In this solo episode, host and sex educator Karen Yates talks about the importance of one’s pleasure and how to begin taking steps toward a better sex life in 2024.
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S6E6 | Sex Resolutions 2024 and How To Get There
Karen Yates: So, so many benefits can come from us trying things differently. And I know there’s been a lot on brain health but like this whole like trying new things is a big part of staying flexible and having a healthy brain. So do it for your brain, right? Don’t do it for your genitals; do it for your brain. [laughs]
Karen Yates: [intro] Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment, no matter your preferences, orientation or relationship style. Based on the popular live Chicago show I chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity and comedy. You’ll hear meaningful conversations, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I’m sex educator and intimacy coach Karen Yates. Our monthly Patreon supporters pay for a large part of our operating expenses. Their contributions from $5 on up help us big time. Plus members get discounts on show tickets and merch and receive Wild & Sublime news before anyone else and more interested in helping us spread the message of sex positivity. Go to patreon.com/WildandSublime.
Karen Yates: Hey folks, welcome welcome. Today I am going to be doing something a little bit different. Today is a solo episode: I am flying alone. I am not interviewing someone, I am talking fairly extemporaneously. Okay, I have bullet points about sex resolutions 2024, which is a little click Beatty, I am inclined every so often to go for a clickbait title. But today I am spending more time talking about an overview of sexual resolutions rather than the nitty gritty, although I will later give some suggestions this year. I had no resolutions per se. But I did find myself in later December purchasing the New York Times cooking app. And this is because for years I have wanted to get this thing. You know, it’s just like 1000s of recipes. But I’ve always balked at the price. It’s been like 50 bucks. But this year, they had a 50% off sale in the last couple of weeks of December and I jumped on it. And I have been a cooking up a storm. new recipes, new techniques. And I’ve been really happy and I have not cooked new stuff in a long time. I’m actually more of a baker than a regular cook. But that’s where my energy was moving this year. And so it’s really interesting, because I’ve been seeing a lot of pushback on social media around intention setting and resolutions. there just doesn’t seem to be much of an appetite for it this year. And no pun intended me talking about cooking. But you know, in thinking about this episode and thinking about the cooking app, I basically just sort of followed my natural desires around cooking, and then it just sort of came it just sort of happened. And I’m like, Oh, well, I guess this is going to be my intention for 2024 is going to be cooking more. So you know, when looking at sexual resolutions, this is important to just see, well, where’s my energy going? What am I thinking about a lot lately? Where are my desires at right now, it may be that you are in a bit of a fallow period, you really don’t want to be exploring, you don’t want to be say having more sex or learning about different things. And that’s fine. We all go through periods of life where we’re not as inclined to start exploring or upping our game or whatever it is. And you know, in thinking about it, we need to look at our sexual desires, like in total with the rest of our life, that there are times when we, you know, we want to start having more sex. And that usually goes hand in hand with the fact that we are in a period of our life where we are exploring, or we really want to make new connections with people or we want to just be in a more accelerated mode. And there’s periods of time, there’s great periods of time where we don’t want that. And so there has to be sort of an honoring of where we are at right now. And if you’re thinking about your life with a long term partner and you desire, you know, something different or more sexual intimacy, this may be that what you’re really looking for is more emotional intimacy, that you’ve changed and you want to express that change to your partner.
Karen Yates: You know, remember in all of this stuff, especially with partner sex, it comes back to you. And it’s not really as much about your partner as YOUR desires. I think it’s really easy, especially when you’ve been in long term relationships, to vilify your partner. “Well, it’s all about my partner, and my partner doesn’t want to have sex. My partner doesn’t want to do this.” Blah blah blah. But, you know, this all comes back to you. And that can be kind of a hard pill to swallow. Like, okay, this comes back to me, and what am I doing to, to make sure that I am getting my needs met here? That’s all, you know. So I’ve just laid out some things right now. And I would like you to just take a moment to think about, you know, “what are my sexual desires right now?” What “What would I like to maybe put some energy or effort toward in 2024/” And you know, you can even stop the podcast right now and think about this.
Karen Yates: I was looking at social media the other day, not one of my favorite activities, to be sure. But I saw a post by Scott Galloway, who is someone I like to, I like to read his posts every so often. And he was talking about New Year’s resolutions and why they fizzle out. And the two biggest reasons are losing motivation, and being too busy. And I would like to posit that there is a lot under these phrases of losing motivation and being too busy. With losing motivation, Galloway suggests that one loses motivation because we’re overshooting the mark. We don’t start with something doable, something that can be done easily. And he suggests that we do something and a small amount, a small enough increment that we can show up for it ongoingly day in and day out, which is a great idea in looking at your desires for the year. What are the manageable steps you can take?
