Love and sex in 2022: The five biggest lessons of the year
Shedding binaries, shaking off taboos and more – in a year with big events and changes, love and sex looked different, too.
The ways we think about sex and love are always evolving, constantly influenced by cultural, political and global happenings.
This year was no different. Much of that influence particularly spread online, especially in communities by and for those who identify across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Meanwhile, ripple effects from the self-reflection undertaken throughout the Covid-19 pandemic continued to rock the wider dating world, resulting in more intentional practices. People thought more about who they wanted to date, and how they wanted to do it.
In 2022, this meant more folks openly moved away from both gender and attraction binaries. We saw people rely even more on the internet to find potential partners, for better and for worse. And daters got increasingly vocal about exploring different types of relationships, from solo polyamory to platonic life partnerships.
In Western culture, relationships, gender and sexuality have long been defined by binaries. Either a couple is dating or they’re not; a person is attracted to women or men; a person is either a woman or man. Throughout the past several years, however, these binaries have grown steadily less entrenched, as more people are looking at sexual orientations and gender identities in different ways. And this was especially pronounced in 2022.
As far as sexual orientation, a person’s gender has become less relevant for many people when looking for a partner; this is especially the case for many millennials and Gen Zers navigating intimate relationships. For some, it’s even ended up at the “bottom of the list” in terms of what they desire in a partner. That’s particularly true for people who identify as queer or pansexual, meaning their romantic and/or sexual attractions don’t hinge on gender.
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