A Lot of People Would Give Up Sex for iPhone: Is This Bad?

iphone.jpg
This certainly makes you think of the "vibrate" setting in a whole new way...

A new survey of 1,000 people by electronics trade-in service Gazelle indicates that 15 percent of the study's participants would rather give up sex than go a weekend without their iPhones -- and at least 4 percent have used their iPhones during sex, media sources report.

This made us wonder: Is this bad for love and sex and all that stuff? Is technology ruining our romantic lives? Are we turning into the Borg, etc?

So we chatted with Justin R. Garcia, PhD, an evolutionary biologist and sexologist at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, to see what he thought.

What did he say?

"First that's really funny," he told the Voice.

"Second, it depends on the way people were asked the questions and really, what it means and how seriously they would take that in their real lives. Perhaps it is true a large number of people are so attached to technology today that they would give up other things -- including sexual behavior -- before losing their technology."

We asked: Are these people super out-of-touch, or something?

Garcia said "no". Tech, he said, isn't just about the device.

Rather, it can have very human implications, he said.

"If you ask someone who's really connected to their technology to give up their phone it's not just their phone," he said.

"It would be asking them to give up their world. As a society, so many of us have become so completely connected to our technology it really is the way we live our lives."

Also, people might engage with their most intimate relationships via iPhone, he said.

For some, giving up their iPhone might be the equivalent to giving up the same kind of intimacy some people achieve in sex.

And though traditional courtship behavior, such as flirting, historically had to take place face-to-face, high-tech approaches like sexting are still a form of courtship.

It's not that the emotion isn't present, then -- it's just getting communicated very differently than in the past, he said.

So, simply because a bunch of people are willing to give up their phones for sex, that doesn't mean that people are losing interest in sex because of technology. It's also not the case that these newfangled devices are ruining romance, he said.

In Garcia's accounting, this situation isn't all that bad as long as people still wind up having IRL communication at some point.

"We still need that social interaction," he said.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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