Is 'Game of Thrones' Ruining Our Sex Lives?

Game of Thrones - Daenerys
Shows like "Game of Thrones" are having a negative effect on the sex lives of Britons, a Cambridge statistician has found. Helen Sloan/HBO

Sex or Game of Thrones? The choice is a difficult one, but a study has found that Britons are apparently more likely to watch the sexual exploits in King's Landing than engage in sexual activity of their own.

Professor David Spiegelhalter, a Cambridge University statistician, says sex in Britain has declined by 40 percent in the last 20 years as consumption of television box sets continues to rise.

Spiegelhalter found that in 1990 British couples were having sex, on average, five times a month. That figure has dropped to just three times a month, he claims—a trend the academic finds "very worrying."

Spiegelhalter believes the rise in binge-watching shows like Game of Thrones, and the immediacy of gratification from the likes of Netflix and mobile phone apps, means people are keeping occupied by other means and making less time for sex.

He is quoted by The Daily Telegraph as saying: "People are having less sex. Sexually active couples between 16 and 64 were asked and the median was five times in the last month in 1990, then four times in 2000 and three times in 2010."

Spiegelhalter continued: "You say: 'why?' Statisticians say: 'I don't know.' One of the researchers mentioned the word iPad. I think it's the box set, Netflix: 'OMG, I've got to watch the entire second series of Game of Thrones.'

"The point is that this massive connectivity, the constant checking of our phones compared to just a few years ago, when TV closed down at 10.30 p.m., and there was nothing else to do. Now people are having less sex and it's true."

Not without coincidence, HBO has recently taken action over Game of Thrones sex scenes popping up on pornographic streaming site Pornhub.

Perhaps the sight of Daenerys Targaryen and Daario Naharis is all the titillation some need?