What a turn-off: technology is ‘a third person in the bedroom’

The sex survey: Bringing phones and laptops to bed is impacting negatively on your sex lives

 

If you or your partner use a phone, a tablet or a laptop in bed, how does it affect your sex life? The answer is surprising.

Only three out of 10 respondents to The Irish Times sex survey say “negatively”, with this rising to more than one-third for men in the 25-34 age category and 38 per cent of women of the same age.

This confirms what relationship counselling statistics have found in other Irish studies.

Just one in four sexually active people who responded to the survey said they didn’t bring their phone, tablet or laptop to bed with them, but if you want to ignite romance, technology needs to be banned from the bedroom, advises Trish Murphy, psychotherapist and Irish Times agony aunt. Psychosexual therapist Teresa Bergin makes the same point.

“I think the use of technology in the bedroom is becoming increasingly problematic,” she says. “It seems that it’s more difficult now for people to confine their use of phones and laptops to certain rooms or certain times of the day, and so it infiltrates everything and demands constant attention.

“Browsing the web or scrolling through Facebook is akin to having a conversation with a third person in the room,” she adds. “It’s a real barrier to intimacy and a roadblock to any sexual activity.”

While most respondents said that technology was not having a negative affect, sexologist Emily Power Smith thinks they may be wrong. “I would suggest that the numbers [experiencing a negative effect] might be higher,” she says. Her logic is that respondents who use technology in the bedroom have to be missing sex.

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