We are one month into a new year, which means most people’s commitment to a “new year, new you” mindset has likely been forgotten in favor of falling back into comfortable old habits. Those chips don’t eat themselves. But, with Valentine’s Day comes a second chance at making a promise to try something new. In the bedroom, at the very least.
Now, we acknowledge it’s a little trite to pretend that a new sexual position or toy will change your life. It might for like… three hours. But, ultimately, your kitchen will still be dirty, and you will still have to file your taxes.
No. What we are suggesting is that you consider some of the year’s top sex trends as options to make the physical act more fun. That’s it. Play. Enjoy. And, honestly, isn’t that enough? Sex is fantastic when it’s good; so if you need to innovate, do it! If you need a grander motivation, we’ve all have seen the studies that link more/ better sex to increased happiness. What better way to shake the winter doldrums?
The adult industry generally leads the charge on sex trends as they reflect the most heightened iteration of our fantasies. You might masturbate thinking about your mother-in-law, but they will make a film with a smoking hot woman helping her daughter and son-in-law wear out the warranty on their mattress. As such, we asked some insiders to comment on upcoming trends we have identified, and they had a lot to say.
Read on and consider whether these crazes might be a welcome addition to your sex life.
Okay. We know there are people who hear “enthusiastic consent” and think it’s the politically correct police banging at the door. There’s a real kneejerk defensiveness about the #MeToo movement and the changes it advocates. But, the point of enthusiastic consent isn’t to create a future legal case against accusations of assault or rape. It is, first and foremost, a way to make sure your partner is down with what’s happening. That’s a good thing, plain and simple.
Now, seeking consent doesn’t mean signing a binding agreement or having a threesome with a notary. You just need to check in periodically and respect the response you receive. Plus, it’s hot as hell. Pretty sure nobody is turned off when they hear, “Never stop f*cking me.”
In 2018, we hope people will start having deeper discussions about their needs, their health status, and their boundaries. Further, this won’t be a huge bureaucratic boner killer. It can actually be pretty hot to detail what you are down for and how excited you are to do it.
In the adult film industry, affirmed and enthusiastic consent is also a trend, showing that once again they are leaders in this arena. But, it isn’t necessarily as simple as getting a loud “yes” from a performer. As Colin Rowntree, Founder/CEO of of the BDSM site Wasteland.com, points out: “The murky nature of occupational consent becomes especially tricky when the work is sexual. If in our work we consensually engage in a sexual activity that we don’t necessarily enjoy, it’s seen as more problematic than if we engage in other kinds of less desirable activities for the sake of work.” This speaks to continuingly poor attitudes about the sex industry, rather than the value of enthusiastic consent in general. One hopes both experience increased acceptance.
Sex robots have been around for a couple of years in earnest, though certainly they have been desired since seconds after the advent of the robot. As Rowntree, points out “Sex dolls have been around for quite some time now, but people simply grew tired of them. Even though many of them are magnificently crafted, they’re still far away from the ‘real deal.’” We need more than lifeless dolls! Westworld isn’t on the horizon ¬ as much as we love headlines that act like it is – but there are some interesting advancements.
Roxxxy was marketed as “the world’s first sex robot,” and although she could be programmed to play and to talk, purchasers had to pick just one of those options. Now, the market offers considerably more selection. And, Brian Sloan, the maker of the Autoblow2+, the leading robotic sexual device for men asserts, “In 10 years, the majority of male sex toys will be robotic in nature.”
Though he believes that a man’s natural sex drive will always prefer human interaction to that of robots, Jim Austin, Head of Business and Development at Stripchat.com, notes, “I think sex robots have a role to play in the future of sex. I’ve noticed that human sexual interaction is changing, especially among the younger generations. Robotic sex is the future of sex.”
But, what of the desires of women? The latest news stories about sex robots have been focused on the male examples. Some headlines catastrophize the bionic penises are good enough to replace men. Others question whether anyone even wants male sex robots. The RealDoll folks will be releasing a male sex robot this year, as will Realbotix. Ideally, the robo-men should have an AI that allows them to talk and learn a customer’s sexual desires.
If robots aren’t high tech enough for you, look to virtual reality. VR porn is likely to reach a new level this year, so if you have always wanted an immersive experience that exceeds the general POV films you typically dabble in, this is the answer. VR porn pumps up the fantasy with a situation that puts you in the same room with the performer.
Rowntree breaks it down. “Filmed with special cameras, the viewer can, by simply turning their head, look around the set from 180 to a full 360 degrees, and in some instances, make things ‘happen’ by looking at objects they want to take action with. This is very different from the previous wave of 3D as it allows viewers to feel like they are actually on the set or in the room with the performers and interact with the environment.”
Recently, CamSoda, an adult site, partnered with RealDolls to create “virtual intercourse with real people.” What does that mean exactly? Users get to simulate sex with a live cam model through a combo of VR, teledildonics, and RealDolls. Teledildonics is the term used for any tech that facilitates remote sex with sensations transmitted through a data link between the people involved. Think sex toys operated remotely.
