ELLE Throwback to 2015: 50 Shades of Sex

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In February 2015, we explored the world of lust. This article was a light-hearted and slightly raunchy, might we add, take on all things sex in 2015.

1. Mia Khalifa

Pornhub’s number one star, Mia Khalifa, is the queen of cum and comebacks.

She’s a breakout star: The Lebanese- American pornstar entered the adult film industry in October 2014, and by December 2015, she was already the most searched name on the website, taking over from long-time favourite Lisa Ann.

Lebanon wants her dead: For performing sexual acts in, as she put it, a “gross”, “problematic” hijab. The death threats that followed don’t bother her though. Khalifa’s response to a “ur head will be cut soon inshallah” hate tweet was an unfazed, “Long as it’s not my tits. They were expensive.”

She believes in small packages: The 22-year-old Miami resident told FAF Magazine, “I hate big dicks. Men with big dicks tend to rely on the size to do all the work.” Now, what does that say about her husband?

2. Maintenance Sex

Not in the mood for sex? Do it anyway. Routine sex is the relationship-strengthener therapists swear by and feminists abhor, more so after Amy Poehler endorsed it in her memoir, Yes Please, saying “You have to have sex with your husband occasionally, even though you’re exhausted.” Oh fine, but we can still watch The Good Wife during and after right?

3. Man Buns

We haven’t tired of the endless celeb man-bun round-ups that flooded our timelines in 2014 and proclaimed the new sex appeal. And with so many distinct styles to choose from — neat or messy, limp or perky — we’re still nowhere close to finding the perfect one. We kid! Jared Leto. It wasn’t even close.

4. Virtual Porn

In a chicken-egg situation, while the much-discussed 3D gaming device Oculus Rift is yet to graduate the Beta stage, porn developers have already skipped ahead to creating X-rated games like Lucid Dreams V2 (simulation sex) and VRTitties (virtual strippers). Soon, you’ll have unrealistic sex with hot-bodied strangers. And come back to reality STD-free.

5. Pornocchio

A term for people who greatly exaggerate their sex lives. Seven times in one night is medically impossible. Right?

6. Love Commandos

Founded in 2010, Delhi-based organisation Love Commandos protects inter-religious and inter-caste lovers from furious families and unfair laws. Last year, the group won international recognition after it became the subject of a photobook, Will They Sing Like Raindrops Or Leave Me Thirsty, by Belgian photographer Max Pinckers.

7. Felching

If you weren’t smart enough to catch the reference to this fetish in Dumb And Dumber To, here’s a quick lesson: Felching is the fine art of eating semen out of your partner’s butt-hole. Try and get that out of your head.

8. Crowdsourced Porn

Feminist adult film-maker Erika Lust wants more women to participate in the pornmaking process. Too shy to film yourself? You can still be the (anonymous) star of an erotic masterpiece directed by Lust by sharing your wildest sexual encounters — real or imagined — on her website XConfessions.

9. Revenge Porn

Angry ex-lovers are increasingly relying on a new, technologically advanced method of emotional scarring — sharing sexually explicit photos and videos of former lovers online. In 2011, one such victim of revenge porn, Danish activist Emma Holten, was shocked to find naked images from her awkward teen days circulating online, courtesy ex-boyfriend. Last December, more of her nudies went viral — but this time, on Holten’s terms. Instead of being shamed into hiding, Holten created her own photo series, as a way of reclaiming her body.

10. +Flirtmoji

Dirty messaging is hard, more so than dirty talk (‘what are you wearing??’ without the suggestive lingering just reads like an insult). Avoid confusion with these tastefully pornographic emojis.


11. My Husband’s Not Gay

Or maybe he is. And you’re the bitch gatekeeper who won’t let him be. TLC’s new show, My Husband’s Not Gay, follows the lives of four Mormon men who experience same-sex attraction (SSA) but seek out romantic relationships with women (who make claims like “SSA, not gay!”) because their religion forbids blasphemous homosexual acts. In the lead-up to the premiere, more than 100,000 people signed a Change.org petition to get the show cancelled, outraged by its propagation of ‘reparative therapy’, a discredited practice that attempts to turn gay people straight.

