DEAR LEVEL

Naughty New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Sex Life in 2021

Let’s get this out of the way: New Year’s resolutions suck. They’re usually a setup for failure — it takes more than a new calendar for a complete lifestyle change-up. (Save for the 8% of you motivated ones out there, who are probably overachievers anyway.)

For as long as I can remember, my resolutions have been the same: eat better and work out. I’m the one you see in the gym on January 1, going hard on the treadmill, protein shake in hand. Just don’t count on spotting me within 100 feet of any workout equipment once February hits. I’ll start the year strong with homemade smoothies and an expensive meal plan service, but by Valentine’s Day I’m back to takeout.

So instead of agonizing over 10 pounds you don’t really need to lose, let’s return to normalcy by returning to intimacy.

These pledges are well intentioned, but the issue is that the practice isn’t really enjoyable — and the ultimate goal is so far in the future that you won’t get that positive feedback immediately. In other words, it takes some real discipline to stick to an ambitious goal. Given that, wouldn’t we be better off focusing on something that will improve our lives instantly, and is actually fun? So let’s make New Year’s resolutions sexy in 2021.

The way we approached sex during this pandemic took a lot of us back to our earliest fumbling attempts to make magic happen. Is this the right moment? Is this safe? Am I too exhausted? Does my partner want to? Should we just put on some masks and go to a restaurant that’s serving at 25% occupancy?

Change is coming in 2021, but even before the world starts to open again, we’ve got plenty of time to overhaul our shutdown sex lives. So instead of agonizing over 10 pounds you don’t really need to lose, let’s return to normalcy by returning to intimacy.

Let’s talk about sex!

Try this on a night where you know you and your partner will not have sex, but you’re both in bed, ready to drift off to sleep. Without making it an elaborate thing, tell your partner what you’d like to do the next time. Keep it simple but raunchy. Whatever you say should make your partner excited about the next go-round. No need to reinvent the wheel; just describe that thing you do that your partner loves. The point is to let your partner know you think about pleasuring them even when you’re not necessarily about to have sex.

Get some ideas — and try them out

I told you months ago: Your partner probably watches porn and knows that you do, too, so y’all should try watching together. Let’s take it up another level for 2021. Take notes, share, and put some new stuff in action. Why settle for watching when you can set up a camera and yell “action?” (Just remember to leave this job to the old-school cameras — once it goes to the cloud, there’s no telling where it could end up!)

Try something for the first time

Ask your partner, straight up: Is there anything missing in your sex life together? They might not open up immediately, but it can be an ongoing conversation. Resolve to listen and offer suggestions. And hey, maybe it’s worth trying something to which you might’ve been closed off previously. You’re probably going to have to stock up on grub for another pandemic shutdown, maybe it’s time to let your partner eat the booty like groceries!

Put on your own postgame show

A friend of mine told me about how he and his partner regularly do postmortems after sex. Sometimes it’s right after, sometimes a day or two later while cooking dinner or doing some other mundane task — either way, they’ll discuss how the previous sex session went down. Maybe there was a position that was unusually awesome… or a move that didn’t quite work. I thought it was odd at first, but I tried it with my beau and it was informative — and fun.

After surviving 2020, let’s be intentional about living our best lives — especially in the bedroom. Best part is, you don’t even need to wait for the ball to drop to start making fireworks of your own.

Aliya S. King is an author, freelance writer and editor.

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