The Biggest Sex Trends for 2022, From Ethical Non-monogamy to Masturbation for Pain Relief

The Biggest Sex Trends for 2022, From Ethical Non-monogamy to Masturbation for Pain Relief
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From ethical non-monogamy (ENM) to masturbation for pain relief, Lovehoney Australia has revealed the hottest trends in sex for 2022, and the list is looking like it’s a fresh, inclusive and fun bunch.

Sexual health and tech business Lovehoney has recently revealed its key findings from its Sex Trends Report for 2022, compiled using insights from its websites, sales, surveys, talks with panel experts in sexual wellness, and consumer research.

What emerged was a list of trends Lovehoney has identified as the sexual acts and topics that folks will be hearing more of and experimenting with most for the next year. Here’s what that list includes.

Top Aussie sex trends for 2022

Ethical non-monogamy (ENM)

If you’ve heard the term ethical non-monogamy (ENM) before, but have felt unsure about what that really means, allow us to explain.

Lovehoney’s report defines ENM as “a practice or a lifestyle choice in which couples engage in relationships of various kinds with people beyond their relationship. ENM is the umbrella term for many different arrangements such as polyamory, swinging or open marriages”.

Although all these kinds of relationships exist under the same umbrella there are very different lifestyles attached to each, and socially we’re finding that more people are openly exploring many of them.

Sex and relationship journalist Abby Moss added here that “Ethical nonmonogamy is becoming more widely talked about than ever before and 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”.

Masturbation for pain relief

We’ve all heard of the concept of masturbation or solo sex for anxiety relief, but have you ever considered it for pain relief?

Lovehoney wrote on this that “Orgasms can release chemicals called endorphins, which have painkilling properties. In 2021, a clinical study by pleasure brand Womanizer called Menstrubation (menstruation+masturbation) probed whether masturbation can help against period pain”.

Incredibly, 90 per cent of participants reported that they found masturbation aided them in combating period pain.

Environmentally-friendly sexual wellness and sex tech

According to the report, folks are increasingly interested in the impact the products they purchase have on the environment – and that certainly extends to sexual wellness.

Jessica O’Reilly (Dr. Jess), a sexologist & relationship expert, commented on this trend explaining that quite simply, “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”.

This goes beyond just external impacts, also. People are interested in knowing what they’re putting in their bodies, O’Reilly pointed out.

“Just as consumers are becoming more aware of manufacturing processes and environmental impact when shopping for clothing so too are we looking for environmental responsibility and sustainability when it comes to our sex toys and menstrual products,” she said.

Wearable sex tech

Just as we become more interested in wearable tech for fitness, our enjoyment of wearable sex tech is also growing.

“A new trend has emerged where an increasing amount of products are designed to be used on the go,when we’re out and about in the street, having a date, or during a romantic dinner, breaking the boundaries of more traditional self-pleasure environments,” Lovehoney’s statement reads.

You spicy little things, you.

Remote-controlled and wearable sex toys aren’t exactly new, but they are certainly becoming more popular. Take the We-Vibe Moxie App vibe, for example.

Accessibility in sexual wellness

Sex positivity for all bodies is probably one of the most important trends to emerge in this year’s report. It’s all about working to break down barriers to sexual enjoyment and confidence.

Candice Care-Unger, Royal Rehab Sexuality Service Team Leader and Psychosexual Therapist and Social Worker, shared on this that:

“There is a sex-positive movement sweeping society and people with disability are set to benefit! As cultural attitudes and norms around sex change and sexuality is seen as natural and healthy for everybody, there will be greater opportunities for people living with disability to explore their sexuality – free of shame, taboo, and barriers.

“Demand will drive fantastic new advancements in adaptive sex tech in the coming years that will make pleasure more accessible. Not only will these changes address basic human rights, but with one in five people living with a disability, exciting product innovations make good business sense.”

Re-exploring male pleasure

We’re finally seeing a shift in the way we view male pleasure, with the trend moving away from shame surrounding sex toys – which we love to see.

Here, Lovehoney reported that sex toy options for men and people with penises has traditionally been lacking, but we’re seeing some changes emerge.

It writes:

“This is likely to become a topic that is bound to be considered serious talk as the modern man leaves behind the old toxic masculinity for a more modern and self-aware mentality when it comes to masturbation and pleasure.”

A.I. and space: The frontier of sexuality

Space and A.I, it seems is one giant leap for sexuality.

Lovehoney’s report indicates that cultural shifts like the rise of “dating apps, immersive pornography and connected sex devices” are all signs of the sexual wellness world leaning into tech more actively.

At the more extreme end of things we see talk about how space hotels bring the topic of sex in space to life, and even the development of sexualised robots have a place in the future of sexual wellness.

Simon Dubé from Erobotics spoke on this, explaining that “moving forward, space agencies and the public supporting them need to be reminded that approaching questions of human sexuality from a positive, scientific, empathetic and inclusive perspective is paramount to our health, wellbeing, and the success of our extra-terrestrial life. Especially, they need to be reminded that: 1) Sexual health is health, 2) Sexual rights are human rights, 3) Sexuality means diversity: 4) pleasure is fun and important; and 5) Technology can help”.

Fascinating, no?

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