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Guest Article

My New Year's Sexolutions

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Sexolutions Image My editor at asked me to list my three New Year's Sexual Resolutions. At first I protested that I didn't have any, and thought it a rather odd request. As I thought about it though, I began to see what a brilliant idea it was. Making resolutions about my sexuality and sex life could force me to confront what I like about my sexuality and what I don't, and strategize ways to get what I want. The idea that our sexuality is fixed and unchanging isn't true, at least not in my experience. My goals for sex, my fantasy life, and my sexual needs are constantly changing.

Making this list also forced me to think over what I've learned about my own sexuality in this past year, and figure out what I'm looking for in the future. So here I present my New Year's Sexolutions, and encourage you to look inside yourself and create your own.

1. Try something new sexually that I've never done

This year I tried many sexual acts, some I'd wanted to do for a while and some that happened unexpectedly. Discovering new ways of being sexual has been not only fun, but enlightening. What did I try? Let's see...I rimmed someone, fisted someone and was fisted by that same person, went to a strip club, got a lap dance, and took my SM experiences to a new level. These were all powerful experiences that expanded my sexual self-knowledge. In some ways, I felt like I was discovering sex all over again -- truly a delightful feeling.

Some of these I want to try again; some I don't, but now I know what they're like. I've broadened my sexual repertoire, and I want to broaden it more. There are lots of other things I want to seek out in order to find out whether they turn me on or are better left for my fantasy life. I want to actively go after these new sexual challenges rather than just waiting for them to somehow magically happen. For me, trying new sexual acts isn't about gaining sexual brownie points, but about learning about myself, my body, and my desires, and expanding my way of looking at the world and sexuality.

2. Not sleep with people who I know are bad for me

At one time in my life, if someone was interested in me, I made myself become interested in them. I slept with people less out of full-fledged sexual desire than from other, needier feelings. I thought that's how it worked, and was in truth grateful for their attention. As I've matured, I've learned to sort out sexual desire from other needs, but old habits die hard. Sometimes I find myself fucking someone just out of loneliness, or to be nice, or for some amorphous reason. I'm always left sad and unsatisfied. There's something missing for me when I sleep with someone I don't totally feel comfortable with or who I know is bad for me on some level.

In college, one of the socialist groups on campus (at UC Berkeley, there were more than one!) would try to recruit women to work on reproductive freedom issues with bold fluorescent stickers saying "I Fuck to Come, Not To Conceive." The phrase caught my attention and has stayed with me ever since, although my own philosophy has changed over time. I don't have sex just for an orgasm, because I can do that myself with a vibrator quickly and powerfully. My reasons for sleeping with someone are more complicated, and while they certainly involve physical gratification, I need more than that. When that's all there is, especially if I have qualms about the person for other reasons, I can't fully enjoy it. Whether they're an ex or someone I am not all that attracted to, or whether I'm truly "not in the mood" for whatever reason, the choice to say no to sex is just as valid as the choice to say yes. But sometimes I forget that, figuring that it's easier to just do it and deal with the consequences later. I want to break that habit and only have sex with people when I'm fully engaged and truly want to be there. This way, I'm not only doing myself a favor, but also being kind and sensitive to my partners.

3. Be bolder in approaching new (potential) sex partners

Just as I've learned in other areas that asking rather than making assumptions is usually the best policy, one of the lessons I learned this year is that it pays to work up the courage to ask if someone is interested. There's no way to know unless you ask. Even flirting or sending subtle signals might lead to confusion and miscommunication. There are polite ways of asking if someone's interested in you and wants to get it on, and part of being mature is to be able to ask and to accept whatever answer the respondent gives.

A perfect example: I was at a sex party in San Francisco (I live in New York) earlier this year, and found myself talking to this totally hot woman. She recognized me from a club I'd been at earlier in the week, and we were talking on and off during the party. To me, it was totally obvious that I was deeply infatuated with her, complimenting her on her outfit and pretty much ignoring my date for the evening to talk to her. My date even told me that I could ask her to play, but I wasn't sure. I stood there with the words on the tip of my tongue for almost an hour before we finally ended up leaving. During the night, I'd given her my card. About a week later she e-mailed me saying she'd be in town soon and we made a date. In some ways, it worked out better because we were able to get to know each other a bit better and talk about our play preferences before getting together. But if she hadn't been heading east to visit, our opportunity would've been lost -- all because both of us were too uncertain to speak up. I was floored to find out that she'd wanted to ask me to play all night too, but wasn't sure what my response would be. Even though I thought it was clear as day that I was interested in her, for her, it wasn't. Next year I want to be more forthright about my affections and cut down on the drama and uncertainty of wondering fruitlessly whether someone's into me.

©2002 by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Reader Comments

Rachel Kramer Bussel lives in New York City. She writes the Lusty Lady column at Check This Out!, the Tight Spots column at, and Rachel's Kiss and Tell, an erotic gossip column at Erotica Readers & Writers Association. She is an Editorial Assistant at On Our Backs, Reviews Editor at Venus or Vixen?, and a Contributing Editor here at Clean Sheets. Her writing has been published in The San Francisco Chronicle, Curve,,, BUST, Hip Mama, Rockrgrl, and the anthologies; Starf*cker, Best Lesbian Erotica 2001, Faster Pussycats, Hot & Bothered 3, Tough Girls, and Best Bisexual Erotica volume 2. She is co-author of the forthcoming Erotic Writer's Market Guide (Circlet, 2002) and Reviser of the forthcoming Lesbian Sex Book (Alyson, 2002). Visit her Website





Clean Sheets staff make their New Year's sex resolutions!

I resolve to take my toys out of their toybox more often.

I resolve to always keep the condom box well-stocked.

Make love under the stars.

To write at least one true thing before year end.

I resolve to finally fix the bed so that the relentless squeak stops distracting me and waking up the neighbor. Or to simply have sex outside of bed more often!

I resolve to be good to my body and my mind, so that I always feel healthy and sexy and strong.

To strive to ask for 100% of what I want 100% of the time, to be prepared to hear "No," and to be willing to negotiate happily.

Spend at least one hour each day French-kissing.

I resolve to wake my partner up (at least once) before work for a quickie -- I am definitely not a morning person, but I think that morning sex might be able to change that!

Drink more red wine and eat more dark chocolate -- with my partner.

To share one more private place that I think is only mine.

I resolve to make my first year of married sex as fun, exciting, and stimulating as all my years of unmarried sex!

To beat my all-time record of six (non-ejaculatory) orgasms in an hour -- without dying.

Pick one stranger to fantasize about on the train every morning.

I resolve to commit myself to loving my body with all the passion and intensity that my partner feels.

To be truly humble about my thirteen-and-a-half inches (that's just circumference, of course).

To learn one more small thing until I have it just right.

Whisper dirty things in his ear when he's reading.

To summon the courage to ask Susannah Indigo why she's blue.

Make a point of telling my friends how sexy they're looking.

To listen at least once when I desperately want to ignore.

Find out just how sturdy that old porch swing really is.

To continue to be meticulous about safer sex, and to be infinitely patient with myself and my lovers in moving into less-constrained safe-sex territory.

Tell a former lover in detail how wonderful he/she was at making love.

To get better and wiser and even more enchanted with the realities of being deeply in love with more than one person.

To lust after the one I love when they least expect it.

I resolve to make my yearly gyno exam an actual yearly event.

To make a noise!

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