Sex and the iPhone 4: The Good, The Bad and the HD-Level Ugly

It’s official. Apple’s Steve Jobs has re-revealed the iPhone 4, first brought to us by Gizmodo. And now that the Definitive iPhone 4 Guide is available I can, as in the past, consider how Apple is slowly but surely changing sex, one megapixel and video chat system at a time.

My thoughts?

1. The split volume buttons should make it easier to control how loud you hear things – which makes it easier to lower the volume so that colleagues can’t hear your significant other whisper naughty things to you while you pretend to be on a business call. Phone Sex 1, Work 0.

2. The iPhone 4′s new stainless steel rim is supposed to improve reception. That way, if you have an unusually quiet workplace, you may be able to go into the stairwell and still be able to talk. Or have FaceTime sex. Phone Sex 2, Work 0.

3. At 4.5 inches long, it will still make most men feel big. And still leave many women wanting more. (I mean this figuratively as no iPhone – of any model – should ever be inserted into any part of the human body.)

4. The Apple A4 chip is said to make the iPhone 4 run much faster than earlier versions of the iPhone. I mistakenly thought this would mean people could stream porn that much faster (hurray!) but I was wrong. However, it will apparently allow for HD recording & editing (yes, there’s video editing capabilities) of home porn movies. Or home movies of your naked neighbors who live in the apartment across the street and keep their curtains open.

5. Improved battery life has its pros and cons for sex and love. On one hand, this means you have more time to say sexy things to one another. If you’re in a long distance relationship and have a 7 hour drive between you two, you could theoretically talk about what you plan to do to one another for the entire 7 hour drive! (But I don’t recommend it – talk briefly, then do – and do some more – in person.) A con is that if you’re not much of a talker, there may be more pressure on you to stay on the phone and talk and talk and talk and zzzzz….. Or you could just pretend your phone is on its last legs and that you need to go so you can save your battery.

6. The Retina display also has its pros and cons. Steve Jobs made a big deal about the difference in images and maybe it looked a lot different live, but from where I sat at home I saw differences but not huge huge (as in, porn star huge) ones. If it’s a big difference, and you like what you see, then this could be a pro for sharing sexy photos you find on the Internet. If the image has stuff you don’t want to see – blemishes, lighting, or wrinkles that you feel take away from your experience – that could be a con. (Note: this isn’t to say that I think blemishes or wrinkles are necessarily unattractive; just that people vary in their likes and dislikes when it comes to sex and imagery, and that this is always relevant to sex and tech).

7. The spruced up iPhone 4 camera will be one of the two biggest influences on iPhone 4 sex. The photos should be better quality and there’s now a flash, which should allow for people to take all sorts of photos during naked time that happens in the dark. I look forward to testing this out. Also look for people taking and sharing many more photos of cute things that their cats and dogs do in the dog that they previously found too difficult to capture with their iPhones. Cute Pet Photo Forwards 1, My Sanity 0.

8. The video conferencing camera should allow for interesting phone sex and group-phone-sex opportunities, possibly even chatroulette-on-the-go opportunities. It’ll be interesting to see what people get up to with this. FaceTime – the new iPhone video chat system – will be a game-changer in and of itself.

Check out Giz’s Definitive Guide to the iPhone 4 on their site and let me know your thoughts on how you might use the iPhone 4′s new features for better sex.

Debby Herbenick, PhD is a sex researcher and educator, a widely read sex columnist and author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction. Follow her on Twitter@mysexprofessor.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at

  • Disturbed by your ideas

    How did you come out with these sick ideas?

  • Shane

    Nothing sick about these ideas – unless creativity is a sickness. I agree Debby – the iPhone 4 will do interesting things to our lives (and sex is a big part of life).

  • John

    I agree with Debbie too — I am all for better living through technology!

  • Luci

    Video phone sex was the first thing I thought of when Jobs announced the new iPhone's capability. But does it strike you as odd that Steve Jobs, the guy who's been SO loudly anti-porn, is making video/phone sex easier? I mean, really!