When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, most of us gravitate towards the usual suspects: losing weight, working out more, quitting smoking… but have you ever thought about making sex resolutions? After all, having a healthy sex life is a key pillar of our wellbeing that affects our health, happiness, relationships, self-esteem and more.
So whether you’re single, dating, or in a long-term relationship, we invite you to commit to at least one of these sex resolutions over the next year. And you don’t have to wait until January to try them out. Any day of the year is a good day to start. With that said, let’s look at the first on the list.
1. Don’t fake orgasms
If there’s just one of these sex resolutions you commit to, make it this one! We know, there are many reasons it can be tempting to fake an orgasm: from not wanting to upset our partner, just wanting sex to stop already, to not actually believing we can climax with a partner… But faking it doesn’t do anyone any favors.
Firstly, you’re doing yourself a major disservice by faking it. Because let’s think about it: by pretending to orgasm, you’re sending yourself the message that your pleasure isn’t as important as your sexual partner’s. Apart from this being untrue – we all deserve pleasure – it’s really damaging to your self-esteem and an important contributor to the gaping orgasm gap between men and women.
Secondly, if you fake it, your partner won’t know what really gives you those sweet O’s and they’ll continue doing what doesn’t work. For example, if you’ve been having penetrative sex for 10 minutes and eventually you just pretend to cum, guess what? Your partner is going to do the same the next time you have sex because they think that’s what you want.
So do yourself and your partner a favor by committing to never faking it again and instead speak up about your likes and dislikes. Of course, this can be harder to do the longer you’ve been faking it, but it’s definitely possible to redirect your partner to doing things you actually enjoy without upsetting them. Of course, this relies on you actually knowing what you like and dislike in bed, which brings us to our next sex resolution.
In order to share your sexual likes and dislikes with a partner, you need to know what they are first. By far the best way to figure this out is through masturbation. Unlike in partnered sex where you may suffer from performance- or orgasm anxiety, masturbation gives you the time and space you need to try things out on your terms with nobody else to worry about. Masturbation is purely about you and your pleasure. Plus, it’s a fantastic form of self-care which comes with a ton of health benefits.
And self-pleasure isn’t just something for single people. Even in a long-term relationship, masturbation is an effective and pleasurable way to explore your body, discover your erogenous zones, and how you like to be touched. And this can change over time, so one thing you really enjoyed when you were younger might not do it for you now. Or something you disliked in the past may turn out to be a super turn on for you now. So no matter your age or relationship status, make sure to schedule regular solo sex sessions. After all, the longest sexual relationship you have is the one you have with yourself, so get inspired by these sexy masturbation ideas.
3. Say goodbye to shame
If there’s one thing that will have your orgasms running for the hills, it's shame. Even if you were lucky enough to have had a sex-positive education (not the case for the majority of women!), it’s extremely likely that you’ve been exposed to shame at some point. Whether directly or indirectly, many religions, cultures, societies and families make you feel ashamed for all sorts of things. And body-shaming and negative messages about our sexuality and right to pleasure are everywhere: TV, the music we listen to, advertising and more. These messages of shame can be about how your body looks, exploring your sexuality, masturbating, engaging in certain sexual acts and more.
No wonder then that a lot of women can’t relax and enjoy sex. In fact, internalized messages of shame can be so pervasive that we feel guilt, disgust and self-loathing just thinking about our sexual desires and fantasies, making this one of our trickier sex resolutions.
Fortunately it’s possible to work on sexual shame and start enjoying your sexuality to its full potential.To find out how to get started, check out this article on overcoming sexual shame.
4. Make sexual wellbeing part of your self-care routine
If you something is important to you, such as staying fit, learning a new language or keeping your house clean, you probably schedule time to work on those goals. But how many of us can say the same about our sexual wellbeing?
Few of us take the time to create a sexy self-care routine, by scheduling sexy masturbation sessions, trying out new techniques, researching sex-positive information about our bodies and sex…and we get it. It can be hard to know where to start, and even harder to make that time for yourself and believe you’re worth it.
That's where Emjoy can help. To help you create and stick to a sexual wellbeing routine that’s meaningful for you, the Emjoy app allows you to achieve your personal goals such as increasing your sex drive, climaxing consistently and improving your self-esteem by guiding you through step-by-step modules that you can complete at your own time and pace. Get a free 7- day trial of the Emjoy app and try it out for yourself.
