Sex trends to expect for the year ahead

What’s going to be big in the world of sex this year, beyond plenty of lockdown masturbation?

More inclusive language, sexual telehealth, and intimate grooming for men, apparently.

These are all trends predicted for 2021 by Dominnique Karetsos, the CEO of The Healthy Pleasure Group, which is dedicated entirely to the sexual health and technology industry.

Below she breaks down her forecast of sex trends for the year ahead.

Sexual wellness will be a priority

2020 saw a massive rise in sex toy sales, pointing to a renewed focus on self-pleasure, and Dominnique reckons that trend will continue in the year ahead.

We’ll continue to care deeply about connecting with ourselves and enjoying solo pleasure.

‘It has been a tough and challenging year, at times it felt like crawling through sludge, but on the other side it was filled with celebration,’ says Dominnique. ‘Celebrating and exploring what mother nature permitted us to explore in lockdown and the innovation, education and investment that will steer 2021 into healthier behavioural change.’

Intimate grooming for men

Brands will launch products and ranges specifically targeted to men’s sexual pleasure and wellbeing.

Think pubic hair oils targeted at men, organic lubes, and solo sex toys designed for the penis.

More inclusive, sex-positive language

‘We will see a collosal shift in reshaping the language and education in our space,’ sayd Dominnique, ‘affirming that pleasure is healthy, sex is to be explored solo or otherwise, that its ok to not to be ok, that marginalised communities deserve to be witnessed and heard.

‘From trans communities, those with disabilities, sex workers who should not be de-humanised, all these narratives have made news headlines, acronyms like enby when referring to the non-binary community, brands like EXO have launched world first products with inclusive language for trans women community, Lovehoney investing in disibility ranges and campaigns from Handi.

‘Language is vital in offering us education so we can learn how to shape our own narratives while considering our tolerance and sexual empathy for others.

‘The power of the language has the ability to build countries, reshape policies and carve spaces for our identities; just look at the acknowledgement of the use of pronouns she/he/they. It is just the beginning. Lexicons are how humanity is witnessed, here is hoping that this trend evolves into our new cultural fibre for a positive social impact.’

Sexual spaces online

The sex and health industry is ditching social platforms with harsh restrictions on sexual content and making their own spaces.

‘Innovation of social platforms like is providing safe places for all to explore their sexualities, health and wellness,’ says Dominnique. ‘STIs are shifting beyond delivering results on mobiles and encouraging ways for us to share our ‘safe to play’ results, lead by brand iPlaySafe – it won’t be long before you tick the IplaySafe box on your dating app profile before you play.

‘These digital landscapes are our new playgrounds that positively aim to make for a smart internet of sexual health and no longer having our sexualities dictated by archaic commercial structures.’

Gamification of sexual pleasure

Dominnique points towards apps like Clitar Hero, a touch screen game that matches specific pleasure techniques with music and lets you play your way to an orgasm.

‘This is all about having fun and normalising girls’ sexual pleasure,’ she explains. ‘Expect to see many more brands use gamification as a way to engage and expand reach.

‘I look forward to seeing gamification in sex ed in schools, A geat tool to adapt to different ages with relevance.’

Telehealth for sexual dysfunctions

Dominnique says: ‘Brands like Hims and Hers, Numan , Manual, Elanza Wellness have facilitated medical and professional help being delivered to millions of beings in the safety of their homes.

‘There’s nothing like a global threat to humanity to rethink how we heal humans and I believe it is safe to say we will never go back to traditional clinical care or advice about our sexual health. We can only move forward and evolve.’

Improvements to fertility care and contraception

Expect greater innovation in the world of contraception and conception.

‘Brands like OOVA and Lab’s like Cemag Care are revolutionising how we track and translate our hormones aiding women to make accurate and supported decisions about their fertility options or contraceptives,’ says Dominnique. ‘Innovation like Ballerine from OCON MED means as women we have safer, more comfortable, hormone-free smart IUD.’

Smart sex robots and virtual reality learning

Dominnique predicts more excitement in the world of sex robots and AI.

‘Brands like Hatsumi are using VR as immersive research to teach and deliver ultimate experiences from pleasure to death doula, while HPG Lab has developed exclusive IP for robotic clit stimulators,’ she says. ‘These are the next generation of toys to help women learn how to have an orgasm.

‘O School and The Femedic are brands using AI and other smart data technology to ensure our learning and content is not just trustworthy and accurate but relevant.

‘So yes robotics and AI can be used to positively impact our experiences.’

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