Bad news: Our parents had a lot more sex than us

May 6, 2015 at 1:46 p.m. ET
Image: Chris Schmidt/E+/Getty Images

Our parents had more sex than we do. Let that sink in for a moment. It's awful, right? But it turns out that no matter how much fun we think we are having, those in the older generation had more of it, at least according to a new study released by the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Millennials and the younger generation may talk a good game about sex and use hookup apps like Tinder, but when it comes to sex, those hippies had something right. According to Time:

"Boomers and early Gen X’ers born in the 1950s and 60s had the most sex of all — an average of 11 sexual partners as adults — followed by those born in the 1940s or 1970s, who averaged at about 10 partners. Millennials, born in the 1980s and 1990s, only have an average of eight sexual partners. Still, they’re doing better than their grandparents in the 'Greatest Generation,' who slept with an average of about two partners each."

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So what does this mean for us?

Personally, I think it just means we got smarter. It's not that there is only one way to play. We should be allowed to sleep with the people we choose and we should enjoy sex and not be concerned about whether or not we will be judged. I am all for stopping senseless "slut" shaming. But also: Most of us grew up under the specter of AIDS. The fear of STDs was drilled into our little brains when we were barely out of elementary school. So why would we be in a hurry to jump into the sack with just anyone?

The '60s and '70s were all about free love and enjoying each other's bodies, but sadly things changed in the 1980s. It's not better or worse. It's just a fact.

Maybe it's not about a value judgment and more about personal protection that we younger folks have fewer partners. Personally, I prefer fewer partners with a higher frequency. Then you get the best of all worlds. STDs are a reality and maybe the younger generations are just more practical.

More: 6 Sex-after-birth problems all new parents encounter

I refuse to be grossed out, though, by generations past. I salute them for paving the way for us to make our own choices when it comes to sex and love.

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