I'm not a trend spotter in all social cultures, but there are some areas in which I can see the big picture. And so I bring you my personal what's in/what's out list for the coming year.
Sex workers: What's out? Wailing about how "fauxho" sex blogger Alexa Di Carlo crushed your soul, kicked your puppy, keyed your car, and pissed in your shampoo bottle. Yes, she/he was an elaborate fraud, a skeevy guy who posed as a high-priced call girl and tried to influence our community. But "Alexa Di Carlo" is dead, so quit picking at the corpse, ladies—you're just making it stink worse. What's in? Studying and deploying basic political strategy. There are effective ways to "go negative" on any political issue. And there are ineffective ways. All the ranting about OMG HE'S AN EVIL RAPIST PEDOPHILE didn't automatically win hearts and minds on the fauxho issue, that's for sure. If you really want to educate people, it's better to stay calm and stay on message about how fraud is bad because we (and our clients) rely on social networking for safety and community, and we want people who seek to instruct us in our craft and represent us to the world to be bona fide members of our community.
Polyamorous people: What's out? Exposing yourself (and polyamorists in general) to public examination and ridicule on TV. Most people have figured this out, but producers still try to woo the unwary. Don't do it. Unless you have significant experience with public speaking, talk-show hosts will gut you and feed you to the shark-pool studio audience. Reality-TV editors will arrange footage of you into sequences that would embarrass Danny Bonaduce. The 15 minutes of fame/infamy isn't worth it, so engage in education and activism in settings where you have some control. What's in? A vocabulary of polyamory that doesn't involve grafting together nuclear family titles. No sister-wives, no brother-husbands, just—no. Phrases like "my boyfriend's other girlfriend" are unwieldy, but if that's the most troublesome thing about your poly love life, you have nothing to complain about.
Everyone else: What's out? Sex blogging. I'll cop to this myself. I have a blog, and I still sometimes post to it, because I haven't gotten around to redesigning my social media. Of course, you can write and publish whatever you like. But sex blogging à la the late 1990s is no longer the fast track to fame and glory in the sexual-minority world. What's in? If you want to build a brand as a sex educator or a porn star or just someone who gets laid a lot, you need content that's short, sweet, and tightly targeted to your niche of choice. If everyone likes it, it's too bland. And anonymous blogs, no matter how sexy your stories, don't titillate people anymore. It's too easy to be someone else online. Being transparently yourself is far sexier.