Beyond Netflix And Chill: How What You Stream Affects Your Sex Life

Netflix has conducted a study proving that the TV shows and movies you stream affect your desirability.

Does liking Jessica Jones affect your sex life?


According to Netflix: Yes.

To further justify why it’s worth spending $7.99 a month for access to old episodes of Breaking Bad and water-cooler-chatter-drivers like Making a Murderer, Netflix has conducted a study that illuminates the service’s impact on romantic relationships. In other words, there is actual data to back up the “Netflix and Chill” meme.

That phrase, which insinuates something of a Netflix-inspired booty call (“Hey, wanna come over to my place to watch Netflix and chill?”), took off on the Internet a few years ago and positioned Netflix as a connection-making entrée. It replaced innuendo-laden come-on’s like “Hey, wanna come over and order Chinese?” Or, “Hey, wanna come over and play video games?”

Jessica JonesPhoto: Myles Aronowitz, courtesy of Netflix

But Netflix actually plays a role in every aspect of the mating process, the company has found. From finding a suitable paramour, to having them fall for you, to marital bonding–all of this can be attributed to watching Netflix. The research also suggests a new layer to the idea of just chilling in front of Netflix. A relationship (or hooking up) isn’t just about the act of sitting in front of screen and scrolling through titles, it’s about what title you decide to click on. While Jessica Jones might get you to second base, Hemlock Grove could prove to be a perilous move.

More than anything, the research shows how having a good Netflix game can significantly improve your dating odds. Kind of like having a Maserati or a ski chalet in Aspen. Indeed, 25% of the subjects polled said that they found someone more attractive based on the shows they watched. (The Ipsos poll was conducted on Oct. 26-28, 2015 and sampled 1,008 American 18-39 year olds with Netflix accounts.) Men, in particular, are susceptible to wearing show goggles: 34% of males, compared to 19% of females, said they were likely to fall for someone based on their show preferences.

As for sharing a Netflix account, it’s the modern equivalent of moving in together. More than half of those polled said they wouldn’t share an account until they were dating exclusively. And 17% said they would have to be engaged or married before allowing their Netflix ID’s to merge.


But if Netflix accelerates the mating process, it takes the sizzle out of things for people who are married or in a relationship. Rather than go out for a romantic dinner on date night, a whopping 72% said they’d rather stay home and watch Netflix. 58% of couples considered streaming time “bonding” time.

As to how the subjects defined “bonding,” Netflix didn’t ask.


About the author

Nicole LaPorte is an LA-based writer for Fast Company who writes about where technology and entertainment intersect. She previously was a columnist for The New York Times and a staff writer for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and Variety.