Eight Sexual New Year's Resolutions
Making New Year's resolutions is a time-honored tradition dating back to the Babylonians although our present-day resolutions tend to be more focused on things like being nice to your family than returning borrowed farm equipment.
While regular resolutions are more than fine, this is a sex column and I'm interested in commitments that could improve that area of our lives. With or without a partner, it's really easy to get stuck in a rut and a new year is perfect opportunity to try some new things or, at the very least, brush the dust off of your old habits.
So, without further ado, I present eight sexual New Year's resolutions. (Why eight? I didn't want to do ten and I couldn't think of twelve.)
1. Sex isn't perfect.
Stop clinging to all of those romantic, idealistic notions of sex like they were some kind of security blanket. And this doesn't just have to do with the media's frequently-inaccurate portrayals of sex (Sue Johanson notwithstanding) but also with your friends and family. You don't have your best friend's sex-life so don't try to make it fit you. Also, just because they think water sports are "perverted" or that BDSM is "demeaning" doesn't mean you shouldn't try it out.
Sex can be messy fun and while it's not all that great to watch most people do it (judging from all of those amateur videos online) if you and your partner are happy with the results, that's what counts.
Don't let politics rule your bedroom!
2. Sex involves communication.
Yeah, this one is no surprise but how come so many people still don't do it? I know I could be more open about what I like but it's difficult when we worry about whether we might freak our partner out or not. Maybe they haven't read Nina Hartley's Advanced Guide to Oral Sex (although they, and you, should) and have no idea how much you want to that morning BJ? Once you get over that initial hurdle, it can become really easy to let them know what you like (yes, even the first time) without hurt feelings or having it devolve into some kind of blame-game.
3. Sex takes stamina.
This kind of ties with a familiar item on most people's lists: losing weight. Sometimes, it can take awhile for two people to establish their own sexual rhythm and if you don't have any stamina, it can become more difficult to please your partner satisfactorily. This isn't about "reaching an orgasm at all costs" or "getting the perfect body" but it is about staying in good-enough shape to enjoy sex without fear of disappointing either of you.
Can you jog for a mile (four laps around a track) without stopping? It's a good start.
4. Sex and your diet.
Again, this is something that a lot of people resolve to improve on anyways but there are some sex-specific conclusions to be reached. While the evidence has been mostly anecdotal, there seems to be some agreement that what you eat affects your secretions from all parts of your body. Cigarettes, processed foods, too much dairy or meat, garlic and spices like curry can affect how you taste/smell depending on how your body processes them.
And if you've ever tried to see what you taste like, be aware that licking your finger also leaves the flavor of your digit along with whatever's on it. Still, it's not a bad way to check.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't ever eat garlic (a very, very sad diet indeed) but you can often alter your taste/smell by watching what you eat when you know you're going to end up fucking.
5. Sex is not always an exchange.
Sometimes, it's really sweet when you drop any ideas of getting off and just focus on giving your partner some pleasure. Sure, you might end up having sex but you don't have to; it shouldn't be an obligation. Spending half-an-hour twirling your fingers around your partner's body or giving them a really good massage (anything less than fifteen minutes doesn't count!). You might be surprised how much you enjoy it too.
6. Sex and toys
Toys aren't just for the ladies anymore. With a wide variety of implements designed to be rubbed against (or inserted into) every orifice, there's no excuse for not giving into temptation and taking one for a ride.
7. Get naked more often.
Granted, winter is not the ideal season for this but the best way to get comfortable with your body is to spend some time with it. Even if you would never dream of being naked with anyone you weren't intimate with, at least spend some time around the house in the nude.
Being comfortable with being naked can translate into giving less thought to how others view your body.
8. Put sex first.
While I'm not suggesting that you put sex above paying the bills or eating right, some people give short shrift to their sexual needs for whatever reason. Sex is an important part of life and the best thing that can be said for abstinence is that, like most things, moderation is the key.
Forbes.com published an article in 2003 that put together a number of conclusions about the health benefits of sex from a variety of research. Among the purported findings was a reduced risk of heart disease and depression, less-frequent colds and flu (big right now) and even better teeth.
Even if its as simple as masturbating at the beginning or end of your day, there's no need to treat it so cavalierly. Give it at least fifteen minutes; take the time to really enjoy what you're doing.
Your body will thank you for it and you'll be a helluva lot happier too.
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