Humanoid robots
By 2050, the sex toys market will become a £1bn industry in the UK, according to Pearson's reportColin Anderson/Getty Images

Sex with a humanoid robot will become common practice by 2050, even overtaking sex between humans, says futurologist Ian Pearson. His report on the future of sex has been published in partnership with Bondara, one of UK's leading sex toy shops.

By 2030 virtual sex will become as casual as browsing porn websites and by 2035 many will have toys that interact with virtual reality, according to the report. In fact, high-income groups could begin to use some forms of robot sex as early as 2025, before the practice overtakes sex between humans by 2050.

Initially, people will find it difficult to adjust to human-on-robot sex but will eventually become used to it, just as they embraced porn, says Pearson. When the look and feel of robots improve, people's opinion will also change, he added.

"A lot of people will still have reservations about sex with robots at first but gradually as they get used to them, as the AI and mechanical behaviour and their feel improves, and they start to become friends with strong emotional bonds, that squeamishness will gradually evaporate," Pearson said. "While some people will enthusiastically embrace relationship-free robot sex as soon as they can afford one, as early as 2025, it won't have much chance of overtaking sex with humans overall until 2050."

A key business finding of the Pearson report is that, by 2050, the sex toys market will grow sevenfold and become a £1bn industry in the UK. Currently, the sex toy market is growing by 6% every year.