During the entire month of January, it’s inevitable that we’ll hear some sort of discussion about New Year’s resolutions. Often you’ll hear people talk about how they want to start going to the gym consistently, developing better study skills in school, or quitting a bad habit. While all of these things are wonderful, let’s not forget about the importance of affirmations within our sex lives as well, especially as it pertains to keeping things spicy in the bedroom. Due to the fact that only 8% of people successfully fulfill their New Year’s resolutions, you may be wondering whether your steamy goals for your sex life are even attainable. Well, having goals to spice up your sex life is absolutely attainable and here’s why it matters to do so in the first place.
Simply put, there comes in a time in any relationship, regardless of how happy you both are, that interest in sex starts to decline — whether it’s hormonal, stress-related, or you’ve just been with the same partner for so many years that nothing feels like it once was during the honeymoon stage. But, there is a phenomenon that explains why sexual novelty helps even when things get monotonous.
Known as the “Coolidge Effect,” this biological explanation suggests that the possibility of a new sexual relationship with a new or different partner increases our dopamine levels and makes our excitement stronger. Popular research has studied how this phenomenon might influence more practical circumstances regarding sexual novelty.
For example, in one study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, male participants were either exposed to the same sexual content or varied sexual context, like erotic films with different actors and new plots. During the study, the male participants’ level of sexual arousal was measured by a device that records changes in their girth; and what the researchers found is that the men who were repeatedly shown the same sexual content showed less arousal over time whereas the men who were exposed to a wider variety of sexual content became more aroused with time.
The same can apparently be said for women as well, to a slightly lesser degree. Research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior also found that, just like men, they got used to seeing the same sexual content and their arousal decreased in time. What this tells us is that the Coolidge Effect isn’t strictly a male thing and that all of our brains crave something new every once and a while.
Moral of the story: keep the spark in your sex life alive by breaking from your usual routine. Now that you know the scientific aspect of it, here are 3 tips to meeting your novelty-filled sex goals for 2023:
The bed is, undoubtedly, the most frequent place where people have sex. It’s comfy, spacious, and warm enough to fall asleep peacefully afterwards. Similarly to the go-to location, missionary is undoubtedly the most common position for the same reasons: comfort and intimacy. If you want to break the cycle of your usual routine, challenge yourself to do it in a new location and one new position every week.
One person can plan the outing while keeping it a secret and only revealing at first what their partner should wear and what time to meet. This will leave a sense of suspense and intrigue because not only will your partner be looking forward to the unknown, but your deliberate planning skills will certainly earn somepoints with them moving forward. It’ll also give both of you a chance to potentially push your comfort zones.
Think about what you really want and go for it
Ultimately, sexual needs can change over time and it’s important to assess your newest interests and desires. It’s easy to say you want a change, but that change is only worth while if you have a good idea of what you want. Take some time to brainstorm ideas on your own. If you need inspiration, fill out a “yes/no/maybe” list (also known as a Sexual Inventory Checklist). Needless to say, there are endless possibilities when it comes to spicing up your sex life, so make 2023 your year of sexual novelty!