We’ve just entered a new year.
I’m not one for resolutions, but I am a fan of looking back, taking stock, setting goals, and course-correcting.
Yes, even sexually.
For a while, that was an easy task, as it tends to be after heartbreak. For some of us, we pull inward and lose interest in pursuing sexual fulfillment with other people. My right hand and I are just fine, thank you very much!
Last December, I recognized that I had finally turned a corner. I had just quit my job, and suddenly, for the first time in years, I had time to really consider my life. I was able to look back at what I’d experienced and to even think about looking forward—which would have been unimaginable a few years earlier.
I considered the fact that maybe it was time to stop keeping people at arm’s length. Maybe it was time to consider opening my heart again. (And my legs. You saw that coming, didn’t you?)
I don’t think I ever would have ended up writing what I write if it weren’t for that willingness.
And if I hadn’t started writing, I honestly can’t imagine where I’d be right now. Back in another job that was slowly siphoning away my health and vitality? Too exhausted to have a little fun with myself on any day but a weekend? Without all the amazing new friends I have met?
It’s too sad to think of.
In light of the way my life has changed as a result of my willingness to reconnect with my sexuality, I am pondering again what I’d like to focus on in 2020. Please take note that when it comes to sex and love, I never make goals that involve other people. You’ll never hear me utter things like, “I’m gonna find a new partner this year,” or “I’m gonna get laid by spring.”
Uh-uh. I mean, if I didn’t need the emotional connection, sure, I could reasonably set such goals, but since I do, and that connection isn’t necessarily common to find or quick to develop, these kinds of goals are too far outside my control.
But what I can do is to think about the mindset I want to have. Am I actually willing to find a new partner? Have I sorted through my baggage and dropped as much as I can? Will I be able to get through a first date without thinking about my ex? (Yes, yes, and yes, Universe!)
And if I am willing, if I am ready, what can I do to open myself up to that experience? Maybe I can be more mindful about the way I present myself so I don’t always feel so self-conscious in my baggy, frumpy clothes. Maybe I can ask people to set me up with someone. Maybe I can try new activities where I might meet someone.
So what am I going to do in 2020? Who do I want to be? Who do I want to attract? These are the things I think about at the dawn of a new year.
If it doesn’t excite you to think about a new year full of new opportunities to express your sexuality, then how about this: it’s also the beginning of a new decade.
We are entering an entirely new chapter in which we can create whatever we want to create. We have the opportunity to experience a whole new “Roaring 20s.”
I’m not going to ask you who you want to sleep with. I’m not going to ask you where you want to get laid or what new sexual experiences you want to have.
All of that is important, sure, but here’s the really important question:
How do you want to express your sexuality in this new decade?
This is about you, after all, not a potential lover, not a potential mate, not your current lover, not anyone but you. You have to express yourself in a way that inspires you, makes you feel authentic, gives you joy, energizes you. And when you do that, you’ll improve the relationships you already have and attract the ones you want and need. Yes, some might dissolve, but if a relationship can’t handle the you that you need to be, it isn’t right for you, anyways.
You want to know what I want to do over the next decade to express my sexuality?
I want to wear clothes that fit me instead of hiding my body behind baggy clothes. (My friend Sunny and I promised ourselves we would buy short shorts this year—and actually wear them in public.)
I want to continue working on mastering my eating disorders so I’m not constantly distracted by obsessive behavior around food and physical discomfort.
I want to take the time to style my hair a bit or put on some blush—just enough to make me feel like I’m pampering myself.
I want to become more comfortable with my body and shed the self-consciousness I feel around my stretch marks, aging skin, my breasts, my butt, my stomach, and my body hair. (I have a stretch goal of wearing shorts without shaving my legs. It’s the impossible dream.)
I want to continue to deepen intimacy in my platonic relationships and be willing to be more vulnerable and trusting in my friendships with men.
I want to let go of what I think is right for me and see what opportunities arise.
I want to keep working on anchoring into my body and physical experience, instead of hovering just outside myself. I want to dig out the trauma by its roots.
I want to allow myself to be seen and heard—even in the most vulnerable moments.
I want to love more. More deeply, more freely, more generously.
I want to learn to love what I see in the mirror and stop holding myself back from life because I don’t look pretty or sexy enough. F*ck that.
Sure, I’ll be a crone by the time this decade ends, but I don’t care. I’m going to be a hot, sexy, well-f*cked crone if I can master even half of this list.
Here’s one of the most important lessons I learned this past decade: our sexuality is everything. When we forget it, we lose ourselves. We lose our connection to each other and to the creative source. We lose our passion for life, we lose our ability to tap into the full force of our creativity. And we lose our spark, our joy.
The 2010s, for me, was a slow journey into dampening my sexuality, then losing faith in it, entirely, at which time, I stuffed it into a box, determined never to let it out again. And by some miracle, I got it back. Over the past two years, I slowly made my way back to it and it has changed my life forever.
It’s important to me to reflect on that—on the power of my sexuality and what its loss did to my life. It’s important to acknowledge where I’ve been so I hopefully don’t end up there again.
I’m grateful for the lessons. Nothing could have ever taught me so dramatically how important our sexuality is. So even with the pain, it was worth it.
And now…there is no telling where I can go. We are so blessed to live in a time when so many people—yes, including men!—are invested in seeing women achieve sexual liberation. Imagine what we can accomplish in this world just by embracing our sexuality in the 2020s.
But first, we have to take a look behind us and see where we’ve been. Then we’ve got to decide how we’re going to get to where we want to go.
We have to decide how we want to express our sexuality. And for women, especially, there is no greater decision we can make as we face this new decade. Because our sexuality will define everything. Our sexuality will influence every aspect of our lives.