amount of men that are interested in me. That being said, there are still plenty who ARE interested. But even then, a lot of straight, cis male trans admirers are terrified to be discovered as someone who likes trans women, so that can stop a lot of potential encounters.
That’s why dating apps where I can put my trans identity on my profiles are really important to me. It breaks the ice and clears the air. I don’t have the energy to come out to people anymore, let alone strange men who might hurl insults when you disclose your identity to them. It’s also the best way to find trans admirers. I personally enjoy being desired for being trans (a lot of trans folks do not). Men will message me because of it. I would say dating apps are responsible for 90 per cent of my sexual encounters.
I’m very comfortable with my sexuality. I feel empowered at this point in my life to have the freedom to engage with whoever I want—especially now because I’m living my life as my most authentic self. I’m not ashamed of how often I have sex, how many partners I’ve had, or what my specific kinks are. I also suffer from verbal diarrhea, so everyone hears about my sex life.
I’d like to live in a world where straight, trans women can feel safe flirting and meeting men in the same context as cis women. I don’t see it happening in my lifetime, but it would make life easier for a lot of us!”
Alexandra, 30, identifies as straight and recently married her partner of seven and a half years. She has sex anywhere from one to five times a week
“My partner and I are no strangers to long-distance relationships, like most millennials. Throughout our relationship, we’ve gone back and forth from living with one another, to living provinces or cities apart (due to post-secondary education, internships, jobs, etc.). Because of all this, the frequency of our sex has gone up and down. However, since we’ve lived together, the amount of sex we have has pretty much stayed consistent.
Our sex drives are pretty similar, but there are times that I’m looking for it more than he is, and vice versa. During these times, the differences can cause a little rift—which is a major (lady) boner killer. We’ve always been extremely open with each other about sex, and basically nothing is off limits.
Since being in a relationship, I’m not sure that my view on sex has changed too much over the years. I still feel that trust, confidence, and desire are important ingredients to a healthy sex life. I desire to keep sex interesting and fun. Toys, locations, positions (and of course language) are often changed up to keep things spicy!
My advice to all the couples out there: keep your sex hot, frequent, and fun.”
Jess, 30, identifies as pansexual and bisexual, and is sexually monogamous and emotionally polyamorous. She has been in a partnership for four years and has sex three times a week
Editor’s note: sexually monogamous means being sexually active with one person, while emotionally polyamorous can mean having multiple emotional relationships at the same time.
“Navigating the single world as someone who was serially monogamous and quick to form intimacy certainly presented its challenges. I never went to clubs, but never found much difficulty in hooking up. It was challenging to navigate boundaries with men and women alike, as I am not as polyamorous as many within the community, but also not as monogamous as most straight/lesbian folk are. Dating and sex are separate for me, but it’s hard to create (and even harder to maintain) that separation. Harder still was finding the type of sex I wanted: I can be immediately drawn to a person and experience deep kinship and intimacy, but be entirely incompatible sexually. I have found in my personal experience that cis-men have a particularly difficult time navigating and accepting this confusing space [of mine].
I think for many folks, the quality (or type) of sex can differ from when they are single vs. in a relationship. Having been poly and being queer changes how I communicate—even in casual one-night-stand or hook-up settings. This has honoured, confused, delighted, intrigued and turned-off partners that I both would and would not expect. I have noticed an expectation and assumption that hook-ups “should” be less communicative—regardless of my partner’s gender/sex. However, I’ve noticed this assumption to be especially enforced in the cases where my partner(s) were cis-men. In queer spaces, womyn create space to discuss queer hook-up culture and address when we’re being pushy, non-verbal or inattentive, and I think that’s a crucial difference: there are safer spaces to discuss as peers in the community how we may hurt each other. I have found it much harder to navigate this outside of such spaces (and especially with cis-men), perhaps due to cultural assumptions or pressures that men “should just know” how to pleasure women and shouldn’t check in or ask.
Since starting my sexually monogamous relationship, the amount of sex I have has changed, and is changing constantly because as humans, we change constantly. When first partnered, my S.O. and I were magnetically drawn; that amount of sex just isn’t sustainable when leading a productive life! We’ve grown more intimate as our relationship has grown, and have broadened what can be a sexually intimate experience. Because of this, we remain in synch and connected, and can follow the ebb and flow of our sexual desires.”
