Jan. 26, 2011— -- Want a pre-date aphrodisiac? Look no further than Facebook.
Men and women say communicating via social networking, instant message and texting leads them to the bedroom faster, according to the latest sex survey from Shape and Men's Fitness magazines.
For the first time, the magazines focused their annual sex survey on coupling in the digital age. They found that 80 percent of women say relationships lead to sex more quickly because it's so easy to stay connected.
Fifty-eight percent of the men surveyed said flirting over Facebook, texts and Gchat helps them get women into the sack sooner.
"It just seems like nowadays, there are so many ways to stay connected," said Marissa Stephenson, a senior associate editor at Shape. Five years ago, couples would have to wait until the next date to re-connect, she said, but now they can flirt over text, Skype, IM and Facebook in between their dates.
Tech-enabled flirting may not be as intimate as the old-fashioned, face-to-face variety, Stephenson said, but, according to the survey, it can apparently still lead to great sex.
The magazines found that 47 percent of those surveyed said their sex lives are "amazing," compared to 21 percent last year.
But Dr. Dorree Lynn, a psychologist and author of "Sex for Grownups," said social media are actually fostering a sense of "faux intimicy" among couples.
Men and women may report amazing sex in the short term, but what happens to those relationships in the long-term?
"It's easier to hop into bed than have a relationship," said Lynn. "It's all a function of the fast-paced world we live in, where communication skills, genuine communication skills, which means face-to-face communication, are quickly going by the wayside."
Digital communication, and the time spent engaged in it, may give couples a sense of intimacy, but she said texting and social media don't teach people how to develope genuine relationships.
"You let your fingers do the walking and you can forget that you need to do the talking," she said.
76 Percent of Women Would Look at Partner's E-Mail if Left Open, Survey Says
Given all the new websites and ways to connect online, Stephenson the magazines thought it would be timely to use the survey to zero in on relationships and technology. (The issue of Shape currently on newstands features the results of the latest survey.)
While she said the finding about digital intimacy didn't surprise her, a few other survey results did.
For example, 76 percent of women said they would look at their partner's e-mail account if it was left open. Sixty-nine percent of men admitted to the same thing.
"I feel like that's one of thse things people say that they would never do," she said.
Even though more people said they enjoy amazing sex, the survey found that technology is taking its toll. Fifty-one percent of those polled said that, between iPads and cell phones in the bedroom, couple-time isn't as intimate as it used to be.
Texting is the number one way couples stay in touch, the survey also said. Sixty-four percent of women and 50 percent of men said they use texts to connect with their partners. Seventy percent of the respondents admitted to sexting.
But apparently, some people don't know when enough is enough.
When asked what they would do if they received a call or text during sex, 5 percent said they would glance at the phone to see who's calling and one percent said they would stop to answer the phone.