While sparks flying tends to determine whether or not someone is keen to get bizz-ay, you probably wouldn’t have thought our use of electricity could give us vital info about the modern sexual appetite.
But according to a study out of Lancaster University in the UK, running an eye over our electrical and data consumption – and, specifically, when said usage peaks out – is a pretty strong reflection of our nocturnal habits.
And the news is not good for those who have been sold on the concept of ‘Netflix and chill’.
One of the key findings is that where we used to spend the hours of between 10 and 11pm pressing play on Al Green cassette tapes, these days we are far more likely to be in bed… streaming TV shows and movies.
“To the extent that this traffic is associated with viewing films or programs, rather than short videos on YouTube, it suggests that mobile devices are used to prolong hours of ‘TV watching’, perhaps after the main TV set has been turned off,” the study says.
So, while consuming visual content used to be done pretty much exclusively in the living room, the advent of the smartphone and tablet – as well as easy access to streaming and video services like Netflix – means we’re watching longer and later.
It all points to the idea that more telly time leads to less sexy time – a notion put forward two years ago by a Cambridge University statistician.
Speaking at the 2016 Hay Festival, Professor David Spiegelhalter put it simply: “People are having less sex”.
“Sexually active couples between 16 and 64 were asked and the median was five times in the last month in 1990, then four times in 2000 and three times in 2010,” the Telegraph reported him saying.
“At this rate by 2030 couples are not going to be having any sex at all.”
I think that GenX needs to reclaim #netflixandchill. When you are 40-something, that is a literal description of every weekend night.
— Janet O (@intaplanetjanet) May 7, 2018
As for the cause behind the potentially species-dooming lack of action?
“One of the researchers mentioned the word iPad,” Professor Spiegelhalter said.
“I think it’s the box set, Netflix. OMG I’ve got to watch the entire second series of Game of Thrones.”
While Professor Spiegelhalter acknowledged at the time “statisticians say I don’t know”, this latest study certainly points to his theory being correct.
So, for the good of the human race, it’s time to leave the iPhone on your bedside table and maybe invest in some dimmer switches – good for setting the mood and lowering electricity consumption!