4 Tips for Making Sexual New Year’s Resolutions

2020 upon us and over the course of the first week of the year, I’ve seen a lot of folks making new years resolutions that are decidedly sexual. Whether declaring that this is the year you find your g-spot, or deciding that you WILL visit a swingers club in 2020, or making literally any other resolution that includes sex, there are some important things to think about. Resolutions should feel good and you should feel good following through on the, but all too often, we are influenced by what others are doing or what we think we’re “supposed to” want. With that in mind, let’s take a look at my 4 tips for making sexual new year’s resolutions.

Make sure you want to do it

Sex is not the place to do things because you think you “should” (unless those things are safety or consent-based, in that case “should” is okay). Sometimes we look around, see all the fun sex stuff that exists, and feel like we should do/try ALL of it. The problem is, even for a sex writer like myself, feeling like I’m supposed to try all the things has led me into situations I didn’t want to be in. Once I found myself working towards the goal of visiting a new local sex club with my partner. This particular place held an introductory event for new folks every couple of weeks and you had to go to it before you visited the club and I kept making excuses to not go to it. Eventually I realized that I just had no interest in going to a sex club. My partner at the time wanted to visit the club and I felt like as a sex positive person, especially one who makes their living writing about sex, I should want to. Once I accepted that I really didn’t want to go to the club at all, I was able to see how I had let my partner’s desires and my feelings about what I “should” want override my actual desires and created a really stressful situation for myself. Make any sexual resolutions you make are driven by what you actually want; not what your partner wants and not what you think you should want.

Your resolution isn’t automatically your partner’s

On a similar note, remember that your resolution is not necessarily your partner’s. It can be challenging and scary to share fantasies and desires with partners. That said, it is important to remember that your partner is not obligated to act out your fantasies and help you achieve your sexual goals.

A story that gets told a lot in sex ed world involves a sex shop worker who intervened when a man came into the shop looking for toys to help him execute an elaborate double-penetration scenario on his partner. The shop’s employee got the impression that this fantasy was exclusively this man’s and his partner was serving as a prop. With this in mind they steered him in a different direction and both he and his partner wound up very happy with the whole situation. I always think about that story when I talk about sharing fantasies with partners.

Talk openly with your partner about the stuff you want to try and let them decide for themselves if they are into it. If they are onboard, awesome! If they are not into it, that needs to be okay. I’m not saying you can’t be disappointed or frustrated but I am saying that you need to respect their autonomy. And, who knows, you might come up with some super-fun stuff to try together!

Be patient with yourself

When we are trying out a new sex thing, especially one we have heard a lot about, there can be pressure to immediately jump right in, do it perfectly, and LOVE it. So what happens if you can’t find your g-spot, or anal penetration isn’t working, or you keep getting scared of being hit by an impact toy? This is when it becomes important to be patient with yourself! You may need some slow exploration, or to ease your way into stuff (multi-step plans are sexy!), or to try things a different way. There are so many ways in which the world can be really hard on us, there’s no reason to add to that by beating up on yourself. Like Samuel Beckett said, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” One of the best paths to figuring out how you enjoy any sexual activity is learning how you DON’T like that thing. Experiment and, while you do that, be patient with yourself.

Know that it’s okay to change course entirely

Resolutions are interesting because while, in theory, they exist to help us experience new things that will enrich our live. In practice, though, they can often turn into new ways to tell ourselves we’ve failed. So, instead of treating your resolution as an assignment that you must follow through on and do “right”, try seeing it as a jumping off point. Maybe you’ll try it and love it. Maybe you’ll start trying it and realize you are not into it. Maybe you’ll try it, not love it, but get an idea for a different cool thing you can try. The possibilities are endless so, if you find your feelings about your resolution have changed, don’t be afraid to change course or even abandon the mission entirely. Resolutions shouldn’t be about beating ourselves up or forcing ourselves to grit our teeth and do stuff when we are miserable.

Okay, folks, that’s all I’ve got! Good luck with your resolutions! May they, and 2020 in general, bring you joy!


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