I’m sure you’ve made some personal or professional resolutions ahead of the new year, but have you thought about setting intentions for your sex life in 2023? A new year is a great opportunity to recalibrate how you approach, discuss, and think about sex.
What makes you feel good, honestly? Are there any new sex positions or innovative products that have piqued your interest? Perhaps most importantly, are there any unanswered questions you have regarding your sexual or reproductive wellness?
To kick off the new year right, SheKnows touched base with some experts in the sexual wellness space about sex-related conversations and products they foresee trending in 2023. Use their suggestions as jumping-off points for your own journey of sexual education, exploration, and satisfaction.
Happy New Year, pleasure seekers!
Prioritizing what you like during sex, not just what’s been fed to you
Let’s face it: All of us have internalized some messaging about what sex is “supposed to” be like. Whether they stem from porn, pop culture, or IRL convos, these ideals can stir up doubts, shame, or self-consciousness…and get in the way of us actually enjoying what we get up to in the bedroom. Sex educator Emily L. Depasse, MSW, MEd, who runs the popular Instagram account @sexelducation, recommends kicking off 2023 by checking in with yourself about where you learned your core values, beliefs, and preferences regarding sex.
“Asking questions like, ‘Do I leave my sexual encounters feeling satisfied?’ and ‘What sensations do I like and crave more of?’ or ‘What am I not telling my partner?’ might be great starter questions and can even turn into journal prompts, meditations, or intimate experiences with partners,” she tells SheKnows. This introspective work is a fantastic way of getting to know yourself, your body, and your desires better. Think of it as an extension of your self-care routine.
Upon doing some reflection, you might feel inspired to reach for different sex toys or try out new positions in bed. “Once you’re able to tune into your curiosity, rather than fear it,” Depasse explains, “you’ll be able to better visualize what you’re really seeking in bed and what might help get you there.”
Discussing sex openly and directly with your partner(s)
Although it may be uncomfortable at first, Depasse is a big fan of discussing your desires or concerns openly with your sexual partner(s). Consider getting candid about any insights or takeaways you glean from your top-of-the-year sex-trospection.
Polly Rodriguez, founder and CEO of the sexual wellness brand Unbound, echoes this sentiment. Throughout 2022, her team focused on growing Unbound’s TikTok following. She has noticed that viewers really enjoy content about how best to communicate their sexual wants and needs to a partner.
“The first step of that is understanding what you like and then sharing that with someone else,” Rodriguez tells SheKnows. “It’s so great to see that type of content resonate, and honestly, it’s so important.”
Incorporating toys into partnered sex
While many of us associate vibrators, dildos, and other sex toys with masturbation, these items can also be used during partnered sex. Rodriguez expects to see more partnered sex-forward toys on the market in 2023 as the world continues to bounce back from COVID-19-related isolation. “This could be anything from BDSM accessories to vibrators,” she explains, “but ultimately, [the focus will be] on products that encourage continued exploration with a partner.”
The good news? With a financial recession looming large, Rodriguez believes affordability will be a major concern for sex toy manufacturers in the new year. “Brands will need to continue to focus on accessible pricing without compromising on quality and product safety,” she says.
Depasse is also pumped that national retailers have begun stocking sexual wellness products on their shelves, making these items even more accessible to the average consumer in America. She thinks this trend will continue into 2023. “Dame launched in Sephora this year,” she explains, “and I see increasing numbers of sex toys and lubricant offerings at drug stores that go beyond the typical KY Jelly and Trojan brand.”
Experimenting with sexual wellness products that aren’t toys
Sex toys aside, Depasse is excited about the trend of holistic sexual wellness products — think CBD-infused lube to promote relaxation, or organic supplements to prevent UTIs or yeast infections. Basically, this category encompasses any sex-related products that aren’t toys.
Personally, Depasse is a big fan of products from Dame, a sexual wellness brand with a research-backed approach. “Dame came out with their Desire Gummies this year, and I was excited to try them because it wasn’t just another vibrator or sex toy that could change my bedroom experience,” she shares. “Momotaro Apotheca also launched an organic UTI supplement and vaginal suppository.”
Continuing conversations about sexual and reproductive health
Unfortunately, one of the biggest sex-related news stories of 2022 was the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade in June. This landmark ruling safeguarded abortion access in the United States for more than 40 years. States are now able to restrict or ban abortions, and plenty already have.
As the year stretched on, frank conversations about reproductive rights and health care became more commonplace. A number of viral videos — including the “Roe v. Bros” TikTok series that made the rounds during the midterm elections — highlighted just how ignorant many cisgender men are when it comes to sexual and reproductive health for people with uteruses. In 2023, Depasse thinks we’ll see even more sex-related educational campaigns on social media — think Reels, TikToks, or YouTube videos.“When I look at this topic as a whole, most of the conversations are driven by women who are fed up with the lack of knowledge and understanding about reproductive health care,” she shares. “I think these conversations will continue into 2023 and shift depending on what legislation is passed.”
Before you go, check out the 69 (nicest) sex positions we recommend you add to your bucket list:
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