7 Ways Sex Has Changed Since We Were Growing Up

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

People have been having sex since the beginning of time, so we tend to think of it as something that's always been the same. But that couldn't be further from the truth. There are tons of ways sex has changed since we were growing up, and as technology advances and cultural values evolve, it'll continue to change.

Just look at the different sexual views and experiences that people of different generations have. For example, despite their reputation for favoring casual hookups, Millennials are having less sex than Gen-Xers and Boomers did at their age, maybe because they're in less of a rush to grow up. However, younger generations are more likely to believe it's OK to have sex before marriage, according to a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Some of these differences are predictable given the way our social and sexual norms have changed, and others reflect surprising trends.

Even if you only look at our generation, there have been a lot of changes over the past one or two decades — mostly for the better, if you ask me. "We'll continue to see more and more women-founded companies in this industry, which obviously we're excited about," Alex Fine, CEO of Dame Products, whose products are made to close the orgasm gap, tells Bustle. "The future is female!"

The version of sex we learned about as teenagers poking around the Internet or college students fumbling around in dorm rooms is so different from the version we know today. Here are seven reasons why.

1The Orgasm Gap Is Closing, Thank God

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Straight women tend to have fewer orgasms with partners than straight men. A recent study in Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 95 percent of straight men but only 65 percent of straight women usually or always orgasmed when they were sexually intimate. But 89 percent of women in the 2015 SKYN Condoms Millennial Sex Survey said they usually orgasmed with their partners, which means that maybe, things are changing. Now there's a good argument for why we need feminism.

2Anal Sex Is More Popular

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

In 1992, 16 percent of women ages 18-24 had had anal sex. By 2010, that number had skyrocketed to 40 percent, according to a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. I'm hoping anal doesn't become another "normal" sex act women end up feeling pressured into, but if they're simply exploring their sexuality and sensuality to its fullest, that's a good thing.  

3There Are More Sex Toys Every Day

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Ten years ago, I'd never even heard of any sex toys besides dildos and vibrators. Now, there are vibrators that sync with music and audiobooks, unicorn horn dildos, crystals you put in your vagina, vibrators made to close the orgasm gap, and pretty much anything else you could imagine.

4Cyber Sex Has Gotten Easier

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Before 2003, Skype wasn't even a thing. Now, long-distance couples can not only video chat but also use toys together, thanks to products like We-Vibe Sync and the Max And Nora Long Distance Sex Toys Set that can be controlled remotely.

5It's Easier To Find Hookup Partners, Thanks To Apps

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True, online dating comes with its own set of challenges. But 10 years ago, you could not just decide you wanted a hookup, go on your phone, and swipe until you found a willing partner like you could today. That could explain why STI rates have gone up since dating apps became popular.

6Sex Robots Are A Thing

VERSUSstudio/Fotolia

Sex bots aren't just a creation of sci-fi movies. They already exist, and they're getting more and more realistic. Matt McMullen, creator of Real Dolls, plans to release a sex robot named Harmony, which can hold conversations, quote Shakespeare, and remember her owners' birthdays, by the end of the year.

7VR Porn Is A Thing

Eugenio Marongiu/Fotolia

If sex with robots isn't your thing, maybe virtual sex with porn stars and live-cam performers will be. With a pair of VR glasses, you can now experience a number of porn videos in 3-D.

We probably couldn't have imagined some of these things 10 years ago... which means we probably can't imagine what sex will look like 10 years from now.