The good news is, in 2023 we will see a continued shift in attitude toward being more flexible and open-minded when it comes to our sex lives.
Looking to spice things up in the bedroom and feel empowered while you're at it? Of course you are.
The good news is, sexual wellness will be the foundation from which all future sex trends stem from - and we like to see it. According to experts, in 2023 we will see a continued shift in attitude toward being more flexible and open-minded when it comes to our sex lives and isn't it about damn time? Experts believe that this new sexual liberation will be reflected through normalising sexual acts, desires, and attitudes that have previously gone unnoticed or unspoken.
Keen to hear more? We've enlisted sexual wellness brand LELO and its in-house sex and relationships expert, Kate Moyle, to break down the biggest sex trends of the year.
Mindfulness - the mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment - is nothing new, but psychosexual therapists are lauding the benefits of using the art of meditation to boost our sex lives. “They have long been using mindfulness techniques to improve sexual wellbeing, by intentionally focusing on the sensations in the body and directing attention towards sensuality,” says Kate. “Modern life is stressful and busy, and importantly, distracting - something that often negatively affects our sex lives so sexual meditation can be super beneficial.” You're telling us?
And it seems that people are catching on; 2022 saw the launch of Headspace's Women's Collection including mindful exercises and content to focus on sexual wellbeing and desire, whilst apps like Ferly are helping thousands of women with audio-guided mindful content that's especially helpful for those who don't know where to start.
“Our mindset plays a big part in our sexual experiences and so getting our minds and thoughts on our side can really help us to tune into our desire, arousal and pleasure," she adds.
Since 40-60% of women masturbate, and only 18% (!) of women can orgasm from penetrative sex, it’s no wonder we are seeing a surge of non-penetrative practices. Touching, kissing, teasing and rubbing all form part of “outercourse” and are an essential form of pleasure and sexual wellness. Indeed, 45% of Brits find it easier to reach orgasm if they have engaged in outercourse; 56% of them see it as an important part of their sexual experience.
“More focus on exploration of the erogenous zones emphasises the pleasure and play in sex, expanding the focus past penetration," says Kate. “What’s more, moving away from penetration is the perfect opportunity to explore the sensations on the clitoris.”
“While traditional sex with your partner is a tried and true form of intimacy, there’s something salaciously hot about the ‘look but don’t touch’ aspect of mutual masturbation,” explains Kate. She suggests grabbing a toy for yourself and have your partner use a sex toy of their own while you both enjoy the show - and sensations.
“Try facing each other, either standing or kneeling, as you pleasure yourselves; not only does this stance provide the best visual opportunities, but you’ll also be in the perfect position for mid-masturbation smooches. Listen to each other panting, crying, moaning, and even roaring as you reach an orgasm that intensifies the entire experience and deepens the connection.”
Most of us don't even consider our pelvic floor (or understand what exactly it does) until childbirth, but Kate says it is also imperative while being sexually active, as it can be consciously controlled and used for pleasure and is something all genders should consider. “Practice both relaxing and tensing your pelvic floor,” she suggests. “People with a fundamentally high level of body tension, who may also often clench their jaw or are used to pain in the area of the eyebrows and lower back, can really benefit from relaxing the pelvic floor. For others, it’s simply another avenue to increase pleasure."
We've gleaned that 2023 is all about self-love and self-exploration so it’s no surprise that exploring all areas of the body is becoming more accepted - and that's where anal masturbation comes in. So how do you do it exactly? As Kate explains: “There are many ways to explore this new arena of pleasure; beginners already have the tools on hand (literally), as using a lubricated finger is a great way to begin practising. Once more comfortable, using sex toys for anal masturbation is the next step - something that we’ll be seeing a lot more of this year.”
You've probably experienced blushing when getting a compliment, right? But what if you experienced a physical response in other areas of your body? Praise kinks- with over 510 million views on TikTok under the hashtag #praisek1nk, are set to be a growing trend for the rest of the year.
The kink encompasses being turned on by compliments, affirmation, and general praise, before or during sex. As much as most people love receiving compliments, someone with a praise kink will be sexually aroused by them. Common phrases used amongst those with praise kinks include “good girl/boy”, “your [insert body part] is perfect”, and “I love it when you [insert sexual activity]”. Sex that makes you feel good both emotionally and physically? We're here for it.
In a year of new kinks, sexual practices, and relationship styles, whatever happened to good old missionary? Turns out, nothing. People are still keen as ever for the long-time favourite, with searches for “missionary” having increased by 22% over the past year.
Of course, everything old can be made new again, and classic sex positions are no exception. As Kate explains: “To take missionary into 2023, there are opportunities to be more mindful while in the position; making intentional eye contact with your partner, focusing on all the erogenous zones, and synchronising breathing together to take things into tantric territory. Partners can also use the position as an opportunity to explore power play or incorporate new sex toys.”
Thinking about trying out some of these trends this year? Make sure you check out our guide of the best sex toys for couples. Staying in for date night never looked (or felt) so good.
This article was originally published on Glamour UK.