We are more open about sex than ever before.  No topic it seems is too outrageous to discuss.  No concern too personal to share. We have dedicated sex therapists, coaches and a hoard of columnists exploring every conceivable topic. But are we making a mistake? Surveys show that there has been nearly a 50% decrease in having regular sex amongst young people. And across all adults in many countries there has been a marked decrease in the frequency that we have sex with a partner. Could it be that our very openness about sex makes it less exciting, less transgressive, and less desirable?  

Have we got the statistics wrong, are we now just more able to admit we are having less sex than we consider the norm?  Is the decline in sex even a good thing, the consequence of there being less unwanted sex?  Or, is the unknown and the forbidden somehow essential to all forms of desire if it is to maintained, and do we need to be less explicit about sex, to reintroduce magic and mystery? From the art market to fashion we desire the scarce and bored with the commonplace, do we just need to face up to the fact that the same is true for sex?

In association with The Independent.

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