A growing number of people are taking their laptops and iPads to bed instead of their partner, researchers believe
Experts said growing demands of work, the increasing tendency for couples to live apart and the distractions of the digital age could all have played a part in our stagnant sex lives Photo: ALAMY (POSED BY MODEL)
Author: Nick Collins, Science Correspondent
Britons are having less sex than ever as the rise of modern technology means there are more things to do, experts have claimed.
A new survey suggests that people today only find the time to have sex three times every four weeks on average, with half of all people reporting in the range of one to seven liaisons.
The figures from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), which is conducted every decade, show that our activity between the sheets has declined steadily.
In 2001 people reported having sex four times in the past four weeks on average, while in 1991 the figure was five times – the last time we averaged more than one session per week.
There was a wide variation among the population, however, with the latest figures suggesting that in 2012 a quarter of the population had sex more than seven times over four weeks, while a quarter failed to notch up a single conquest.
Experts said growing demands of work, the increasing tendency for couples to live apart and the distractions of the digital age could all have played a part in our stagnant sex lives.
Prof Kaye Wellings of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, one of the study leaders, said the change could be in part down to the “blurring of the line in the home between the bedroom and outside”.
“People [are] taking laptops to bed, iPads, the fact work comes into our home now – there’s no strict divide,” she said.
She added that during the recession an increasing number of unemployed people have reported problems with sexual function due to low self esteem or depression, while the increasing demands of work for those in employment mean they are “very busy”.
Dr Cath Mercer, another of the researchers from University College London, added: “We need to take account of the fact that fewer people are living with their sexual partners nowadays so fewer people are having the opportunity to have sex.
“However it is interesting from our data to observe a decline in sexual frequency even among those who are living [together] or are married to their sexual partner.”