Durex Study Shows 52% Expect Better Sex on Holiday but 60% are Left Disappointed – Is Tech Ruining Holidays?

Durex explores with #DoNotDisturb social experiment film – and it goes viral in just 24 hours

The world’s number one sexual wellbeing brand Durex yesterday released the #DoNotDisturb campaign, led by a social experiment video exploring couples’ holiday ‘sexpectations’, and the effect of tech on their relationships whilst away. It clearly struck a chord with over 3 million views seen in 24 hours.

Durex Logo (PRNewsFoto/Durex)
Image Source

The brand believe the results of a survey, a follow-up scientific study and the experiment, conducted with real couples, all point to a clear solution for better sex on holiday.

A survey of 2000 adults explored people’s holiday ‘sexpectations’, with 52% saying they expect better sex whilst away, but 60% of those admitting that the reality did not meet those expectations. Unsurprising considering that 40% of people are less likely to instigate sex if their partner is on their phone in bed and 41% admitted nights on holiday with their partner can be spent in bed together concentrating on separate phones rather than each other.

Poll findings generally indicated that ‘digital distraction’ on holiday is negatively affecting our relationships. Over a quarter admitted that checking phones on holiday can cause rows. Specifically, 59% said that they, their partner or both have too much screen time, and more than half of those respondents felt their relationship suffers as a result – 72 respondents even admitted to using phones during sex!

There were revealing differences for people in different life stages. Almost a fifth of people said their phones and tablets get in the way of their sex life on holiday, rising to a third of under 35s – those more likely to have grown up with tech. In addition, 15% admit they have less sex than they used to whilst away because of their tech, climbing to a quarter in under 35s.

Social media was of particular interest, with 65% posting up to three times a day whilst away and 42% admitting that they share special holiday moments on social media rather than with their partners. Relaxing by the pool or the beach might seem the optimum time to switch off and relax, but almost half of said they use phones/tablets at this time as well – women being the main offenders, with 27% more admitting to it than men.


Durex believe there is a solution. After all, 57% of respondents say they would be more turned on if they knew their partner had turned off their phone to focus on an evening with them on holiday. To see if these stats were truly reflective of modern relationships, Durex invited real couples on the holiday of a lifetime as part of a filmed social experiment dividing them into couples with and without tech. The resulting film of the #DoNotDisturb experiment offers every couple around the world a fascinating look at how a tech break can lead to their holiday sexpectations being met.

Dr Sharif Mowlabocus from the Centre of Sexual Dissidence at the University of Sussex conducted accompanying scientific research in response to the survey findings. He found that rather than identifying the bedroom as a romantic setting, many couples spoke about the hotel bedroom as a location for intense devise use, due to the free WiFi access. Dr Mowlabocus also indicated that for couples, there is evidence that the use of a device by one partner encourages device use by the other partner”, thus exacerbating the issue.

Dr Mowlabocus concluded, “Participants expressed a strong belief that a holiday should be about switching off – from work, from home and from social media. However, the hotel bedroom, once a place of intimacy, romance and escape, can at times feel more like a frenzied media centre, as the couple rush to upload photos from the day, check in with friends via messenger apps and scroll through newsfeeds to satisfy their longing for their social networks. Perhaps a solution would be to introduce more boundaries, for example phones in the lobby rather than the bedroom, or a time limit on phone use.”

“Holidays used to be a time to relax and reconnect with our partners,” agrees Volker Sydow, Global Director at Durex. “However, this experiment has shown us that growing reliance on portable technology for entertainment and affirmation, even when on holiday, is blocking our chance to refresh our relationships. Durex are calling on couples to take a break from their tech whilst on holiday and enjoy touching their partner rather than their phone.”

Should couples go tech-free on holiday? Watch the #DoNotDisturb experiment here:  and find out more, plus have your say, here: