Despite 2022 starting with a splutter from behind the mask and Covid-19 variants scares, this year presents hopes that the past two years failed to give. Experts say that many of us are more optimistic in various aspects of our lives and more particularly, in matters of relationships and intimacy.
In the past few years, relationship models have started to expand beyond traditional frontiers. At one point, we had to acquaint ourselves with the new relationship terms that cropped up in the last two years. Now, there are already trends indicating what 2022 will look like:
When you hear non-monogamy, what probably comes to mind is the concept of polygamy or to stretch it, polyandry. If you have been cheated on, perhaps you will think of infidelity. While these two can be consensual or otherwise, ethical non-monogamy is where people can have more than one romantic partner at a time. The twist is, everybody is aware and gives consent to the dynamic.
TV shows such as HBO’S Big LoveMultiple and non-monogamy-geared dating apps make it easy to find others looking for multiple partner relationships or sexual experiences. On Feeld, a poly and kink dating app, 60 percent of couples are looking for a third partner. Ethical non-monogamy (ENM) is becoming more common than ever and in countries such as the United States, a recent YouGov poll of more than 1,300 adults found that about one-third (32 percent) agree their ideal relationship is non-monogamous to some degree.
On Kenyan social media, it is becoming more widely talked about and while alternative relationship styles aren't for everyone, this broadening of the conversation is helping to create a better understanding of what relationships and sex can be. To practice ethical non-monogamy, partners agree on what they want and don’t and have honesty and transparency as the bedrock of their relationships.
Wearable “Sex Tech”
You heard that right! According to Lovehoney, an online company that sells sex toys, lingerie, and erotic gifts, 2022 will be a year of more exploration and sexual revolution. Over the years, many quarters have embraced the idea of sprucing up their sexual lives with sex toys. A spot check online revealed that there are scores of websites and individuals selling sex toys in Kenya for as low as Sh2,000.
With this, users can control their toys via Bluetooth and once paired, can control vibration patterns, intensity, and music matched to the beat. Furthermore, there are apps designed to allow partners to control each other's toys, even if they are not in the same location.
“I look forward to this. I don’t know how it is going to work but it sounds really fun and exciting. A friend introduced me to sex toys and it is one of the best things that have happened in my sex life,” says Margaret, a media consultant.
An observation from websites and pages selling sexual pleasure items is that women are largely the beneficiaries of the sex tech revolution while the male pleasure options have in the past been stagnant. However, this year, the shift is towards creating a wellness concept that will see these items becoming more available for use by men.
In 2020, Archwave, a premium male pleasure brand released the world's first Pleasure Air Stroker, a patented technology that claims to help create a strong, female-like orgasm experience to men. To bring new possibilities, the tech company seeks to widen the range of sexual pleasure that men can experience in 2022.
In 2014, thousands of searches were made around the term conscious uncoupling. This was after Gwyneth Paltrow announced her split from musician Chris Martin. Eight years later, many individuals are leaning towards being consciously single. Have you been single-shamed? This is your antidote. It is all about embracing the fact that we can be single and still be okay. Also, it is all about being intentional about where to place your romantic energy. Thanks to the pandemic many of us are used to being alone and evaluating their lives!
While others are staying single this year, another quarter is going for partners that would not have been their ideal in the past few years. Badoo, a dating social network estimates that more than half of their singleton users are looking to cast their nets wider in the search for a partner. On her WhatsApp status, Alice Wanjiku posted on January 2 that things were about to change in her love life. “Last year, I dated introverts, it didn’t work out. Anyone who can hook me up with a DJ,” she posted. She shares that she is keen to find love this year and finding someone who is extroverted is her getting out of her “type” and comfort zone.
Politics vs Romance
With Kenya’s general election coming up in August, you would bet that having shared political views and beliefs might be more important than ever. According to experts at Lovehoney, individuals looking for romantic partners will be on the lookout for connections with individuals whose political options match their own. Interesting, right?
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