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New Year’s Sexual Resolutions

Making the new year count

Feel free to make 2022 about getting to the gym, eating healthy, picking your battles or whatever brings you joy. I support you in your endeavors.  But this here is a sexuality column so we’re going to chat about ways you can resolve to improve your relationship with your lovers and partners and — more importantly — yourself.

  1. Prioritize pleasure

Don’t stress about how often you’re getting it on, or whether you’re keeping up with the Joneses on erections, squirting, g-spot orgasms or whatever. Focus on doing things that feel good to you. Ask for touch in the way that you like it, switch things up if what you’re doing is boring or uncomfortable.

Instead of approaching sexual situations as a time to perform your skills or to hurry up and get off, use exploratory touch. Rather than sticking with tried-and-true methods, examine your partner’s body like it’s the first time and see what types of sensation and what locations provide unexpected pleasure.  There are many highly sensitive bits of terrain that often go unexplored.

Same goes for your own body. Set aside time to seduce yourself. Create situations that feel decadent and sexy to you, even if — no, especially if — you’re by yourself. Does the ritual of taking a steamy shower, shaving, and moisturizing feel like a sensual indulgence? How about laying down with your favorite toy in freshly washed sheets, with dimmed lights and a saucy soundtrack? Invest in quality sex toys and accoutrements that set the mood. If you make time for these kinds of lavish solo experiences, you might find you stop settling for mediocre bangs.

Set aside time to seduce yourself. Create situations that feel decadent and sexy to you, even if — no, especially if — you’re by yourself.

  1. Make time for sexual health

Navigating healthcare in America can be a dystopian hellscape, that is true. But in this new year we’re doing our best to keep this vehicle in good working order. Anything that improves your overall health is going to be beneficial to your sexual bits, so yeah that whole getting lots of movement, eating nourishing foods, staying hydrated, and slowing down on the poisons is probably a good idea.

We’re also gonna do our regular health checks, like making time for breast and testicular self-exams, as well as STI screening and annual PAP smears. You probably need to ask for a full panel of STI testing because most doctors don’t assume you want that. Best case scenario: they find nothing of concern. But another really good scenario is they find out and you can get treatment.

In terms of healthier sexual behaviors: nothing is without risk. What we can do is minimize the danger, incrementally moving towards behaviors that keep us safer. Advocate for yourself by asking your partners to get tested for STIs. Use condoms and dental dams, especially if you’re not absolutely certain of your STI status. If anyone pushes back on your requests and doesn’t respect your concerns, go back to resolution 1 about being your own best lover and not settling for these trifling, bad lays.

  1. Figure out birth control

If the kind of sex you’re having could lead to pregnancy, let’s stop playing around with methods that aren’t totally effective and stop settling for contraceptives that make us feel bad. What works flawlessly for one person may cause awful side effects or be wildly unrealistic for another person, so let’s figure out what birth control makes sense for your body and your life.

Since 2018, there have been major advances in fetus-preventing technology, and not all of the new methods are well known, so do some reading and chat with your doctor. Make it easy to keep your supply filled by having prescriptions mailed directly to you.

  1. Find and state your boundaries

Before a hookup, explicitly state what you’re down for and what is not on the table. Say out loud how you will communicate if you’re not digging something and want to move on. If there are areas of your body that are not up for grabs today or sex acts that are off the menu — and conversely — things you really want: say it from the jump.

This not only gives direction to your partner on how to please you but also prevents awkward and icky moments of someone acquiescing to things they don’t really want to do because y’all didn’t explicitly discuss it. Normalizing these kinds of conversations is great because a lot of us don’t take the time to ask ourselves what we want, much less to make it known.

Nothing is without risk. What we can do is minimize the danger, incrementally moving towards behaviors that keep us safer.

Despite the protestations of people who are probably not that great in bed, asking before doing something sexual can be sexy as hell. Confidently asking, “can I touch you there?” or “can I taste you?” is generally well received. Anyone who disregards your stated boundaries can be yeeted into the sun.

As always, refer back to resolution 1 about being your own best lover, your most reliably high-quality fuck. Because when you know that you have everything you need to please yourself, you won’t settle for fake orgasms, unpleasant touch, or disrespectful dorks.

Have a question for Dr. Timaree? Send an email to asktimaree@philadelphiaweekly.com.

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    • Timaree Schmit Headshot

      Timaree Schmit is basically an episode of Adam Ruins Everything, but in the shape of a person. She has a PhD in Human Sexuality Education and years of experience in community organizing, performance art, and finding the extra weird pockets of Philly.

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