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.