Cosmopolitan (USA)

So, What’s Getting Everyone Off These Days?

For the sake of your mental health (and—okay, yes—our curiosity), we asked around.


If it seems like everyone is a little more ~experiment­al~ lately, it’s because they are. According to a 2021 survey from sex-toy retailer Lovehoney, 51 percent of Americans say they’re more open to experiment­ing than they were before the pandemic, and for 73 percent of them, that includes an increased interest in kink. Our minds aren’t any dirtier than they’ve been all along—people have been getting off to niche fantasies for eons. But according to psychologi­st Kate Balestrier­i, PsyD, we’re definitely being

more open about it. Women in particular are increasing­ly tossing their (read: society’s) old sexual scripts and embracing more unique desires, resulting in what Balestrier­i describes as “more erotic, more dimensiona­l, more sensual, and more kinky sex.” This is obviously good news for your sex life, but being open about your fantasies—whether they’re ones you’d actually bring into the bedroom or those you just like to think about—is also good for the ol’ mental health. According to psychother­apist Rachel Wright, LMFT, our emotional well-being tends to tank when we repress our desires, which is why we’re here to fully endorse a shame-free embrace of whatever you’re into. Need inspo? Let these fellow Cosmo readers get you started with some particular­ly spicy takes.

“One of my favorite fantasies is secretly going down on my partner while he’s on an important work Zoom (cameras on, of course). The idea of him struggling to keep a straight face and muster through some big presentati­on while I’m between his knees about to make him cum in front of all his coworkers? I get so turned on by the power and secrecy of it.” —Lila, 32

“I’ve been more and more interested in CNC (consensual non-consent). I scroll through subreddits where people post their CNC fantasies, but I’m scared to take the leap and actually try it. Still, the idea that someone lusts after me so desperatel­y that they’d just take me like an animal? Whew...gets me hot.” —Trish*, 25

“My partner and I don’t have kids, but sometimes during sex, I fantasize about us being kinky parents. Like, we’re at our kid’s friend’s birthday party and I’m wearing a panty vibe that he’s controllin­g and we end up banging in the bathroom.” —Camila, 27

“Spit! I’m totally into degradatio­n play, and something about being spit on makes me melt!” —Lilith Rose*, 31

“I don’t have tattoos (and in reality, I don’t even think I want any), but for some reason, I’m really turned on by the idea of someone (ideally a hot stranger) tattooing me. In the fantasy, I go into a tattoo parlor and the artist is this really hot, edgylookin­g woman who is immediatel­y attracted to me. I end up letting her tattoo whatever she wants on me, giving her complete control over my body and basically branding me. Something about surrenderi­ng my body to a stranger in such a visible, permanent way feels super erotic to me.” —Sara*, 32

“There is absolutely nothing hotter to me than a man who wears a necklace underneath his shirt—bonus points if it’s something with some kind of spiritual or sentimenta­l significan­ce. There is something so intimate and erotic to me about undressing a guy and having access to this hidden, personal thing— something I only get to see because he wants me to. Not to mention, feeling it hit my face and chest to the rhythm of his thrusts when he’s on top is incredibly hot.” —Steph*, 23

“This is gonna sound super weird, but I’m hella turned on by a guy with a big schnoz! Particular­ly if it is aquiline-shaped or looks like it’s been broken before.” —Abby Jo, 25

“For years now, an on-and-off fling of mine has been telling me he wants to experiment with piss play: Specifical­ly, he wants to cum on my face and then piss it off. I was obviously a little skeptical, but we finally tried it, and it was honestly a lot hotter than I anticipate­d. Like, would definitely do it again. And again.” —Stella*, 25

“I used to fantasize about having sex with my ex-boyfriend’s daughter (he was a lot older and had adult children), sometimes even while I was having sex with my then-boyfriend. I don’t usually have or fantasize about having sex with women, and there was nothing even remotely flirtatiou­s between us, but something about the very risqué, kind of taboo dynamic of it being his daughter was really hot to me in a dirtylittl­e-secret kind of way.” —Jenna*, 24

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