Are electronics killing your sex life?

June 2, 2012

in Better Sex in 2012, Sexuality

Woman upset at husband with laptop in bed. © Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

The other day I saw a reference to a finding from a 2005 Italian study that got a LOT of press when it came out: Having a television in your bedroom cuts your sexual frequency in half. I have never been able to find the full study, but from what I have seen I have doubts about the study – or at least what the media made out of it. It seems the study looked at couple’s sexual frequency, whether or not they had a TV in their bedroom, did the math, and then claimed that a TV in the bedroom cuts sex in half. They did not ask couples with a bedroom TV to move it out and see if sexual frequency went up, nor did they ask couples without a bedroom TV to add one to see if sexual frequency went down. I think couples who have less sex, and couples who have no sex, are more likely to have a TV in their bedroom. So, I see other explanations for the correlation.

However, I still have concerns about a TV in the bedroom. I can certainly see how one spouse could use a  TV as a way to avoid sex. I would say the same thing for cell phones and laptops in the bedroom. In fact, I am even more concerned about phones and computers because they are far more likely to be used by only one spouse, whereas TV watching is more likely to be a joint activity. I think electronics are used to avoid intimacy; intimacy of all kinds. Sexologist Bob Berkowitz, Ph.D. has posited much the same, saying, “sometimes I think we are choosing to be distracted. It’s almost like ‘Let’s watch TV so we do not have to talk.’”

If you have a good relationship and a good sex life, I don’t think electronics in your bedroom are going to keep you from having sex. You can have sex before TV, after TV, during (especially if it’s not live and you can pause) or instead of TV. (J discussed this recently in her post Must Your Bedroom Be a Love Den.) However, if you are having trouble being intimate, be it with sex or any form of intimacy, a no devices in the bedroom rule seems like a marriage positive choice.

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6 comments
Steve J
Steve J

I used to use my iPod touch to keep myself alert and awake until my wife came to bed so we could be intimate. Unfortunately, iPod started to mean Instant Porn On Demand. Keep the electronics out of the bedroom.

J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)
J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)

One of my fondest memories early on in my marriage is of me and my hubby snuggled up together watching the World Series on TV. We ended most of those nights with lovemaking. Perhaps the most important issue, as you point out, is togetherness is whatever you are doing in the bedroom -- even if it's TV watching.

Jay Dee
Jay Dee

I've never had a TV in the bedroom, but a few days ago, our TV in our living room broke (smoke and everything). So, we've been TV less for 4 days, and probably will be for another couple of weeks while the warranty is worked out. My wife and I, who would typically find a movie or show to watch, have been playing board games together every night. It's been amazing. Thank God the TV broke.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Scott - had not seen that article yet. I agree with what you said - "electronic interference" is a big relationship issue and it goes well beyond the bedroom. I see couples eating at a restaurant who don't talk because both are talking on their phone, texting, playing a game, reading the news ...

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Jay Dee - I agree that TV is a low form of together time. If it's sparks conversations about plot or the relationships of the characters, there is some good from it, but it's not interactive as it's viewed. As with most things, it's about balance. Some TV is fine, too much is a problem.

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