Sex came a long way from 2000 to today. Here's a look back at the decade's sexiest trends.
We all know that magical time on the calendar when one decade is coming to a close and another is about to unfold, and we all look back at everything we've done and everywhere we've been and ask: what just happened?
When it comes to earth-shattering political events, there were plenty, ranging from terrorist attacks to economic meltdowns to the election of a certain groundbreaking U.S. president. When it comes to natural disasters, there was also an abundance, including tsunamis, earthquakes, and a particular hurricane whose name is now synonymous with tragedy.
And when it comes to more personal things like how we lived, how we loved, and whom we slept with, it was also a time of ups and downs (both literally and figuratively), when we saw everything from the mainstreaming of bondage to the lady parts of Paris Hilton.
2000: The Year of Casual Sex
Perhaps we started to expect too much when Y2K didn't destroy the world because in 2000 we all became greedy. We were still alive and beginning a new millennium and because of this, we wanted fame, we wanted money and we wanted to have a good time, in and out of the sack.
Two years into the series, Sex and the City was already normalizing casual hookups for women across America (though NPR wouldn't cover the phenomenon until eight years later). Almost Famous, the big-screen tribute to low self-esteem and glamorous, easy sex (all set to a great soundtrack) hit theaters in 2000 and turned Kate Hudson into a star.
And of course, let's not forget Darva Conger. In 2000 on a Las Vegas stage, she married Rick Rockwell, a man she'd never met before, for the Fox TV show Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? Sadly for Darva, in the end Rick turned out to be just a thousandaire, not to mention an abusive loser. These are the risks we face when we're living with a new lease on life.
2001: The Year of Wedded Sex
Strange how a tragic event, whether it affects us personally or not, can suddenly make us feel like getting back together with the ex, getting hitched or just plain getting it on. We refer, of course, to the terrorist attacks of September 11th and the wedding fever that immediately followed.
According to The Associated Press, during the tail end of 2001, bridal shop patronage around the country increased over the previous year, wedding registries skyrocketed, and between September and October — traditionally a low period for wedding sites — TheKnot.com actually saw a 10 percent increase in visitors.
Of course, this phenomenon wasn't just about numbers or sales figures; it was about real people like Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. As they once explained it, if not for September 11th they never would've realized how truly right for each other they were. They never would've reconciled after their last breakup. And they never would've ended up happily ever after (ahem).
True love, post-9/11. Maybe it's not that different from how we did things in 2000.
2002: The Year of Bondage
The old tie-me-up-tie-me-down has never been completely out of fashion. But in 2002, it went from thrift-store find to mass-manufactured bestseller.
Secretary, a film about a sadomasochistic romance between Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader came out, as did a lot of Tom, Dick, and Marys who suddenly weren't afraid to announce that they also liked being tied up from time to time.
Shawna Kenny's memoir I Was A Teenage Dominatrix hit bookstores and showed readers the other side of the whip. Even the toy industry got into it, when a British doll-maker released a Barbie transformed into a partly nude "Dungeon Doll," complete with rubber bondage dress and helmet.
Ah, yes, it was a good year.
2003: The Year of the Cougar
It was the year when women over a certain age smiled knowingly and men under a certain age learned a thing or two.
Demi Moore began dating Ashton Kutcher, who is more than 15 years her junior. Mira Sorvino met and got engaged to Chris Backus, who's 14 years younger than she. And Cameron Diaz began dating nine-years-younger Justin Timberlake.
Not content to be left on the sidelines, young twenty-something lasses like Drew Barrymore also got in on the game. It was in 2003 that she was rumored to be engaged to five-years-younger Fabrizio Moretti of The Strokes.
And of course, it was in 2003 that Samantha Jones of Sex and the City finally became a one-man woman (at least for a while), when she began her affair with the handsome, half-her-age Smith Jerrod.
2004: The Year of the Sex Tape
Pam Anderson may have started it way back in 1998, but homemade sex tapes didn't really become the rage until 2004, when the Paris Hilton/Rick Salomon sex tape One Night In Paris was conveniently released at the same time that Paris's new show The Simple Life debuted.
More amateur sex tapes quickly followed. Survivor's Jenna Lewis and her husband Travis Wolfe starred in one. In another, Severina Vuckovic, a Croation pop star who promoted abstinence, got down with a married man. Wrestlers Joanie Laurer (Chyna) and her then-fiance Sean Waltman (X-Pac) released their own sex tape, which played off on the title of Paris's tape: One Night In China.
