David Spiegelhalter, a British statistics professor from Cambridge University, has no chill when it comes to “Netflix and chill.”
He doesn't disapprove of people using this phrase as an allusion to sex, but rather that the streaming service has infiltrated our lives so much that we're actually having less than ever before.
During his recent "Sex By Numbers" lecture at the Hay Festival, he shed light on a concerning 30-year trend. "How many times have you had sex in the last four weeks?" Spiegelhalter asked the audience. "You can start seeing the changes in society. People are having less sex."
In 1990, the average British couple had sex five times a month. Ten years later, it was four. Today, it's only three. That may not seem like a lot in single digits, but it's a 40 percent decline in 20 years.
At this rate, couples won't be having sex at all by 2030, he warned.
The Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk attributed this lack of physical intimacy to "massive connectivity" with technology like Netflix. He believes the ease with which people can binge-watch a TV show hinders their sex drive "compared to just a few years ago when TV closed down at 10.30pm ... and there was nothing else to do."
According to Spiegelhalter, the key to an exciting sex life is boredom.
To further support this theory, Speigelhalter cited the fact that rises in sexual activity often occur during power outages.
Three other recent studies also reinforce his position that "Netflix and chill" is anything but.
Last year, one study from Durham University found that 40 percent of English couples had put off sex to make a phone call, send a text, or simply browse the Internet. A third of respondents couldn't even disconnect completely and admitted to answering the phone once they finally were having sex.
In another, a team of psychologists interviewed over 500 Italian couples and learned that couples with a television in their bedroom had half as much sex as those who didn't.
With the invention of Netflix, couples no longer need a TV to disrupt their sex lives. Binge-watching a show late at night on a laptop or tablet has been named "bedtime procrastination," and unsurprisingly, it leads to less sleep. Sleep isn't just important for a healthy weight and a better memory, but a 2015 pilot study linked a lack of sleep to a lack of sexual arousal in women.
While sex certainly isn’t the end all be all for many couples, it’s often an important way to increase both physical and emotional intimacy between partners.
And if you need any multimedia help to get in the mood, you might want to try an old standby instead.