12. Dirty Talk

New NSFW sexting lingo you should know

NIFOC – Naked In Front Of Computer

GYPO – Get Your Pants Off

TDTM – Talk Dirty To Me

13. Transphobia

There’s an overlooked submarginalisation taking place within the already-marginalised LGBT community. On gay dating apps like Grindr, for instance, transphobia (fear of transexuals) is freely exhibited through offensive compliments (great lady penis), hate messages (you are as fucked up as they come) and bizarre queries (how big were they?). There’s enough to fill an entire Tumblr — Trans Men On Grindr.

14. Vacation Breasts

Norman Rowe, a New York-based plastic surgeon, has developed a noninvasive saline injection, InstaBreast, that gives women temporary 24-hour implants. Now you can go from cup size B at home, to cup size D for your beach getaway and gradually deflate back to B for work on Monday. Worth risking breast cancer for? The medical community is yet to pass a verdict on the safety of these inflatable assets.

15. Bad Granny

Last August, Georgie Mary, an 86-year-old great-grandmother, self-published No Good-bye, the erotic adventures of a housewife who falls for a radio show host’s “orgasmic” voice. While Mary claims the story is purely fictional, her children insist they know exactly who she’s lusting after. Lesson: You’re never too old to make your kids squirm.

16. Bad Sex Award

No writer is forgiven sloppy sex writing. Not even a Booker Prize winner. Nigerian author Ben Okri was awarded The Literary Review’s annual Bad Sex in Fiction award last year (they seek “poorly written, perfunctory or redundant” erotic writing), for a passage in his latest novel, The Age Of Magic, that begins: “When his hand brushed her nipple it tipped a switch and she came alight.” Okri’s curt response was: “A writer writes what they write and that’s all there is to it.”

17. Safe Texting

Three apps to guard your nudies.

Wickr: This instant messaging app lets you send texts that self-destruct (like a Snapchat for dirty messages) guaranteeing you don’t end up on the ‘sexting fail’ Tumblr tag.

Best Secret Folder: The app icon is disguised as a general ‘My Utilities’ folder, displays a decoy ‘folder is empty’ message for anyone who tries to access it and can only be unlocked with a passcode. Special protection for your naked mirror selfies.

Idelete: For those living in fear of Snapchat screenshots, iDelete offers help. The app makes text and images visible only through a virtual peephole (ensuring you don’t see, or capture, the whole picture). Bonus: you also can recall texts, in case you regret that booty call.

18. Kegel Game

Focusing on fitness this year? Don’t forget to work ’em lady parts. Skea, a new wearable device, allows you to use mobile games (like Alice In Continent) to keep your pelvic floor muscles in shape. All you have to do is clench, and clench smart, to earn points. It’s just like playing Temple Run with your vagina.

19. Maskers

Sure it’s easy to buy blow-up dolls, but what if you want to become a blow-up doll? A BBC 4 documentary, released line 2014 , followed the lives of American ‘maskers’, men who dress in (and in some cases also sell) multipurpose silicone ‘femskins’. Its uses vary from kinky plaything to comfy alter-ego costume.

20. Assman

Everybody agrees that the booty is back in business, but last year we noticed straight men (openly) offering their own behinds for play. Proof: There were (stripper-confirmed) rumours of Drake wanting his ass eaten, personal narratives from women suprised by increasing rim-job requests (New York Magazine) and Miami rapper Trick Daddy’s (leader of ‘The Eat A Booty Gang’) instituting the ‘Eat A Booty Day’ (August 4, book your calendars). This could mean we’ll all be pegging (look it up) our way to pleasure soon.

21. Sexual Peak

Waiting for the best sex of your life? It may have come and gone. A new study by sex toy manufacturer Lovehoney found that women reach their sexual peak at 26, and men at 32. Getting rid of your birthday candles won’t help here.

22. Disney Dicks

Feminist blog Jezebel disrobed our fave fairy-tale princes last year, and (in great detail) imagined, and then illustrated their magic wands. Nobody is sure why, although The Daily Beast, who cited this as an example of the double standards practised by feminist publications, imagines it to be the result of a “slow” and “amnesic” day in the office. Not wanting to discriminate on the basis of proportions, we found a winning prince in every latté size.

