Transitions of any kind—whether it’s the start of a year or the start of a job—are a great opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been, where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there. Unfortunately, the NEW YEAR YEAR, NEW YOU! hullabaloo has gone from encouragement to exploitation, with every industry jockeying for your time, money, and worth.
This year, instead of focusing on overhauling everything about your life (remember: you’re whole, worthy, and perfect, just as you are, right now), what if you focused on the one area that has the biggest potential to impact your overall happiness: your relationships? What if you took baby steps, the kind that actually lead to long-lasting change? What if you ditched the pressure and focused on pleasure?
Read on for my and my colleagues’ recommendations for new year’s resolutions to have better sex and a more intimate relationship, both with yourself and your beau(s).
9 New Year’s Resolutions for Better Sex
Focus on pleasure, not orgasm or a specific sex act
Much of the angst I help my counseling clients work through relates to their expectations around how sex works and what it looks like: erect penises and wet pussies, desire that just pops up, a penis in a vagina, and orgasms for everyone involved. One thing I help them do is shift their goal to experiencing the most pleasure they can. From here, it becomes less about the mechanics—what you and your partner’s bodies do—and more about everything that works well! You start asking, “what else feels good?,” get creative, and finally have the intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life you crave.
Self-love to me is synonymous with self-care. This means finding whatever means I can to make sure I take care of myself first so I am resourced to help others. Some people think of this as putting on your oxygen mask first before helping the person next to you. That’s an appropriate way to look at this self-love thing, too. Self-care can take many forms; it can be free or without a financial outlay, or it could be an “investment” into yourself.
–Dr. Lanae St.John, The MamaSutra
Don’t use Pornhub (i.e., pay for your porn)
It is important to value porn. Many of us watch it, often for free, and mostly on Pornhub—which steals content from performers and lacks inclusion of different bodies, races, and LGBTQ folks. We need greater diversity in porn and now, with the internet further policing sex content, it is more important than ever to support the creators you like.
–Alexandra Fine, CEO & Co-Founder, Dame Products
Sexpert tip: For feminist, inclusive porn, check out XConfessions, Shhh, Spit, Make Love Not Porn, and Crashpad.
Stop waiting until you lose weight to fulfill your sexual fantasy!
I hear so many of my clients talk about how they are waiting until they are more comfortable in their skin to go out on sexual adventures, but ironically, the thing that will make you more comfortable in your own skin is enjoying your body, and going on sexual adventures!
–Mona Darling, BDSM Coach
Do something that puts you in touch with your erotic self
Has the holiday rush left you feeling like your body is a machine to get you to your obligations, rather that a vehicle for pleasure and erotic exploration? Think about or engage in activities, wear clothing, or listen to music that remind you of a time when you felt most erotically coordinated and embodied. If it’s hard to recall, or you would like to explore a new repertoire, engage your five senses with things to stimulate your erotic side specifically. When you’re in touch with, or have the ability to access your erotic side it connects to pleasure and play that turns you on— not only to sex but to life!
–Shula Melamed MA MPH – Relationship and Wellbeing Coach
Read more romance
Romance is my favorite genre for a reason: it helps get you in the mood, inspires sexy new ideas, and escape the despair of the current news cycle. My friend Sarah keeps the most amazing running list of romance suggestions on her site. You also can check out what I’m reading on my Goodreads!
Understand your fertility
Some women have trouble conceiving because they weren’t properly informed of how their fertility works or they weren’t properly diagnosed with hormonal imbalances, or other such hindrances to conceiving. Let’s break the stigma and the silence, and give women tools to make informed choices. Start by talking to you OB-GYN or connecting with a startup that offers this service, like Modern Fertility or Extend Fertility!
–Estrella Jaramillo, Cofounder of B-wom
Sexpert tip: Period-tracking apps are a great place to start learning about your cycle and fertility.
Commit to a day without numbers
Research and tons of anecdotal evidence show that fixating on ‘the numbers,’ such as body weight or likes on Instagram, can detract significantly from one’s well-being and self-esteem. So take one day per week, month, or even year to avoid these numbers as much as possible, as a reminder that you are so much more than any particular sum. When we focus less on stats, we have more energy to invest in our passions, curiosities, hobbies, and relationships—including, most importantly, ourselves.
–August McLaughlin, author of Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment
Maintain self-care in your relationships, sexual or otherwise
Sexual self-care involves maintaining your sexual relationship with yourself—knowing your values and limits, communicating your needs and wishes and desires, creating and sticking to boundaries, and exploring new things with partners who fully support your right to pleasure and health.
–Dr. Rosalyn Dischiavo, Founder/Director, Institute for Sexuality Education & Enlightenment
Be more present during intimate moments
It is so easy to be distracted or self-conscious during intimate moments. This can keep us from truly experiencing the connection we have to our environment, to our partner(s), and to ourselves. Instead of shifting focus or getting distracted, slow down and stay present by checking in on your five senses, and breath deeply.
Choose resolutions that help you thrive
Own your power, lean into your pleasure, and get ready to experience an intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life that lasts.