Sex trends, you may be thinking? Isn't that some sort of oxymoron? After all, people have been entangling their limbs in just about every configuration imaginable since, well, probably since before we even had limbs to entangle. (How many sex positions can single-celled organisms get into, anyway?) But while sex itself probably hasn't changed too much, what does shift over time is our attitudes about it, how we approach it, how (and whether) we discuss it, and even who we choose to do it with. So which way are the winds of change blowing? Here we take a look at some of the top trends on the horizon in 2016.
Prostate Massage and Anal Pleasure
Anal sex is hardly new, but how we feel it about - and particularly how straight men feel about it - is definitely changing. We see it on our site, where articles about anal sex and prostate massage are consistently some of our top performers. Sex toy manufacturers are experiencing a shift too. According to statistics from LELO, the company witnessed a major shift in sex toy sales over 2015, with prostate massagers jumping ahead to become one of the company's top-selling pleasure products. In 2015, the company's sales from its line of prostate massagers increased more than 200%, and the company expects a further increase of as much as 400% in 2016. It's also interesting to note that two out of three of these anal toys is purchased by women for use with a partner.
Intelligent Sex Toys
We have smart phones, smart watches, smart thermostats ... even smart clothing. But until quite recently, sex toys were little more (technologically speaking) than a motor and an on/off switch. That's all been changing over the past few years, but 2016 may be the first year that we really see a lot of these smart sex toys on the market. This includes Bluetooth-enabled remote control vibrators, smartphone controlled vibrators, bionic feedback toys that respond based on how they're touched and even vibrators you can program yourself. And while virtual sex via virtual reality headset may not quite make it into 2016, that sort of futuristic fuck isn't far off either.
Consent shouldn't be a trendy thing. Actually, it's infuriating to think it's even a thing at all. Don't try to have sex with people who don't want to have sex with you, mmmkay? It seems like common sense, but apparently it's something we need to talk about a whole lot more. In 2105, we saw great discussion about teaching about consent as part of sex ed, a move toward affirmative consent rules on college campuses and an (imperfect) analogy about consent that went totally, batshit viral. Now that the doors of this important issue have been thrown open, we expect 2016 to be the year when consent - understanding it, asking for it, giving it and really fucking thinking about what it means in all contexts - becomes a lot more commonplace.
More Open Dialog
As a website that aims to talk openly about sex, we like to think everyone else does too. Not so. But it's getting better, and we've seen things shifting here as well. Now, this one's purely anecdotal, but on the Web, we've seen a lot more content - and by that we mean good content - about sex. Yeah, there are still plenty of stupid (and mostly useless) tricks for looking sexier or "pleasing your man," but there are also a lot more articles - even on pretty straight-laced, mainstream publications - about body image and pleasure and even kink. We also know for a fact that the number and breadth of the sex blogs out there has grown like crazy over the past year. (Did we mention that we looove sex bloggers?) We've seen this happening for a few years now, so we'd be shocked if the conversation about sex online didn't get bigger and better and more beautiful again this year. Watch for it.
Male contraception as always been a bit of a sticky business, at least when it comes to safe, long-term options. Biologically speaking, it's just a lot easier to stop an egg's trajectory than it is to get in the way of sperms' evolved intrepidity. Not that there's been much innovation in this area. Apparently, the condom has been virtually the same since the 1920s. But 2015 was a big year for male contraception, during which the development of several male contraceptive methods was announced. January kicked off with yet another idea that got major press: an inserted switch that could be used to turn fertility on and off as needed. OK, a scrotal switch might be a bit of a long shot, but it shows that researchers are pulling out all the stops. As a result, we think 2016 could be the year of a breakthrough for male contraception.
As actress Betty White has famously said, vaginas aren't exactly weak - they can take a pounding! But what about those vaginal muscles? Whether as a result of aging, childbirth, gynecological surgery or just lack of use, they can get weak, resulting in urinary incontinence, back pain and, perhaps just as serious, weaker (or lack of) orgasm. Fortunately, having strong pelvic floor (or Kegel) muscles is very in this year. And beyond traditional ben wa balls, a whole lot of new, higher tech exercisers have popped up to get those hoo-has in tip-top shape. Check out toys like the Minna kGoal and LELO's Hula Beads.
What trends do you think are on the horizon for 2016? Let us know in the comments!