Sex Trends in 2021: Spice Up Your Life

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Every year collective behavior patterns develop within our culture that become popular trends. Fashion, of course, comes to mind when thinking of trends, as does music, automobiles, dance moves, and technology. But did you know there are also trends when it comes to sex?

In speaking with my patients and colleagues I find certain sexual patterns increasing in popularity and forming trends among all age groups. I’m going to share with you the sex trends I’m seeing that will be prevalent in 2021. Because I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds sex trends fascinating, right? 

Bye-Bye 2020 Sex Trends

When I think of 2020 there are a few sex trends that immediately pop into my mind.

The Most Popular Sex Trends of 2020 

      • Mindful Sex
      • Maintenance Sex
      • Marinating
      • Kareeza


Are any of these sex trends familiar to you?

Mindful Sex gained widespread popularity in 2020 due to lifestyle customs such as Hygge and Lagom. Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortability with feelings of wellness and contentment, while Lagom is the Swedish concept of life in balance. Hygge is about enjoying contentment, Lagom roughly translated means “not too little, not too much—just right”. 

Mindful sex is when you're totally and completely immersed in the physical sensations of your body, which can give you a comfortable feeling (Hygge). It doesn't mean you don’t have a blank mind (too little thoughts) or cluttered, distracting thoughts (too many thoughts). It means that you're able to find a mental place that feels just right (Lagom). 

Maintenance Sex is having sex just to appease a partner, even if you’re not in the mood. Maintenance sex is most often having sex to ensure both people in the relationship are sexually satisfied. states that maintenance sex is crucial to the sexual health of a relationship because there will always be two different sex drives in an intimate partnership. 

Marinating is the art of sex without thrusting. It’s a way of participating in lovemaking at the simplest level with little effort. 

Soaking, parking, and ‘dock & talk’ are additional terms used to describe the act of sexual marinating. It was reportedly started at Brigham Young University, a college known for having a strict honor code to maintain chastity. 

Karezza is gentle, affectionate intercourse–without climax. Karezza is meant to put the focus on the act of sex itself and not on the end result. 

The history of Karezza is recorded in “The Karezza Method,” a 1931 book written by sex theorist J. William Lloyd. According to Lloyd, a New York native, John Humphrey Noyes, discovered Karezza in 1844. A major goal of Karezza is to maintain a strong sexual energy and counteract sexual tension or diminishing sexual desires.

All four of these trends were prevalent in talks with my patients over the past year. And while all were interesting sex trends, I can assure you there are even more fascinating sex trends heading your way for 2021.

Hello 2021 Sex Trends

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2021 is the ‘Year of the Ox’ and is predicted to bring unexpected adventures and passionate love affairs. I believe the roller coaster of 2020 will lead people to want to try new sexual activities and to seek more fulfillment in their intimate relationships. I also feel more technology will be available to help people to be better connected.

Zoom/Virtual Sex will gain popularity as video platforms allow long distance lovers to virtually connect. Dating in 2021 will also have a large online-specific presence. Using Zoom, FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangouts to virtually start new relationships, many people will be having more solo sex in a partnered environment. 

I have a few suggestions for those of you wanting to try this. First, set the stage. Create soft lighting that flatters, dress in colors that will look vibrant on-screen, and play some of your favorite music to set the tone. Since this is as much a solo experience as it is a partnered one, remember to seduce your own senses too. 

There is also some critical advice that I would like to share. Keep in mind that whatever you do on-screen may be saved. Remember that movie, Sex Tape, where a couple makes a video tape of themselves trying out every position in The Joy of Sex only to discover their sex scenes are saved to the “cloud”? I recommend using caution so that 2022 doesn’t bring possible embarrassment due to intimate virtual sessions being exposed.  

Virtual Reality Sex will flourish in 2021 with VR technology offering visually lifelike sexual experiences. Some virtual reality headsets will allow users to interact and receive tactile sensations via computer-controlled sex toys, allowing intimate relations with remote lovers or, in some instances, fictional characters. 

Videos can be pre-recorded with a 180 or 360-degree camera. Using a VR headset, the viewer is able to be immersed in a video scene, often with a central point of view. Viewing VR videos in combination with sex toys controlled via app, such as many of the products created by WeVibe, enables you to enjoy a level of intimacy regardless of physical location. 

3D Printed Sex Toys may see a rise as affordable three-dimensional printers enable people to create their own pleasure products. This makes sense since 2020 was much about personalization when it came to products, such as Prose’s custom shampoo or Rootine’s personalized vitamins based on a person’s DNA. 

I would caution jumping on this trend yourself since 3D printers create objects by using plastic filament which creates a rough texture on the final product. Not only would this be uncomfortable, it also produces small crevices on the sex toy that would support possible bacterial growth. 

Rather than create your own sex toy, I suggest visiting my ‘Ask Dr. Sunny’ portion of the PinkCherry website to get your own sex toy recommendations directly from me. 

Experimentative Sex will be huge in 2021 according to my predictions. There is a large amount of people who have been dealing with isolation or household confinement and I believe they will be looking for ways to not only create stronger intimate bonds, but increase their excitement levels by seeking new sexual experiences. 

For those of you who are wondering what to experiment with first, I suggest exploring sensation play. This can be textures, sensations, or even flavors. There are lubricants that can provide warmth, silky blindfolds to tease the senses, and flavored pleasure products that can add a new dimension to sex play. 

If you and your sexual partner would like to try a new position without possibly pulling a muscle, I recommend trying sex positioning pillows. These can help you comfortably try new positions with little effort. I’d like to share that by using a sex pillow to elevate your pelvis, your partner can better stimulate your G-spot during penetration. 

Experimenting with sex helps to keep intimacy fresh and fun!

Celebrate Now

Why wait until 2021 to try a few of these sex trends? Get a jump on your new year’s resolutions by trying something new. Yes, trying something different may be a bit intimidating, but according to Harvard Health, new activities have been shown to be protective against depression associated with social isolation. New experiences also leads to your body releasing dopamine, which is known as a feel-good neurotransmitter that is part of the bodies reward system. 

Take care of your overall wellbeing by trying something new sexually. Consider one of these new sex trends to renew your sexual inspiration in 2021. 

Do you make sexual new year’s resolutions? Are you excited to try new sex trends? Is there a sexual wellness trend you would like to share with me? Please send me your questions and comments. I’m always here to help you.

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Dr. Sunny Rodgers is a clinician, author, and speaker who has worked in the wellness industry since 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, a Master of Arts in Clinical Sexology, and is an accredited Sexual Health Educator. She is the Founder of The Institute of Intimate Health, an Ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association, regular lecturer for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Sexual Confidence Coach for the Marigold App, and a professional Sex Toy Concierge™. Rodgers hosted a popular weekly show on Playboy Radio, has been an expert guest on several TV and radio programs, and is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Men's Health, Cosmo, Bustle, and many more publications.