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  • Writer's pictureDan Apus Monoceros

Back & Preview 22/23

2022 was a very special year. The lockdown came to an end, social life slowly emerged again, but there were also new challenges and problems, such as the lockdown in Asia, the war in Europe or inflation and rising energy prices that we are struggling with and that influenced our last year. There are also a few trends that have progressed further or that have now also entered the kinky world.


I talked to a few colleagues who are themselves active in the gay and BDSM scene and do podcasts, blogs or events there. I asked what they saw as trends in 2022 and what they expect for 2023.


Here are a few results summarized!


Old, new spontaneity among the guests

private events?

puppies everywhere

The Gearheads are coming

The toy market is changing - private becomes professional

Kink in the media and society

Kink as art

Intellectual kink elite

Professionalization of sex and kink education

Back to the basics

Negative tendencies and regression


About the Author, Dan Apus Monoceros:

I coach non-monogamous relationships and kinks, work as a bondage trainer and rope artist, and do BDSM events. So I deal with the queer kink world on a daily and professional basis and therefore also observe what is developing here. But that doesn't mean I can do it as an outsider or have an objective opinion even if I try. I therefore try to compare myself with others and to underpin the trends presented here with concrete experiences, whereby I only observe a very subjective part here. This can cause some things to appear completely different or even feel wrong to you. Because you only have a part in mind. Nevertheless, I wish you a lot of fun with the observations that other kink creators and I have made in the last year and how we suspect how the industry and the scene will develop.


Old, new spontaneity among the guests

After the lockdowns were over last year, there was no stopping the guests. We were regularly sold out and the guests dutifully bought their tickets. Then came the moment when, despite many ticket sales, we had few physical guests on site. The guests suddenly had too many offers to choose from and a lot was made up for. Sales fell again, but guests still came (although this varied depending on the offer). Sometimes even so many that we had to stop admission. But that wasn't just the case for me, it was the same or something similar for many other organizers. And yes, we as organizers have to go back to our old way of thinking, where the guests don't announce themselves, but just drop by spontaneously.


The question now is, will the organizers manage to get the guests to commit to their event, or will the organizers and guests simply spontaneously see who is (still) coming in and who might be sent away again?


private events?

The kinky scenes, no matter which city, always have the strongest competition with private events and Corona has made private parties socially acceptable. There you often meet up with your own circle of friends, you can usually celebrate cheaper and do things in public that you shouldn't do publicly at public events if you don't want to get kicked out.


In fact, this development has only happened to a limited extent. At least in Berlin, people also want to attend public parties and get to know new people. Accordingly, I would say that this trend has been the opposite of the last few years. At least that's how I can tell for my parties.


puppies everywhere

You could say it like that. Everyone who is even a bit kinky is now a puppy. The cohesion of the past, this "we are the others" is gone and many packs, small groups and associations are falling apart or becoming rather loose connections. In Berlin alone I know of 5 different providers for Puppy Events in 2023. In 2019 I was still alone here. And by that I mean just play, dance and social parties. The regulars' tables and other leisure activities are not included here. Since the puppies no longer support each other, but often go their separate ways and also get into every other club, the question naturally arises as to how successful this will be...


The Gearheads are coming!

I personally fell in love with the Gearheads. "Back then, when I was young..." (now you can call me Daddy ;) it was still something special that we had cross-cycling gear sessions or were at parties. Today I would probably be less noticeable. But for that I just noticed the guys in their gears, which have meanwhile become a relevant size. So we now had a Gearhead photo shoot for Folsom and gear parties have long been established throughout Germany. For me, definitely the right time for my SMash! Party to revive: gearheads, puppies, and all the colorful kinks. After it was discontinued in 2020 because of Corona and the location was unfortunately no longer affordable afterwards, it will now be revived again in 2023: colorful, crazy, kinky. in sinberlin. Wish me lucky :)


Toy market changing? - Private becomes professional

New production methods, materials and products have found their way after little has happened in previous years. But it seems that before that, private providers initially worked a lot at home, be it with 3D printers, casting processes, sustainable materials, digital things and more. They were there at these trade fairs and not only can you buy chic, high-quality whips made in Germany or at least locally produced, but also a huge range of creative, colorful and unusual products. Amazon sex toy shopping is definitely around and cool goods are conquering the market.


Many toys now come from the 3D printer and have different colors and other modification options. Although they are still a long way from being made to measure, they have at least become more flexible. While virtual reality shows are still rare, they endure. They come here more from an art perspective and offer fetish dance performances that go far beyond the standard of a prono. Toys also became more artistic and creative. Not only dildos or other insertables are gaining in colour, pedals, whips, collars, restraints and much more are becoming more and more colorful and supplemented by new materials and processes, such as casting processes.


Club wear has also left its niche. Brands that offer sufficient quality in the middle price segment have now established themselves where you used to only be able to buy self-made products at a wickedly expensive price or really cheaply (also in terms of quality) abroad.



Kink in the media and society

For years, it has always been a personal concern of mine to see kink as normal. While we're not there yet, I've seen an increase in public interest in the topic over the last few years, especially on TV and online media. This is particularly important because the community guidelines of large social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and the like often tend in the opposite direction and try to push these topics to the fringes of society. In the past, Germany was always a relatively liberal and open country, which approached the topic very openly and positively. Only in the last few years has there been a sharper decline, which was probably fueled by the social ban on the big platforms. The established media industry in Germany now seems to see this as an opportunity. It takes up these topics and thus offers content that is censored and banned from other platforms.