Karen Yates: Sexual expression, sexuality, these, these are huge concepts, right? This isn’t like buying a New York Times cooking app, these you know, taking steps towards doing something differently in your sex life, can have sometimes epic consequences. These can be like the tectonic plates shifting inside of you. And I’d like to point out something that I saw on Facebook Live, again with the social media! But I saw on Facebook Live a couple of years ago sex educator, Pam Madsen, she was talking about changing sexually, and she said it’s a gamble–but do you want to stay where you are? And then she went on to say that, you know, this is really about the courage to be yourself, to meet yourself and to dive deep down into your erotic being. And when you do this, other things will fall into place. And that all of these things are scary. But then she said it’s important to be scared every so often or at least uncomfortable. I love this. Because I do like to be uncomfortable. I appreciate the times when I’m uncomfortable, because I know what that means at that point is that I really am I’m doing something new, I’m really changing. And as we grow older, we are less and less inclined to be uncomfortable. We like the comfortable life. We like doing things the same way. The habits, get, the grooves of our habits get deeper and deeper and deeper and to get kicked out of a groove is really uncomfortable. But so many benefits can come from us trying things differently. And I know there’s been a lot on brain health but like this whole like trying new things is a big part of staying flexible and having a healthy brain so do it for your brain, right? Don’t it for your genitals; do it for your brain!
Karen Yates: So getting back to the sexual–any sexual resolution or intention that you want to set for 2024. I’m going to talk about just some basic buckets that these intentions might fall under. You know, they’re pretty typical, but like finding a new partner, bringing new life to your self-pleasuring routine, doing new things in bed with a long term partner or increasing the amount of sex you have with that person or learning more about kinky things. What you want to do here is ascertain what is the logical next step in any of these scenarios and then take that action because you know, once you take an action, then it’s easier to take the action after that, and then the action after that.
Karen Yates: But I’m going to talk more about these various buckets in a moment and give you know, some very practical advice to get back to the Galloway part in the beginning. Let’s talk about being busy. Think of the amount of time you spend on your phone or falling down and internet home late at night. I mean, all of us do this. You’re not too busy for that. How many hours a day does that take up, and you’re not too busy when something 100% fascinating takes hold in your life. So being too busy to attend to a sexual resolution could simply be about being uncomfortable. Now, there are a lot of different types of uncomfortableness, there’s mental uncomfortableness, uncomfortableness arising from shame, or fear.
Karen Yates: Or, you know, perhaps this item or this desire has fallen to the bottom of the pile, because you’re not prioritizing yourself and your pleasure. And I would like you to consider that prioritizing your pleasure means prioritizing you. We live in a culture that is frightened of pleasure. And why is this? There is a deep religious fear. And remember, you don’t have to have grown up in a religious family to take on religious ideas. Our US society is based on a ton of them. We were founded by a more extremist religious sect of the Church of England, the Puritans, who had four tenants, and one of them was self control. There is a deep religious fear that pleasure will lead to a total breakdown of order and morality. And what I will say, and I’ve said this many times, and this is what I was taught in school, the people who are connected to their pleasure cannot be controlled, okay? Yes, it’s when you start becoming connected to your pleasure, you start becoming connected to you. And when you’re connected to you, it is harder and harder to be controlled, right? You cannot be controlled by other people, because you know yourself so well. And so to get back to the earlier conversation about prioritizing yourself, do you want to prioritize your pleasure? And that’s really what it comes down to, at least for me around sexuality. Am I Am I marginalizing the most important aspects of myself? Am I having a sensual relationship with myself? Am I bringing my body into the conversation? Am I aware of how I live my life in pleasure? Do I wear– and I know it feels like I always talk about this. Maybe I don’t talk about it enough. You know?– Am I wearing too tight clothing? Do my shoes hurt? Do I sit in uncomfortable positions? Do I not eat enough? You know, is my stomach always growling? Do I eat too much? And then I’m sort of sitting there in a food haze? Do I stretch you know, is my body tense all the time? You know, this is all about, you know, Body focus, and in where we are in our connection to ourselves. So I just want to ask you to consider where is pleasure in my life? You know, how do I take pleasure? And can I brin,? Can I bring sex or kink into the mix?
Karen Yates: [to listener] Did you know The Wild & Sublime twice monthly newsletter has news views and tips about sexuality delivered to your inbox? Plus info on the latest pod episode and upcoming live show. How do you get this for yourself? Sign up at wildandsublime.com.
