Image credit: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz Image credit: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Despite the belief that people nowadays are all sex-crazed, it seems that adults are having less sex than they were 20 years ago. A new US study had almost 27,000 adults fill in a survey about their sex lives, resulting in some interesting findings.

According to the responses, adults get it on, on average, fewer times in a year during the early 2010s than they were during the early 1990s, as well as the late 1990s. It seems that adults are having sex seven and nine times fewer compared to the early and late 1990s, respectively.

These findings follow on from a study by the same researchers last year that revealed that many young adults are not having any sex. The previous research found that the number of adults between the ages of 20 and 24 who hadn't had a sexual partner after turning 18 had increased by more than double compared to the 1960s and 1990s.

Researchers have suggested a number of possibilities for this fall in sexual encounters, including that millennials may be spending time on other pursuits or that they are more empowered in their sex lives and so don't need to have sex as often.

However, the researchers found that a likely reason for the fall in sexual encounters is due to the fact that more people are unmarried or don't have a steady partner, while those who do have a partner are also not having as much sex.

Ryne Sherman, co-author of the study from Florida Atlantic University, told the Guardian: “One [possible factor] is the ‘failure to launch’ thing." Suggesting that people finding partners later in life and having to live with their parents well into their 20s is having a large impact on their sex lives.

Among those in relationships, things like Netflix, online entertainment and social media are often being used instead of spending time with partners, resulting in a decline in sexual encounters, said the researchers.

According to Cath Mercer from the University College London and co-lead of Britain's National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, the US findings are consistent with those in the UK.

“Of course, quantity does not necessarily equate to quality and so I think a more important question is: are people happy with the sex they do have when they have it?” she said. “Data from Britain’s Natsal studies suggest that this is the case for the vast majority of people, with only a minority reporting that they were dissatisfied with their sex lives.”