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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Jan-18 > Intimacy rebooted

Intimacy rebooted

Sex robots are only a part of the imminent revolution in our bedrooms

The future of Sex

Video killed the radio star, and technology destroyed the relationship. Intimacy is dead. This is the story we’re being told: a world where our smart devices clamour for the consideration we should be showing our loved ones. But is that really the case? Dystopian narratives about technology have persisted, from Plato’s concerns that writing would destroy memory down to the forecasted death of the novel due to dwindling attention spans in the television era. But in truth, while technology leads to social changes, those changes are not always negative and we, as humans, generally adapt well to them. Sex technology is not something to fear: instead we should embrace it.

Attitudes to sex have obviously altered since the days when a serious chunk of the population took the idea of chastity before marriage seriously. The western sexual revolution of the past 50 or so years has had a profound effect. Traditional notions of acceptability collapsed along with the ban on DH Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover, when sex suddenly became unbuttoned. In Britain, three surveys known as the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) have taken place over the past 35 years. Natsal doesn’t just ask about sexual experiences, although that is the cornerstone of the survey. It also records information about sexual health, biology and drug use.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s January 2018 issue: Five writers attempt to plot the impending advances in shopping, politics, sex, food and computing through 2018. James Plunkett looks at shopping and explains how personalised prices will hand even more power to the big companies; Theo Bertram outlines why political volatility is here to stay and what it means for us; Kate Devlin argues that sex robots are only a part of the impending sexual revolution; Stephanie Boland outlines why we’ll all end up eating lab grown food; and Jay Elwes explains the next steps in our computing quantum leap. Elsewhere in the issue: Dani Rodrik uncovers the truth behind the great globalisation lie—there were always going to be losers, Iona Craig delves into the war in Yemen—the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, Chris Tilbury explains why Britain urgently needs a plan for its failing prisons