by Temitope Onitiju
After a week of global speculation, Durex has revealed the hugely anticipated smartphone technology that could change our sex lives forever…
And it’s the off button.
The world’s leading sexual wellbeing brand sparked mass speculation on March 3rd by teasing an imminent technological breakthrough in partnership with Siren Mobile to improve people’s sex lives around the world.
Hundreds of thousands of people visited the ‘Durexlabs’ website to find out more, with excitement amplified by global media and social networks.
But in a moving and enlightening video released yesterday (http://youtu.be/wpdd2eBvyXM), couples who volunteered to test the technology, eager to give their love lives an uplift, were surprised to learn the answer lay in a simple switch that had been right in front of them all along – the off button.
The video, which has received 765,025 views in its first 24 hours, follows some of these beta testers on their emotional journey, highlighting the serious issue that we are becoming enslaved to technology. It has been released alongside a study by Durham University commissioned by Durex, which reveals that pervasive use of technology in relationships is seriously impacting how often we have sex, even cutting intercourse short and causing tensions in relationships.
Researchers from Durham’s Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities revealed that 40% of those interviewed have delayed sex because of technology, largely smart phones and tablets, with others reported hurrying sexual activity in order to respond to messages.
Moreover, a third of the couples interviewed admitted to interrupting sex to answer their phone. One participant said: “Sometimes I’ll be on Facebook and he’ll be on a sporting app while we are both in bed; we realise that we are literally sitting in bed together, but living in different worlds.”
Ukonwa Ojo, Head of Global Brand Equity at Durex: “With technology playing such a pivotal role in our personal lives and relationships, we set out to explore how it could be utilised in a positive way to enhance our sex lives, but in doing so we discovered the most effective answer was the simplest. After consulting countless experts, academic research and endless qualitative interviews, the solution turned out to be a simple one – we should disconnect to reconnect.
“We are encouraged by the response to the campaign and film, particularly as we approach Earth Hour. We hope it will go some way to reconnect couples that have let technology compromise their connection with each other.”
Susie Lee, the app entrepreneur and CEO of Siren Mobile, has been a central part of the project’s implementation. Lee said: “Of course, tech can never really replace human interaction. True chemistry comes from intimacy. “So whilst we need our tech – it has enhanced our lives, enabling us to reconnect with old friends, reach wider social groups and meet new people – we need to recognize the times and places when social networking doesn’t enrich our experience. We really need to learn to focus on each other in the bedroom, rather than on our smartphones or tablets.”
Dr. Mark McCormack, Co-Director of the Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities at Durham University, comments: “Technology has revolutionised our lives and smart phones are now central to the organisation of romantic relationships, from establishing them to maintaining love and affection when couples are apart.”
“What this research reveals and the point the video makes is that technology now consumes our relationships at a much deeper level. It’s made its way into the bedroom in more ways than we imagined, often with benefits, but also coming with potentially serious costs to relationships, as it can cause frustration and tension, and encroach on sexual activity.”
The research, conducted by Durex in association with Durham University, can be found here
KEY QUOTES AND STATS FROM THE QUALITIATIVE INTERVIEWS:
“When the first iphone was purchased by him I used to call it the third person in our marriage and I hated her with a passion, she used to sit between us, and I really disliked her… it has become a third arm for a lot of people”
“Sometimes I’ll be on Facebook and he’ll be on a sporting app while we are both in bed; we realise that we are literally sitting in bed together, but living in different worlds.”
“I may want sex and he might not be aware of that, because he’s distracted on his phone”
“In the last few months, I’ve tried to have a ban on her using her phone in the bedroom….. We’re now trying to use the bedroom for just sleeping and sex.”
“She loves her technology I’m not going to lie, she loves her phone. Sometimes it does feel like it’s a relationship with her and her phone, she loves her phone and she’s never really away from it”
” I’ve not delayed sex, I’ve faked an orgasm to speed it up to get back to work.”
- 40% (12 of 30) have delayed sex because of technology (most phones, but a couple tablets/laptops)
- A third (10 of 30) participants have answered their phone during sex.