As we embark upon a new year, we think about what we want to do differently and we often make resolutions to hold ourselves accountable. About 40% of Americans make resolutions for the new year, but only about eight percent are able to keep those resolutions long-term. One reason is that we make promises to ourselves we’re not quite ready to keep. When we backslide or relapse, we feel like we’ve failed ourselves, so we usually toss the whole idea aside and go back to what we have been doing.
This year, if you make one resolution, let it be to expand your sexual horizon and really take your game to another level. Here are five resolutions you can make to improve your sex life and turn things all the way up in the bedroom (or kitchen, back seat of a taxi, etc.).
1. All You Have to Do Is Say “Yes”
“Say Yes,” by R&B group Floetry, isn’t just one of our favorite sexy songs, it should also be your new mantra this year. You always have a choice, and there’s absolutely power in saying no, especially when you feel unsafe and your gut tells you something’s definitely wrong. Sometimes though, we say no because we’re unsure or feel insecure about something within ourselves. We shy away from what could be life-changing experiences simply because we’re afraid of the unknown.
There’s an empowering energy boost that comes with saying yes, especially when presented with opportunities to do things you’ve never tried before. With every yes, you’ll begin to build the confidence you need to take more risks and reap greater rewards. Start with changing your approach to life to a more affirming, positive one, and watch how more pleasurable things start coming to you.
2. Love Your Naked Self(ie)
One of the biggest obstacles people face in their efforts to improve their sex lives is physical self-consciousness. I believe that those who know their bodies well and aren’t hung up on what they perceive to be imperfections have the best sex. No one’s perfect, and what is “perfect” anyway? Whether you are a size 2 or 22, your body feels pleasure and you need to show it more love and appreciation.
Do you know what you look like completely naked? Try taking a few nude selfies and look them over with admiration. Become more comfortable with yourself and begin to admire your body as it is. When it comes time to get naked, you’ll feel less inhibition and you won’t hesitate to show some skin. You don’t want those pictures landing in the wrong hands however, so if you do choose to send them to someone else, be sure it’s someone you completely trust not to use them in any shaming way.
3. New Year, New Position
Whether you have been active for three years or 30, I can pretty much guarantee you haven’t tried every sexual position imaginable. If you can think it, you can probably achieve it, so why not think outside of the box a bit more? Stretch those limbs, crack those knuckles, and pull your hair back—you have work to do! Need some ideas? Sexpert Tyomi at Glamerotica 101 has a complete archive of sexual positions with pictures and even video demos. Have you tried the “Upside-Down Cake” or the “Living la Vida Loca”? Well this is your year to twist your body up in exciting new ways and shout to the heavens (when you come).
What’s in your toy box? Do you even have a toy box? If you haven’t yet invested in some of the sexy tools of the trade, this is your year to explore. There’s no need to be intimidated by sex toys, because they can help you spark the fire or keep the fire going. Have a chat with your lover about the possibility of introducing some new items into the rotation.
You don’t have to go for the standard vibrators or blindfolds; there are more options that might better suit your unique tastes. Maybe you’ve wanted to experiment with Shibari (having your limbs tied together), or maybe you seek something more electrifying and electrostimulation is more up your alley? Whatever your interest, make this the year you say yes and try it at least once or twice.
If the issue is imagery, plan a mini shopping spree and spruce up your sexual attire. Everything from your lingerie to your role-play costumes can probably use a boost this year, so resolve to set aside $20 per check for six months towards your “wardrobe.” Leather, lace or nurses uniforms— you decide, and then splurge. You deserve something just for you, right?
5. More, More, and Much More
A few large studies have shown that couples have sex seven times a month on average, accounting for frequency variations based on age, marital status, length of relationship and other factors. Work becomes stressful, children refuse to respect closed doors, and health issues sometimes arise—all of which can have an impact on how frequently you have sex.
If you’ve noticed that in the past couple years that the frequency with which you have sex is declining, resolve to pick up the pace this year. Spontaneity is preferable, but not always realistic. Sometimes you have to plan ahead by making sure you schedule time to have sex. Yes! Get it in by any means necessary! Plan more date nights, lock in a couple of reliable babysitters, take extended taxi rides, check into the local motel… do whatever you need to do. Resolve to make time to actually have sex often enough that you don’t eventually forget what it feels like.
These are just a few suggestions on commitments you can make to elevate your sex game to whole new levels. The new year brings a new outlook, so don’t neglect the sex. Trust me, you’ll be happier all around when you put yourself first and take care of those needs.
Feminista Jones is a sex-positive Black feminist, social worker and blogger from New York City. She writes about gender, race, politics, mental health and sexuality at FeministaJones.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FeministaJones.