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Sex in the Year 2019 (1986)

In his 1986 book July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st Century author Arthur C. Clarke discusses what sexual relations will be like in the year 2019. He envisions a world in which people "boldly state their desires, no matter how bizarre or specific."

While many of his predictions about sex seem pretty accurate, (assuming few dramatic changes within the next 10 years), the most dated part about his vision of the year 2019 involves the posting of classifieds in a newspaper and sending a response to what we can assume is a physical post office box:

Married white female, 40, seeks well-endowed SWM, 18-28, for 3-month intimate companionship. My husband's hormone treatments (he's 6 months pregnant) have put him out of commission temporarily. You take care of me; I'll take care of you. Electrostimulation okay; as is drug-enhanced orgasm, but prefer partner with original equipment rather than implant. Send photo and vaccination certification to Box 2238.

--Personal ad, The Village Voice (July 20, 2019)

Previously on Paleo-Future:


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Reader Comments (7)

That whole book is pretty dated, not just this personal. In another chapter, Clarke describes the automated houses which will become common by the mid-90s. The slogan for one of the companies that 'automized' houses was,"A man's house is his friend". I had no idea, before reading that line, that in the '80s there was still such blatantly sexist language.

June 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob

I've got this book somewhere! I need to dig it up and look through it.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Rebain

I always admired Clarke, but he was from an earlier era, a Paleo-Future one you might say. Not his fault, of course.

He had some crazy idea back in 1968 about giant wheeled space stations with hotels circling Earth and bases on the Moon and manned spaceships to Jupiter with truly thinking computers running the vessel by the year 2001.

Clarke also thought that Islam would be defunct by the start of the 21st Century.

July 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

I've got this book from a book sale! I was wondering when you were going to feature it on your blog!

As for the book being dated, well... He did get some things right.

Pg. 92: "The cars of 2019 will be loaded with electronic options...On-board navigation will make it impossible to get lost."

GPS, anyone?

Pg. 93: "In case of real trouble, like a breakdown out in the desert, the car will transmit an emergency call to a watching satellite."

OnStar, anyone?

Yeah, I'll admit that futurists (myself included) always under-estimate the bureaucracy of space travel. However, you can't blame futurists from the 60's-70's... Just look at how fast we were progressing with space travel back then.

This book is so full of crunchy retro-future that I have to read it only a few pages at a time. It's a gem.

August 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

How do you think credit crunch affected porn?

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January 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermalibusteal

Clarke was a bufoon!

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJimmy

nice blog man also really like the design

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCresacese

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