There are many things that can come between you and your partner and a night of passion. Maybe you’re both tired after a long day at work or you’re feeling too bloated after a heavy meal – or maybe you’d just rather be checking Facebook on your phone.

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It sounds unbelievable, but countless couples are letting their gadgets become the third person in their relationship, according to a new study commissioned by Durex.

In fact, that’s exactly how one married woman said she felt as part of the research, consisting of in-depth interviews, carried out by Durham University.

According to the findings, 40 per cent of those taking part admitted they had pushed sex to one side in favour of sending a quick text, making a call or checking something on the internet. Others hurried sex along in order to tend to their messages, while one third had even answered their phone during the act.

“Sometimes I’ll be on Facebook and he’ll be on a sporting app while we are both in bed; we realise that we are sitting next to each other but living in different worlds,” another woman revealed.

Researcher Dr Mark McCormack, who carried out the interviews with 15 couples, believes the use of technology in the bedroom could have a “serious” effect on couples.

It’s not all bad news though; gadgets can help people get sexy, too. In fact, more than a quarter of couples had filmed themselves getting down and dirty, while 40 per cent had sent each other provocative pictures.

An easy rule to stick to if you want to avoid having an affair with your phone is simply banning any gadgets from the bedroom. Respond to emails, texts and calls before you settle down for the night. Not only does it increase your intimacy with your partner, it also helps you get more sleep, as previous studies have shown the blue light from devices such as iPads can hinder shut-eye. — COVER MEDIA