It’s no secret that views on sexuality and sex are an evolving thing, but how are attitudes shaping up for the year to come?
Lovehoney recently released its 2022 Sex Trends Report, and it seems ethics have officially entered the bedroom (and it’s about time).
Environmentally friendly sex toys.
The wellness of our planet is an increasingly hot topic (sorry, bad pun), and while people have been seeking environmentally friendlier options in their wardrobes and cupboards for a while, now we expect the same from our sex toys.
Consumers are displaying a growing awareness of the manufacturing processes and chemicals used for intimate products. As a result, lubricants, period products and sex toys are increasingly released following stricter environmental standards.
“For many, eco-conscious sex involves opting for toys that are rechargeable and made with high quality materials that last for years and even decades,” explains sexologist and relationship expert Dr Jessica O’Reilly.
Sexual wellness is becoming more inclusive.
Societal stereotypes and prejudices have traditionally excluded some groups from openly exploring their sexual pleasure, but that’s beginning to change.
“Disability services historically haven’t included open discussion around sexual development and pleasure as part of their offering for clients,” explained sex and relationship therapist (and Lovehoney Group’s sexual wellness expert) Christine Rafe.
“Fortunately, with more mainstream acceptance of sex-positive education and promotion of sexual wellness products and services, we are starting to see these conversations being encouraged within the disability sector.”
Royal Rehab Sexuality Service Team Leader Candice Care-Unger agrees and feels it’s leading to a change in the market.
“Demand will drive fantastic new advancements in adaptive sex tech in the coming years that will make pleasure more accessible.”
Masturbation as a pain relief tool.
It’s no secret that masturbation is a fun time, but latest studies show that it’s also a great form of pain relief.
Pleasure brand Womanizer conducted a study in 2020 to discover whether masturbation could help with period pain. The answer was a big, fat yes.
A full 90 per cent of study participants would recommend masturbation to combat period pain, and in fact, nearly half of them (42 per cent) would recommend it over medication.
What’s more, 70 per cent of responders felt that regular masturbation had a long-lasting impact on lowering their pain intensity during a period.
Ethical non-monogamy is on the rise.
Increasingly, people are pulling away from traditional ideals of a relationship. Ethical Non-Monogamy is an umbrella term under which many types of non-traditional relationships fall, including polyamory, swinging or open marriages, and their appeal is on the up and up.
Even within monogamous relationships, couples are embracing a more liberal and diversified relationship structure.
“The perspective on what a ‘successful’ relationship is, is shifting,” says Rafe.
“People are starting to pay more attention to happiness on an individual level.
“This is not to say that long-term monogamous relationships cannot meet all the needs of a person (with ongoing communication, respect and learning), but I am observing people starting to question the concept of a ‘one’ person.
“There is a huge amount of power and freedom in creating our own version of relationship(s), one that allows maximum connection, pleasure and fun.”