According to the Guardian, 68 % of British women (and 42% of men) check their mobile phones during sex.
So. Many. Questions. First up: are they doing this discreetly, hoping their partner doesn’t notice, or do both parties pause for a quick phone-break in the transition between positions?
And what on earth are they checking for? Are they worried the world might end if they don’t keep track of who Stephen Fry had lunch with today? Or are they actually supposed to be at work?
For me, it’s just the outward sign of one of the most common ailments for any long-term relationship: loss of consciousness. After the potent cocktail of lustful hormones dies down, it’s hard to keep engaging with our partners over and over again.
The problem is that the way we talk about sex often only covers the surface detail. We do it in this position or that, with this accessory or outfit. We make this noise or say that thing. This is the extent of our erotic education, fed to us from magazines (remember ‘Position of the Fortnight’?) and Hollywood movies.
When I embarked on my mission to put the desire back into my marriage (for The 52 Seductions), I thought that the route back to lust would probably lie in finding the right underwear and learning a few new positions. I was totally wrong.
Over our year of seductions, I learned that the quality of my knickers was actually fairly irrelevant to the depth of the experience. What mattered was the quality of contact and engagement between us, and our ability to put everything else aside for a short while and focus on each other.
The truth is that most people will have to fight for that. It doesn’t come naturally to everybody. And if you turn to most sex manuals, it seems to me that you’ll be taught to just fake the outward signs of sex, rather than to learn to pay attention to your body and your lover’s, and to be led by your own sensations.
Sex in long term relationships is about more than dragging your sorry ass into the bedroom to do your monthly duty, snatching a quick glance at your phone while your partner goes down. Or at least it could be, if only we’d change the conversation we have about sex.