Is Netflix Binging Really Leading People To Have Less Sex?

It seems like every time she turns around, Calico sees another article blaming modern entertainment and communications technologies for some societal ill or another. A rise in car accidents? Must be people paying attention to their phones instead of the road. A decline in the country’s birth rate? Well, the answer clearly is…. people watching Netflix instead of fucking?

netflix binging

When Calico read that a Wall St. Journal survey suggested that people are turning down sex in favor of watching streamed video, she decided to take a look at the survey data for herself — and wouldn’t you know it, the data didn’t line up very well with the claims in the headlines the survey spawned.

So, what does the data say? Find out in Calico’s latest post, “Is Netflix-Binging Really Leading People To Have Less Sex?”

by Calico Rudasill, Porn Movies For Women and Couples

At a time when some people holler “fake news!” every time the media reports something they don’t want to hear (often something about themselves they don’t want to hear), sometimes we don’t pay much attention to news which might not be ‘fake,’ but offers questionable and/or over-hyped assertions, all the same.

Many times, what happens is the media gets hold of a press release or research paper abstract and removes all the caveats, qualifiers and wiggle words. This is how we end up with dozens of “legitimate” news outlets reporting incredibly oversimplified nonsense like if you eat nuts, you’ll live longer, or walking faster will make you live longer, or eating meat and dairy is as bad for you as smoking cigarettes.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of speculative stuff about all the different ways modern communications and entertainment-delivering technology is killing us or making our lives miserable – or leading us to have sex less often.

Survey Says: Your Headline Doesn’t Match the Data

The ‘research’ referenced in the Wall St. Journal article I linked to above – an article which bears the headline “Let’s Watch Netflix: Three Words Guaranteed to Kill a Romantic Mood” – is an online survey conducted via SurveyMonkey.

Without getting off on a rant about how an unscientific survey is a lousy way to establish anything, there are several things about this survey data that strike me as odd, given that the WSJ asserts that saying “Let’s watch Netflix” to your partner is an absolute mood-killer.

For starters, look at the actual numbers collected in response to the question “Do you think you and your partner’s television streaming habits lead to you have more or less sex, or do they not have an effect on your sex life?”

Among all respondents, 17% said their streaming habits lead them to have more sex, while 12% said it leads to less sex – and the overwhelming majority, 70%, said it has “no effect.”

Call me crazy, but if 87% of respondents say watching Netflix either leads them to have more sex or has no effect at all, that’s not quite the same thing as being a mood-killer.

In His Defense, They Just Released More Chilling Adventures of Sabrina…

I suppose some folks might be more concerned about the responses to the questions “In the past 6 months, have you ever chosen to watch streaming television over the opportunity to have sex with your partner?” and “In the past 6 months, has your partner ever chosen to watch streaming television over the opportunity to have sex with you?” – simply because a larger percentage of people answered in the affirmative to those questions than to the one about their streaming habits’ impact on their sex lives.

Still, among both male and female respondents, the “no” group vastly outnumbers the “yes” one. To both questions, right around three-quarters of respondents answered no.

So, you tell me: If 75% of people haven’t adopted “Not tonight honey; I’m watching streaming video” as a new excuse in their sex-declining rationales, can we really blame Netflix for people having less sex?

Maybe It Depends on What They Watch?

As is often the case, I’m left looking at this survey and thinking the people who wrote it didn’t dig anywhere deeply enough into the details. For example, wouldn’t it be interesting to know what people watched when they did turn down sex in order to watch TV?

I can only speak for myself, but after finding out that Netflix recently added All the President’s Men, which features Robert Redford at a time in his career that led to the name “Robert Redford” being synonymous with “yummy!” makes me want to watch Netflix RIGHT NOW – with an eye towards having sex approximately two hours and 19 minutes from right now.

On the other hand, the prospect of possibly having to watch Jon Snow die (for real, this time) is enough to make me want to avoid ever seeing the final season of Game of Thrones.

Taken together, these two things probably mean it’s a good thing I wasn’t among the respondents in that streaming video/sex survey. After all, with the kind of leading-man’s-sex-appeal-overthinking I’m prone to, I never would have been able to finish the survey by its response-cutoff time, anyway.

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