The 2022 Sexual Wellness Trends Set To Spice Up Your Sex Life

We’re in for a spicy 2022


Women's Health |

Where it once was the case that masturbation and sex were conversations to be had in hushed tones, only with your closest girlfriends surrounding you, in 2022 sex is something to be celebrated. With many of us emerging from months spent in lockdown where we found ourselves reassessing not only our lifestyle but those things important to our wellbeing and sense of self, it’s not surprising that sex emerged as a priority. Not only is sex intrinsic to our own emotional and physical wellbeing, but it contributes to self-esteem, an overall sense of wellness (hello sexual wellness!) and can even help relieve pain.

Just like anything that is a priority in your life, a healthy sex life requires investment. Regardless of whether you’re single, dating or have a long-term partner, investing in your sexual wellness has never been easier thanks to new technology and innovations.

READ MORE11 Masturbation Tips For A Sh*t Hot Orgasm

Now, Lovehoney has conducted extensive research to document the hottest trends in sexual wellness that will shape the year ahead. The company’s Sex Trends Report gathers insights from some of the world’s biggest names in sexual wellness, making for interesting conversation starters along the way. From ethical non-monogamy, to pain relief and masturbation, these are the new trends set to take you out of the bedroom as you explore your desires and body in new ways.

1. An Expanded Understanding of Relationships 

A key trend that’s set to emerge this year is an expansion of our understanding of relationships beyond that of just monogamy and traditional frontiers. Experts predict a rise in ethical non-monogamy after a recent YouGov poll of more than 1 300 adults in the United States found almost one-third classifying their ideal relationship as non-monogamous to some degree.

According to experts, ethical non-monogamy (ENM) is an umbrella term for different arrangements, including the likes of polyamory, swinging or open marriages. As more and more couples embrace a more liberal and diversified relationship structure, these practices are becoming more mainstream.

As Abby Moss, sex and relationship journalist, explains: “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. By seeing sex as fundamentally about one thing, pleasure, we can start to break down shame around sex too!”

2. Masturbation for Pain Relief

With so many of us in lockdown during the pandemic, masturbation came to be seen as a priority in our sexual wellness and self-care routines. Increasingly, masturbation has come to be seen as a vital part of everyone’s self-care routine due to a number of health benefits that include relieving stress, the release of feel-good hormones, and the pain-killing properties of endorphins that are released upon orgasm.

A clinical study in 2021 by pleasure brand Womanizer called Menstrubation (menstruation+masturbation) examined whether masturbation can help against period pain, with results finding that 90 percent of those surveyed would recommend masturbation to combat period pain. 70 percent of respondents said that regular masturbation had a long-lasting impact on achieving a lower pain intensity during period.

READ MORE: There Are Major Health Benefits When You Masturbate On Your Period

In the context of period pain, the Pleasure Air Technology by Womanizer was a stand out from other sex toys and pleasure devices, as it was seen to provide a more external clitoral stimulation through air waves that can be especially useful during the period.

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3. Environmentally-Friendly Sexual Wellness

In 2022, living sustainably and being environmentally conscious is a top priority, something that’s also being reflected in the sex toys we purchase. According to research firm Technavio, The Global Organic Feminine Care Market is expected to grow by over 12 billion rand between 2020-2024. Consumers are certainly driving this trend, demanding greater transparency from the products and their manufacturing.

Womanizer has developed the world’s first eco-friendly and biodegradable Pleasure Air Toy called “Premium Eco” which is made of biolene – a bioplastic made from 70 percent corn starch and other natural materials that can be responsibly disposed of at the end of its lifespan.

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As sexologist and relationship expert Jessica O’Reilly suggests, “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! 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.”

O’Reilly adds: “It makes sense that consumers want to know what we’re putting on and in our bodies. We look at ingredients when it comes to beauty products, so paying attention to materials in our sex toys is a natural extension of this practice. We want to know what a product is made of, so that we can decide if it’s a good fit for our bodies, lifestyles and principles.”

READ MORE5 Eco-Friendly Ways To Spice Up Your Sex Life

4. Wearable Sextech 

As sexual wellness comes to be seen as a vital part of our overall wellbeing, self-pleasure is coming to the forefront of our lives and now there are devices to help us make it a priority. There’s now an increasing number of products designed to be used on the go, breaking the boundaries of more traditional self-pleasure environments.

Wearable sextech looks beyond masturbation, coming to view self-pleasure as an act of wellness that’s to be enjoyed anytime and anywhere in the form of teasing and pleasurable sensations, that can have stress-relieving properties without the need of masturbation or ejaculation. Consider apps like We-Connect, which allows We-Vibe toy users to pair and control their favourite products to their smartphones. The app allows partners to control each other’s toys, too, even if they’re not in the same location.

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5. Accessibility in Sexual Wellness

While sexual wellness is a human experience that can enrich satisfaction and overall wellbeing, societal stereotypes and prejudice have wrongly excluded certain collectives from society to openly explore, express and discuss their desires, wants, and specific needs when it comes to sexual pleasure. For those with disabilities, overcoming physical and emotional barriers can be particularly challenging when it comes to sexual-confidence and it’s an area that many find difficult to discuss with health practitioners or family. Thankfully, sextech innovators are looking to change this and create a new standard for inclusive intimacy.

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According to Candice Care-Unger, RoyalRehab Sexuality Service Team leader and Psychosexual therapist and social worker, “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.”

Désir Adult Shop has a large range of sex toys for those with disabilities that you can check out here.

6. Re-exploring Male Pleasure

Despite the shift in viewing sexual wellness as a priority, sex toys have long been targeted towards women rather than men. Femtech has boomed lately, with even celebrities getting in on the sex toy industry, however male pleasure has largely remained stagnant, with little by way of innovation or research. Lately though, an increasing number of men have expressed interest in issues such as mental health and sexual wellness and as toxic masculinity becomes something to be avoided and left behind, it leaves room for a more modern and self-aware mentality when it comes to masturbation and pleasure.

Arcwave is a pioneer brand that wants to bring more innovation in that direction and in 2020, the company released the world first Pleasure Air Stroker, a patented technology that utilises research into the penis to cause a strong, female-like orgasm experience in the male body. According to Arcwave, advances in materials such as CleanTeach silicone as well as human-centred design will bring new possibilities and new male pleasure toys that will widen the range of sexual pleasure that men can experience in 2022.

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In a recent study conducted by Thrifter which examined sexual desires and practices around the world, it found that butt plugs and cock rings remain overwhelmingly the most popular sex toys, with 12 out of 30 countries preferring to use the butt plug in the bedroom, and 11 out of 30 countries opting for the cock ring.

7. A.I. and Space

As the space race continues, it also brings with it a renewed interest into the sex of the future. The rise of dating apps and connected sex devices seem to suggest that the future will see us rely on tech extensively when it comes to sexual relationships, as we become more intimate with the devices. It also has led many to wonder what sexual wellness might look like in space itself, an area that has been previously ignored.

According to Simon Dube, from Robotics, “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. Specially, 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.”

*This article was originally published on Women’s Health AU

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