Technology is turning Brits off sex

Mobile & tablets

by Ben Sullivan| 27 November 2013

Rise in love affairs with technology hampering intimacy in the bedroom.

The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), which is conducted every decade, has revealed that people have sex three times every month on average, a decline from the last survey conducted over 10 years ago.

The reason? Well some experts are claiming technology is to blame here.

The Daily Telegraph reported experts as saying that a key reason for the decline could be our addiction to tablets and smartphones.

It reported Professor Kaye Wellings of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, one of the study leaders, as saying the change could be in part down to people "taking their laptops and smartphones into the bedroom."

"People (are) taking laptops to bed, iPads, the fact work comes into our home now - there's no strict divide," she said.

I guess it's easy to see really, if people are still tip tapping away on Twitter or checking their emails, or even playing games when it comes to bedtime, that leaves little time to do anything else. People are just too busy for sex.

Pyschosexual therapist, Mike Lousada, said:

"I think there is a shift on how we have relationships, partly based on technological developments. A 100 years ago people typically may only have met one or 200 people in their entire lives. Now, with social media, we can have hundreds of "friends" - but do we allow ourselves to have deeper relationships? It's as though we have more breadth but less depth in relationships. Intimate relationships require us to show ourselves, to be vulnerable and I think that people are finding this difficult. It's easy now if we fall out with one person, just to move on to the next, we have so much choice.

"Sex can obviously be a very intimate experience, especially in an existing relationship. For many it is challenging to move beyond the superficial performance level of sex into something more real and meaningful. I think that many people avoid this because it can evoke uncomfortable feelings."

However, Michael Kallenback, a relationship therapist, said:

"The fact that these days everyone is either on some sort of mobile or computer device has meant that there have been distractions, but sex can take place at any time of the day or night - there doesn't have to be a prescribed time for it to happen. Sometimes spontaneous and creative thinking needs to be part of the mix and couples need to be adventurous. For a start, they need to be able to talk about things. It seems to me that it's all too easy to blame everything on modern-day appliances, as seductive and obsessive as they may be."

Last month we saw the news that one in 10 Americans use their phone while having sex. The study also found that 72% of Americans are never more than 5ft away from their phones at all times.

One of the researches said: "It's no wonder people in relationships feel like their phones are cramping their love life. 12% of respondents in a relationship said they believe their smart phone gets in the way of that relationship." The number goes up to one in five Americans when you single out 18 to 34-year-olds.

Marc Barach, chief marketing and strategy officer at Jumio, the company that funded the study for Harris Interactive, said: "People view their smartphones as an extension of themselves, taking them everywhere they go - even the most unorthodox places - from the shower to their commute, from the dinner table to the bedroom."

Writing a piece for Business Insider, online adult performer @chaosintended argued that 'the relationship we are developing with our smartphone has become almost erotically intimate, that we are confiding our innermost desires in those sleek, shiny gadgets'.

Suzi Godson, The Times sex columnist and HuffPost UK blogger has said that often these types of survey don't take into account the permutations of what may affect someone's sex life.

"It is much easier for clinicians and researchers to raise questions about sex but it's much harder for them to deal with something as abstract as sexual pleasure.

"One of the most important functions of the Natsal research is to correct myths and misinformation about sexual behavior. What's very reassuring is that older people continue to have and enjoy sex and it mediates expectations by showing that people are not, as we have been led to believe, having sex an average of three times a week."

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