Chelsea McCain, Sex Toy Manager at AdultEmpire.com is uber enthusiastic: “I LOVE that masturbators are being paired with VR headsets so you are able to be fully engulfed in your masturbation experience, and with motion sensing technology is being paired as well, you can interactively synchronize your masturbator with what you are watching so that you can simulate physical intimacy. It’s like your own little jerk off world. Who can argue with that!”
On one hand, credit is due to the 50 Shades series because it really brought kink into the public conversation and included people who weren’t previously comfortable with the topic or the acts. And, sex toys sales of the franchises branded merchandise shows that women and men are feeling 50 Shades in a big way. But, that isn’t the full explanation for why BDSM is continuing to trend.
As Austin explains, “BDSM is dramatically benefitting from modern technological changes. Before the internet, the only way someone could experience BDSM was from magazines and underground communities. But now we’re seeing an explosion of BDSM lovers connecting with one another, thanks to the internet, and living out their fantasies – especially through cam sites. Viewers and models who share that lifestyle are connecting and creating a community that suits their lifestyle.”
Rowntree has watched the BDSM scene evolve. “Back in the 1990s, BDSM film rarely if ever had sex in them. It was all more in the realm of psychological erotic power exchange, rope bondage, suspension and, yes, plenty of impact play. Starting in the early 2000’s, several new studios began introducing sex acting into BDSM films. This (as with most porn in general) steadily pushed the boundaries and BDSM became extreme in nature in some instances to grab market share. Then, a gradual shift began in 2015 back towards more authentic BDSM play. Much of this was due to credit card processors cracking down on ‘extreme’ content with other contributing factors, including the rise of the Ethical Porn movement and a heightened awareness of the importance of affirmative consent by all parties. This year will continue the trend by studios to practice safe, sane and consensual standards.”
If the term “pegging” doesn’t immediately ring a bell, that’s because people don’t speak about it as often as other sex acts. It is simply sex between a man and a woman in which the woman wears a strap-on and penetrates the man. Unfortunately, people label this kind of sex effeminate, and that makes a lot of men who are curious less likely to explore their fantasies. But, as Austin says “If you’re a brave man with an empowered woman, then all power to you guys. If you’re single or curious with no one to try it out with, then you definitely need to hit up somewhere to solve that curiosity.”
Still questioning whether or not this could possibly be a trend on the rise, Kimberly Faubel, director of ops for Clandestine Devices explains. “I do believe the old-school mentality of ‘ew, that’s gay’ is finally drifting away to make space for heterosexual cis-males to proudly declare their love of butt play! While there are certainly more steps to take for anything that was once deemed ‘taboo’ to be accepted fully, we’ve already seen an increase in hetero m-f couples shopping for pegging gear and they’re much prouder of it than they used to be. I do believe that our younger consumers are responsible, because they know their pleasure should not be shrouded in shame, as long as it’s safe and consensual. Finally, our consumers know that there is nothing wrong with liking your ass played with, regardless of what is or is not between your legs!”
For women who are down to pleasure a partner this way, Rowntree offers advice. “Some pro tips for women when speaking of things that go in asses; get yourself a good strap-on harness. Most of these other toys are going to be for his delight, and the harness contributes to that as well, but for this, you need to shop for yourself. First off, make sure you pick one that you like the look of. You’re going to want to feel sexy here, and liking the way you look while sporting a hard-on is important. Make sure you get one that fits you comfortably because you’re not going to want to be distracted from the things you do while wearing a strap-on harness.”
3-D Printed Sex Toys
Although more and more people have access to DIY sex toys via their 3-D printers, we don’t think this is a trend that will actually be spotted in every home. There are obvious issues with it. As Brian Sloan argues “Chinese factories are selling well-made silicone sex toys on Amazon for slightly above their cost. When you can have great orgasms with a $25 product made from silicone with a high-quality motor delivered for free in 2 days, why would anyone spend the same amount of money and hours of time for a hollow hard plastic dildo?”
But, it’s the novelty and not thrift or superior quality that will drive people to print dildos. One should never underestimate novelty. Hello, the Chia Pet certainly wasn’t the untouchable opportunity to flex one’s green thumb, but those things were everywhere.
In 2015, multiple sex toy designers and manufacturers adopted 3-D printing for cost-effective and fast research & development, which makes total sense. Now the people that have a 3-D printer can purchase and download electronic data files of existing products from a variety of online sites. And, they can even use some of these sites to actively design exactly what they want. It’s quite a boon if you want something that you simply can’t find on the market.
“Hey, if someone can use a 3-printer to manufacture a plastic bazooka,” Rowntree states, “why not dildos, butt plugs, and cock rings? Although this is very much a ‘geek’ marketplace not likely to take significant market share away from tradition retail and online ready-made product outlets, it will be an interesting one to watch grow over the course of 2018!”