You may have noticed that the term ‘sexual wellness’ is having its moment in the sun. In a nutshell, sexual wellness promotes overall wellbeing through healthy relationships with sex and our bodies. The concept isn’t new, but as we continue to navigate the pandemic and look for ways to feel good and cope with stress, it makes sense that sexual wellness is trending in a big way.
Throw in the fact that Bachelorette, Katie Thurston has been ushering in more conversations about sexuality and sex positivity, and sexual wellness has become a very buzzy (no pun intended) topic right now.
But what exactly is sexual wellness and why does it matter?
Sexual Wellness: what's it all about?
Sexual wellness is an umbrella term that encompasses your physical, mental and social well-being as it relates to your sexuality. When you have sexual wellness, you have a healthy, positive and respectful approach towards your sexuality and sexual relationships.
Physically speaking, sexual wellness is linked to good sexual health. This means accessing sexual health services as needed while staying educated about sexually transmitted infections and birth control methods so you can keep you and your partners safe.
However, sexual wellness also refers to how you feel in your body and is closely linked to your overall mental wellbeing. This includes making space in your life to feel good in your body through masturbation, using sex toys, giving yourself permission to explore new fantasies and more!
As the Bachelorette demonstrated this season when she opened up about her past, sexual wellness can also mean taking the time and space to heal past traumas so you can have a happy, healthy sexual relationship with yourself and others.
The Top Sexual Wellness Trends
As we continue to find our way through the pandemic, self-care and sexual wellness has remained top of mind. Curious about what we can expect for the rest of 2021? While some of these sexual wellness trends aren’t entirely new, we’re excited to see more of them leading into fall.
2020 was the year we stayed home and masturbated and we learned a few things. Namely, the many sexual wellness benefits of masturbation. Simply put, masturbation feels amazing and it’s also scientifically proven to be great for your mental and physical health!
Want to feel better? Along with relieving tension and stress, masturbation lowers your blood pressure, reduces anxiety and even boosts your immune system by helping your body produce antibodies to protect you against illnesses - something we could all use more of these days. Similar to going for a run or bike ride (or having sex with a partner!) when you orgasm your body releases endorphins - those feel good chemicals that instantly boost your mood.
Looking to improve your body image? In addition to the mental and physical health benefits, masturbation is one of the best ways to feel good in your body and learn more about what gets you off -- with or without a partner. Although we’ve moved into a new phase of the pandemic, many of us will continue to make masturbation an important part of our sex lives for that reason alone.
Men’s Sexual Wellness
Over the course of 2020, many of us had a chance to experiment with new forms of sexual expression. This includes a greater acceptance and focus on men’s sexual wellness and self-pleasure. This trend is staying hot in 2021 (and hopefully won’t cool off!)
As we mentioned above, the past year brought in a new era of self-pleasure. As a result, sex toys for men are finally getting their well-deserved moment in the spotlight. Everyone deserves to have great orgasms and feel good in their bodies. From innovative auto-strokers and masturbation sleeves to fully poseable life-size sex dolls, there’s a sex toy for almost every mood and desire.
The Return of Intimacy and Touch
After so much social distancing, touch and intimacy are back in a major way! Whether you’re single and ready to mingle or looking to build an even deeper connection with your partner, it’s the perfect time to slow down and embrace new forms of touch.
Want to take your partner to new heights? A massage oil or massage candle can be a great way to touch and tease your partner while savouring other’s bodies. When you take your time and really enjoy each other (or yourself!) it can create an amazing build-up and sense of anticipation that can take you to new toe-curling places. A feather tickler is also perfect for stimulating sensitive body parts to intensify arousal. For a soft sensual feel, try dragging the silky feathers over your partner's skin or shake things up a bit by flicking it like a crop.
Clitoral Suction Stimulation
Vibration isn’t the only way to stimulate the clitoris! Over the past few years, clitoral suction products - sex toys which use pulsed air pressure to stimulate the clitoris - have become widely popular. This new wave of subtle, often contact-free sex toys have proven to be VERY effective at bringing clitoris owners to orgasm. If you’ve struggled to find a sex toy that works for your personal needs or are looking for ways to switch things up, a clitoral suction toy could be exactly what you’ve been searching for.
Travel Friendly Sexual Wellness
The world is beginning to open up again, which means many of us are contemplating finally taking that vacation or getaway that we’ve been dreaming about. Whether it’s a romantic vacay for two or a sexy solo trip, expect to see more people including sexual wellness products as part of their travel essentials.
Some of the hottest sex toys in 2021 are compact and travel well -- for example, small and powerful clitoral vibrators that can easily stashed in a carry-on and discreet sex toys that won’t draw the attention of the TSA. Because health and hygiene is a key ingredient of overall sexual wellness, many sex toy companies offer travel cases for their toys, including options for sanitizing sex toys on the go.