“Haven't you heard of the Sexual Revolution?”
“Who won, huh?” - St. Elmo’s Fire, 1985.
You can’t win, kids. When I was your age, us debauched young people were having too much sex. You, it seems, are having too little.
Kate Julian (whose skill is obviously not snappy titles) asks “Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?” in a recent Atlantic piece. The ultimate premise you have to accept is that more sex equals more happiness, and less or none equals less happiness. Julian does briefly acknowledge reasons why people may be affirmatively choosing less sex in the beginning of the piece, but never really asks her subjects, her readers or herself the following: Is sex as sex good for us, and does it make us happy?
I would refine the inquiry further: Are we mistaking means for ends? To paraphrase Freud, who himself was a bit obsessive on the subject, civilization is the productive channeling of sexual drive. But the end here is civilization. The act itself and what leads to it is simply an energy flow, a harnessed means. Water will flow as it does, but its flow can be harnessed for mills and dams.