Are These Trending Words a Sign We’re Finally a Sex-positive Society?
The uses of ‘polyamory,' ‘BDSM,' and ‘nonbinary' in print are all climbing upwards.
Just a few decades ago, public writing on topics like BDSM, polyamory, and non-binary themes would have been enough to cause widespread panic among conservatives and concerned parents alike.
Nevertheless, in recent years, these words and phrases are being researched at steeply growing rates. This seems to be more than mere happenstance. Rather, it may be a sign that society is becoming increasingly more sex-positive.
According to Google Ngram Viewer, a search engine that is used to chart word frequencies and trending topics that are published in print, there has been a considerable increase in the use of the words and phrases “polyamory,” “BDSM,” and “nonbinary” over the last decade.
A sign of the times
It's no secret that Western society's ideas about sex and sexuality are drastically shifting.
Rather than championing remaining celibate until marriages and staying in a monogamous, committed relationship until death, many people have started to veer away from this ideal for various reasons.
For instance, with the marriage rate hovering over 50% for many decades, many people have started questioning the so-called ‘sanctity' of marriage.
This is especially the case for Millennials.
Studies have shown that this demographic, in particular, has a healthy fear of marriage. This is primarily due to the fact that millennials are plagued with financial woes, and many fear the potential financial ruin associated with divorce.
Polyamory, BDSM, and nonbinary, Oh my
This brings us back to the aforementioned trending topics. Groups, such as millennials, have dissenting opinions about marriage when compared to previous generations. Therefore, it makes sense that words and phrases such as these would be trending.
Given the views that many are taking on marriage, polyamory has become an attractive option for those who want relationships but are no longer sold on the necessity of monogamy.
Likewise, by placing less of an emphasis on marriage, Western society has become more sexually liberated overall. This led to the mainstream acceptance of movies such as 50 Shades of Grey, which helped make the once taboo world of BDSM mainstream.
Lastly, removing the pressure of getting married and having the perfect family enabled more people to be free of societal pressures and live in their truths. So, while being nonbinary was once a relatively unknown concept, the complexity of gender identity is gaining greater attention every year.
The bottom line
New attitudes towards marriage and relationships have created a new, much more sex-positive America. Although the nation is not yet sexually liberated, the fact that these phrases have essentially been trending for a decade is a sign that we're headed in that direction.
Image sources: Google Books Ngram Viewer, Dimitar Belchev