We know, we know — you don’t want to think about your parents gettin’ jiggy with it, but you had to get here somehow. And if researchers are right, there’s a high chance your parents had more sexy time than you and your partner are. According to a study of more than 34,000 men and women in the United Kingdom, the frequency and consistency of sex is dwindling.
A study published this month in the British Medical Journal compared and contrasted studies from 1994, 2001 and 2012. While 2001 seemed to be a year when people were doing the horizontal tango in 2001 (maybe out of relief over Y2K panic?) — the numbers for 2012 were much lower than either of the other decades. In fact, when you look at the people not having sex at all, the numbers are rising: from 23 percent to 29.3 in women, and from 26 to 29.2 in women. Married couples who keep the spark alive are falling too, with 2012 being much lower than 1994 or 2001.
What’s causing this lack of passion?
Well, um, what you’re likely doing right now: looking at your phone. Or maybe, reading on your laptop. Though it’s true many factors play into the results of this study, the lead author, Kaye Wellings speculates our obsession with technology is a biggie. As a professor of sexual health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, she studies trends over time, and feels intimacy has taken a backseat to constantly checking Facebook or Instagram, checking the news, or even wasting time.
And if you’re nodding along think it’s just the stereotype of buttoned-up Brits, think again. Wellings added their data is consistent with similar forecasts in Australia, Finland and the United States.
If you’re fearful your relationship with your iPhone is more romantic than your marriage, it’s time to make some digital detoxing rules for when you’re at home. Here, a few to implement:
Institute ‘no phone’ time.
This should be at least an hour or so before bed since the blue light from the screens has been proven to keep us awake. It also gives you the time to decompress from the day, talk about what’s happening in the office and check-in with your partner. Or you know, spoon, which hopefully, will lead to another silverware item.
Don’t reach for your phone — reach for your partner.
The first thing you touch in the morning shouldn’t be your smartphone (except to maybe turn off the alarm). After all, when you’re in a LTR, one perk is having someone to wake up to each morning. Take those extra five minutes in the A.M. before the day begins to savor each other — instead of seeing how many likes your most recent Instagram post received.
Have phone-free date nights.
And if you aren’t having date nights — start booking them! These are opportunities for you to connect away from the home, preferably over red, red wine. When you’re out together, don’t check your phone all the time. It takes away from the intrigue and the sex appeal of the experience.