If one of your goals for 2022 is to embrace your sexuality and get your freak on more often — and to make it more satisfying and sex-positive — you’re not alone. After a tough few years, more and more people are looking to spice up their sex lives in healthy and pleasure-centred ways.
For many, this means an increasingly open-minded approach to sex and sexuality, and a greater desire for experimentation — whether solo or with a partner. With insights from sex experts, Woman & Home rounded up their predictions for the top sex trends of 2022. Here are three of the sex trends from the report that we’re most excited about:
The rise of outercourse
What is “outercourse”? Put simply, it’s sexual activity that doesn’t involve penetration — though the specifics and drivers of this trend are a bit more complex. Simply avoiding penetration means many different things to different people. Whether it’s a massage, mutual masturbation or another non-penetrative activity, outercourse offers a safe and flexible way for people to connect and get closer while focusing on building intimacy and establishing boundaries.
As sex and relationship expert Kate Moyle noted in Woman & Home, “Your definition of it depends on your reasons for trying it, and because of this, it may just prove to be the best new sex trend of them all.”
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For many people, embracing their sexuality is a journey — and understanding your relationship with your own sexual identity may not fit neatly into a box or category. With this in mind, finding ways to express sexual identity in less rigid terms is becoming more common. One of these emerging forms of expression is the term “heteroflexibility.”
As Moyne explained in the trends report, you may see yourself as heteroflexible if “you identify as ‘mostly straight’, but occasionally find yourself attracted to the same gender, romantically or sexually or both.”
See also: 8 signs you might be pansexual.
Foreplay for fun
When it comes to sexual connection, orgasms don’t have to be the only goal — which is why more people are seeking a better understanding of foreplay in their sex lives. Putting some focus on foreplay may just be the secret to a more pleasurable sex life, whether you’re solo or with a partner.
As clinical sexologist Megwyn White noted in Woman & Home, “For most, sexual anxiety can be eased through a better understanding of foreplay, and learning that sex can allow you to explore more erogenous zones.”
Related: Sex Sessions: How to find (and explore) common erogenous zones.