Small: Aladdin’s mini lamp, accompanied by “big, huge, droopy” balls (a result of living in those roomy pants) can swell into a big surprise with some skilful rubbing.

Medium: What Sleeping Beauty’s Prince Philip lacks in size, he makes up in beauty. His general is thin, firm, pink, with soft, light foliage.

Large:  Prince Charming’s sizeable contribution to Cinderella’s happily ever after is eight or nine inches long with a “nice throbbing vein”.

23. Indian Erotica

Guys who like their threesomes well-plotted found a rare bit of male erotica (the first penned by an Indian man) on bookshelves last year — Penguin Random House India sales exec Ananth Padmanabhan’s Play With Me. His story of a photographer discovering new, kinky creativity with help from his fiercely confident intern while falling in love with another woman, satisfied readers enough for Padmanabhan to begin work on a sequel — Think Of Me.

24. Lick This

‘Practice makes pleasure’ say the makers of this cunnilingustraining app. All you have to do is lick your (germ-infested) phone screen to master three basic movements: up and down (turn a light switch on and off), circling (rotate a pencil sharpener) and freestyle (bounce a beach ball). Makers say advanced levels may be added soon; expect to tongue your way through a maze.

25. Belfie Stick

When butt selfies popped up on celeb Instagram accounts (our cover girl Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna), rear views became the latest front camera trend. To improve production values and ease strained necks, social networking site On.com created a 40-inch, bendable Belfie Stick.

26. Sex Verdict

Muslim women have always been stereotyped as being at the mercy of their husbands. But last month, the Indian High Court ruled that they are entitled to approach the courts for restitution of conjugal rights. Even if they can’t dictate how long they stay married, now they can at least dictate when and how much sex they have.

27. Jailbreak

So you went to prison for being a bad person. Should that stop you from being a bad, bad person? No, says the Punjab HC, allowing prisoners conjugal visits in last month’s landmark judgement. Now put those handcuffs to good use, inmates.

28. Perumal Murugan

The stars, of late, have not been in favour of free speech. One Part Woman (2013), the English translation of Tamil writer and scholar Perumal Murugan’s novel Madhorubagan (2010), is the fictional story of a childless woman who has sex with a stranger (her husband approves) in order to conceive. This, until 50 years ago, was a socially acceptable temple ritual in certain parts of Tamil Nadu. Now though, its mention is unacceptable, untrue and un-Hindu enough to justify 18-day-long protests and make the author give up writing for good.

29. Internet Prostitution

Paying for sex used to make people go a deep shade of crimson, but moving the biz online has removed the worrisome act of physically scouting for sex. Apps like Peppr (Tinder for sex workers), advertisements on Craigslist and other listings websites like Adultwork.com (a racy LinkedIn) and the more forthright Onlinebootycall.com, have become the new go-betweens.

30. Naughty Pill

As if bloating, nausea and emotional roller coasters weren’t enough, the birth control pill has a new side effect. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences alleged that women who use hormonal birth control either place little or no emphasis on physical attributes while on the pill or are less able to evaluate how good looking a guy is. Like beer goggles without the beer.

31. Horrex

…the new Bollywood genre (horror + sex) that failed to arouse the box office and is making us very, very afraid. Within two months of 2015, we’ve had two horrex flicks in succession: Alone and Khamoshiyan.

32. Facesitting

Britain banned a whole list of sexual acts in porn last year, including facesitting (squatting on your partner’s face for oral sex). It pitched the relatively blasé act into taboo stardom. Protesters took to simulating the position outside the Parliament, presumably to show them what they were missing.

