If we're anything, we homo sapiens can be remarkably adaptable. Among our fellow species, few groups do this better than members of the BDSM community. Even so, kinksters from Tokyo to Timbuktu have struggled to make it work in 2020. Then there are those stuck at home, looking for anything to help deal with isolation and anxiety, who experimentally dipped their toes into kink. But what were the popular kinks that kept kinksters going in 2020?
Back in 2019, companies specializing in the design and manufacture of vibrators were doing okay. Then came the pandemic and smart products that enabled erotic experiences over the net were flying off the shelves. Same too, with virtual reality, which went from a somewhat geeky hobby to something everyone wanted to try. In turn, that fueled an explosion of adult VR content giving long-time community members and newbies alike, innovative ways to get their kink on while staying safe.
However, a downside to all these cyberdelic wonders is that many countries restricted access to the tech and sites hosting all those new kinky videos and games. Even so, this tech isn't exactly cheap: with a moderately powerful VR rig, and a computer to use it, costing one to several thousands of dollars. Sextech hardware, while not as pricey, will still set you back $100 per toy.
Another 2020 trend we come to is live-streaming, and when you ponder it, makes a lot of sense. After all, being trapped at home a great deal of us kinky folk ache to see - or be seen. Similar to virtual reality and sextech companies, like Fetish.com partner Silicon Wives, video conference services went from a weird rarity to what, kinky or otherwise, we can't do without.
Regarding BDSM, there has been a rise of live-streamed play sessions that has almost become a mainstay in dating profiles or as a critical feature for now - virtual kink events. Equally, it has spawned an entirely new playstyle, with couples (or occasionally enough people for a proper orgy) connecting up via Zoom to host a kinky show for voyeurs and exhibitionists, who are excited to strut their BDSM stuff on a virtual stage. Alas, periodically during 2020, various video conference platforms got twitchy regarding anything sex or kink related, including pulling the plug or outright banning on users. Sigh!
Kinky zoom sessions became a 2020 trend as a result of the pandemic.
Next up is a 2020 trend that I found distinctly worrisome, as bondage is risky enough with a partner—and remains, in my humble opinion, one of the most dangerous BDSM activities out there—extra so without someone present to help if anything goes wrong.
However, there are ways to enjoy bondage without a partner safely. The trick is not actually to restrain yourself. Instead, try making loops using a rope to pull against for a bondage 'feeling', yet more comfortable to get out of.
Then there's honor bondage, which is psychological and not physical. Honor bondage does away with the need for physical aids, where a Dominant orders a submissive to 'pretend' to be bound during a scene. Though it may not soothe your bondage itch with imagination, it could be exciting and, importantly, 100% safe.
What seems like a remarkably appropriate response to the pandemic, which has mostly involved not being able to do what you used to, orgasm control and denial is another popular kink that kept kinksters going in 2020. Not only that, but it's simple and, compared with the section above, affordable: needing nothing but a person, how they prefer to come, and then making an exciting game of not doing the latter. However, if you need some help getting yourself there, enlist the help of some sexual aids, such as glass dildos.
Orgasm control also works well with BDSM, with Dominants ordering their submissives to masturbate but then, as they get close coming—not to. Better still, those without a playmate can also play this way by setting limits for themselves—including, perhaps, creating a fantasy Dominant to issue the commands. It's also one of the safest activities kinky folx can do all on their lonesome, with the worst that might happen is—oopsie!—coming when they didn't plan to.
Finally, for something so intimate, it's funny to think that for some, it took a global pandemic for kinksters to explore their butts. But, yep, that was a 2020 trend, and more power to it as anal play can be very pleasurable and, if done carefully, with very few risks.
I could go more into the pros and cons of anal play, but as we’re approaching the end of this recap into trending and popular kinks in 2020, I’ll stick to the high notes, while encouraging as much self-education as possible before doing anything involving their or anyone else's butts!
Although COVID-19 is likely to remain with us for the foreseeable future, if taking this time to try new things or relish in what already gives you pleasure, then do it - depending on your interests or passions.
Despite how it may sometimes feel, we will get through this. Maybe when the sun finally peers out from behind these dark clouds, we may even emerge as better people because we used this as an opportunity to discover previously unknown dimensions to our sexual-selves—kinky or otherwise!
M. Christian is a respected author and BDSM educator, having taught classes on everything from polyamory to tit torture for venues such as the SF Citadel, Good Vibrations, Beat Me In St. Louis and many others.
What kinky activities did you try or helped you cope with the pandemic? Join us in our virtual quarantine munch
All images (unless otherwise stated) via Shutterstock
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