New research shows that Americans are having less sex than 20 years ago and suggests that the decline might be due in part to improvements in electronic diversions like Facebook and Netflix.

American adults had less sex in the early 2010s than they did in the 1990s, to the tune of nine fewer times a year, according to new research published in Archives of Sexual Behavior. (That’s a drop from a yearly average in the low 60s, to one in the low 50s.)

This slump holds true regardless of gender, age, race, work or marital status, although it’s most precipitous for American who were married or living with a romantic partner, a group that reported having sex 16 fewer times per year in the early 2010s when compared to the early 2000s.

[…] Twenge has another theory on why we’re getting frisky less frequently: technology. More specifically, the rise of smartphones and streaming services, which began gaining real traction in the late 2000s.

“Entertainment is more entertaining now, it’s more on demand — you can access it anytime you want,” she says. “DVRs became more common right around that time, too.” In other words, we might be too busy binge watching shows, playing video games, and Snapchatting our friends to bother having sex.

Basically the theory is that electronics are out-competing you for your spouse’s attention. No one likes competition, but you can be more interesting than the internet if you’re intentional about it. In addition to the tips in that post (go read it!), here are some ideas for protecting your marriage (and family) from excessive electronic distraction.

  • No television in the sex room! Televisions are ubiquitous these days, but I guarantee that if you have one in your master bedroom it is reducing the frequency of sex. Do you doubt me? Haven’t you ever laid in bed, barely able to keep your eyes open, while trying to finish a show before you pass out? I bet you didn’t have sex after that, even if you were both frisky when you got in bed. Your master bedroom should be your sex room, and you should protect it as such.
  • Keep your computers in public places. This goes especially for your kids — computers that are in public parts of the house (as opposed to bedrooms) are much less likely to be abused. If you have a home office (like we do), try to stay away from it when you’re not working so that you aren’t pulled away from your family time. If your computer is in a public part of the house, then even when you have to use the computer at least you can stay near your family instead of completely disengaging.
  • Limit access to electronics by time and place. We try very hard to limit our use of electronics to specific times and places. The kids only watch television during quiet time. Phones and tablets are not allowed at the table during meals. Mobile devices with full internet access are not allowed in the kids’ bedrooms. Sexy Corte and I only watch Netflix in the living room, usually after we have sex upstairs. It’s important to create consistent boundaries that work for your family, and these will probably change over time as your kids get older. The electronic boundaries in your marriage need to protect your relationship and your sex life — find shows and games that you can enjoy together, and have sex first!
  • Shared access. Shared devices are much less likely to be abused than private devices. Adults will probably have their “own” phones, but in our family we know each others’ pass-codes and can access all the devices — and the same goes for email, Facebook, or whatever. We use LastPass to store our passwords, which is great for security and convenience and also ensures that Sexy Corte and I can get access to whatever accounts we need. (Ensuring access would also be especially important if one of us were to become incapacitated or worse.)
  • Don’t get caught in the web. Learn to recognize when you’re mindlessly surfing the web without purpose and make yourself stop. I’m most susceptible to this trap when I’ve had caffeine too close to bedtime — I’ll just lay in bed, bleary-eyed, clicking on links when I should be sleeping. It’s hard to stop because the internet is addictive, but when you learn to recognize what you’re doing you can apply your willpower to put the device down.

Got any tips to share? How do you and your spouse protect your marriage from Facebook and Netflix? Leave a comment!

Reader “FR” asks:

What is your opinion on a guy wearing feminine lingerie to spice things up in the bedroom, just for the shock factor, or for some good laughs? And just for one night, being a Damsel in distress?

I have no interest in changing my sexual identity, I am very glad that God made me as a man. I just thought about doing this just for fun, to break away from the same-old-same-old, and to liven things up in the bedroom. To me, this is similar to my teenage son dressing up as a girl for last Halloween, and he is about as masculine as they come… but if this is wrong in the eyes of God, then the last thing I would want to do is to offend him.

I’ll answer this in three parts: what the Bible says, how to apply what the Bible says, and what El Fury thinks.

