The Era of Sexual Self Care Has Brought Big Bush Energy to Its Climax

Photo: Getty Images/Lisette Poole; Graphics: Well+Good Creative
If record-breaking sales of sexual self-care products are any indication, the contents of people's nightstands are looking a little bit different these days. In late 2018, Well+Good forecasted fast-approaching wellness trends, finding undeniable evidence that Big Bush Energy (and all the self-intimacy that comes along with it) would be, well, big in 2019. Body literacy continues to gain traction (seriously, the feminine hygiene market is set to reach $42.7 billion by 2022)—and it's just the self-acceptance inspiring foreplay we need to truly unlock the power of sexual pleasure.

Masturbation and sexual energy aren't dinner table topics just yet; in fact, they remain maddeningly taboo. But brand after brand—Womanizer (the buzzy device boasting an "O-guarantee"); Dame (the sex toy that recently released a sex pillow); and Enby (one of the first gender-free toys to hit the market)—has stepped up to orient the conversation toward what feels good. Beyond the bounds of physical products, adult sexual education platforms like Allbodies (an informative online destination for all things related to sexual health), and feminist porn sites, like Lust CinemaIndie Porn Revolution, and Pink Label TV, have entered the space to make the know-how of sexcapades more gender-inclusive.

At Foundermade East, an annual discovery show of innovative brands with their fingers on the pulse of wellness, vibrator companies made a strong showing. The colors, shapes, sizes, and uses varied as much as the produce at your local supermarket, and any economist will tell you: the need for such a diverse range of products must satisfy a demand from consumers. The adult vibrator market is set to grow 12 percent by 2020 and the sexual lubricant market is on its way to growing 7 percent by the same year, according to Technavio. The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show will showcase technological advancements in sexual self-care for the first time, suggesting a newfound visibility in a marketplace that has traditionally called for covert packaging.

Pleasure doesn't end at the orgasm, according to Gigi Engle, Womanizer sexpert, certified sex coach, and the author of All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life. Spending time with an adult toy chest once or twice (or more!) a day is an undoubtable form of self care. "In a perfect world, every single woman—or vulva owner—would own a vibrator that they love," she says. "They would masturbate regularly and feel empowered about it. They'd go to brunch and talk about it with their girlfriends, talk about what new position they tried last night, and how it was so amazing."

"In a perfect world, every single woman—or vulva owner—would own a vibrator that they love. They would masturbate regularly and feel empowered about it." —Gigi Engle, certified sex coach and author

Sharing a collection of vibrators, lubes, and other goodies with your partner(s) can be invaluable in the bedroom, yes, but keeping one all to yourself is what defines the era of BBE-directed pleasure. After all, the orgasm glow is real, Planned Parenthood estimates that 39 percent of women use masturbation to relax, and affection (even shown toward yourself!) has been found to provide a boost in overall happiness.

Ash Spivak, doula and co-founder of Allbodies, says that sexual well-being is self-defined. "It looks different for everyone, because everybody and every body’s response to different things is so unique," she says. "It's about trying to listen in to what your own body is telling you—what feels good and what does not feel good—and really starting to experiment." It's about learning what makes you hot and heavy. That you (yourself!) can turn you on. That your desires are as unique to you as your fingerprint—but the whorls and loops of sexual interest are yours to design.

"It's the same as trying spirulina in your smoothie," says Lauren Bille, co-founder of Allbodies. "There are a lot of new cool products, all-natural lubes and CBD oil—things that are supposed to enhance and help you stay healthy in your body. Bring those products into your life and start exploring." It's the big bush thing to do.

This is just one of the trend for healthy living we’ve forecast in 2019—check out the full list!

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