Americans having less sex than they once did, study finds

Couples had 16 times more sex per year in 2000-2004 than in 2010-2014

Millennials aren't just having less sex. The most drastic decline?

Even though people are more open to discussing sex these days than they were a generation ago, they don't appear to be engaging in the activity any more frequently, according to the results of a new study published online this week in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers had an average of 11 partners by the time they were 45.

An annual survey of 26,000 people showed a drop-off in sex in the years 2010 through 2014 compared to a decade earlier.

Americans had sex 16 fewer times annually in the latest look at how we spend our time.

Broad trends could partly be attributed to the fact that committed relationships are no longer as common as they used to be. There are now more people without partners, who typically tend to have half the sex that those with partners do.

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Americans are far less coupled today.

Compared to 1986 when 66 percent of Americans were living with a partner, only 59 percent live with a partner in 2014. The decline was largest among white people, married people, those in their 50s, those with a college degree, those with children between ages 6 and 12 at home, and those who had not seen a pornographic movie in the a year ago.

The report did not cite causes behind the decline.

So it's not exactly a surprise that the same researchers found in a previous study that American adults' happiness declined between 2000 and 2014.

This news comes after research has shown having sex improves job satisfaction and work engagement. It emphasizes the right frequency is one that satisfies both partners.

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Age is also an important factor. Smartphone apps and internet dating has made it easier for people to find individuals interested in intimate encounters.

Another crucial factor: fatigue from meeting financial obligations. And there's been a far, far bigger drop in the amount of sex people have if they have at least two years of college education, which correlates with those who tend to get married later in life. They also come as young people are regularly accessing sexual information online, and pornography use has become more commonplace and accepted, according to the study.

Twenge did not greatly agree, noting that a steep drop in sexual incidence reported from 2008 had not been reversed despite economic improvements since the Great Recession.

"As the boundary between work and home life continues to erode through technology and increasing expectations of availability, employers would be wise to consider practices, such as limiting urgent-response emails in the evening, when employees may be engaging in physical intimacy, which appears to positively affect work behavior the following day", the authors write.

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