Playboy Survey Finds America in a 'Sex Recession'

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July 10, 2019

By Elli Fitzgerald

Playboy recently decided it was time to take Americans' temperatures on how they feel about sex. Survey says: most people aren't running a fever.

The survey results are highlighted in Playboy's Gender and Sexuality issue for Summer 2019. It found that more than half of Americans think they're having less sex than their peers ー and also think they should be having "way more."

"We're in a sex drought; a sex recession," Playboy Executive Editor Shane Michael Singh told Cheddar in an interview Wednesday. "People are less interested in sex. They're afraid to have sex because of MeToo and [Harvey] Weinstein-gate and all those things."

Singh said many signs in current culture are leading Americans to believe that people are having more sex than they really are. But, in a country where sex sells, it seems America still falls in a "vanilla" category when it comes to how they actually live.

"We are actually still pretty conservative in our sexual attitudes," he said. "We still value emotional connection; we value long-term intimacy; we still value sex with spouses. So this dating app culture and this idea of polyamory and open relationships becoming a little more exciting isn't changing how we feel about who we actually want to go to bed with at night."

Singh also quashes the notion that more sex represents a superior sex life.

"We found that [out of] LGBTQ people, one in five have more than 25 sexual partners in their lifetime, but their sex lives are less satisfactory to them," Singh said. "Most heterosexual people think that their sex lives are very satisfying to them and they've only had, you know, one partner."

The survey also asked about what constitutes "cheating" in a relationship and found significant differences in how men and women responded. For instance, more women than men consider "emotional connections" and "grinding" to be cheating.