33. Consent App

Last September, rape-prevention app Good2Go made its debut, and for a quick two weeks (before it was shut down by Apple for objectionable content) provided users plenty of scope for misuse. The ‘consent app’ stored a log of sexual activity (which frighteningly could also be used as legal evidence), by asking women to respond to a (charming) ‘Are We Good2Go?’ request, and recording her level of sobriety — a yes under ‘pretty wasted’ registers as a no. It’s well-intentioned developer though, despite facing widespread criticism, is now working on a modified, educational version of the app

34. Indian Bhabhi

We may be sanskaari, but only on Diwali; on rakhi, we’re randy as hell. These and other awkward gems were gleaned from a Quartz scan of adult website Pornhub’s data about its Indian audiences. It also turns out that sister-in-laws occupy special pride of place in the pecking order of things that get us off, Indian sister in-laws particularly; ‘Indian’ and ‘Indian Bhabhi’ are our most widely searched terms, but all stipulations are relaxed for Sunny Leone, who still owns all our wet dreams.

35. Wingman Condom

Not every man comes out a winner in the awkward race-against-time while slipping on a condom. Which is why a Dutch condom company has developed the ‘Wingman’ condom that you can roll on in a single two second motion — and with one hand. That’s one less contributor to performance anxiety.

36. Belle Knox

One day, Miriam Weeks, a student at Duke University with immense tuition bills, googled ‘how to be a pornstar’. The Indian-American then found work in the adult film industry as Belle Knox, her unconventional method of working through college (“Porn is like any other job,” is her argument) even made her the subject of a documentary, Becoming Belle Knox.

37. Isis Slaves

Newest in the ISIS’ extensive oeuvre of human rights violations is a handbook on keeping female slaves. The 27-point pamphlet, published in-house for their Research and Fatwa Department, and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (Washington DC) tells followers how to capture and sexually abuse women. Suggestions include selling or gifting slaves and having sex with pre-pubescent girls (and “enjoy them without intercourse” if you’re feeling largehearted); sex with slaves of your friends and loved ones is frowned upon. The rationale is clear, too. They clarify, “What makes al-sabi [taking women as sex slaves] permissible is [the slave’s] unbelief [in Islam].”

38. Youtube Predators

Bloggers Johanna and Jess have dedicated their Tumblr (Unpleasantmyles.tumblr.com) to expose YouTube’s dark underbelly, where vlog gods use their large, exploitable fan base for sexual abuse, child pornography and emotional manipulation. Mike Lombardo, who was sentenced to five years in prison for child pornography (he coerced fans into sending him pictures and videos of them masturbating) is only one of the many cases that came to surface in 2014. You can retract support to (52 and counting) alleged sexual abusers and predators with the click of a button on Unsubscribetogether.com.

39. Tinder 2.O

Swiped your city dry and found no love? Try Bumble, a new Tinderlike app. Developed by a former Tinder executive, Bumble retains the same swiping mechanism, but insists women make the first move — only the ladies can initiate conversations with matches.

Warning: Keep ‘em hanging for more than 24 hours, and you’ll miss your chance. The match disappears for good.

40. Oh Joy Sex Toy

If fear of scarring visuals keeps you from looking up ‘most effective vibrators’, ‘blow job tips’ or ‘understanding yeast infections’, run all high-risk search terms exclusively on the Oh Joy Sex Toy blog — you’ll come away so much wiser, and mostly unharmed. Created by writer-illustrator Erika Moen and her husband Matthew Nolan, the blog offers adorable, immodest comic strips that cover sex toy reviews, handy how-tos and anatomy lessons. Now also available as a 268-page Kickstarter-funded book, Oh Joy Sex Toy — Volume One.

41. Sex Somnia

A sleeping disorder in which a person performs sexual activities while asleep, though not widely researched or recognised, is quickly becoming the pet argument of defence lawyers in rape cases. Late last year, a Swedish court waived a two-year sentence and acquitted a man of rape after accepting a sexsomnia argument.

42. SpornoSexual

Twenty years ago, British journalist Mark Simpson introduced us to the shaved, showered and pedicured metrosexual man. Now, he says, there’s a new, and no-longer ostracised masculine narcissism on the rise, that of the spornosexual. In a Telegraph article, Simpson defined this species as a “pumped up” metrosexual offspring that feeds on sports, porn, social media and selfies (think Cristiano Ronaldo)

43. Drone Boning

The next time you’re out looking for a safe spot to get dirty, don’t forget to scan the skies. There’s a new kind of voyeurism on the rise, initiated by American filmmakers Brandon LaGanke and John Carlucci. Their film Drone Boning, (it’s more timid than it sounds) which captured couples in action against gorgeous scenic backdrops in Northern California, might just inspire a new porn film-making trend.

