Was 2015 your sexiest year yet? It was for us at Liberator! This year we saw our share of novelties, provocations, celebrations and oddities—a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the truly bizarre. We’re looking back at what defined our sexual culture in the year that was.
The Cover Up
A cornerstone of sophisticated sexuality, Playboy Magazine announced it would stop showing nudity! Wait—-What? At first we thought it was a cruel joke. How could Playboy, an institution and authority on sex, take away the thing that helped define modern sexuality? The decision was made by Playboy founder and editor-in-chief Hugh Hefner who said, “The move will bring the publication more in line with modern thinking and will have a more personalized touch.” So, let’s get this straight, instead of featuring beautiful naked ladies, they will only show the provocative poses, because the modern man doesn’t like naked women? It looks like the rebranding efforts of the iconic magazine goes into effect March 2016 and will be geared toward a PG-13 rating.
Life is Short. Hire an Attorney.
2015 was a banner year for some serious sex scandals. However, none as memorable as the Ashley Madison data breach, where close to 37 million user’s names, ages, address, phone numbers, credit card details and sexual fantasies were revealed—some of which were actually real! Compared to the 37 million men registered on the site, there were only 5.1 million women, and most of the women’s accounts were proven to be run by Ashley Madison employees.
Regardless if they were able to hook up or not, the Ashley Madison hack may have wrecked thousands of marriages, but as usual, there’s a funny side to the story. A company called CynoSure Prime combed through all of the leaked information to find a little piece of gold—users’ passwords. And as you’d expect, there are some really strange, funny, and good ones on the list:
smalldickbuthardworker, likeimreallygoingtocheat, whatthehellamidoing, cheatersneverprosper
So, what did we collectively learn from these leaked passwords? Not a whole lot, other than a reminder that cheating sucks and men can be funny with their passwords.
Love won when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of marriage equality for all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The landmark case, Obergefell v. Hodges, was the culmination of a series of six subsidiary cases in which same-sex couples appealed to the courts to have their marriages recognized by the state. People all over the country celebrated in the streets and couples flocked to government offices to officially claim their right to live happily.
There was some push back, with the controversy centering on one person going so far as to refuse to follow the new federal law. In Kentucky, county clerk Kim Davis gained notoriety and a jail stint when she openly denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples that asked for them. Luckily for the world, the thrice-divorced Kim had been removed from the spotlight, but her elected position as a county clerk is still in effect.
Driving Us Wild
Legal prostitution can lead to some bizarre laws. This year, the Dutch government passed a controversial law which allows dutch driving instructors to accept sex as a legal form of payment. The new law, called “Ride for a Ride” allows any student over 18 years old learning to drive a car, motorcycle, truck, or bus to offer his or her body scot-free in exchange for the accredited lessons. Government officials point out that both the student and the teacher should transact payment outside of the process of driving, for safety’s sake.
No one can deny that there is a lot more talk about transpeople and transgender issues on television and in the media than ever before. The Trans Community is starting to be taken seriously, and is no longer being seen as deviants or fetishists. For the first time in our history, people are starting to understand the problems that the LGBTQ community faces, which allows for meaningful discussions and is leading to more acceptance. There are so many courageous men and women to celebrate this year, but one of the most notable, is the one we will never forget.
A Star is Born
Sex, Sex, Sex—-everyone’s doing it. Pop culture has moved sex from out of the closet and straight into the spotlight with amazing television programs like the Netflix series: Master of None, and we don’t just say that because Aziz Ansari gave the Liberator Wedge a supporting role in episode nine. More female-centric sex scenes showed up this year as well, including the realistic hate-sex in Orange is the New Black, the red-hot Red Room in 50 Shades of Grey, and the hard-banging realism in Jessica Jones.
Sex Still Sells
E.L. James’s international bestselling trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey made its much-anticipated debut in February 2015 after more than a year of teaser trailers, casting changes and speculation. Although not the biggest blockbuster of the year, it shows that sex sure does sell—and well. In fact, the movie has become such a socio-cultural phenomenon that the London Fire Brigade said it was “concerned” the film’s release could lead to a “spike” in people getting stuck in handcuffs. There were plenty of businesses who shamelessly piggy-backed, and no, that’s not a sexual position from the film. Shortly following the premiere, a supposed memo from hardware store owners warned shop staff to expect an increased demand for rope, cable ties and duct tape over the film’s opening weekend.
Unfortunately, the Fifty Shades fervor led to an increase of sex toy injuries, with middle-aged men and thirty-year-old women the most common victims of a misplaced “massage devices.” Too bad they didn’t try out some our Plush Wrist Cuffs or Black Label Shapes instead!
There’s Grinder for gay males and Tinder for young professionals. But what about those that want something kinky? Well, there’s now an app for that too! Fantasizing about BDSM can be sexy, but in order to bring those dreams to life, you’re going to need Whiplr, an explicitly kinky geo-tagging application offering free video chats, calls, and real-time messaging with other like-minded people who adore the sound of floggers and the smell of leather—or whatever it is you’re into. As Whiplr gains momentum, it has become a powerful tool for both experts and the uninitiated to share their passions and passion.
We Welcome our Sexy Robot Overlords
The sexbot has long been an object of fascination in fiction. In 1886, French author Auguste Villiers de I’sle-Adam published The Future Eve, in which a fictionalized Thomas Edison makes a mechanical woman for his friend. It’s now 2015, and we have found ourselves in a world filled with all types of possibilities. With VR porn using the Oculus Rift, to Real Dolls that talk, to smart toys connected to the internet, we have quite the kinship with machines. This spikes concern in some who worry this will replace the real thing, but we think there is love enough to go around for both sexy robots and sexy humans.
Man Behaving Badly
What’s a year in sex without a little porn scandal? In November, famous porn actress Stoya tweeted some serious allegations about the industry’s “it-boy” James Deen. Playing out just like a seedy soap opera, the plot thickened, as more women came forward with their own horrendous claims. That’s when the hastag #solidarityforStoya was born and ultimately caused the powers that be in the porn world to take immediate action. As of now, Mr. Deen’s famous ding-a-ling has been pulled from production, as well as his a majority of his movies. Goes to show, women are gaining power in an industry once dominated by men.
Buzz Worthy Ideas
Where does an entrepreneur turn with a great idea for a vibrator, but no means to fund it? Why it’s the internet, of course! Many of today’s popular sex toys are the brainchild of computer programmers, physicists, and design experts. These days, anyone can crowd-fund through sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to general interest with today’s sex toy geeks and consumers. Here are a couple of the toys that went to market with a little support from some friends.
The Eva is a hands-free vibe designed for clitoral stimulation—no harnesses or other garments required. It’s worn by the woman externally, as opposed to in the vagina.