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Boffins: Bonkless Brits fondling slabs, not each other

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Brits are doing it less often than they did twenty years ago, according to researchers from University College, London – and one reason could be the fragmentation of home life.

The depressing datum, especially if it were replicated around the world, is that from a mean of 6.2 encounters per month for men and 6.3 for women in 2001, the most recent National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles finds the numbers are now 4.9 times per month for men and 4.8 for women.

As noted by The Wellcome Trust's discussion of the study: “This is explained in part by demographic change with fewer people in the population married or cohabiting and so having less opportunity to have sex, although even among people who live with their partner sexual frequency has declined” (emphasis added). The trust is one of the funders of the survey.

As project leader Dr Cath Mercer from UCL told the BBC: “People are worried about their jobs, worried about money. They are not in the mood for sex. But we also think modern technologies are behind the trend too. People have tablets and smartphones and they are taking them into the bedroom, using Twitter and Facebook, answering emails.”

However, for The Register's money, UK relationship psychologist Corrine Sweet catches the real reason things are going bad: twenty years ago, a couple would have to settle on what kind of naughty movies they both liked. Now, people can watch their porn in different rooms and on different devices.

“The chemistry of sitting together in front of the goggle-box doesn't happen,” Sweet told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's AM programme (audio here).

In other words, to the sex-starved of the world: the best kind of fondleslab is one you can fondle together. ®

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