If the French are in a “sex recession”, where does this leave us?

We at Bodyjoys are bamboozled by the findings of a recent sex study in France. Rather than confirming France as an erotic powerhouse, a survey by Ifop and luxury sex toy maker Lelo has revealed that the French are in a “sex recession”.

The proportion of sexual initiates who said they had had sexual intercourse in the last 12 months has fallen to 76% from 91% in 2006. Even more remarkable are the results for 18-24 year-olds (non-virgins!), where the share of sexually inactive people has increased fivefold since 2006: 28% said they had not had sexual intercourse in a year, up from just 5% in 2006.

This development contrasts with the market for sex toys, which is growing by about 5-8% pa depending on sources and regions. Ifop argues that today’s widespread notion of sobriety is also reflected in sexuality, with more and more adults, for example, stating that they could live in purely platonic relationships. And with ‘screen time’ competing with sex time, the digital world is also partly responsible for the less intense sex life, according to Ifop.

While the numerical results of the study are pretty clear, it’s much harder to fathom the real reasons behind this trend, and its wider implications. Does it mean that people have a diminished desire for erotic encounters, or that they have lessened yearning for partnered sex? Is masturbation on the rise at the expense of sexual intercourse? In any case, plenty of food for more surveys!

We at Bodyjoys are observing that people in the UK are increasingly freeing themselves from norms, and are moulding their sexuality in the way that best suits their lifestyle. We also see that while sex toys for couples are selling well, the demand for classic self-pleasure toys is clearly outweighing the demand.

Regardless of what any studies say, we will continue to promote sexual well-being through sensual pleasure, and empower people in the joyful art of intimate self-discovery. Sex is sex, whether solo, or together with a partner. We therefore cannot confirm a “sex recession” in the UK.