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School of Applied Social Sciences

SASS Staff

Publication details for Dr Mark McCormack

McCormack, M. (2015). The Role of Smartphones and Technology in Sexual and Romantic Lives. Durham University.

Author(s) from Durham


Technology has revolutionised our lives. From free texts to dating and hook-up apps, technology, and specifically smartphones, are transforming the dynamics of our sexuality in contemporary culture. This research, funded by Durex, examined the impact of technology and smartphones on romance, intimacy and sex for people in long-term relationships. Using in-depth, qualitative interviews with 30 people from a diverse range of backgrounds across England, this research shows that while smartphones are central to contemporary romantic relationships, they are also a cause of stress and tension. These tensions can be subtle and complex, but have the potential to negatively impact on relationships if they are not dealt with. While participants had strategies to deal with some of these issues, there was also dissatisfaction with the use of smartphones in their lives.