Karen Yates: [back to program] So let me go back now to these you know, these various sexual buckets and and talk a little bit more in depth about each one of them. So finding a new partner, I would say if this is your goal for 2024, please get off of the apps. They are really they are not where it’s at, really, unless you have a really specific sexual or kink desire. The apps are not going to serve you very well. Because why? Many of them are crap shoots and time wasters. And I… and I actually know people who have gotten married off of meeting people in the apps ,who are now in long term living situations with people they’ve met on the apps. And I’m still gonna say that because why? I’ve only I only know two people, right? I only know two people out of the hundreds and hundreds of people I know who are ongoingly on the apps. So what does this mean? Start going every so often –Keep it keep it low key, right?– Just every so often start going to new social events that focus on the sort of people you want to meet, people with your interests, be it hiking in nature, or board games or pet rescue, or D&D or lake shore cleanups, you know, make a list of “what are my interests? What’s really important for me?” if you’re really into environmental issues, you might want to start doing things with other people who have that same passion. This doesn’t have to be a chore. You can also ask your friends, you can say, “You know what, I’m looking for a new partner, you know. Do you know anyone that might be great for me?” The odds are, you know, you like your friends. And so it might be a good idea to ask your friends if they have a friend. It might feel vulnerable, vulnerable to ask them. But, you know, what do you have… What do you have to lose? Just begin stretching yourself. So under the next one, bringing new life to yourself pleasure routine? Are you feeling like you’re in the same old same old rut? A lot of people feel that way. And why is this? Well, it’s simply that you don’t have the added input of another person. If you look at porn to stimulate, stimulate yourself, start looking at different types of porn. You know, companies like Make Love Not Porn show real people having real sex. And this company was started by a cis woman. So it’s got a different sort of angle on it. You can look at porn created by say the Crash Pad which focuses more on queer content. And let me say if you sign up for the Wild & Sublime newsletter at Wildandsublime.com, we will be putting a full list in the newsletter and on the website when this episode comes out. So this is one way to get a full list of these various websites which can offer something a little different than maybe the superhero porno content that you’ve been ingesting. And by superhero, I don’t mean Marvel Comics, I mean, actors, who look like superheroes and are entertaining you but the sex they’re having really does not have any connection to real life sex, other ideas, begin researching new sex toys, right and pay attention to the ones that naturally turn you on as you’re reading about them. Pay attention to your body signals, these, these particular toys might have something there for you. Or simply begin juicing your fantasy life by letting your mind try out new and different scenarios that could arouse you just spend some time relaxing and allowing your senses to lead you into a new story. Now, if you want to do new things in bed with a long term partner, or increase the amount of sex you have with this person, this may be about one of several things. Are you and your partner on the same page when it comes to sexual matters or not? Is there conflict? Or is it an issue of wanting to do something different sexually that might make you feel vulnerable, and when you talk about it. So if this is an intractable issue, something that’s been in play for a long time, you might want to consider bringing in a professional either a sex therapist or a coach to help you out. Now typically coaches work more in the short term, but they can be a nice option if you do not want to do long term work. Whoever you get, I suggest working with someone who is sex positive so you and your partner can talk freely about any desires such as kink or polyamory that might not conform to the norm. Now, if you don’t have any issues with your partner, it could be fun reading the same book on some sexual topic watching porn together, or taking an in person or online class together courses like OMG YES that focus on learning about pleasuring vulvas and vaginas and can help with shared languaging you can look into taking a class in person you know, like a neo Tantra class or a massage class something that helps you up your skill level together.
Karen Yates: If this is about you changing and you really wanting to express yourself, just be aware that your partner cannot read your mind. So if you have a desire that’s not being attended to, it’s really to your benefit to start you know, voicing this can be as simple as just saying one night Are you open to having a conversation right now don’t wait until your partner is in the middle of doing something as we’ve talked about on this show you can kind of meta language your way into it by saying, you know, I have a lot of I have I’m a little nervous talking about this. But, you know, this is what’s been on my mind lately. You might be surprised and it may open up a bigger conversation about your partner’s needs and guess what you might be on the same page. So I encourage you to take the leap. And finally, if you are interested in learning more about kinky stuff, there is the site called kink Academy to give you more skills or help you learn about basics. If you live in or near a big city, there are probably a few dungeons that hold intro meetings or plate stand alone places that teach ropes skills, or you can go on FetLife to find out what is around in the vicinity. And if there are large weekend events happening soon near you like kinky college and remember you can always you can always travel to weekend events that can be a lot of fun and meet new people. So the first steps here, just begin with research, and then see what happens. I hope this was helpful. Remember with all of these, you can just move at your own pace, but it’s important to just keep moving. I hope you have a very pleasurable week.
Karen Yates: Wild & Sublime is supported in part by our sublime supporter, full color life therapy for all of you at Full Color Life therapy.com Thank you for listening. Know someone who’d liked this episode, send it to them. You can follow us on Facebook Tiktok and Instagram at Wild & Sublime and sign up for newsletters at Wild & sublime.com. Got feedback or an inquiry contact us at info at Wild & sublime.com And we’d love a review or rating on your podcast player. I’d like to thank our design Guru Jean-François Gervais music by David Ben-Porat This episode was produced and edited by Christine Ferreira at the Lincoln lodge podcast studio as part of the Lincoln lodge Podcast Network.
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