7 Sexologist-Approved New Year’s Resolutions

Category: Advice

Author: Arielle Antwine

It’s a brand-new year, which means a chance not just to set resolutions for the 12 months to come but also to visualize and approach your goals with a refreshed perspective. These might just pay off!

1. Instead of: “I will have more (or better) casual sex.”

Try: I will pursue sensual and sexual experiences that fulfill me holistically by finding new lovers on a community-based dating/hookup app.

Why? Saying you’re going to have “more” or “better” sex deemed ‘casual’ is way too vague. Where is the plan? What are your qualifiers for “more/better sex”?

Sitting idly by, waiting for that hoe-phase to hit is not proactive enough. But online dating experiences can range from ‘alright’ to a living nightmare. That’s why you need to zero in on people who meet your qualifiers – enter community-based dating/hookup apps.

Community-based apps work with certain qualifiers of culture and lifestyle (such as kink, LGBTQ+ status, career, race, or religious background) to ensure that users of certain demographics are attracted to the app and will be more apt to engage. This clears the herd for you from the start instead of swiping endlessly.

Big Name dating apps are basic and flooded with faulty profiles due to zero quality control. Don’t waste your time.

I recommend clients use niche apps for a few reasons: a smaller pool of cuties, more precise filters to screen potential dates, and probable community crossover. Some community-based apps even have ways to ‘try before you buy’ within the interface; like video chatting or sending nudes, sorry, photos that disappear.

Whether you’re looking for a very specific kink, very specific people, or very specific interests, an app exists for you to find just that.

2. Instead of: “I will cum more often and with ease. More orgasms are the goal!”

Try: I will center pleasure in my physical intimacy. Orgasm is not a finish line or a goal line; it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Look, there are more dimensions to giving and receiving pleasure than just orgasming, making someone orgasm, or coming close.

The biggest sex organ is your brain! So use it. You truly would not be able to get turned on if it weren’t for that big sexy brain of yours secreting dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.

So get your imagination going with yourself or partners, and learn to enjoy every single stage of sex. Ease will come with understanding that sex is a journey, not a destination. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Instead of: “I will devote more time to foreplay.”

Try: I will stop saying “foreplay”.

You know you do it. Here’s my plea to stop.

When you think of ‘traditional’ foreplay, isn’t it just… sex? Or a sexual energy exchange? Things like sensual massage, oral, using sex toys, watching porn together, butt stuff, hand stuff, you get it.

Rather than integrating these affirming erotic acts throughout sex, we habitually shove them to the beginning of our experience, like a warm-up activity, and often don’t refer back to them in lulls. But for lots of folks, so-called ‘foreplay’ is the juiciest part! Sequestering this juicy stuff to the beginning of any sexual experience abbreviates the sex you’re having.

Why not just call it ‘play’? Treat the more affirming ‘play’ like a spice you can sprinkle into any sexual recipe; add a dash here and a handful there to make it special and unique for everyone taking part. It’s 2022. Let’s update our language to shift our mindset.

4. Instead of: “I will have more queer sexual experiences.”

Try: I will remain open to physical intimacy with anyone, and keep gender/gender roles out of the equation.

The queering of your sex life doesn’t lie in the pursuit of a certain type of person or experience. Rather, queerness lies in the muddying of gender or lack thereof, and questioning our perceived notions about a few things; what or whom we are attracted to, why we enjoy certain sex acts labelled ‘gay’, ‘straight’, or ‘queer’, and why we may find our current sexual identity affirming or disheartening.

My advice? Forget all of this bullshit and just give into a consensual sexy experience with another hot human, should you have the opportunity (or create one).

5. Instead of: “I will have ‘safer’ sex” or “I will be more proactive about my sexual health.”

Try: I will screen myself for STIs two weeks after every new partner, and initiate communication about my and my partner’s testing status regularly.

Why two weeks? Because every STI (sexually transmitted infection) has an incubation period, or the time it takes to display symptoms. It takes at least two weeks for STI antibodies to show up in your bloodstream, so testing for STI exposure before then may give you a false negative.

Most people wait until symptoms appear (or even until their annual check-up, if at all) to have STI screenings. Since the most common curable STIs – chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis – tend to be asymptomatic, you need to get tested after every new sexual partner.

Waiting for symptoms to appear is not enough. Some STIs, like HIV, can take anywhere from a few weeks to several years to display symptoms. In trichomoniasis, the most common curable STI, only 30 percent of people develop symptoms, so regular testing is important for early detection.

