From Butt Stuff to Sex With Robots — the 5 Biggest Sex Trends of 2023
It’s no secret that we’re getting better at talking about sex. I mean, my entire job (writing about love, sex and relationships) wouldn’t have existed on the scale it does now, five years ago.
I, for one, am so grateful. As a naturally sexual person, I feel empowered to embrace my sexuality, my queerness, my body and my pleasure in society today; and that’s a total blessing.
Thankfully, according to the Lovehoney Group 2023 Sex Trends report (that just dropped today) — documenting the hottest trends in sexual wellness in 2022 and highlighting what we can expect to see more of in 2023 — it looks as though our sexual openness, confidence and fluidity is only set to evolve in 2023.
“We have identified five topics that currently affect the sexual wellness industry and that we expect to become even bigger in 2023,” says Sarah Moglia, Head of Innovation at Lovehoney Group.
“With our Sex Trends 2023, we want to share these findings with you and hope that they can help more people think about sexuality in new ways and, especially, bring more sexual happiness to everybody!”
So, from sex with robots to the exploration of butt stuff, here are the five main sex trends for 2023.
We’re so overstimulated in our digital lives, with smartphones, social media and dating apps — we’re getting used to living in a world of constant entertainment and communication — and we’re getting tired of it, too.
Many people feel stressed as well as exhausted in this constant state of overwhelming choices and overstimulation, the report reads. As a result, people are searching for a balance: mindfulness apps, workshops and books are all booming.
Therefore, buzzwords like ‘conscious consumption’ have also reached our love lives. Whether it is solo-sex or sex with a partner, the journey rather than the destination is becoming the centre of attention. Sexual mindfulness means less casual dating and performance-centred sex, but more self-focused interactions. For sex with a partner, it means focusing on the partner and one’s body, really being in the moment without any pressure to perform or climax.
“Sex and intimacy is about so much more than an orgasm and we have noticed that after the first wave of post-pandemic “make-up for lost time” sex,” explains Womanizer sex and relationship expert Christine Rafe.
“People are now looking for a holistic experience rather than quick satisfaction.”
In simple terms, sexual mindfulness is all about quality over quantity, when it comes to sex. So basically, we’re more into good sex; than lots of it. A vibe.
Former taboo topics such as menstruation, sex and (female) sexuality are being discussed more openly, the report says.
A shift that has been strongly driven by women and members of the LGBTQI+ community who are speaking out loudly against prejudice and stigmatisation. Of course, social media and the availability of information have helped many people to find their voice and take control of their own narratives.
Gen Z are approaching intimate topics with more confidence and curiosity than previous generations. Lovehoney’s global survey shows that when learning about masturbation, the internet as a source of information (39%) plays an equally important role as trying it out (41%) for young people between 18-24 years old.
When the same question was asked to people aged 35 and older, the majority only learned about self-love by trying it out (53%), followed by talking to friends and family as a source of information (26%).
Despite strict rules on what can be shown on Instagram and TikTok, the number of channels that talk about sex ed has grown significantly. In saying this, it’s important that we keep up with the transparency in conversations about intimacy, sex and relationships on these platforms, so they can continue to be used as an educational tool.
Because ultimately, open intimacy leads to better communication about our needs and desires. With then leads to better sex.
Taken offline, the report also found similar trend in on-trend products. Whether it is trendy period products or sex toys, the packaging and product designs have changed to turn them into lifestyle products. Cute vulva-themed t-shirts or boob-socks are next to avocado and donut socks on the shelves.
Smart SexTech and the Metaverse
Would you have sex with a sex-robot? If yes, then you are one of 36% of people who would be curious enough to try it out, according to Lovehoney’s 2023 Sex Trends report.
Tech encompasses more in the world of sex than you’d initially think. Whether it be the development of sex toys, sexual wellness in the metaverse or actual sex with robots — we need technology for the evolution of sex and education.
According to the report, sex toys are getting smarter, such as the ability to be controlled via an app. These evolved toys are proving to be incredible for long-distance relationships and “to spice things up in the bedroom”, according to 79% of respondents in Lovehoney’s global report.
Other technologies, such as Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence, will change the way we shop online as well as the experiences that we can have in online spaces. With AR, for something as intimate as sex toys, getting an idea of size and shape from the comfort of your home will help guide many customers through the ever-growing ranges of dildos, vibrators, and butt plugs. Imagine being able to literally try before you buy!
And then, there’s the Metaverse. Lovehoney opened a pop-up store in Decentraland in 2022, to offer an anonymous place for people to explore sexual wellness products and content around sexuality. Spaces like this will continue to grow in 2023.
“People naturally look at entertainment as the only possibility for sextech, but there is also a great potential for sex education, sexual happiness and sexual health support in the Metaverse” says Lovehoney’s global sextech expert, Bryony Cole.
“Plus, the combined anonymity and intimacy of this platform, allows people to engage with this topic further, where they perhaps don’t feel comfortable in real life, allowing more people to educate.”
Intentional Dating and Sexual Fantasies
Casual dating is out, and “slow love” is in, according to the report.
Afterall, emotional connection, meaningful conversations and sexual compatibility are some of the biggest and most sustainable turn ons going around.
According to Lovehoney’s global survey, 38% of women and nearly half (46%) of men dive into the topic of sexual desires and fantasies within the first three months of dating. Not surprisingly, the most common fantasies are quite different for men and for women. Top three sexual fantasies for men are “having sex with someone that isn’t my partner”, “oral sex” and “sex with a stranger”. While women fantasise about romantic sex, passionate or meaningful sex and being intimate in a public space.
Of course, sexual fantasies have existed for as long as humans have, but talking about them and acting upon them is part of the overall trend toward destigmatising sexuality.
Re-exploring Anal Play
The dreaded butt stuff. Do you love it or hate it? Too scared to try it? Maybe 2023 is your year.
According to the report, the butt is still the one body part that is occupied with shame and other negative feelings. Of course, as with any other exchange of intimacies and sexual encounters, anal stimulation requires consent. If all parties are interested and open to exploring, there is much to discover and enjoy.
The butt is especially important when it comes to male pleasure. Ever heard a friend talk about how the guy she’s sleeping with like butt play? Well, there’s a reason for it.
The prostate, as an erogenous zone, is often overlooked or looked down upon. It is accessible through the butt and, when properly massaged, can provide unparalleled pleasure a man can experience alone or with a partner. The prostate is a gland about the size of a chestnut, made up of muscle tissue and located below the bladder near the erectile tissue of the urethra.
A global study brought to light that four out of five men have never heard of the prostate as an erogenous zone. Yet, 34 % of male respondents are aware, but have never tried to stimulate it. Furthermore, the study revealed that 35 percent of men have tried anal sex and like it.