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Some people, at the end of the calendar year, find it useful to take stock of what the previous year has meant for them. Did they accomplish the goals they set out to accomplish the previous year? To what extent did they follow through on their New Year resolutions, if they made any? Were they successful at their job, in their home life, or in their relationship? By taking a look at the year behind them, they can reflect on how to make the year ahead of them that much better.
As a sexuality researcher, educator, and author, I often find it helpful to encourage women and men to take stock of their sexual lives. As New Year’s approaches, set aside time to consider the following:
1) How would you describe your sex life lately, whether it’s private or shared with another person?
2) What changes would you like to see in your sex life during 2010?
3) What two things can you do this year to make these changes happen?
4) What parts of your body help you to feel sexy?
5) What parts of your body would you like to learn to feel good about during 2010?
6) What can you do, during 2010, to learn to love this part (or these parts, plural) of your body?
7) What’s one lesson you learned about sex in 2009 that you will carry with you for 2010?
What’s one lesson you learned about love in 2009 that will make 2010 better?
9) What were your top three sex moments of 2009? What made each of them great?
10) What was a sex “low point” for you in 2009? What made it feel not-so-great or bad?
11) To what extent is the emotional side of your romantic/sex life personally meaningful to you?
12) What changes can you make to have a more emotionally rich romantic/sex life in 2010?
13) What were the best parts of your romantic/sex life in 2009?
14) What can you do to keep these parts of your romantic/sex life going strong in 2010?
Every year – and actually, every moment – we get the chance to start anew, to hold tight to things or people or ways of expressing ourselves that work for us and to changes the things that work against us. As you take stock of your sex life and look forward to 2010, I wish you only the best in making your sex life work for you in ways that matter and make you feel proud, excited, loved, loving, pleasantly vulnerable, satisfied, or happy.
Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH is a sex researcher and educator at Indiana University, the sex columnist at Time Out Chicago and author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.