How To Have A Healthier Sex Life In 2017

It's New Year's Resolution time — and what better time than to commit to having happy, healthy sex life in 2017. A lot of us let ourselves off the hook (on either the healthy or the happy sides), but it doesn't take much to ensure you're having the best sex you can. All it takes is a few little commitments.

Having a healthy and happy sex life doesn't mean having sex 24/7. Well, maybe it means that for some people, but it doesn't have to mean that for you. It's going to be down to your drives and your desires. "A healthy sex drive is different for each person," Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle. "Overall, it's when we feel balanced in our desire (it feels good to us, as opposed to something being off whether too high or low) and sexually fulfilled whether it's alone or with a partner."

So it's not about the quantity of sex, it's about making sure you're happy and you're getting your needs met. There are a lot of different ways to do it — whether you have a partner or are single— so the first step is to decide what exactly makes your sex life the happiest for you, what you really need. Then check out these resolutions for a healthy sex life:

1. Have Only Sex That Makes You Feel Good About Yourself

Whether it's a one-night stand or a long-term relationship, you need to be having sex that makes you feel great. That toxic ex that always leaves you feeling sh*tty? Stay away. Always regret having sex on the first date? Then don't. If you love one-night stands, go for it. If you like having a f*ck buddy, that's awesome. But only do things that makes you feel like a goddamn queen. That toxicity can stay away.

2. Experiment With Something New

No matter how great your sex life is, we can all get into a rut. It happens. "A relationship is like a bicycle, when one of the wheels is flat, it will still go, but not well," Eric Marlowe Garrison, sex and relationship counselor, and author of the book Mastering Multiple Position Sex tells Bustle. "Even if only one partner is in that sex rut, it's going to affect the relationship sexually. When you need something that your partner doesn’t need, it's difficult to understand why they don't need it.” So make a commitment to experiment— a new position, a new place, a quickie— and make sure you're incorporating something new regularly.

3. Be Safe

No excuses. Practicing safe sex, and discussing it with your partner, is crucial for a healthy sex life. Commit to using your birth control method of choice — you're a grown ass woman, its about time.

4. Get Tested Regularly

Sure, maybe you're being safe. Maybe you're in a long-term relationship that you're sure is faithful. But so many people who think they're doing all the right things end up with an STI. It happens. I know you may trust your partner, but you need to protects yourself first.

5. Make Time To Masturbate

Even if you're in a healthy relationship with an amazing sex life, masturbating is still important. Not only is it stress-busting and endorphin producing, it's a time where you just get a great opportunity for some quality 'me' time. It'll remind you what you want sexually, but more importantly it's just all about you.

6. Commit To Communication

Communicating about sex can mean just being open with your one-night stand about what really gets you off— and not faking it just because you think you have to. Or it can be about continually checking in with your partner and making sure you're both on the same page.

"[Couples with healthy sex lives] have awkward conversations," sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Nikki Goldstein tells Bustle. "Often people can have sex but are scared to talk about it out of fear that might offend their partner or it might be awkward. In order to have a healthy sex life you need to have sometimes awkward conversations about what might not be working in the bedroom or what you want more or less of."

7. Treat Yo' Self Once In A While

A new toy? A new vibrator? Even a new erotic massage oil — there are a lot of different ways to treat yourself. Commit to actually doing it once in a while, not because of the consumerist aspect, but because it means you actually pause and take time to focus on your sexuality and fulfillment. It's an easy thing to forget to do, but treating yourself once in a while makes you take a breath and get back in touch with what you want.

Whether you're single or in a relationship, it's a new year and a new chance to commit to a happy, healthy sex life. While it may seem like a long list, it's really just a few commitments that can make all the difference.

Want to have an awesome 2017? Then check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App for tips on how to have the most empowering year yet.

Images: Ashley Batz for Bustle; Giphy