(Originally published by GQ)
The New York Times recently investigated two of its favorite subjects: boning and millennials. What they found might shock you!
While general human curiosity may be piqued by the subject of coitus, if we have to point a finger in the direction of the real perverts in the room, they are, undoubtedly, the scientifically minded among us. According to a study referenced in
our paper of record a color-printed leaflet of reasons to hate white people, millennials aren’t boning as much as previous generations did, let alone finding new ways to get elbow-deep in one another. But! In perhaps more shocking news, we’re also not not having sex; a lot of us are still doing the ol’ lay-down-move-around on a regular basis—85 percent of participants in the aforementioned study have done it in the past year. The New York Times thought it was imperative for you to know that most people in their twenties and thirties are still having sex, and even paid someone who probably has a journalism degree to let you know about it while you scrounge in the couch for quarters to pay your landlord. (Just let that sink in for a minute.)
It’s only natural that we’re interested in the smashing habits of our friends and neighbors. Most of my relationships could have achieved the same level of closeness by skipping the boring introductions and cutting to an in-depth discussion of whether or not getting fingered on a roller coaster is as wildly erotic and dangerous as Mark Wahlberg makes it look in Fear. When a friend or acquaintance asks about your children, your career, or your feelings on the summer Olympics, their intention is rarely to find out about the best middle schools in your district; they just want to get to a point where you’re close enough to tell them about that time your raucous boink-fest forced the health department to shut down an entire Dairy Queen. Talking about sex is fun!
However, the real question here isn’t “Who is funding studies about our sexual habits, and couldn’t that money serve this population better by going to a cure for mega-chlamydia?” but “Does it really matter?”
“With the rampant availability of all kinds of strange, it’s hard to even make the case for sex being our most intimate act anymore.”
As our understanding of, and appreciation for, the nuances of gender and sexual orientation continue to expand, so, too, do the parameters of what it means to have sex. While only a handful of years ago, your information would only be counted on the sexual census if you were doing straight P in V, we now know that sex is so much more than that—it’s just as much romantic dinners that lead to adorable little IRA-drainers as it is two guys who met at a Quiznos getting naked and painting a picture of a clown with their butts.
Despite what religious zealots and other buzzkills will tell you, there’s no right amount of sex, no magic number of weekly pound sessions that will keep your significant other from cheating on you, and no reason to assume that periods of waxing or waning sexual desire have to mean something greater in the grand scheme of your relationship. With the rampant availability of all kinds of strange, it’s hard to even make the case for sex being our most intimate act anymore; true closeness and comfort are better achieved through holiday dinners with judgmental family members and admitting you’ve never actually watched The Wire. Whether your relationship is based entirely around your desire to put your mouths on one another or whether it’s virtually devoid of said act, there’s no right answer when it comes to how much you’re getting it in. The most important thing is that you’re both on the same page when it comes to how much you want and expect to take the train to PoundTown.
That said, it’s okay to want to have a lot of sex! Or none at all! With few exceptions, there’s someone, or maybe even a whole German movie theater full of people, who want to hold up signs, Love Actually–style, to proclaim just how perfect they think getting naked with you might be. Just make sure to tip The New York Times off if you and Gunter and Dieter and Margarete do end up consummating your love for one another’s oiled-up flesh during a midnight screening of The Lives of Others; I’m sure there’s a story in there somewhere.