For as long as I can remember, sex has always been on my mind. Sex with different men, sex with different women, sex with men and women at the same time. I love learning about fetishes, hearing about someone else’s hookups in explicit detail and exploring the limits of my own boundaries. Sex is my favorite topic because it’s all encompassing. It’s intimate, scary, shameful, pleasurable and erotic. Sex is everything.

Like many, I’m a product of the sexual revolution. Thanks to the women who walked their slut walks before me, I’m able to be classy and slutty. I don’t have to choose. One would think because of the ongoing cultural shifts in how female sexuality is represented, paired with more progressive attitudes and growing access to sexual education, we’d be living in the era of peak promiscuity.

Not so: a study published in March 2017 in Archives of Sexual Behavior determined that we Americans, in fact, are having less sex than we were 20 years ago. That study comes roughly two years after another published in Archives of Sexual Behavior reported that millennials specifically are having way less sex than previous generations. As Playboy’s Jessie Geoffray wrote last year, “Americans born in the 1990s were more likely to be sexually inactive in their early 20s; women were more likely to be sexually inactive than men; and people who did not attend college were more likely to be sexually inactive compared to those who did.”

The rules for what constitues sex as we know it are changing, as is how we get off.

According to the 2017 study, researchers attribute these plummeting figures to two things: An increase in the number of individuals without a steady or marital partner and a decline in sexual frequency among those with partners. We all know what happens in marriage: the steady stream of sex runs dry. But what happens when your sex life doesn’t trudge the traditional path? As a now-divorced woman who married in her early twenties and has been mostly single since, my sex life mirrors these results.

Compared to my early twenties, the amount of sex I’m having now has dropped, especially after I quit drinking. Drinking was the social lubricant that dropped those pesky inhibitions and released my inner sex goddess. Still, I never was one for random hookups. I need a connection, which means swiping through Tinder and Bumble for an immediate fuck is out of the question.

Most people have the ill-informed idea that because I’m a sex columnist, I have sex all the time. The opposite is true. My editor warned me that being a sex columnist could ruin your sex life—and he was right. I’ve slept with two people this past year, yet I still consider myself sexually satiated. The other day, I was pondering this disconnect while going about my normal day when I inadvertenly stumbled upon a potential explanation. Let me walk you through it.


9:00 a.m.
I stare at the computer screen with an outline for an upcoming piece about Kellyanne Conway staring back at me. I’m supposed to be writing about politics, but I’m too distracted by thoughts of the hot guy I made out with two nights ago—a man who’s riddled with red flags. I know I need to stay away from him, so I instead peruse sexy GIFs to post on Twitter as a distraction.

10:00 a.m.
The sexy GIFs, paired with my morning coffee, remind me of a guy I had coffee with some time back. I’ve had a crush on him ever since and recently, he reached out about meeting again. So I decide to take him up on the offer. “Coffee?” I text.

10:17 a.m.
Hot Coffee Guy responds, but unfortunately, he now works thousands of miles away and won’t be back in Los Angeles for two months. We chat a bit, during which I insinuate I would like to have sex with him. He tells me the door is open. “Until then, I’ll keep an eye out,” he texts.

10:40 a.m.
“For nudies?” I respond. Before he can respond, I send him one. As I’ve mentioned before, the pleasure I get from sending a man nude pictures remains as true today as it was when I had to arduously upload pictures from a digital camera via a USB cable. Given that the world today feels as if it’s been set ablaze, sharing some joy, levity and boobs feels like the right thing to do.

10:41 a.m.
He responds. “I meant articles. But this is MUCH better.”

10:45 a.m.
Pro tip: If a woman is sending you nudes, flatter her. Express gratitude. Let her know it turns you on—but don’t get greedy. And please refrain from sending a dick pic until she asks for one. If a man does these things, I’m putty in his hands. And Hot Coffee Guy is clearly well-versed. “You are making my day and possibly my week,” he writes.

We go back and forth for hours. The day is getting away from me. Even though I feel like a degenerate, I don’t care. I’m now doing a photoshoot just for him. The toys come out. I graduate to video.

3:45 p.m.
Five hours and four orgasms later, I’m completely satisfied—so satisfied, in fact, that I’m happy I cancelled my booty call earlier in the day. I didn’t need the real thing anymore. I got the thrill from Hot Coffee Guy and he was more kind and flattering than any booty call with a big dick would have ever been. And in terms of penetration and stimulation, I got what I needed from my high-quality sex toys that provide custom orgasms, tailored to my body.


There’s a red herring in the 2017 study detailing America’s deteriorating sex lives. That is, the researchers don’t indicate what their definition of sex entails. Specifically, they don’t mention if it includes cybersex, which today can include sexting, FaceTiming and camming. While I might not have had sex in real life, it certainly felt like I did. I took a day to play hooky and have sex in bed with a long-distance lover, and I definitely boasted the subsequent sex glow when I met up with my girlfriends later. That should count, right?

The whole experience leads me to believe maybe Americans aren’t having less sex after all. Instead, maybe the rules for what constitues sex as we know it are changing, as is how we get off. Having sexual intercourse may not be as frequent an activity for some of us, but there are now more avenues to being stimulated than ever. It’s about quality over quantity, after all. One great romp in the sack can sustain me a lot longer than a mediocre lay with a mediocre lover. And as I discovered, one great sexting session can supersede having sex with an unappreciative fuckboy. Simply put, it’s further proof that sex—and the way we achieve it—is constantly evolving and becoming more and more difficult to define. Maybe that’s a good thing.