To kick off 2022 (or as I like to call it, Pandemic: Season 3 ), a new report suggests that when it comes to sex, Canadians are ready to have a good time, on their own terms.
A few weeks ago, sexual wellness company The Lovehoney Group released their 2022 Sex Trends Report. Taking into account market research and expert advice, they identified some key trends that they expect will gain traction in the next 12 months.
As they say, change is the only constant. Over the past two years the pandemic has forced us to rethink nearly everything – from how we parent and work to how we socialize and even shop (should I disinfect this lettuce?). Therefore, it makes sense that our approach to sex has also evolved.
If you’re curious about what to expect in the months to come, here’s a few sex trends to look out for (spoiler alert: it’s all about pairing ethics with pleasure).
1. More Non-Monogamy.
If you’ve visited your local bookstore and noticed copies of The Ethical Slut (Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton’s iconic oeuvre on polyamory and open relationships) prominently displayed next to a stack of the latest Tom Clancy, you may have surmised that non-monogamy is having a moment.
Just like wearing real pants, the reliance on traditional relationship structures is falling to the wayside. Ethical non-monogamy (ENM) – a practice in which couples engage in relationships of various kinds with people beyond their relationship, such as swinging, polyamory or open marriages – is becoming more prominent. In fact, a recent YouGov poll found that about one-third (32%) of adults stated their ideal relationship as being non-monogamous to some degree.
As Abby Moss , a sex and relationship journalist, writes in the Lovehoney Group report, “while alternative relationship styles aren’t for everyone, this broadening of the conversation is helping to create a better understanding of what relationships can be, and what sex can be. Heteronormative assumptions about sex, about what “counts” as sex, are being thrown out (and about time too!) and this is giving people of all genders, whether single or in a relationship, a lot more mental freedom to explore sexually.”
3. Re-imagining pleasure products for men.
While female-focused sexual wellness products have evolved in leaps and bounds in recent years, male pleasure options have largely been stagnant, with basic stroking, low grade silicone-made products as the main option. But this too, is shifting, as “conversations about male bodies and men’s expression of sexuality expand and become more nuanced,” writes sex coach, Cam Fraser in the report.
In 2022, expect to see more (and better) sexual wellness products for folks with penises (think: human-focused design, new sensations and upgraded materials). Fraser also predicts “more men exploring their bodies by self-pleasuring and connecting with their sexuality in a mindful way, which will have such a positive effect on them and the people in their lives.”
In terms of overarching themes for the year ahead, it all comes down to unapologetically feeling good in your body, in whatever way works best for you. As Moss writes in the report, “by seeing sex as fundamentally about one thing – pleasure – we can start to break down shame around sex too!”
Amen to that.