5. Give yourself a sexual health check-up
Okay, this may seem boring compared to our other sex resolutions, but it's so important, not just for you but for any sexual partners you might have. Sexual health is a massive topic and could include so many things, but here are some good places to start:
- Book a Pap smear – Many women put off going to smear tests because they fear it’s going to be embarrassing or painful. Try to bear in mind though that your medical practitioner has probably seen thousands of vaginas and vulvas and there’s nothing they haven’t seen before. And while it may be a little uncomfortable, it shouldn’t hurt. Most importantly, it can be a lifesaving test as detecting early cervical cancer with a Pap smear gives you a greater chance at a cure. As a general rule of thumb, most women will probably get tested every 3 years between the ages of 21 and 65, but this can vary depending on where you live. So if in doubt, just ask your doctor.
- Practice safe sex – Whether it’s your first time having sex or the thousandth, if you’re sexually active and don’t want to get pregnant (or any nasty STIs) it’s essential to practice safe sex. But remember, while birth control protects you against unwanted pregnancies, only male and female condoms, also called internal and external condoms are effective at protecting against STIs.
- Get an STI test – If you’ve had unprotected sex and think there’s a risk you could have contracted an STI, book yourself in for an STI test. Again, while you might find it embarrassing, it’s really nothing to be ashamed about. Getting tested for STIs is responsible and shows respect for yourself and your sexual partners. And let’s be honest, any momentary embarrassment is better than living with an untreated STI. To find out more about STIs, how to prevent them and how to talk about them with a partner, check out Emjoy’s STI Basics collection.
- Review your contraception options – From male condoms, female condoms, the contraceptive pill, to IUDs, there are a dizzying array of birth control methods out there. And while some some protect you from STIs, others don’t. So educate yourself on the different types of birth control to choose the right one for you. And remember: No matter where you are on your sexual journey, it’s important to regularly assess how your birth control method is working for you. Maybe you started out on the hormonal pill and had no problems with it, but recently you’ve noticed you’re not tolerating it, or maybe before you were using condoms before, but now you’d prefer a more permanent method.
6. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is not only healthy, it’s hot. Setting boundaries before having sex let’s everyone relax because you both know what each person is comfortable with and what each person likes and wants. Of course, boundaries can change, and people can change their minds - so don’t think of this as signing a binding contract before you get it on. Think of it more like handing each other a roadmap to the Holy Orgasm Grail.
And remember that consent doesn’t just happen before you have sex. The definition of consensual sex is “enthusiastic” and “continual”. Phrases like “do you like this, or this?”, “do you want to keep going?” and “are you feeling good?” are all great.
And bear in mind that just because everyone seems to be doing something, doesn’t mean you have to. If your partner is constantly asking you for something you don’t particularly like, you don’t have to “give in”. If you don’t like anal sex, don’t do it. If you don’t want to have a threesome, don’t do it. Doing something just because you think it will make someone else happy or because you think you’re going to get something in return isn’t healthy. Sex is about everyone’s pleasure. It’s not about exchanging favors, if those favors make you uncomfortable.
7. Create a Sexual Bucket List
They say variety is the spice of life, and this is definitely true when it comes to sex. Sure, you might have a favorite position, or a certain activity you really like to do in bed, but if you do the same thing in the same way every time, chances are you’re going to get bored.
So how about creating a sexual bucket list, either with a partner or on your own and commit to ticking one thing off once a week or once a month? They don’t have to be huge things either. Some ideas include trying something new in foreplay, trying out a new sex position, exploring each other’s erogenous zones, experimenting with a new sex toy, trying out a new masturbation technique, having sex outside the bedroom, listening to an erotic story, getting kinky with some BDSM. The options really are endless!
So commit to trying something new and watch how it increases intimacy, and adds fun, excitement and novelty to your relationships and sex life!
8. Seek support when you need it
And now we’ve reached the last of our sex resolutions: seeking help. This can be difficult for many of us, but there often comes a point when we can’t advance without external help. So if you’re suffering from a persistent problem that doesn’t seem to be going away, it’s really important to seek help. This could be in the form of a healthcare professional, a therapist, a friend, family member or partner.
Resources like the Emjoy app can also help you with problems such as low libido, anorgasmia, low self-esteem, body shame and much more. Plus you can also get confidential advice from our in-house therapists in a way which is effective, discreet and cheaper than conventional therapy. Try it out with a 7-day free trial and start improving your sexual wellbeing today!