HSV-1 and HSV-2 (oral and genital herpes) are extremely common, yet symptoms show up in only a fraction of those who have it. According to the World Health Organization, only 10 to 20 percent of people who have HSV-2 (genital herpes) report receiving a diagnosis of genital herpes. This is likely due to the fact that unless herpes-specific symptoms are present at the time of screening, HSV-1 and HSV-2 are not included in a regular STI panel.

So theoretically, someone who has not been tested for STIs can transmit one or more STIs over weeks or years without ever having known. Get yourself STI-checked regularly (I suggest quarterly, if testing is affordable/accessible) and insist that new partners do so too, because safer sex (with a minimized STI risk) is the hottest sex.

Make talking about STI screenings part of your routine. I mean, we do it for COVID now, right? Why not have the same discretion with your genitals?

I suggest a monthly ‘check-in’ with partner(s) to talk about your sex life and relationship. Make it a cute date. Go to your favorite spot where you feel safe to speak openly about your relationship and sex/uality. Or meet on Zoom because life is life-ing.

A relationship check-in involves making sure all partners are on the same page. You might discuss how you feel about one another, good things everyone is doing in the relationship, points of improvement, or rehash conversations you’d shelved for a later time. This way, the topic of sex is eased into a larger conversation. Nuance is key.

First, create a safe and neutral container, then the conversation will flow. It doesn't work the other way around.

6. Instead of: “I will be sure to ask my partner if they have a condom/barrier method and use contraception/protection.”

Try: I will be prepared and carry (female) condoms or barrier methods with me. And bringing my own sex toy doesn’t hurt either.

Barrier methods and contraception should be discussed before any sexy time where there may be genital fluid exchanged. Have this talk early so that you know what to keep on-hand to ensure the comfort of yourself and your partner(s).

How do you start this awkward conversation? The best I’ve heard was when someone paused amid taking my clothes off to say, “I know this is the unsexy part of sex but... [Insert your STI status: I just got tested for STIs last month. What about you? I have an IUD. I prefer non-latex condoms with lots of lube, etc.”]. Short, sweet, and no one has to compromise peace of mind for pleasure.

You need to give people the autonomy to decide if and how they want to be intimate with you. And present a full and concise picture of what that looks like. If you do have anything to disclose, bear in mind that the experience may stop there, and that’s perfectly okay.

About comfort, I am pro BYOD: Bring Your Own Dildo. You should never share internal toys. Even if they’re ‘clean’ and have been ‘washed’ by the owner.

Why? ‘Clean’ is relative, and sex toys of certain qualities can beporous (which keeps viruses and bacteria on them, despite washing). Sharing toys can spread STIs such as herpes (through skin and saliva) and other germs you don’t need in your body. A great rule of queer sex is “sex toys are like toothbrushes – once it goes inside someone, it’s theirs”.

Does this mean others can’t touch or handle your toys at home? Absolutely not. We don’t want sterile sex! This just means that you or your partner(s) should be keeping dedicated toys for dedicated partners.

If you can’t stand the thought of geting another sex toy or delegating toys to partners, I suggest investing in toy sleeves, condoms, or good old plastic wrap. None of these are 100 percent effective at preventing contact-spread STIs, but sometimes you just gotta work with what’s lying around.

7. Instead of: “I will be more ethical about my porn consumption and spicy online content views.

Try: I will pay for all of my porn. I will pay for ALL of my PORN. I WILL PAY FOR ALL OF MY PORN.

Why pay for your porn? Paying for your online porn (whether it’s tipping on OnlyFans or a subscription to Lustery) is the first step towards ensuring your porn is ‘ethical’. Point-blank. If you’re not paying for what you’re consuming, you can’t call yourself a conscious consumer of pornography.

The next step is to ensure that the porn you watch is ‘ethically sourced’, meaning it’s produced respectfully and shared on a platform with all performers’/participants’ consent (a big FUCK YOU to ‘revenge porn’). Better yet is also knowing that it pays everyone involved a fair wage.

The small act of pursuing well-made, usually indie, online porn or ‘adult’ content keeps engagement away from huge tube sites that provide ‘free’ porn – most of it actually stolen/pirated from smaller adult media platforms.

Break the cycle of passively engaging in BigPorn’s monopolization of the adult film industry since the 2010s. Make 2022 the year you start paying for your porn like a goddamn adult!

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