In the last year I have taken part in several productions. Where in the past I was only asked about small documentaries, for example Pure Production, in 2022 more and more productions from larger (online) broadcasters reached me. A very nice result I found the contribution with me from “not excite” by Joyn about the Puppy Market that I organize. Some colleagues felt the same way, and issues such as bondage, BDSM, polyamory and Co. have attracted more attention from the media and thus also from their society. And for the current year I already have a number of larger inquiries going.


Kink as art

Kink is increasingly becoming content, and not only in the media. More and more theaters and vernissages are also offering productions and exhibitions that work with BDSM elements. However, these are not scene stages aimed at kinky people, but smaller or larger regular stages where these elements are used as design elements. This breaks down barriers and requires viewers to actively engage with it.


For example, visitors to the new National Gallery in Berlin have the opportunity to rest in a chain sling or to be handcuffed for a certain period of time. Artists on stage explain concepts such as consensus and the freedom of being bound, of one's choice and the concept of being dominated or dominating others. And for me, too, there were personal highlights in 2022, where I was able to perform my rope art at a fine dining event, for example, and was booked again for next year.



Intellectual kink elite

The number of kinky offers that also have an intellectual claim is increasing. Even before Corona, we created a very successful format with the Teegesellschaft, where readings, shows, talks and the like were associated with fetish, kink and sex positivity. And this trend appears to be continuing and evolving. Offerings of readings, talk groups or (art and documentary) films are also growing, as are galleries that are aimed specifically at the kinky community. There were also more and more suppliers at the trade fairs who offered high-quality kinky art, from photography to sculptures to virtual and real art performances.


Kink thus leaves the personal framework and becomes more socially acceptable. Perhaps this is also a reason why there are more and more voices in the young kinky scene in particular that want fewer sexual events and are in a way afraid of themselves that they will be too easily tempted to do so if these options exist to do something too... This is based on individual statements, but at least some parties have now made exactly this their motto: fetish yes, sexuality no.


But whether this goes in the same direction, which might be the reason here (Kink is now seen more as an identity and less as a personal preference) and whether this is the case at all, I can't say unfortunately, but definitely If so, I'll keep watching!



Professionalization of sex and kink education

Not only some series from Netflix and Amazon (but certainly these too) have led to an increase in interest in well-founded courses. There are also more and more professionally organized providers who also pay their coaches fairly and thus ensure the quality of the teaching. There are still many laypeople who spread dangerous half-knowledge and sometimes have dubious motivations behind them, but the awareness of the participants for professional offers has increased and is valued. Correspondingly, framework offers have also developed, such as network meetings, academies, training the trainer concepts or the like. It remains to be seen whether this trend towards quality will remain in the long term. But one can assume that all those who work in a really well-founded manner and not only use this as a personal opportunity to make themselves important will continue to work successfully. At least for my offers so far I can only confirm this with yes. The market will certainly reorganize itself a bit here, too, and it remains exciting to see how this will develop in the long term.


Back to the basics

Before Corona, workshops were often very successful in very specific areas. But now the basics seem to be gaining in importance again. This is hardly surprising if one assumes that all those who have not attended any online workshops and have not really trained during Corona are now looking for suitable offers on the market. The question is how it will behave this year. Will those who have learned the basics want to stick with it and move on, or will we still have a generation or two of participants who need the basics first and foremost. It remains exciting.



Negative tendencies and regressions

But unfortunately there are also developments in the opposite direction. The visibility and acceptance seems to lead to the appropriate backlash from people who haven't been picked up. Since I don't know any real background here, one can of course speculate a lot where it comes from... poor integration, conservative to right-wing ideas, people left behind in society who are looking for an enemy image, extremists and faith fighters who organize themselves via social media and society against each other want to raise… A cyberwar by the Russians? Surely you can think of more approaches, but I don't know and that's all speculative so far. I am happy about links and refer to studies if you have any!


The reported assaults and crimes against the LGBT community in Berlin are increasing and reaching a new high since they were recorded. The actions in Qatar and the fact that only a few sponsors have turned their backs on football after this social misstep is unfortunately frightening. But will we continue to find Coca-Cola Company products in queer bars, and people will continue to go to McDonald's, despite the negative corporate publicity? How so? Because we're used to it, it's comfortable and cheap... but as a consequence such companies will continue to support anti-liberal behavior and continue to wire money to opponents of our beliefs... let's just make sure we get more money from them at the next Prides...


Unfortunately, you also have to include funny comments from the scene towards other members of our scene (see the article on fetishes at Pride). And how are we going to convince other people to fight for our rights and tolerance who are not even directly affected (like our national team) when we can't stand by ourselves and stand up together. Therefore, for 2023 we should aim to support each other, to coordinate and advance each other, to build something together and to stand united against hate and intolerance.



Have you had similar experiences? What are your expectations for 2023? Or do you have something else that interests you? Feel free to send me a question to info@gay-BDSM.club


I wish you a kinky 2023!


Dan


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