4 Sex Positive New Years Resolutions

Tired of the same new year’s resolutions? If you want to think outside the box for 2022, how about vowing to get to know your vulva or deciding to take better care of your sexual health?

We teamed up with Anna Hushlak from Ferly, an audio guide to mindful sex, to bring you four sex-positive new years resolutions to try in 2022.

Get Comfortable Talking About Sex

“There is so much misinformation, shame, and stigma around sex, that it can be hard to cut through the noise,” says Anna.

Talking about sex can feel awkward, but if you start opening up about what you want in the bedroom you might just get it! So how can you start having these conversations if you’re not used to them?

“Practice saying ‘yes, no, maybe’ in non-sexual environments,” Anna suggests, “say a friend invites you for coffee and you don’t feel up for it. The more comfortable you can be asserting yourself in ‘lower risk’ environments, the more confident you’ll feel stating your terms in ones that feel more exposed.”

Not sure what you like? Well, it’s never too late to learn! “There’s this concept of a ‘sex menu’ – which is basically a list of areas that get you hot – or not – and under which circumstances,” Anna says. “it also includes the things you might want to try, the things that are absolute nos, and everything in between.”

“This can be a great communication exercise to do for yourself – so you actually are aware of what your likes and dislikes are. You can also share with a partner as it makes communicating much more conversational! When it comes down to, talking about sex really doesn’t have to be that big of a thing,” she continues.

‘Talking about sex really doesn’t have to be that big of a thing.’

Revisit Your Sex Education

Do you feel like your sex education didn’t focus on the things you actually wanted to learn? From watching a video of a dog giving birth to a teacher fainting after describing a diaphragm, we’ve heard many sex education horror stories.

“A lot of Sex Ed takes a ‘fear-based’ approach to education and focuses on the ‘dont’s’, i.e. don’t get pregnant, don’t get an STI, don’t have sex,” Anne says.

“It also tends to highlight menstruation and reproduction whilst leaving out topics like pleasure, intimacy, and communication. There is also little to no discussion of alternative relationship styles like non-monogamy or singledom and very little emphasis on LGTBQIA+ communities,” she continues.

We believe that you’re never really ‘done’ with sex education – you’re always learning new things as your life and body changes. “Sex Education treats our lives like they’re static,” says Anna, “it doesn’t take into account all the various ebbs and flows we go through and how that influences our relationship to sex.”

“Stress, anxiety, health, long-term relationships, breakups, pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, sexual violence, parenthood, menopause, loss – all of these can profoundly influence our libido,” she continues, “yet sex remains a topic we cover once and then never really come back to every again.”

If you don’t know where to start, you can always start with our educational #AskElla series, or have a quick click through the Sex Index . If audio learning more your thing, you can download our #MyMorningAfter podcast  and get your Sex Ed to go.

Get To Know Your Body

In the words of our Queen RuPaul, ‘if you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else?!’

RuPaul’s words are as true for sex as they are for life: many people are having sex with other people before they’ve got to grips with self pleasure.

“Sex starts with self. Getting comfortable with what you like, dislike, sometimes like – and under what context is critical, not only for pleasure, but also for tackling issues around boundary-setting and consent,” Anna says.

Orgasms are great, but focusing too much on the destination can mean we rush through the journey – which should be the best bit!

By focusing on getting off, we take away from experiences of intimacy, of anticipation, of being present in our bodies and we forget that it’s okay to slow down when and if we want to,

Female masturbation is still treated as taboo in our society, but it really shouldn’t be. The sexual confidence and self knowledge that comes from masturbation is great for when (or if) you are getting it on with someone else, but it is also a good way to relieve stress and bring yourself pleasure.

“Getting to know our bodies is critical if we want to tackle the pleasure gap and empower womxn to have sex that is pleasurable, confident and healthy,” says Anna.

Get clued up about contraception

No contraceptive method is 100% effective, so make sure you know what your options are if a baby isn’t on your 2020 wishlist.

One option is the intrauterine device (IUD). The IUD is a small T-shaped device made of plastic and copper that is inserted into your uterus. It is a long term contraceptive method which also works as an emergency contraceptive when inserted within five days of unprotected sex.

For more information about IUDs, read about the most effective contraceptive options.

You can also use methods like the birth control pill or condoms. These are both very effective, but sometimes accidents happen and you might miss a pill or the condom could split. If this happens, you can help prevent pregnancy with the morning after pill.

This works by delaying ovulation so no egg is released and the sperm has nothing to fuse with, from your healthcare provider, sexual health clinic, pharmacy or by ordering online.

ellaOne is the most effective* morning after pill and can help prevent unplanned pregnancy up-to five days after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Help us change the narrative around emergency contraception by sharing your own experience below.

Words: Sophia Moss

ellaOne® 30mg film-coated tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.

*Verify at https://www.ellaone.co.uk/verify/