2020 Sex & Relationship Trends

By ASTROGLIDE Team Dating Advice couple laughing having fun

We’re just a month away from a new decade and New Year’s resolutions, which means you might be taking a closer look at your relationship and sex life. Lucky for you, we tapped into some of the best sex and relationship experts to get their predictions on what sex, dating and relationship trends we can anticipate in the New Year. From sex tech and taking your sexuality in your own hands to the increased popularity in sex dolls and virtual reality porn, we’ve got something for everyone! Read on to find out more about ASTROGLIDE’s top trends for 2020. 

Starting with insight from our very own ASTROGLIDE resident sexologist, Dr. Jess O’Reilly, Ph.D., she shares the following:

1. (Continued) Mainstreaming of Open Relationships 

Discussion, portrayal, and considerations of consensual non-monogamy (also referred to as ethical non-monogamy or CNM) will continue to become more mainstream. There’s been limited research on CNM relationships, but the data suggests that they’re far more common than many people realize. One study found that 21% of daters in the U.S. have been in non-exclusive relationships, and a recent Canadian study suggests that “open relationships” are considered the ideal format for 12% of the population.  

The continued open discussions surrounding CNM relationships will likely take into consideration how monogamy can be toxic when prescribed as the only option. It’ll also open up the opportunity to look for ways in which CNM approaches can also apply in monogamous relationships (e.g. not expecting one partner to fulfill all of your needs). And as more people discuss their unique arrangements, we’ll likely see an expansion of language used to describe various arrangements within CNM relationships. 

2. More People Will Choose Sex-Free Marriages

The notion that one person must fulfill all of your sexual, personal and emotional needs is flawed and inevitably leads to friction and disappointment. Sex may be an important part of marriage for many people, but it’s not the only way to express intimacy and some people don’t want sex. 

The opting-in of sex-free marriages may be tied to greater visibility for people who identify as Asexual but will also include a broader range of identities. Some people may opt to marry a non-sexual partner, as sex need not be the defining characteristic of a relationship. 

3. Health Tech and Sex Tech Will Intersect

As the sex tech field continues to expand, it will not only intersect with the fields of health care, technology, communications, fertility, and reproduction, but it’s well-positioned to become a driving force to shape these industries. It is estimated that this industry will grow to $50 billion by 2025.

These two technology fields present an opportunity to not only make health care more accessible to patients in remote areas, but also to those who do not have access to sex-positive health practitioners in their local region. Some folks report that they’ve had symptoms and concerns for years and are just now getting checked thanks to new technologies that don’t require an in-office visit with their local health practitioner.  The rise of at-home STI testing kits such as Let’s Get Checked allow you to test for a range of sexually transmitted infections from the comfort of your home. The Complete 10 test provides results in 2 to 5 days and checks for the most common infections including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, herpes simplex I & II, ureaplasma, mycoplasma, and trichomoniasis.

STI kit

Relationship and sex expert, Pamela Madsen shared the following:

4. People (especially women) Will Take Their Sexuality into Their Own Hands

We’ll see this taking effect in more adventurous ways than ever before. Sensual retreats will become even more popular for women looking to truly reconnect with their bodies, their sensuality, and as a result, their sense of self. The trend “self-care” will continue to impact people’s everyday lives and will translate to how they spend their free time – tapping into the part of themselves that makes them feel most alive – their sensuality!

Dr. Christopher Ryan Jones, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist who has conducted clinical research in the area of gender identity and sexuality, predicts: 

woman being pleasured

5. Increased Popularity in Sex Dolls

Now more than ever before manufacturers are steadily producing more and more realistic sex silicone sex dolls and we’ll start to see these becoming more mainstream throughout the U.S. in 2020. They have already gained popularity and a large following throughout Japan, China, and even in Europe, where a new frontier of brothels has popped up. Within these brothels, attendees can actually choose which doll will best fit their needs and enjoy its company for an hour. 

6. Integration of AI 

Phone sex and sexting have been around for decades, but it’s time for the next frontier. In 2020, we will see an increase in the integration of AI in our sexual behavior. In an age where more couples are separated by work or work travel, even if just for a limited amount of time, the integration of AI will help couples who are away from each other stay connected and have healthier relationships.

Sex therapist, Angela Watson predictions for 2020 including the following:

7. The Rise of Automatic Masturbators  

Automated sex toys that incorporate AI and sync to pornographic content will hit the shelves of sex toy shops and also online retailers, many of which will incorporate artificial intelligence. A great example would be the Autoblow AI, which is a blowjob machine that incorporates artificial intelligence to mimic 10 different blowjob techniques. The team at Autoblow apparently watched over 6,000 minutes of pornographic blowjob videos and figured out a way to input the data on what was happening in the scenes. They then ran several types of machine learning algorithms to build an AI model that recognizes 16 different blowjob techniques and programmed those techniques into 10 different experiences into the Autoblow AI. You have to watch this video they put together! 

In addition, some automatic toys such as the Kiiroo Onyx 2 are able to sync to pornographic films and the toy will mimic what is being performed on screen. This is not an entirely new concept, but in 2020 expect to see many other companies following suit.

8. More Virtual Reality Porn

In the last year, we’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of virtual reality porn being created and watched by men worldwide. In 2018, the “interactive” category saw a 72% increase in search volume according to Pornhub and this is expected to rise in 2020. 

live porn on a mobile phone

9. Sex Toys Will Become Less Gendered

There is a big problem in the sex toy community with sex toys being gendered. Toys are either “for men” or “for women.” There is a severe lack of sex toys that cater specifically to people who fall outside of the traditional gender norms. In 2020 we will see more sex toy companies catering to these individuals. There were a few companies in 2019 who took the lead on this including Hot Octopuss which has created a completely separate non-binary subsection of their website

couple with Mystery Vibe sex toy

There you have it! Straight from the experts’ mouths to your ears, these are the 2020 sex, relationship, and dating trends we can expect to see. And of course, in any and all of your endeavors don’t forget to include your favorite ASTROGLIDE lube!