New Year, New Sex Life: How to Talk about Sex and Intimacy


I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “New Year, New Me”. When a new year comes along, new opportunities arrive. Although we can (and should) be having moments of reflection throughout the year, when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, we find it in ourselves to try and change something in our lives. Call your family more, save more money, and finally cancel your subscription to that streaming service you signed up for the free trial for and have now spent $70 bucks on. This year I challenge you to think about your sexual health and wellness. A stranger asking you to talk about sex, weird I know. Talking about sex can feel like a taboo subject. Many people struggle to talk about sex even with the people they engage in sex with. Take a moment to think about the last time you talked about sex. With your partner? Or with your friends? When you think of sexual wellness what comes to mind? 

Although it may be intimidating at first, there are many benefits to discussing sexual health and wellness with whomever you’re having sex with. Researchers found that sex can help predict happiness in a relationship. When tracking how often a couple has sex and how often they argued in the same period, they found either more sex or fewer arguments led to happier couples (Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, n.a). Talking more about your sexual needs can lead to better sex which leads to amazing health benefits as well. Now still go for your annual check-up, eat your fruit and veggies but also have more sex! Ever had a migraine? 25% of migraine sufferers reported their pain was relieved by orgasming (Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, n.a). While it can help with migraine pain, don’t assume the next time your partner has a headache they are coming on to you. While talking about sex is sexy, there’s nothing hotter than consent! 


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At this point, I am hoping I have convinced you that it’s time to open your… mouths and talk about sex. Wait, what did you think I was going to say? Make sure you are in a comfortable environment where you feel open and relaxed to bring the subject up. Standing in line at Costco on a Saturday is most likely not the best move. When discussing sex, the best approach is a straightforward one. Here are some tips to start the conversation:

  • “I really like you and want to move forward and have sex. Before I would like to talk about how to make it safe and enjoyable for the both of us.”
  • “I can’t wait to have sex with you but first I thought it would be hot if we talked about our turn-ons and turn-offs.”
  • “Before we move forward and have sex, let’s make sure we are both healthy and have recent STI testing. We can make a date to bring our results and talk about them.”
  • “I’m a little nervous to bring this up but I can’t stop thinking about being with you. Can we talk about our kinks and sexual boundaries?”
  • “We’ve been having sex for a while now and I wanted to talk about how we can work on our communication surrounding sex. I found this worksheet we can do together and then compare notes.”
  • “Let’s sit down and talk about sex. I know it can be a little uncomfortable at first, but I think it would be hot to talk about our sex life and ways we can explore more together.”

While these can be jumping-off points, I recommend you take some time to write down a few of your own. Get comfortable thinking and writing about your sex life alone so you feel more confident moving into a conversation. Confidence can start the conversation, but another key component of the discussion should be respect. Respect your partner’s thoughts and feelings on the topic. It’s important to keep in mind it is most likely intimidating for them to discuss this as well. Now that sex is on the table (or bed, or couch), let’s talk about topics you can bring up.


Topics to bring up that can strengthen your sex life:blog 3

  • How do you like to start sex
  • How you like your partner to start sex
  • If there is anything new you would like to try
  • How often you’d like to have sex
  • What do you like about having sex with them
  • What you would like to change about your current sex life
  • Is lube being used and if so what if one another’s preference
  • What is the preferred aftercare
  • If there has been any past sexual abuse/trauma anyone should be aware of


When discussing sexual health, it’s impossible to ignore the fact sexual abuse and trauma occur on a large scale. The CDC reports that over half of women and 1 in 3 men have experienced physical sexual violence during their lifetimes (CDC, 2022). If you feel unsafe, know there are resources that can help with getting out of a bad situation or healing from past trauma. Below are local and national domestic violence resources.

Local Resources:

Wings at 847-221-5680

Metropolitan Family Services at 630-469-5650

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Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) at 217-753-4117

National Resources:

National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for hearing/speech impaired

National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673


If you stayed with me this long it tells me you might be interested in talking about sex. Good for you! You’re already off to a great start this year! If you’re interested in talking about sex it might even mean you want to read more about it too. There are so many amazing books out there that can provide a deeper understanding of sex and normalize sexual health and habits too. I have listed a few of my favorites below. Now that you read this article, what’s stopping you from reading more and investing in your sex life?


Book recommendations:

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D.

  • Great for anyone to read. Especially talks about women’s sexual health. Normalizes sex and sexual wellness. There’s an entire chapter on how to work with different sex drives in relationships.

Beyond Shame by Matthias Roberts

  • This book discusses sexual shame, specifically due to Western religion. The author discusses queer identities and how anyone can define their own idea of healthy sex and sex positivity.

Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel

  • Esther Perel is a true genius when it comes to relationships. This book discusses roles we give our partners, how to understand our desires and more on how to talk about sex.

The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by Esther Perel

  • In this book, Esther discusses infidelity in relationships and how to heal from it in a variety of ways. It’s empathetic, practical, and even a bit controversial.

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by Adrienne Maree Brown

  • A must-read! Discusses various identities when it comes to sex and sexual advocacy. It’s as if social justice and sex had a baby. That is this book.


BONUS! Here is a Sexapalooza worksheet you can do solo or with whomever you’re having sex with. Come into 2024 happy, healthy, and having conversations about sex! (wink wink)


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References and Related articles:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 22). Fast facts: Preventing sexual violence |violence prevention|injury Center|CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.,harassment%20in%20a%20public%20place. 

Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. (n.d.). Benefits of Having and Talking about Sex. PERMANENTE MEDICINE. 

Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. (n.d.). Women’s Sexuality: Life Stages and Health Issues. Permanente Medicine. 

Scribd. (n.d.). Sexapalooza handout branded PDF. Scribd.