44. The Passion of Mademoiselles

After 50 Shades of Gray ruined regular sex for us (bondage-less acts are now as dull as missionary), its publishers (Cornerstone) are ready to release a new, wholly different erotica. The Passion Of Mademoiselle S is a collection of sexually-charged letters written by a French woman in the 1920s to her married lover, Charles. As his attention begins to wane, Simone does a Christian Gray, turning him into a submissive mistress’, and fuelling her writing with uninhibited descriptions of all things taboo.

45. Celeb Bulges

Stars owned their man bumps this year — Justin Bieber’s (untouched/ retouched) member starred in Calvin Klein’s Spring 2015 campaign and Chris Brown’s Insta post showed him lounging with a significant swelling.

46. Guys We F*cked

How do you shame slut-shamers? With elaborate, uncensored details of all the great sex you’ve been having, of course. Take cues from comedians Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson, who, on each episode of Guys We Fucked: The Anti-Slut Shaming podcast, invite a different man they’ve slept with to discuss their best, worst and weirdest sexual encounters with 100k+ subscribers.

47. Gender Fluidity

Gender expression gets a wide stage in 2015. The movement has been picking up steam since early last year (In the US, Facebook added a third ‘custom’ gender, and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt is now called John) — and India, uncharacteristically, cottoned on. First the Supreme Court declared transgender the third gender, and nine months later, we elected our first openly transgender politician, now mayor of Raigarh (Chattisgarh), Madhu Bai Kinnar. We all know what this means: it’s time to swot up on gender variations.


A hetero/homosexual who is open to homo/heterosexual relationships, but is not equally attracted to both sexes, hence not bisexual. For example: A gay man romantically involved with a woman, while always being gay.

Demiguy or transmasculine

A man who doesn’t feel man enough. He identifies only partly as male; the other part could be female, somewhat female or a mix of genders. Think the reverse for demigirl or transfeminine.


Their sexual orientation is none of anyone’s business. You can ask as nicely as you please, but pomosexuals loathe and don’t identify with a label. Yeah, we see the irony.


If you really want to be loved for your mind, and your mind only, date a sapiosexual. Whatever their sexual preference, they go for intelligence, not appearance.

Sex positive

They truly, openly and whole-heartedly love sex, with all its flaws and oddities. No act (so long as its consensual) is frowned upon or off the table. Not even felching.

48. Sex Toys

New ways to orgasm in 2015

Autoblow 2- There’s no need for a spit or swallow debate to ruin a relationship. This little robot is always ready to blow, as many times as you like.

Kiiro- Kiiro gives those in long-distance relationships a weird new sense of intimacy. Two pleasure devices (G-spot vibrator and male masturbator) are connected to the internet, and partners control all the action.

The GAGA-  This vibrator comes attached with a GoPro-like camera so you can… send your partner intimate sexts? Check your insides for lost change? Start your own gynaecology practice? Make an mind-boggling art film? Yeah, we don’t know either, but it’s available.

Transformer-  Sex toys have had it with your gender labels. This revolutionary bendable device is going ‘gender neutral’ with two pleasure points and endless possibilities — you can use it like a penis ring, a clitoral massager or a couples’ sex toy.

49. The Cuddlery

Being blessed with a lifealtering, long-lasting lover doesn’t guarantee you a satisfying post-coital cuddle. Canadian company The Cuddlery, however, does. They home-deliver warm embraces, soothing massages, shoulders-to-cry-on and even offer lessons in good cuddling — just don’t get comfortable enough to let your hands wander; all services are nonsexual, and filmed to prevent foul play.

50. Squirting

The latest development in the greatest sex mystery of all time — the curious case of the female orgasm — is that shejaculation is really just you making pee. A recent, and much-debated, study by French scientist Samuel Salama published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine studied ultrasounds before and after intercourse. The results found that full bladders before the act were empty after. The plot, as they say, thickens.

The numbers, statistics and references in this article are from 2015 when this article was published

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