Let’s be real: 2017 has been a rough year for many people, and your sex life may have felt the impacts as much as your psyche.
If your sex life has been flagging as of late, I don’t blame you! But there's a difference between knowing you have to make a change, and knowing exactly what changes to make or how to make them.
If you want to get 2018 off to a better start, here are seven ideas to spice up your sex life in the new year.
Don’t get me wrong—intercourse is an awful lot of fun. But many of us get into ruts (especially in relationships) where we just have intercourse, and forget about all of the other sexy things that you can do with another naked person. Mutual masturbation (more on this below), hand jobs, oral sex, anal play, and toy play can all be just as fun.
So: Bust out of your rut and challenge yourself to be more creative by banning intercourse for a set period of time. Try the entire month of January. Approach it this way: During that time, you can do anything except for have intercourse. Alternatively, you can do a variation of this challenge and allow yourselves to have intercourse, but not orgasm from it. If you want to have an orgasm, you have to do it in a different way.
Mutual masturbation is one of the most underrated sexual activities. If you’ve never tried it before, the name is pretty self-explanatory: You and your partner both masturbate at the same time. You can also take turns watching each other.
It’s extremely hot to watch another person pleasure themselves. You can also learn a lot about what your partner likes. Where do they touch themselves? What techniques do they use? How much speed and pressure do they use? Likewise, they can check out your technique. You’ll both learn how to pleasure each other better, while still enjoying the thrill of watching each other do something you normally only ever do in private.
Anal play became a whole lot less taboo in 2017. More and more heterosexual men allowed themselves to experiment with the joys of the butt. If you haven’t jumped on the anal train, make 2018 your year.
Anal play feels incredible. You have nerve endings in your rectum and around your anus, so there’s just no getting around the fact that it feels good. It’s also much cleaner than most people realize. As long as you take a shower beforehand or use a baby wipe, you’ll be good to go. And this should go without saying, but exploring anal play doesn’t say anything about your sexual orientation.
If you’re shy, start by having your partner press a lubed-up fingertip against the edge of your anus while they give you a hand job or blow job. They don’t even need to push their finger inside; just a tiny bit of pressure can feel fantastic. Once you get more comfortable, deeper penetration with a single finger can feel incredible. You can also explore prostate stimulation, which your partner can access by stimulating the front wall of your rectum. Another option is to check out anal toys, like LELO’s line specifically made for men. There’s the Loki, Hugo, and Bruno.
It’s time to clear out your bedside table and invest in better sex accoutrements. Here are some ideas:
- A bottle of high-quality lube is a must-have. I like Pjur Original silicone-based lube, and Wicked Aqua water-based lube. It’s nice to have both options on hand.
- A penis ring, like the JeJoue Mio. This ring helps you last longer in bed, and also gives female partners some all-too-important clitoral stimulation.
- A wedge pillow to give you more options for sex positions, like the classic Liberator wedge.
- Some basic bondage gear, like a blindfold, a light whip (like the LELO Sensua Suede Whip), and a pair of restraints.
- High-quality sheets. Check out options from Brooklinen or Parachute.
- Better bedroom lighting. The Philips Hue lightbulbs are nice because they allow you to control both the intensity and the color of the light. Candles also create a beautiful glow.
If you’re in a long-term relationship, you’re probably all too familiar with how easy it is for your sex life to fall into a rut. Many of the couples in my sex therapy practice complain about how infrequently they have sex.
One suggestion I’ve been making a lot more lately is to experiment with scheduling sex. I know a lot of people think of scheduled sex as a buzzkill, but it can actually be quite sexy if done right. Having a date on the calendar gives you something to look forward to, and you can prepare for it in the same way you may have prepared for your dates together when you first started dating. Take turns planning special sex dates for each other. Try experimenting with scheduled sex for about two months.
Another idea for couples in relationships is to try assigning different challenges for each month of 2018. I mentioned the idea of banning intercourse earlier; January could be your no-intercourse month. Maybe February could be your roleplaying month. March could be talking dirty. April could be experimenting with sex toys. It gives you something to look forward to, and keeps things fresh.
Obviously I’m a little biased because I’m a sex therapist myself, but I think everyone can benefit from sex therapy. You don’t have to have a problem in your sex life to do sex therapy. In fact, sex therapy can be way more effective and way more fun if you go when you don’t currently have a problem. You can get new ideas for things to try in the bedroom, and get help learning how to communicate those ideas to your partner. And if you're suffering from some sort of sex-related problem like performance anxiety, sex therapy can help ensure that 2018 is the last year you have to deal with these issues.