1. Get tested.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Philadelphia's STI rates have increased every year since 2007.
Reported new cases of chlamydia increased in 2011 to 34,799, gonorrhea topped at 10,123, and syphilis cropped up to 302. In an article published in September of 2012, CNN reported in, "Philadelphia, more than 19,000 residents have HIV." Nationwide, 1.2 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, and at least 21% of the population is unaware of their positive status.
In 2013, getting tested is easier than ever. No more painful swabbing for guys, chlamydia and gonorrhea can be tested from a urine sample. Want to know your HIV status but are scared of pricks? Have your sample collected by a cheek swab. HIV/AIDS awareness organizations such as Philadelphia FIGHT offer free HIV testing at their 1233 Locust St. location. For those of you wanting to make getting tested a fun and social event, stop by Woody's every Wednesday night between 8pm and 1am for free admission, a free HIV test, a free slice of pizza from 13th Street Pizza, and a chance to win great raffle prizes.
2. Explore sexual fantasies.
From threesomes to role-play, from sex in public places to strap-ons, exploring fantasies is an exciting way to increase sexual satisfaction for you and your partner.
Michael Anderson, PhD, in a research study exploring the communication of sexual fantasies in romantic relationships, found, “individuals who have acted out their sexual fantasies, and/or those that are more willing to discuss their sexual fantasies, have higher sexual satisfaction.”
Explore your sexual fantasies with or without a partner. Simply make a list of all the fun, freaky, naughty or nice fantasies you've acted out, researched, or imagined.
Single? Make your list and keep adding! Vow to share your fantasy list with your next partner and invite him/her to do the same!
Coupled up? Create an environment of comfort in sharing to decrease anxiety or embarrassment. Each partner should write each fantasy on a single slip of paper, combine slips in a bowl and take turns pulling from the bowl. Read the fantasy from the slip of paper to your partner and discuss how you might make that fantasy come alive!
3. Buy a new sex toy or stimulation product.
Whether you're taking time for yourself or enhancing intimacy and pleasure with a partner, the addition of a sex toy or stimulation products (oils, lubrications, pornography, lingerie) can increase your satisfaction. Sex toys and stimulation products not only enhance your sexual experience, but also engage you and/or your partner in the discovery of new physical and mental pleasure centers.
For the best in sex toys for 2013, check out this article on Examiner.
Locate your best toy or stimulation product, including professional service and education, at The Velvet Lilly in Northern Liberties or The Pleasure Chest at 2039 Walnut Street.
4. Learn a new technique or sex position.
Along with the addition of a new sex toy or stimulation product, a new technique or sex position will have you or your partner eager for a satisfying sex year to come.
Try out these sex positions.
Just as all fingerprints are unique, so are human bodies when it comes to sex and satisfaction; no single position or technique will work on every partner. Therefore, communication is key when researching and learning new techniques and positions. Engaging your partner in your education - testing out these new techniques or positions on each other - will finally make learning exciting and fun.
5. Strengthen your body for ultimate sexual satisfaction.
Traditional New Year's resolutions such as quitting smoking and losing weight can also increase your sexual satisfaction. Having a healthy body will allow you to participate in a healthy sexual life.
Time reported results from a study by The Mayo Clinic that found men who made lifestyle changes to increase cardiovascular health and lower risk of heart disease also improved sexual function. A healthier heart, lower cholesterol, increased blood flow and lower blood pressure lead to stronger, thicker and longer erections.
An article published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found a correlation between obesity and lowered sexual satisfaction in women. Women who were obese, diabetic, or suffered from hyperthyroidism experienced low sexual desire, difficulty becoming aroused, difficulty achieving orgasms, and even painful intercourse.
Strengthening your physical health through lifestyle and exercise should also include strengthening sex muscles. Kegel exercises, the strengthening of the pelvic floor muscle, have been heralded as the only way to increase vaginal strength and tightness, allow men to control ejaculation, and decrease incontinence in both men and women. But new research suggests this practice can actually negatively affect strength if the practice is overused. Anti-Kegel advocates encourage men and women to strengthen the buttocks, not the pelvic muscles. Until more research is produced, alternate each exercise to look and feel strong, healthy, and ready for a new year of sex.