Some will say that 2016 was deplorable. Others will look back fondly and focus on all the good. It’s all just a matter of perspective. Go ahead and put us in the latter camp because 2016 was definitely one for the history books, sexually speaking of course. This was the year where the worlds of sex, technology, and relationships collided.
Here are the highlights of 2016: The Year of High-tech Sex.
2016 started out like any other year with the exception that it was an election year. All was running somewhat…a-hem…smooth. That was until a leaked tape came out making “pussy” the word of the year. There is a silver lining to this unprecedented moment in history. It led to opening the door to men and women discussing consent. Hopefully, 2017 will be the year where we all understand it, ask for it, give it and indeed make it a priority in our culture.
When people think about the sexual revolution, they recall the 1970’s as women took to the street burning their bras. However, 2016 demonstrates a different type of revolution—sex tech. Toys like Fiera Arouser for Her and the Womanizer are all about women reclaiming the clit. Yes, there are tons of clitoral stimulators out on the market, but these two products provide women something completely unique: suction. The Womanizer has certainly won our praises for 2016. We have other honorable mentions for the best new toy of the year with the innovative Doc Johnson Tryst, B-Vibe Anal Plug, and the We-Vibe Sync.
2016 was a landmark year for rolling out a new breed of smarter sex toys as well, such as the MysteryVibe Crescendo. Their blue-tooth enabled vibe lets users control it from any smartphone and offers automatic bio-feedback you can program yourself. It allows you to design your own pleasure, taking sex toys into a more personalized sphere.
The current generation of sexbots is extremely close to being all too realistic. Not only are they equipped with life-like warming skin, some even have a pulse and can express emotion. The designers behind the jaw-dropping, human-looking sex robots are now taking things even further. They are now creating sex dolls that are nearly impossible to tell them apart from a real human female. Concepts already on the table include vaginas which vibrate hundreds of times a second and variable programmable boobs offering anything from AA cup to a giant KKK. Of course, these bespoke dolls depend on the taste of the customer. Makers say the sexual experience will be unprecedented in human history. However, opponents say the dolls could become addictive and make women obsolete. What are your thoughts?
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me—Huma must be thinking at this point. Just when Anthony Weiner thought the coast was clear, he was smacked with yet another sexting scandal. This time, he sent a raunchy photo of himself lying in bed alongside his son and allegedly sexted an underage girl. Evidently, this guy has a problem keeping his dick in his pants and phone out of his hands. He has since checked into a rehab facility for sexual addiction.
November was an intense month for everyone around the world, what with a new president and everything. But the voters in California were facing an unprecedented decision of their own—Proposition 60, a ballot measure requiring all porn performers to wear condoms in scenes, thus turning everyday porn watchers into whistleblowers by deputizing them as the condom police.
A rather dangerous initiative, it could have resulted in anyone filing a lawsuit against producer’s, performers, and distributors. Proponents argued Proposition 60 was needed to the lower venereal disease risk to artists, especially in light of revelations in recent years that some actors had been diagnosed as carrying the AIDS virus. Porn and it’s performers prevailed and Prop. 60 was voted down. But we don’t think we’ve seen the last of measures like this one.
Starbucks is going to have to up the ante. A Geneva cafe is in development where customers will be able to receive oral sex while sipping their lattes. The ‘fellatio cafe’ plans on using robots instead of real-life sex workers. The story went viral after reports that a Swiss sex firm called Facegirl.ch announced its lewd intentions. The cafe will offer men a coffee and an iPad for selecting the robot they want to perform oral sex. The cost? About 80 bucks. Sounds like fun, but we’ll stick with our Folgers and a Tenga for now.
The same day Ted Cruz ended his presidential bid, porn purveyor XHamster posted “PenetraTed.” This amateur sex video featuring a woman who is a dead ringer for the Senator. Searcy Hayes became an overnight porn sensation after appearing on the “Maury” show as a guest. She was there to get a DNA test because her partner thought she had cheated on him and the kid was not his. As if that wasn’t wild enough, people noticed her resemblance to Cruz and an internet porn star was born. Surprisingly, she had never heard of Ted Cruz, but she should have gotten a DNA test to see if she is related to him because there certainly is a resemblance!
