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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Wednesday
Jan182006

Coitus Interruptus

A new study by an Italian sexologist finds that couples who have a TV set in their bedroom have sex half, yes I said HALF as often as those who don't. Hmmmm... As I type this, I'm laying in bed with one eye on the computer screen another on Regis & Kelly. Verrrry interesting.

Here's my problem. I find it difficult to fall asleep without a television softly rumbling in the background. As with nearly every strange behavior, phobia or personality quirk, the T.V. obssession took tenacious root in my childhood.

When Mom was out at night my ten year old self would turn on Cheers or whatever late night sitcom happened to be on. To this day the MASH theme song creeps me out because MASH was on very late.. So late, I was certain Mom had been mangled in a car wreck and the police were en route to the house to tell me she was dead. I s'pose I associate MASH with helpless, scared feelings.

When I first moved out at the age of 17, the television's role in my late night entertainment - or more accurately, my late night diversionary tactics - increased. Just as I relied on my three squares of Ramen Noodles a day, I required the background noise of my best friend the television to get me through those first few shaky years on my own.

It was there to take my mind off life when the going got tough, it was there to make me laugh when I needed a chuckle, and it was there to block out the silence which was entirely too loud.

And so now I enjoy falling asleep surfing the comforting swells of a laugh track..It isn't strange to come upon me reading a book or writing, while the television plays out it's loves, losses, lives and deaths in front of me. My T.V. is that "Sounds of the Ocean" or "Sounds of the Forest" CD others buy as their supplemental lullaby.

So these latest statistics present an interesting dilemma... Must I choose between The Surge and The Fonz?

Reader Comments (17)

We tried to have a TV in the bedroom. It lasted for about four days before I promptly put it back in it's original place. ESPN just got flipped on a liiiittle too quickly for my liking. ;-)
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLolaWants
I always fall asleep to my tv and I doubt that that will ever change, which may or may not go over too well with my future spouse. oh well, too bad for him.
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHeather B.
I have to fall asleep with the tv on and also at some point in the night, which I don't remember, I end up turning it off! VERY WEIRD! I can never remember turning it off, almost like a ghost does it! When my b/f was living with me we had to compromise, 3 nights a week we would watch tv before bed, 3 nights a week we would READ before went to bed, the last one was a KILLER! I like to read books with a lot of sex in it, so usually those nights we ended up with some nookie! We left one unplanned day to assume at some point we would have sex before we went to bed!
AAAhhhh the joys of living with someone!
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
This is definitely generational. I cannot fall asleep with a television on in the same physical space as me - even if it's in the next room and I have the door closed - that white noise hum drives me insane. But both my younger sisters must fall asleep with the TV on and their spouses have learned to live with it. That would totally be a dealbreaker in a relationship for me, though.
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercaryn
I vote The Surge over the Fonz. The Fonz, though cool, would be hard to screw through the glass. Was that the question?
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertallchickbarbara
I just did a double take on the MASH thing... When I was little I was afraid of the night. In the dark and quiet I thought I could hear monsters or people breaking into the house. I'd insist on having my door open, because it was comforting to fall asleep to the sounds of dishes being washed, parents talking, etc. But when the MASH song came on I would go into a state of panic because it meant my parents would now be going upstairs to bed, and the house would be quiet and I would be the only one awake when the monsters came. To this day I associate that song with feelings of utter fear and dread.

So funny to hear you have similar assoications. I wonder how many others are out there with MASH phobias? We should form a support group.
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramanda b
Ha! This blog is totally my funny news of the day. I always know I'll come away with a thought, wheather funny, crazy or poignant. It always ends up water cooler fodder at my booorrring office job.
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
I knew there was a reason I didn't have my second tv in the bedroom...

damn italians! and who are these sexologists, anyways?
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermoi
Oh my gosh, you must have a low sex drive.
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjenny
C'mon...doesn't anyone have sex in the morning anymore? It's the perfect start to the day. Plus, there's the added bonus of the after-sex shower.
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChicago Dave
Morning breath. Yuck! I am definately a night sex kind of girl
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
We're a one TV family - shocking, I know! But this is the reason, actually. The bedroom is our private space, we're not allowed to fight there or discuss money or anything tense. My friends find this weird, but at least I've got Italian sexologists on my side!
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
Sex in the morning is the best. Sadly, not much time for that unless we get up before our darling girl.
January 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
Maybe it's what these people are watching? Maybe they need something with a little bit more..um...skin...some oooo's and ahhhh's? Then they might get more sex. Just a guess though.
January 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFiabug
Very interesting. I can see how the TV would lessen the amount of sex but depending on what you watch, it could increase it!
January 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNotCarrie
I'm with caryn. Couldn't possibly stand the hum... just like computer hum. I've never actually had a tv in my bedroom. And hope I never do. TVs are for dens or living rooms, or for the dumpster. Heh. (I admit, I'm a fan of those "kill your TV" bumper stickers.)
January 19, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterphx

I have problems with the MASH theme song, too! My parents had horrible, violent fights when I was young and they watched MASH. Now, I associate the MASH theme song with those feelings of fear and helplessness. It must be the nature of the music, because MASH wasn't the only show they watched in the evenings, but it is the only song I associate with that time period. My boyfriend loves MASH, and it has taken me a long time to enjoy the show despite the theme song (it really is a good show).

January 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitsuko48

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