And even little 17-year-old Carrie Prejean, the future Miss California, got in on the action in 2004, filming a solo sex tape that eventually made her more (in)famous than she already was when it was leaked in late 2009.
2005: The Year of Knocking Up Your Girlfriend
Guys have been knocking up their girlfriends for years. But in 2005, things kicked into high gear when A-listers and has-beens alike ended up in a family way minus the wedding rings.
Kicking off the trend were madly, tragically in-love Heath Ledger and Michille Williams, who conceived little Matilda Rose early in the year and delivered her in October. Maya Rudolph and boyfriend Paul Thomas Anderson conceived around the same time, producing daughter Pearl Baily.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner weren't far behind, but unlike the other stars on this list, Ben made an honest woman of Jennifer shortly before Violet was born in December.
Brad Pitt then knocked up Angelina Jolie with the most beautiful baby in the world (Shiloh, born in spring 2006) and Tom Cruise inseminated Katie Holmes with little high heel-wearing Suri (also born in spring 2006).
Even D-listers like Geri Halliwell got in on the action. It was in late 2005 that the former Spice Girl found herself expecting with some guy named Sacha Gervasi. The baby (tragically named Bluebell) was born in 2006, but at that point, we were all too busy looking at pictures of Matilda and Shiloh to care.
2006: The Year Without Panties
Some things, on some people, are best left to the imagination. And those things can easily be covered up with an invention called underwear. But it seems that in 2006, many women in the world forgot about the existence of this invention, or at least wanted us to forget about it.
There was Lindsay Lohan, who was photographed sans panties, taking steps two at a time while gallivanting around Italy. Mariah Carey exited limos with legs widespread and underpants nowhere to be found. And on at least three separate incidents, Britney Spears showed off what the good lord gave her, regardless of how much we didn't want to see it.
Paris Hilton, again, started it all. Or at least, that's who we like to blame. It seems she didn't wear underpants at all in 2006. Or, at least not in any of the pictures we saw of her. We can only presume she wanted to ensure we didn't miss any part of her after her 2004 video.
2007: The Year of the Threesome
Meanwhile, the Hollywood set were rumored to be partaking in their own three-way love fests. According to Star Magazine, Victoria's Secret model Karolina Kurkova partook in a bedroom romp with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Scary Spice Mel B. reportedly got it on with two women. And no tawdry sex trend would be complete without a mention of, you guessed it, Paris Hilton. Word on the street is that the heiress spent the night of her 26th birthday in a single room at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas—with both Stavros Niarchos and Brandon Davis.
2008: The Year of Gay
In 2008, California briefly overturned legislation banning gay marriage, Connecticut legalized same sex marriage, and New York began recognizing gay marriages from other states.
It was one of the best years to be be gay in U.S. history, and GLBT-ers embraced it. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi got hitched. After 21 years together, George Takei (aka, Sulu from Star Trek) and Brad Altman finally tied the knot. And Wanda Sykes and her partner Alex became wife and wife.
In the non-marriage arena, Samantha Ronson and Lindsay Lohan began their stormy relationship. Clay Aiken surprised absolutely no one when he came out of the closet. Michael Stipe announced that he was gay. And Katy Perry's ubiquitous song, "I Kissed A Girl" hit radio dials.
2009: The Year of Cheating
If you like to cheat, 2009 was your year to live it up. Everyone from politicians to made-for-telivision-movie actors was doing it, and sometimes with very little panache.
Jon Gosselin, of Jon and Kate Plus 8, became a household name outside the TLC set when he stepped out on wife Kate with a string of younger ladies, including the daughter of Kate's plastic surgeon.
In another cable-TV scandal, LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian both left their spouses after costarring in a made-for-television romance called Nothern Lights (who knew that the Lifetime Channel could ignite such passion?).
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford admitted to having an extramarital affair with a woman living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
David Letterman announced on his show that he was being blackmailed because of affairs he'd had with young female staffers.
Katie Joel ran around on her much-older piano man.
Josh Duhamel stepped out on Fergie with a stripper.
And, of course, no one did it better than Tiger Woods. The world's greatest golfer proved he could hit holes-in-one both on and off the green when more than a dozen women came forward at the end of the year claiming they'd carried on with him.