Start 2017 with a bang.
Many of us make the same New Year’s resolutions year after year: eat less junk food, exercise more, stick to a budget, and drink less wine (okay, maybe not that last one). The point is, we are seriously slacking on making resolutions that are actually fun—like having way more sex.
Vowing to make the New Year a friskier one can do wonders for your love life whether or not you’re in a relationship. Plus, all the cool kids are doing it (pun intended). That includes sex therapists. “At the beginning of last year, I resolved to initiate sex more often because I usually leave it to my partner,” says Jess O’Reilly, Ph.D., resident sexologist and relationship expert for Astroglide. “He doesn’t complain, but I see the toll it takes on relationships at work, so I wanted to be proactive.”
In doing so, she discovered a lot about herself (and her libido), including why initiating sex has never been her thing. “I’m confident in my skills, but not with initiating,” she says. “My erotic script is firmly rooted in the feeling of being desired. I’m turned on when I feel wanted.” So, O’Reilly enlisted the help of her partner to help her feel desired all day long, not just before sex. Ta-da!
Because resolutions usually center around change, they can promote sexual growth—and that can boost your relationship with your partner, your lady parts, and your libido, says O’Reilly.
Ready to get started? Here, six expert-approved resolutions you should make for a steamier 2017.\
“Telling your partner how you want to feel during sex is easier to do than revealing each and every detail of your explicit fantasies (not that you shouldn’t share those too). So if you fantasize about being ravaged by a group of aggressive men and women, think about the feeling associated with that fantasy. For example, maybe you want to feel desired or enjoy a sense of reckless abandon? Tell your partner how to make you feel that way. You can certainly share the entire fantasy, but don’t ignore the associated feelings—they’re the driving force behind it.” —Jess O’Reilly, Ph.D.
“Don’t just look to please your partner without sharing what excites you. You deserve to have a fulfilling experience too.” —Jane Greer, Ph.D., author of What About Me? How to Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship.
“Create a 15-minute window once a week where you and your partner commit to generating arousal that may lead to desire—and maybe sex. However this exercise isn’t meant to lead to sex every time. It’s about generating arousal. Studies show that in long-term relationships, desire shifts from spontaneous to responsive, and desire responds to arousal. During those 15 minutes, you can make out, take a shower together, watch porn, or read erotica.” —Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First
“Create three lists of what you would like in bed, things you’d like to try, and things you definitely will pass on. On the first list, write down all the sexual things you know you like or are pretty sure you’d like if you tried them. Basically, all the things you’d say yes to. Then do the same for the things you might be into trying and the things you’re not willing to give a go. This adds up to a thought-provoking and insightful profile of your sexuality, which helps you learn specifically what your desires and boundaries are.” —Carol Queen, Ph.D., staff sexologist for Good Vibrations
“Discuss your favorite fantasies with your partner. This will increase emotional intimacy and potentially help you cross off one of the sexiest to-dos on your sexual bucket list. Most couples note that they feel an increased sense of trust with their partners when they discuss and/or act out their most intimate desires.” —Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D., licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist
“If all you think about are unsexy things like work, kids, and other obligations, how are you ever going to feel sexy? Start sexually empowering yourself by focusing on the times you felt incredibly turned on. Then, try to feel the emotions attached to those memories. This can have powerful results in reprogramming your subconscious mind and flooding your body with feel-good endorphins. Your brain doesn’t know whether you’re thinking sexy thoughts or experiencing awesome sex!” —Ava Cadell, Ph.D., author of NeuroLoveology