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

Debby Herbenick—our sexology and human relationships expert—looks into the iPhone 4 and the implications for your sex life.

Steve Jobs has re-revealed the iPhone 4, first brought to us by Gizmodo. But how could its new features affect your online and offline sex life? Here are some 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. The Apple A4 chip is said to make the iPhone 4 run much faster than earlier versions of the iPhone. This will apparently allow for HD recording & editing of home porn movies. Or home movies of your naked neighbors who live in the apartment across the street and keep their curtains open.

4. 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, or have video sex chat for longer. If you're in a long distance relationship. If you're not much of a talker, however, there may be more pressure on you to stay on the phone and talk and talk and talk.

5. The Retina display also has its pros and cons. Steve Jobs made a big deal about the difference in images. If true, and you like what you see, then this could be a pro for sharing sexy photo. 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. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

Dr. Debby Herbenick, author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction, is the Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Indiana University (IU) where she is a Research Scientist. She is also a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction where she writes (and hosts audio podcasts of) the Kinsey Confidential column and coordinates educational programming. She has a PhD in Health Behavior from IU, a Master's degree in Public Health Education (also from IU) and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition, she is certified as a Sexuality Educator from the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

Debby writes regular sex columns for Men's Health magazine, Time Out Chicago magazine, Velocity, Cheeky Chicago, Psychology Today and she has also written for Glamour magazine.