“The link between sexual intimacy and romance is coming apart and niche arrangements are moving into the mainstream,” said an article in this month's Trend Update magazine.
The magazine, published by German think tank the Zukunftsinstitut, said that not only the lines of relationships but also those of gender identity were being blurred.
Fewer people are identifying themselves as in a traditional monogamous sexual relationship.
Rather, arrangements such as “friends with benefits”, “polyamory” and “scheduled sex” are becoming increasingly socially accepted.
“This is not a sexual revolution, but sexual evolution,” the report said.
Long-lived sexual hang-ups are being discarded as in particular online dating and other virtual meeting places enable people to connect with others who want in the same way they do.
The internet has created a public platform for even the most unusual of lifestyle choices, which previously would have remained under wraps – dampened by strict social rules.
The Zukunftsinstitut predicted a shift in sexual habits in 2007, as it said, “in the coming years, society will begin relinquishing its stigmatisation of cheating, especially among middle aged people.”
Busy schedules were also cited as one of the drivers of the sexual evolution in Germany, as many people openly arrange casual sex around their work calendars. Asexuality was flagged as another lifestyle choice that was slowly becoming socially accepted.