5 Sex Trends You Totally Don't Have to Like (or Even Try!)

by Colleen Godin

CW: Anal, Group Sex, BDSM

There's never been a better time to feel sexually free. As taboos disappear and older generations realize they should have been kinky swingers all along, all sorts of fun sex stuff is popping out of the woodwork. Women-only bisexual sex clubs; swanky resorts for the ethically non-monogamous; kink clubs for exhibitionist Dominants and submissives – whatever floats your sexual boat, it's out there, and there's a whole group of people excited to do it with you.

But what if you're happily vanilla? You've got a few vibrators in your drawer, and you're definitely not opposed to using a dildo. Hell, maybe you've even convinced your boyfriend to try pegging.

We'd never yuck someone else's yum – a phrase that essentially means to each their own without dissing on the sexy stuff other folks enjoy that just doesn't do it for you. But hey, if your favorite position is missionary and you're perfectly happy sleeping with the same person til' death do you part, we're all for it. Knowing what you like and standing for it is a power move these days.

The bottom line? Sex is way too awesome to waste your time on activities that you're certain won't or don't work for you. We've picked out 5 awesome sex trends that are all the rage that you totally don't have to love – or even try!

Anal Sex

Anal sex is a definite media darling of the moment, and for good reason. Both women and men have loads of nerve endings situated around the exterior and interior of the bum hole. To top it off, anal stimulation can activate the p-spot – that's the prostate for penis-havers – and the g-spot for vulva-owners. When you give the prostate a calculated, gentle poke, they can ejaculate without a hard-on and have multiple orgasms. For vulva-owners, anal penetration is a great way to experience an incredible g-spot orgasm, thanks to the thin wall that separates the anus and vagina. Rub it the right way and you might be able to  feel your big G through your butt. How cool is that?

However, anal stimulation can also be one of those love-it-or-hate-it sensations. Lots of folks describe it as feeling like “pooping backwards.” It feels almost nothing like vaginal stimulation, for better and for worse depending on your take. And when done without lots of lube, a beginner-sized anal toy, and a lot of patience, it can be downright painful. Not to mention, your booty is one of the easiest places to subconsciously clench up with anxiety if you're nervous.


Anal deserves a fair chance when you're relaxed and properly prepped, and it can take a few tries with even the tiniest butt plug. But if you're doing everything right and butt play still sends you running for the bathroom instead of the bedroom, it's ok to call it quits – even forever.

Threesomes, Group Sex, Polyamory, and other sorts of Open Relationships

Open relationship styles are as varied as the people on this planet. If you've browsed Tinder lately, you've probably come across lots of couples seeking threesomes, a unicorn (that's a couple looking to sexually spoil a third partner), another couple for a partner swap, or even another full-blown relationship – with someone of any gender —  to compliment their marriage. If your monogamous head is spinning, don't feel like you're totally out of the loop. It takes a lot of reading and exploring to figure out all the different open relationship styles – and whether or not opening up your partnership is the path to happiness or stress.

The blunt truth is that involving other folks in your relationship – emotionally, sexually or both -  can be really hard. It involves examining all that ugly baggage you've desperately tried to hide in the closet all these years, like jealousy, trust issues, and emotional scars. It's not always fun or pretty to unpack all those bags, but once you do, a huge weight is lifted from your shoulders. And once that weight is gone, you can clearly look at yourself in the metaphorical mirror and decide whether or not an open sexual relationship is for you.

Polyamory is popular right now because it works really well for a lot of people, and those people have been unfairly shamed for decades for not following outdated relationship standards. So good for them, seriously! But if the thought of your partner loving another – or even just one-night-standing it – brings serious emotional grief and turns you into a ball of tears and nervousness, it's totally fine to stick with monogamy.

Intense Stimulation

Is it just us, or does every other modern vibrator sell itself almost solely on “intense, powerful vibrations?” If you know your clitoris needs the volume cranked up to 11, then by all means, enjoy the hell out of that super-powered wand or pin-point bullet. But if you're finding that the lowest setting on your new vibe feels like a freight train going full-speed over your love button, you're far from alone. You might even be one of those enviable babes that can come from a little over-the-pants action. Lucky you!

We created Dame's signature vibes with enough oomph to get you off without neglecting the more sensitive clitorises out there. If the most gentle setting is all it takes to create an amazing orgasm, then go for it. No matter what your hot spot adores, why fix what isn't broke? You can always experiment with different speeds to explore your full potential, but if you keep coming back to that sensually slow first setting, stick with what works – and work it!

Shower Sex

Waterfall chasing is making a comeback, and this time, we're not talking about one of the best songs of the late 90s. Shower sex isn't exactly new – kinda like that famous pop/R&B anthem – but it's splashed all over every Cosmo-style sex list-icle.

The shower has been hailed as the second-most popular place for couples to hook up. And why wouldn't it be? It's usually spontaneous, and there's just something so dirty about getting it on while you get clean.

However, screwing under the stream usually looks way more romantic in the movies – or if you've got a huge shower area that doesn't require acrobatic skills to avoid slipping on the soap. Water streaming up your nose while giving oral? Check! Getting shot straight in the eyes with a blast of H2O while changing positions? Check! Screeching as you're penetrated because the shower just washed off all your lube? Check!

There are tons of products that can assist with common shower sex issues, like silicone lubricants that stay wet under water and handles that suction to your wall, so you've got options if you dig waterfall sex. Just don't feel like the most boring partner in history if you'd rather just wash your damn hair and be done with it.

BDSM and Heavy Kink Play

There are a million and one ways to experiment with kinky stuff like rope bondage, handcuffs, blindfolds, and sensation play. BDSM – which stands for bondage, discipline/domination, submission/sadism, and masochism - truly earns the cliché “from mild to wild.” Using silky ties to cover your eyes and lightly bind your wrists is just as much BDSM as getting slammed into a pair of Medieval stocks and flogged until you're red. But if neither of these sounds like all that much fun, there's nothing wrong with keeping it strictly vanilla.

For some survivors of abuse, heavy BDSM play, like spanking or bondage, helps to heal their trauma. Victims of abuse are often powerless (or at least feel that way) while under the control of their abuser. Consensual kink, in a way, can mimic abusive behavior in a controlled environment with everyone's full permission. However, this time around, the former victim can regain their power by relinquishing control to a trusted partner who follows a series of rules and limits negotiated before the kinky scene is set. Think of it as a form of sex therapy.

Though this isn't the case for everyone, most people like BDSM because our brains release dopamine – one of the feel-good chemicals, like serotonin – during both painful and pleasurable activities. This leads us to associate certain forms of pain with sexual turn-ons, much in the same way that some of us love eating spicy foods even though our mouths are on fire.

A lot of folks love BDSM to the point that it becomes a regular part of their sex play, hence the reason for its current popularity. Liking kinky sex is totally normal – and so is not liking any sort of spanking, cuffing, blindfolds, or worshipping a dominatrix.

If It Feels Good, Do It - And If It Doesn’t, Don’t Be Afraid to Say Stop

At the end of the day, sex is about mental and physical pleasure (and occasionally reproduction, but that’s for another blog). It’s like dessert after a kale salad. You’ve put in the work to figure out what you like, and now it’s time to reap the reward. Are you going to scarf down a free double fudge chocolate cake with ice cream if you’re lactose intolerant and can’t stand chocolate? Hell no! You’re going to pay good money for the kind of treat you’ll actually enjoy because sex is kind of like a dessert. One person’s epicurean delight is someone else’s one-way ticket to downing a bottle of Pepto, and the same goes for sex. Don’t ever feel like you have to settle for less-than-pleasurable encounters to keep up with the trends.