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5 Sexual Hang-Ups To Get Over In The New Year

Don't throw in the towel — or the black lace G-string — just yet.

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Graphic of  sexual icons such as thong and handcuffs
Robin Eisenberg
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I have a shocking number for you: 40. That’s the percentage of women who report some sort of sexual dysfunction or concern that makes sex less than enjoyable. Come on, people! It’s sex! It’s only supposed to be used for two things, and one of them is enjoyment. So if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?

Before you decide to throw in the towel ... or the black lace G-string ... consider tackling the issues that are preventing you from having the best sex of your life right now. After all, women in their 40s and 50s are smarter, more confident, cooler and downright sexier than they were back when their youth did all the work for them. So with the new year approaching, take a look at these common sexual hang-ups and resolve to have amazing sex in 2018.

Yes, some of us have flab where we used to be fine or sag where we used to be swank. And sure, we can all eat better and work out more. But no matter what, you’ve got to own the fact that you’re a mature woman with a real body, and at the end of the day you literally have two choices: Let it ruin your life or embrace it. I know, easier said than done. But remember, nobody is in bed with you who doesn’t want to be in bed with your body. You know what they don’t want to be in bed with? Your insecurities.

Many of us have been with our partners for a long time, relying on each other to make good choices and be great, clean-cut role models for our kids. For others, we are trying to put our best selves out there as we navigate the dating scene and build new relationships. It’s a bit of a leap from upstanding citizen to smut-mouthed vixen. But arousing your partner, and yourself, doesn’t have to involve language you wouldn’t normally use or shocking your partner with how far and how filthy you can go. Simply expressing your desires or expressing that you are enjoying what is happening in the moment can be a great place to start, and often it’s enough. If you’re usually a silent partner in bed, and you suddenly start telling your significant other something as simple as “That feels so good” or “I love it when you touch me like that," the shock value alone can be enough to catapult your lover into new levels of ecstasy.

Some of us are so busy and stressed out, we schedule sex on our calendars. Carving out time for each other is fine, but putting pressure on yourself or your partner to deliver in the moment only adds to the stress and turns sex into another item on your to-do list. There’s literally no point in being intimate if you aren’t able to relax and enjoy, which is why it’s better to schedule quality time ... going out to dinner, taking a walk ... rather than the thing you both know is coming at the end of that quality time. And if you still have kids at home, consider calling the sitter and having a date in a hotel room. Sometimes there’s nothing sexier than a change of location, and it’s a great way to leave your worries behind and focus on the moment.

If you didn’t feel a little bit of tingling, bad-girl shame over your deepest, darkest, sexiest, secret fantasies, they wouldn’t be fantasies at all. It’s that sense of the forbidden that keep your private desires from becoming commonplace, which also makes them exciting. Just the thought of sharing your fancy with another person is at once terrifying and titillating. When the time is right and you’re ready to jump off that cliff, just talking about your secret sexual fantasies can be enough to get each other going. For couples who have been together a long time, a bottle of wine may come in handy before jointly deciding to take the plunge and reveal each other’s most scandalous fetishes. If you’re single, take advantage of not having built up years of preconceptions about what you think your partner wants. Finally experimenting with scenarios that have been building up in our sexual imaginations for decades can be the most fulfilling items we cross of our bucket lists.

There are a lot of causes for insufficient natural lubricant in your lady place, and lack of desire isn’t the most common. If you notice a sudden change in your moisture level, you should consider consulting your doctor. More often than not, vaginal dryness is a sign of hormonal changes due to menopause, your menstrual cycle or a medication. Using a doctor-recommended personal lubricant is not only a logical solution — putting it on your partner (or having him put it on you) is an incredible turn-on. If you’re feeling self-conscious, keep a lube-tube in your bag or stored in your bathroom and do a little prep before you hit the bedroom. Your partner will be none the wiser.