Great relationships don’t happen by magic.  People who enjoy a vibrant, loving life with their partner put effort into making their relationship work.  Yes–they work at their sex life, too!  Based on my experience as a sex therapist, here are seven resolutions that can help you enjoy a better sex life next year.

  1. Be more affectionate.  Both men and women have expressed to me a wish that their partner was more affectionate.  Kisses and hugs to say hello and good-bye, cuddling up on the sofa to watch TV, or holding hands while on a walk are so easy to do, and mean so much.  Be generous with loving touch and watch your partner glow.  There’s even some research that suggests cuddling increases testosterone.
  2. Look for opportunities to have sex.  Some people seem to look for opportunities to turn sex down.  Instead, be on the alert for windows of time when you will have some time and privacy for love-making.
  3. Get in sync.  There is something to be said for having similar rhythms in your lives.  Go to bed and wake up together.  Share meals.  Exercise at the same time.  You’ll be more in tune with each others needs, wants, and moods–and you’ll feel more intimate.
  4. Try new things.  Both in and out of the bedroom.  In the bedroom, try new toys, new lube, new positions, new erotica, new role plays, new music, new fragrance, new bedding.  Doing new things in the bedroom shows sexual interest and rouses the brain.  Doing new things out of the bedroom–cooking a new recipe together, visiting a new part of town–also perks up the brain and makes the prospect of sex more fun.
  5. Exercise.  Eat Right.  Get sleep.  You’d better believe that your overall health has an effect on your sexual health.  If you’re “too tired for sex,” maybe it means you need to do something to increase your energy.  Get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise, eat a heart healthy diet, and aim for 8 hours of sleep every night and watch your drive swing into gear.
  6. Put your relationship first.  Your job isn’t going to bring you a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick.  Your kids are going to grow up and move on.  In the end, it’s the person who loves you who will be there when you need support.  Examine your work hours–are they intruding into the rest of your life?  The kids–are you living for them?  When you make decisions about how you will spend your time and your emotional energy, put your lover first, and everything else will fall into place.
  7. Listen.  I think we all spend more time thinking about what we want to say and not enough time listening.  When your partner gives you feedback, don’t get defensive.  Listen and reflect, then respond.  You might learn something about yourself and your partner.  This goes for feedback about sex.  If your partner says they feel hurt or rejected, don’t come up with reasons that they shouldn’t.  Listen, and examine yourself.  Is there any truth at all in what’s been said?  If so, problem solve.  Make a plan with your partner to make things better next year.

Follow these suggestions and you, too, can have a more fulfilling intimate relationship.  Happy New Year!