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8 sex trends you should know about for 2024

By Maya Khamala

Have you given any thought to how your sex life might evolve in 2024? Whether solo, mono, poly, or simply sampling the wares, thinking about your relationship to sex as an evolving arc of experience can be a really illuminating exercise.

Whether you’d like to see how your own sexual path compares to what’s popular in this moment of our collective herstory, or you could simply use a little naughty inspiration for your own edification, you’re in luck. An array of bonafide sexperts have taken the liberty of forecasting the sex trends they see crowding up their crystal balls in 2024.

Here goes nothing!

1. Mindful sex

Mindfulness can be described as the practice of cultivating present moment awareness, which happens to lend itself really well to calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It’s no wonder that mindfulness pairs perfectly with sex. In fact, mindful or Tantric sex encourages deep, meaningful connection with oneself and with others—something we could all use a lot more of given the inherent isolation of the high tech era. Fortunately, mindful sex—and mindful masturbation—are increasingly making their way into the mainstream repertoire.

“Mindful sex is about being present and enjoying the whole experience, rather than focusing on the end goal or orgasm,” says sex and intimacy coach Elisa Caro. “It’s slow, conscious and focuses on feeling each sensation, almost like meditation.” And while we’re on the topic, mindful meditation improves sexual function—so it seems they go hand-in-hand.

2. Gooning

Gooning, a sexual act defined as “achieving prolonged arousal through sensory overload and hypnosis” is living large at the top of the 2024 sex trends list according to The Sun—the star perched atop the X-mas tree if you will. In fact, sources claim that the popularity of gooning has grown an astonishing +778% over the past year. In other words, there was something about 2023 that led many of us to truly crave heightened pleasure—for longer.

Avenues of sensory overload one might explore in the process of gooning include blindfolding one’s partner while teasing them mercilessly; and masturbating while edging (maintaining sexual arousal without reaching orgasm) for a long period of time. Either way, the result is something like a hypnotictrance-like state of pleasure. Purposefully prolonging the path to climax (or denying climax altogether) can do a lot more than make your cells tingle in gorgeous glee—it can also do away with common issues like premature ejaculation or even premature orgasms.

3. Shallowing

Don’t be fooled: shallowing ain’t as, um, shallow as it may sound. A form of sexual play that involves lightly stimulating the entrance to the vagina, shallowing might be classified under the broader banner of outercourse. As with most anything on this list, shallowing can be explored solo or with a partner. Here’s how: lightly enter the vagina with the tip of a penis, a finger, a tongue, or a toy—stay at the entrance without fully entering. Got that?

The vaginal entrance is packed with nerve endings that serve to intensify pleasure. The result? Mind-shattering orgasms. And this ain’t just hearsay. Research shows that 83.8% of women orgasm more often or increase their pleasure via shallowing. Explore its as a standalone act, a precursor to deeper thrusting—whatever tickles your fancy. The important thing is that it rubs you the right way!

4. Thirst traps

American model and actress Emily Ratajkowski regularly posts bikini pictures on her Insta and TikTok pages—one might say the degree of sexiness displayed in these shots makes her a bonafide poster child for the raging thirst trap phenomenon. Never heard of it? Thirst trap is just a fancy word for intentionally posting sexy content on social media to attract attention, receive validation, and entice viewers sexually. Thirst here refers to viewers’ sexual “thirst.”

People of all genders post thirst traps. One might say they do so as the result of a desire to feel desired, or because being drooled over turns them on. In reality, people post thirst traps for a number of reasons, including to boost self esteem, express their sexuality, and promote their personal brand. Although thirst trapping is often criticized as being narcissistically unhealthy, it has also been called a form of empowerment, particularly among marginalized groups that society might be accustomed to sidelining (i.e., those not considered conventionally attractive). If you want it, get it. All the tools are there. Power to you.

5. Throuples

Perhaps influenced/empowered in part by Instagram and TikTok, younger generations are turning away more and more from conventional relationships, opting instead for arrangements that prioritize openness and freedom. Ethical love triangles or throuples—AKA triads—are hugely in right about now. While the infamous threesome is a well-known sex act—and a magnificent one too, among enthusiastically consenting adults—a throuple takes it one (or three) further…into the rockin', raucous realm of relationships.

In other words, imagine a couple in a committed sexual and/or romantic relationship, and then add one person to that relationship. We're talking three-way consensual partnerships here. Throuples can occur between two guys and a gal, two gals and a guy, three guys, three gals, three gender-fluid individuals—whatever works. Actress and singer Bella Thorne is one of many celebs who has helped thust throuples into the limelight. Say that five times fast

6. Erotic playlists

According to a study conducted by Northwestern University, the key to orgasm is rhythm. The gist: sexual pleasure is a sort of trance, and climax is shaped by rhythmic timing, so when two (or more) people feel the beat in the heat of the moment, all systems are most definitely a-go, nam sayin’?

Enter the erotic playlist. Naturally, music stimulates the pleasure-seeking parts of the brain that are stimulated when we have sex. Not to mention, the right tune can create a shared sense of rhythm. Translation: putting on that naughty playlist during sex can help you climb Mount O in bigger, badder ways. The research also found that the optimum BPM (beats per minute) for maximum pleasure is 119, so for those seeking the holy grail of climaxes, a specially curated playlist could make all the difference and then some.

7. Shibari

Shibari, AKA Japanese rope bondage, has been big in BDSM circles for many years. But more recently, one might say it’s hit the big time. A form of bondage involving the creation of intricate and beautiful patterns on a person’s body using rope, Shibari necessitates the participation of two consenting people who know what they’re doing and know how to follow safety protocols: the person casting and tying the ropes, and the person on the receiving end of the ropes.

Why do people love it? Most often because they’re seeking a combination of aesthetic pleasure, sensory experience, and intimate connection—within consensual and mutually enjoyable BDSM practices, of course. While the person casting typically dominates while the receiving person submits, it can totally go the other way too, with the receiver actively dominating by directing the caster to tie them a certain way. A person inhabiting the role in this way might be categorized as a dominant-masochist while a submissive partner who follows orders to tie up their partner can be called a submissive-sadist.

8. Sexual wellness travel

Sexual wellness retreats are a fast-growing trend (nay, industry), and most would agree that's a positive thing. The idea is to prioritize rest, along with sexual and spiritual connection. Ample rest ‘n relaxation does tend to make for better sex, after all. "Looking ahead to 2024, we can expect to see sexual wellness going even more mainstream – where it belongs,” says psychosexual therapist Kate Moyle. “We’ll see more conversations about sex and intimacy with the growth of sex workshops, and more starter campaigns designed to tackle stigma and boost sexual confidence. Sexual pleasure is no longer in the sidelines!”

Whether it’s sexual empowerment you seek, a deeper knowledge of your sexual self, a rekindling of your longterm relationship, or a crash course in Tantric pleasure, there truly is something for everyone. Hot tip: travel-friendly sex toys are the ultimate retreat companion. Bon voyage!

2024 is upon us, and so is a whole new slew of sex trends. May you pick ‘n choose wisely, with discernment and genuine desire as your guides. May you become the pleasure seeker of your wildest dreams. Happy trails to all!

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