New study reveals Kiwi women would rather have technology than sex

New research into Kiwi's attitudes towards sex and technology has revealed a number of surprising insights - and sexologists are concerned.

The Durex Invisible study surveyed 1000 Kiwis on a range of topics surrounding sex and technology.

The study revealed more than half of Kiwis would rather give up sex for three months than sacrifice technology such as Netflix, TV, or their phones.

According to the survey, 64 per cent of women preferred to prioritise technology over sex.

While half of Kiwis preferred to forgo sex in order to maintain technology, research showed 57 per cent of New Zealanders want sex more frequently.

However, those who were surveyed revealed they faced a number of key barriers to being able to have more sex.

31 per cent of respondents said a busy lifestyle was preventing them from engaging in more sex, while 23 per cent said it was down to their partner's lack of sex drive.

Other factors included: their own sex drive (21 per cent), stress (19 per cent), children (16 per cent), health issues (14 per cent), distracted by technology (11 per cent), difficulty meeting suitable sexual partners (11 per cent) and performance anxiety (10 per cent).

Kiwi sexologist Morgan Penn says its saddening to see how many of us would rather give up sex than technology and believes Kiwis are looking to escape because authentic connection can be difficult.

"What we consume via technology has a direct effect on the nervous systems. We're starting to find that a lot of people are spending more time in their sympathetic nervous system (flight or fight mode) due to perceived stress.

"What we need to do is connect on a physically intimate level which helps release oxytocin (the love drug) and co-regulate our nervous systems which relax us and bring us back to our parasympathetic nervous system," she says.

Experts are also concerned over lack of safe sex practices, with a third of Kiwi males and a fifth of Kiwi women admitting they wouldn't enjoy sex more if they were practicing safe sex.

When it comes to safe sex, 49 per cent of Kiwis say meeting sexual partners online or through dating apps is less safe than other ways.

Forty-seven per cent say it is no different than any other way, and just 4 per cent say it is safer.

Females (57 per cent) in particular are more likely to believe digital dating is less safe compared to males (41 per cent).

Despite safety concerns, 22 per cent of Kiwis say they have met their sexual partner online or through a dating app.

When it comes to unsafe sex Penn says many are "scared to ruin" the moment.

"Porn plays a huge part in modelling sex and unfortunately it's usually unhealthy. It's not very often you will witness a condom being put on or at the very least being used in these scenarios.

"I think if it was a given that a condom is needed to have sex it can be incorporated into the experience. Many people think sex has to be spontaneous without interruptions. We need to have a strong sense of self-worth especially with a new partner, where a condom is non-negotiable."

Psychologist Sara Chatwin agrees that women are often seen as the "gatekeepers" when it comes to sex and so the responsibility for safe sex often lies with them.

"Females may be coerced/pressured into sex to impress or appeal to a male they like.

"There is also a degree of peer group pressure which they feel which may propel them into this kind of behaviour. There is also a belief that to be 'cool' you need to take risks and subsequently taking risks becomes okay," she says.

Chatwin also said today's youth stay away from engaging in long-term intimacy, preferring to "shop around and not connect seriously".

The Durex Invisibility Study also revealed the #MeToo movement hasn't changed many Kiwis' views towards consensual sex.

Seven in ten say it hasn't changed their attitude towards consensual sex at all - with just 7 per cent saying it has completely changed their attitude.

The survey was commissioned to support the launch of the new Durex Invisible condom by providing a better understanding of recent changes in Kiwi attitudes towards dating and sex.

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This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.