The start of a new year often brings with it a wave of energization. We’re newly inspired to dream big again and to recommit to moving with determination toward the things we want in life. For many people, that usually means getting back to the gym, becoming more intentional with our food choices, or forging forward toward a desired professional milestone. But what about our relationships? And more specifically, what about sex?
Sex goals aren’t often at the forefront of our minds when it comes to setting new year resolutions, and that’s a huge missed opportunity.
Like any other part of our lives from health to finances, our sex lives don’t thrive without regular investment. And yet, our sex lives seldom get the type of thoughtful reflection, goal setting, creativity, and active nurturing that we afford to these other parts of our lives.
Especially for people in long-term relationships, it’s easy for sex to fall to the back burner over time. You follow the same comfortable routine, even when things have clearly become a little stale. Or, sex simply gets ignored in favor of what are considered more pressing responsibilities. Factor in the overwhelming stress of living through a life-altering global health crisis that upends our employment, school systems, and ability to maintain basic social traditions with loved ones, and it’s easy to see why people might not think to prioritize orgasms of all things.
But the truth is, all the things that come with sex — full-bodied pleasure, deep awareness of our bodily senses, human connection, and a little creative play — are also all things we need to carry us through the times of stress. Regularly making time to feel good is soup for the soul. Plus, spending time actively tending to our sex life almost always results in more closeness with our partners. That intimacy then leads to a stronger relationship that serves as the foundation from which we tackle the rest of the world.
A sexual resolution is simply a commitment to put some time and focus into your shared sex life. It might mean trying out a new routine, experimenting with a new type of sexual play, or developing a new mindset around this part of your relationship.
Start by inviting your partner to have a conversation about the idea of sexual resolutions and why you want to have one, and ask if they’d be open to coming up with one together. If so, set aside some time to do a sexual reflection together. What was great about your sex life in the past year? What do you want your sex life to be like in the year ahead?”
From there, decide what one thing you’ll want to focus on this year. Here are a few ideas, but feel free to get creative and come up with something that feels particularly fruitful for your relationship specifically.
Learn about the science of sex together. Committing to reading a book about sex, listening to a sex podcast together and discussing the episodes, or taking a couple’s sex workshop or class.
Take a quarterly sex vacation. Book a room or plan a staycation, get someone to take care of the kids for a weekend, and spend some dedicated time each quarter (or each month, if you have the means and interest) to explore your sexuality together. Alternate who’s in charge of planning the weekend’s activities.
Try something new in bed once a month. A new position, new location, new time of day, introducing new toys or accessories, trying a new power dynamic or role play—the possibilities are endless.
Learn about your bodies. Spend the year really getting to know each other’s (and your own) body. Together pick one of your partner’s body parts and spend the month getting to know that body part intimately. Then switch and do one of your body parts the next month.
Set a “Year of” for your sex life. Maybe it’s the year of experimentation. Maybe it’s the year of learning, the year of sensuality, or the year of kink. Whatever gets you excited.
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After you come up with your sex resolution, make a plan for how you’ll check in on it throughout the year. I recommend monthly or quarterly check-in conversations to see how you’re doing and how you’re both feeling about the resolution. It’s also okay if you want to shift your resolution or make adjustments if you find some part of it isn’t working as well as intended. Be open-minded and adaptable. Remember, the point of this is to do something that feels good and brings you together. Enter with a spirit of curiosity and flexibility.