First, I’m only aware of one verse in the Bible that directly talks about cross-dressing:

Deuteronomy 22:5, “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”

I linked the word “abomination” to its definition in the Hebrew so that you can see how strong it is. This verse is pretty easy to interpret, and you’ll notice that it is very culturally grounded: God isn’t specifying the type of clothing allowed for either sex, He’s saying that he expects men and women to adhere to the cultural norms for their sexes. The following New Testament passage is interpreted similarly:

1 Corinthians 11:14-16, “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.”

Despite the invocation of “nature itself”, the last sentence in the passage makes it clear that the instructions about hair-length for men and women are based on the common practice of the time. The Bible instructs us to follow the clothing and style customs for our sex.

Moving into the second part of my answer, there’s a broad theme throughout the Bible that God created men and women to be different and distinct, and He doesn’t like it when we muddle things up. The instructions about clothing and hair are culturally dependent, and the way we apply these instructions depends on the culture we live in. Consider the passage from 1 Corinthians: it’s not accurate to insist that all married women should have long hair in the modern world, because that’s not how our culture demonstrates a wife’s submission to her husband. The key issue Paul is addressing is wifely submission, not hair length, and in the broad Mediterranean culture of the early church long hair was a symbol of that submission.

Therefore, the general application is that men and women, husbands and wives, should adhere to their distinct roles and display the outward signs of those roles as appropriate for their culture. Does this mean that cross-gender Halloween costumes are sinful? Or that a husband wearing lingerie is sinful?  I will not presume to condemn anyone based on my extrapolation from the Bible — each person should pray and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. However, my opinion is that the scriptural guidance is pretty  clear on this matter, and you’d do best to steer clear of cross-gender clothing, style, and behavior.

Which brings us to the third part of my answer: El Fury’s opinion. I personally wouldn’t dress or act in a feminine manner to make my wife laugh, especially in a sexual situation. Sure, it may be funny, but the essence of the joke is the husband emasculating himself. That’s not an experience I want to put in my wife’s mind. I want her to see me as strong, masculine, loving, kind, and sexy — and humor that undercuts that image is ultimately destructive to our marriage. It may get a laugh for a minute, and then stick in her mind for decades.

Being able to laugh and play together in a sexual setting is a great boon for your marriage, but husbands, your wife should never have any confusion about your intent to sex her up real good.

Please use the contact pages for Sexy Corte and El Fury to send us your questions. We will only share your question if you give us permission, and we’ll never reveal your name or any other identifying information. You can ask questions anonymously, or use a free anonymous email service like Mailinator.

We’ve been using the New Faithful position an increasing amount — especially in the morning — and I quickly discovered something that I really like: penetrating Sexy Corte’s mouth and vagina at the same time. We’ve done this a zillion times with Old Faithful, but it’s a very different experience when I’m on top and in control of the movement. To refresh your memory:

In New Faithful, Sexy Corte lies on her back with her head on her pillow and her right arm outstretched. I get upright on my knees, straddle her outstretched arm, and scoot towards her until my manhood is over her face. From this position she can perform oral on me and I can use my fingers on her how she likes, while she gets to relax on her back. It’s a great position for frenulum technique, tea-bagging, and zoom technique.

While on her back, Sexy Corte can turn her head sideways towards me and open wide, enabling me to thrust gently in and out of her mouth. This is super-hot on its own, but it gets even sexier when I use my fingers inside her vagina at the same time. Wow!

  • Positive feedback loop: When my fingers hit her just right, her moaning and groaning feel amazing on me. Talk about positive reinforcement… every wave of pleasure I give her gets sent right back to me.
  • Filling her up: The psychological high of “filling her up” in both holes is extremely arousing, like I’m engulfing all her sensory input at once.
  • Trust and submission: It’s a huge expression of trust and submission for her to let me thrust into her mouth, and I try to be extremely gentle with her. Sexy Corte’s willingness to be vulnerable and open with me is emotionally and physically sexy.

As I’m writing this, it occurs to me that I also find it very hot to kiss my wife deeply while we’re having sex, and that’s another form of oral/vaginal double penetration. I wonder if it would be fun for her to suck on my thumb or fingers while we’re in jockey position? Maybe something to try tomorrow.

Do you have any thoughts or experiences to share? Leave a comment!