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    Start the New Year off Right with a New Masturbation Routine

    Congratulations on making it to 2021! The start of any new year is full of resolutions, expectations, hopes, and dreams. Maybe you plan to finally Kondo your closets. Maybe you're committing to a body composition goal. Maybe you're determined to crush it in your professional life. In many ways, the self-imposed pressure is on to not only make the usual January positive transformations in our lives but also to not let 2020 get us down any longer.

     

    This is why for 2021, I recommend making a new masturbation routine one of your top New Year's resolutions.  Here's why, and now to get started.

    Why Make Masturbation Your New Year's Resolution?

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    In an ideal world, our solo sex lives would be as filled with joy, exploration, excitement, and pleasure as our partnered sex lives can be. But in reality, that doesn't always happen. Maybe you masturbate in order to, to paraphrase Samantha Irby, make your vagina sneeze so you can go about your day without taking off your shoes. Maybe you aren't comfortable with acknowledging that masturbation is important within committed relationship(s). Maybe 2020 took it out of you and you just aren't feeling super sexual right now. 

     

    Whatever the case, masturbation might not be your focus right now – which is exactly why it should be.

     

    Masturbation can be a great way to get present and (re)connect with your body. It releases a ton of chemicals in your body, like dopamine and oxytocin, which can help you self-regulate, feel good, and destress. It can also help you release any shame you have about your body, your sexual fantasies, and desires, or your sexual responses. And because you'll be overall more in touch with your body, you'll be better able to communicate what you like with a partner around if you have one, too. 

    So How Do You Build A Better Solo Sex Life?

    Put it in your calendar. Like with partnered sex, sometimes solo sex can't happen unless you carve out time to make it happen. If you're balancing any number of stressors, like work, family, and a global pandemic, putting masturbation on your (personal) calendar can be a way to commit to taking it as seriously and making it as much a part of your routine as you would therapy or Yoga with Adriene. Sitting there thinking that you'd love to do this but you don't have even five minutes to yourself throughout the day? This could be the perfect excuse to start making time for yourself. No, seriously, you do not even have five minutes for this? Okay. You might find it efficient to combine masturbation and your shower, masturbation and your morning coffee, or masturbation and falling asleep instead. If you're still recoiling at the very thought, it's worth sitting with that feeling and examining why making your pleasure a priority is so challenging for you.

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    Try a new sex toy or two. Getting a new vibrator, butt plug, or other sex toy can be a good way to incentivize yourself to explore. Worried that getting down with a vibrator will make you unable to come without one? First of all, there's nothing wrong with not being able to orgasm without a vibrator. Second of all, you don't have to use one if you don't want to. And third of all, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that: "Vibrator use was significantly related to several aspects of sexual function (i.e., desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain, overall function) with recent vibrator users scoring higher on most sexual function domains, indicating more positive sexual function." Plus, most women in the study did not report "genital symptoms" associated with using a vibrator. In other words? Go wild. 

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    Try a 30-day masturbation challenge. I get it: it can be intimidating to make a commitment that can last the rest of your life. Make it easier to get started with a 30-day masturbation challenge, where you commit to masturbating for 10 (or more) minutes a day for 30 days in a row. Put it in your calendar, wash your hands, and start to explore. 

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    Whether you own 50 sex toys or zero, try to do something different each time. Used to making specific circles clockwise in one spot with your dominant hand? What does it feel like if you go diagonally instead, or counter-clockwise, or use your other hand? What about horizontally? What about vertically? You can take this as an opportunity to try out a butt plug for the first time, and I strongly encourage you to do so. But you can also take it as an opportunity to go deep on getting in touch with the types of masturbation with which you're already familiar and to try new things within and outside of your comfort zone. Your oyster is your oyster.