This one theory explains everything.
“A lot of them are afraid that they’ll get into something they can’t get out of and they won’t be able to get back to their desk and keep studying.”
Why aren’t millennials doing sex more? (For the purposes of this argument let’s pretend, like the Washington Post does, that millennials aren’t doing a lot of sex.) There are any number of reasons for millennial celibacy offered here: They’d rather be on the Internet, they are too driven with work/school, they’re afraid of being hurt, they don’t want to go through all the steps of consent culture, bodily fluids are icky, they don’t know how to relate to people in real life, and many of them are too unattractive to fuck or be fucked in our looks-based hookup society.
Here is my theory: They want to stay children.
I don’t mean to generalize but let’s be honest, this is a generation that has been coddled and protected and sheltered and adored for far longer than any other group in history. Say what you will about millennials — they’re trophy-hungry automatons whose valorization of their own self-esteem impedes their ability to develop interesting personalities and their comically earnest and perpetually irritating self-righteousness only serves to underline just how naive their understanding of the way power dynamics really work in societal structures is, plus you can never tear them away from the phones they keep close to themselves as if they were the only source of non-parental affection they’ve found in this world, which according to the Post is in fact the case — but they’re not stupid. They know that being a grown-up is mostly a miserable experience. They understand that when childhood ends and people start treating you the way real adults treat each other — transactionally at best, like shit most of the time — it’s rare that you are even acknowledged as a fellow human being, let alone a special star. The constant drip of approval they have grown up attached to gets yanked out hard, and no one even gives them a lollipop or a kiss on their boo-boo.
If all you’ve been given is applause and appreciation for your ability to complete the most basic tasks, the prospect of no longer being graded on a curve — of no longer being graded at all, in many cases, which may be the most horrible thing for these poor kids — must be terrifying. So why wouldn’t you try to remain a child for as long as you can? If you have to give up sex, so what? You can always watch it on your phone, and this way you don’t need to get gross stuff on the towel that you never learned how to properly wash because your mom did your laundry for you until you were well into your twenties. I can’t even blame them. How happy are you, regular adult who can do sex whenever you want to? (I am making some assumptions about you here but they are mostly in your favor so take the compliment.) Unless you have been able to convince yourself that what you do is meaningful — and it is not, don’t argue with me and I won’t make you feel bad about yourself — probably not very happy. How could you be? Everything is terrible and only getting worse. It’s enough to make you wish someone was taking care of you and making all your decisions for you and telling you everything will be okay, right? God, maybe these kids are smarter than we are after all. I mean, except for the music they listen to. Have you heard this crap? Jesus Christ, I wouldn’t want to fuck anyone either after all that nonsense.