Having less sex? Ditch the bedroom TV

Friday, February 7th, 2020 00:00 |
Having less sex.

While there might be nothing better than watching a movie while snuggling up with your partner, new research has found that if you are doing it in the bedroom, you likely have a very poor sex life

Grace Wachira @yaa_grace

While some people may look at the TV as a piece of décor, a mark of wealth or as a form of entertainment in the bedroom, a new study has found it could be the reason you are having less sex with your spouse. 

The revised 2019 study, which included four million people across 80 countries and four continents by the National Bureau of Economic Research, an American non-profit private research organisation has shown that couples who keep a TV in their bedroom, on average, have six per cent less sex than those who do not.

The results suggested that while television may not kill your sex life, it is associated with some sex life morbidity.

“Under our most conservative estimate, we find that television ownership is associated with approximately a six per cent reduction in the likelihood of having had sex in the past week, consistent with a small degree of substitutability between television viewing and sexual activity,” the study read.

Allows freedom

Andrew Omollo, an accountant in Nairobi agrees with these findings. He is strongly against the notion to have a television in his bedroom.

“I know how excited ladies get when their favourite programmes come on. The last thing they want to see is you. Our bedroom is strictly for sleeping, resting and having sex.

I do not think I would entertain the idea of not enjoying our love life just because of the television,” he quips. 

Experts have touted a multitude of conflicting opinions on this subject, ranging from the recommendation that televisions in the bedroom lead to better sex, to the admonition that they will cause the slow and steady demise of your partnership.

Peter Korir who has been married for two years, however, begs to differ. “I upgraded my television and put the older one in our bedroom.

It has not affected our relationship; the purposes intended for the room are still intact and our love life is okay,” he says.

The young entrepreneur adds that if anything, the extra television comes in handy when children visit them.

“I don’t watch cartoons with them, so I retreat to my bedroom where I can watch what I want,” he says.

Korir’s sentiments are echoed by Carol Irungu. “The whole notion that we are antisocial or losing touch is not true.

I look at it as a form of freedom. Everyone in the house gets to watch whatever they want,” she says.

It also helps her avoid infringing on her househelp’s television programming. She says her sex life hasn’t been affected a bit because of the TV.

Maryann Wangui doesn’t own one in the bedroom yet, but looks forward to having one. “I want one to watch my adult movies and series with my husband,” she laughs. 

Disrupts bonding

Ken Ouko, a sociologist at the University of Nairobi notes that a television set in the bedroom used to be a status symbol of an over-enthusiastic middle class personage to pamper himself into the delusionary grandeur of ‘having arrived’.

“However, the truly wealthy actually have TV lounges in their private quarters and a TV in the bedroom is a definite no-no.

The downsides of having a TV in the bedroom far outweigh its pluses. Mostly, a TV in the bedroom is a disruption of bedroom serenity,” he says.

 He says the piece of furniture in the bedroom takes the mind on a safari it’s not supposed to embark on.

“It has been proven by scientists that the screen flicker, as scenes change, destabilises the preparatory stage of sleep.

When the screen flickers repeatedly, it leads to REM (Rapid Eye Movement) that in turn causes dilation of the pupils as they try to reconcile eye closure and ‘side-viewing’.”

 A TV in the bedroom also disrupts bonding time for the couple. “Instead of focusing on soothing each other to sleep or partaking of uninterrupted intimacy, the TV calls attention to itself.

Sleep therapists have also ascertained that the images that appear on the screen late in the night have a definitive impact on dreams and nocturnal behaviour,” Ken warns.

Watching a horror movie for example triggers nightmares; watching an action thriller leads to faster heart rate and extra perspiration; and watching sex scenes or romance may cause wishful fantasy that contrasts with what the partners think of each other. 

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