Redbook
Jan 2005

12 Resolutions For An Incredible Sex Life
We show you how to get in touch with your sexier (and happier!) self so you can have passionate, mind blowing sex everyday of the year.

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, “Get a better sex life” probably falls way down on the list, after “Lose weight,” “Exercise more,” and . “Eat leady greens.” But the truth is, sex is healthy, too—for you and for your marriage. (Plus, working on it is a lot more enjoyable than counting calories.) So this January, take charge of your sex life by following these fun resolutions—we guarantee they’ll lead to exciting and satisfying trysts, and take your sex life to a whole new level.

COMMIT TO STAYING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR SENSUAL SIDE.

You may barely remember those early days in your romance when you actually spent time picking out your bedwear, but chances are your dresser was filled with things a heck of a lot sexier than ratty t-shirts and flannel pj’s. “Women need more preparation for lovemaking than men do, and part of that is making yourself feel beautiful,” says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., a clinical sexologist and author of The Idiot’s Guide to Oral Sex. “You’re more likely to be interested in sex and initiate it if you’re wearing something sexy.” So hit the lingerie store—and while you’re at it, pick up some perfumed body oil, silk sheets, or a few scented candles. (Go for licorice or cucumber scents; research shows both increase arousal in women.. “Keeping all your senses stimulated all the time makes you more willing and able to really experience the complete pleasure of sex,” says Cadell.

GET YOURSELF SOME (OR SOME MORE!) GROWN-UP TOYS.

Experts say that variety, novelty, and fun are all keys to keeping sex hot. A good sex toy provides all of the above, and can help you and your husband live out your sexual fantasies. There’s a wide range of products to choose from, so start with what you’re comfortable with. For beginners, vibrators that don’t look phallic, such as the Pocket Rocket, tend to be less intimidating. If you already own the basics and are ready for more advanced toys, try a vibrator that stimulates both your clitoris and your G spot. Or get something that’s make for both of you, such as the Jelly Tool Belt—a dual penis ring that has a vibrator in it to stimulate you. If you’re not sure how to bring up the idea of experimenting, here are two ways: (1) Surprise your husband with some edible massage lotion (the Pure Romance line is a good choice) to spur a conversation—say, “Do you like this?” (2) Make shopping a task you do together at a store, with a catalog, or online. Some good, discreet websites are Adameve.com, Mypleasure.com, and Babeland.com.

VOW TO SPEAK UP IF SOMETHING IS NOT WORKING FOR YOU.

We’ve all been there: You let your guy do something he thinks is an incredible turn-on, and all the while you’re lying there wondering when he’ll be finished. Women often do this—or even fake pleasure—because they’re either too embarrassed to speak up or afraid to criticize their partner. But if he keeps doing the wrong thing, you’ll be left dissatisfied again and again. Next time, clue him in—gently. Cadell advises that instead of saying, “You never do X” or “I don’t like it when you do Y”—which come off as negative—try, “I like it when you gently massage my breasts instead of squeezing them.” This way he won’t feel rejected, and you’ll get the caressing you crave.

BREAK OUT OF YOUR ROUTINE.

Every couple has a tried-and-true method for getting in the mood. But let’s be honest—the same old thing can get a bit boring. So mix things up. Even small tweaks can increase the passion in your marriage. Have sex in a different room of the house, make out in the car, take a bath together, spend more than five minutes on foreplay, or “exchange three wishes that you want in bed,” suggests Cadell. “That way you’re playing a game—and a give-give scenario is always a success.”

Another tactic: Do things that you and your husband did together in the days before you had children. Shared experiences—such as dancing, going to the gym together, or taking a romantic stroll—help you two connect emotionally and see each other as more than simply Mom and Dad.