Men have always been a bit apprehensive about invasive forms of contraception. But 2016 kicked off with an excellent idea that got some good press—an inserted scrotal switch that is used for controlling fertility. The inventor Bilmek SLV designed it so that men can take control of their own birth control. For those turned off by an on-off switch inserted into your ball sack, LELO released an innovative alternative. The LELO Hex condom was not without controversy though when the company decided to hire Charlie Sheen as their official spokesperson. Regardless of Charlie’s bad influence, the hexagon design has been a big hit because of its tighter fit and thinner feel.
Stars Wars made a stunning comeback in 2016. Paying tribute to the blockbuster actress Kayla-Jane Danger built a 7-foot-tall Darth Vader statue made entirely out of sex toys. The statue, dubbed “Darth Vibrader,” used more than $3,000 worth of sex toys, including 200 vibrators, 10 paddles, a whip, two rows of anal beads, a rubber fist and a pair of what Danger called “hooker boots.” Sadly, no Liberator was included, but we think a Wedge or two would have made some great shoulder pads.
Let’s not forget how Pokémon Go got us off our couch and wandering the streets with our eyes glued to our phone. All hilarious mishaps aside, the craze led to a new sex toy line called Pokémoan’s. Once again, this proves the theory, if you can dream it, another person will design a sex toy for it. This line of dildos and anal plugs, designed by Geeky Sex Toys, means to poke people in all the right places. The toys range in cost from $50 to $69 and feature the likeness of Pokémon favorites Pikachu, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charmander—putting a new spin on the phrase Squirtle Squad.
The consortium that handles emoticons, Unicode, approved a series of sexy emoji’s this year. Of course, Finland wanted in on the fun and now represents naked people enjoying a sauna. Other emoticons include gender neutral icons and breastfeeding women. There are some innocent looking icons, too, but it hasn’t taken long for people to figure out how to send lewd messages with phallic-themed emojis like the potato, pickle, shrimp, squid, and eggplant.
Marijuana is a touchy subject. But with states like California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington legalizing recreational use, companies are coming up with new ways to infuse this herb into their products. There is now a host of lubricants and vaginal suppositories which help relieve menstrual cramps to giving couples and edge during sex. We’ve heard raves about how marijuana can boost sensation…might be worth a trip out West to try it for ourselves.
We’ve got the feeling 2016 was the tipping point for sexual awareness in mainstream culture. Let’s take for instance the recent sex toy advertisements in New York Magazine and Time Out featuring sex toys like L’Amourose and Womanizer. That’s a pretty big deal when you consider this is the first time a sex toy has ever been seen in a mainstream print advertising. It appears that PornHub is upping the advertising ante with a series of heartwarming holiday videos too. This year the company featured the benefits of giving that someone special a gift card for premium porn.
It’s hard closing out the year with the loss of so many groundbreaking celebrities. Just as we were polishing off this article, it was announced that our favorite Princess succumbed to a heart attack. Carrie Fisher was more than just a princess in Star Wars, she was also an outspoken advocate for mental health and female rights. We are also saddened by the sudden loss of sexy pop crooner George Micheal. His music and videos such as “I want your Sex,” “Freedom 90,” and “Faith” will remain iconic messages of sexual freedom and expression.
Then, who will forget Prince! Words cannot even begin to describe the day we learned of his passing. His style and music epitomized sexy which cannot be compared to any other artist. The death of David Bowie closed an era of artistic expression beyond compare. Not only did he shape the industry with his gender-bending influence, but he also made it possible for other artists to emerge without shame.
Let’s start 2017 by keeping their sexy message alive and embrace creativity and sexuality. Let’s be liberated.