Jen, 24, identifies as straight and has been in a relationship for 10 months. She has sex four to five times a week
“I’m totally satisfied with the amount of sex my relationship has. Most of my adult life has been spent single, and during that time, I was open to dating, meeting someone randomly at a bar, and using Bumble or Tinder. I’ve had times in my life when I didn’t have sex for a few months, and had sex on a weekly basis. My current sex life has definitely seen an increase in quality and frequency. It has been a challenge to not jump my boyfriend any chance I get.
When my boyfriend and I met, we both were working full-time and had the opportunity to see each other every night. We were having more sex at the start of our relationship to explore each other, figure out what we liked and disliked. Now, there are more deadlines and assignments (my boyfriend is finishing a university degree) that take up the hours that we used to take for granted. Being a student hasn’t made us sacrifice the quality in our sex life, just the frequency. We can still spend all day naked and in bed. We’ve spent the past 10 months learning about what turns one another on, and using that knowledge to have the best sex we possibly can.
We are pretty evenly matched when it comes to our libidos. I tend to be very open when it comes to what I want, what I don’t want, and when I’d like it. Neither one of us pressures the other. We will remind one another about a particular night that is stuck in our memories, and it’s a huge turn on. Being able to find pleasure in our sex after the fact is a big part of what keeps it passionate, and so satisfying. It’s funny, we both say that our biggest turn on is making the other orgasm.
I have never been afraid to go after what I want when in terms of life or sex. With past partners sex was good, sometimes great, but I’ve never been more satisfied than I am now. I think that women as a whole are scrutinized for saying that we enjoy sex, and for being sexually explorative.”
Jaclyn, 24, identifies as queer and is single. She has sex once a month
“Dating in the queer community is challenging for me because it is hard to organically meet people to casually date. Since I present as a femme queer, the majority of the community assume I am a straight woman on first impression, therefore it’s a challenge meeting others in queer-friendly spaces. Dating apps have positively affected my sex life as I have met so many great queer women whom I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for online dating. I wish I was having more sex, but it’s a busy time of year, and as lame as it sounds, I don’t have as much time as I would like to be dating right now.
When it comes to casually dating, I am pro multiple sex partners. I always tell my partners that I am interested in keeping things casual and make them aware that I am seeing other people; it is very important to keep communication open and honest. I don’t want anyone to get hurt in the case they are not comfortable with that. But when I’m in a relationship, I am fully monogamous and only have sex with my partner.
A pro of being in a relationship is that we’ve been intimate for awhile and know how to pleasure one another. There is also more variety when it comes to the type of sex, too, as I tend to only use sex toys with a long-time partner. While it is super hot to have sex with a stranger when I’m single, sometimes I am not as vocal about my needs in fear of offending, which means the quality of sex isn’t necessarily as good.”
Lili, 28, identifies as straight and is single. She’s currently not having regular sex
“I’m absolutely not satisfied with my sex life right now because I can’t seem to meet someone who’s sexy, interesting and respectful and wants to have sex with me. Other challenges I face include having sex with a guy who won’t ghost after, choosing to have sex early on only to regret it later, and not having the type of sex I want because I don’t have the time or the opportunity to build sexual compatibility. It’s also hard being single after having had amazing sex with my ex; it makes other guys pale in comparison.
Dating apps are the main way that I meet guys I date and I have sex with, but it affects expectations. Because we have so many choices, we know there can always be another one if an encounter is not fun. That being said, some guys just go on apps to f-ck a bunch of women and are not looking to make a connection. It’s harder for women to feel safe about their sexuality in the context of first dates with a stranger because of that.
I like building intimacy with someone, and I miss it when I’m not in a relationship. It’s not only about the sex, it’s about the cuddles and the kisses, too. I have a “no sex on the first date” rule, although I break it from time to time. When I do break it, most times it turns out to be a bad idea because the guy “got me” and then ghosts or turns into an asshole.
Thank God for vibrators!”