With the rush of the New Year comes new promises, goals, and changes to fulfill. It’s easy to chart your career, financial, and relationship aspirations. But many people struggle to find ways to enhance their sexual and sensual selves. As sexuality is bigger than sex, it’s important to create powerful, all-encompassing affirmations to catalyze your growth. Below are seven mantras for enhancing your sexuality in the New Year. Read, digest, meditate, and then, create your own!

Pleasure is a sensual and sexual indulgence. You should find pleasure in all that you do for “you.” From the way you massage oils onto your legs after a warm bath to the vulnerability you gift your lover during good sex, pleasure is a personal and shared activity, made to bring out your senses and remind you of your beauty. Use this affirmation as the crux of your mantras in 2014.

Orgasms are accessible and yours to experience. There’s nothing exclusive about these rippling sensations that come with an open mind, relaxed body, and entitlement to pleasure. Orgasms arrive with various levels of depth and power. The more you open yourself up, the more you explore pleasure in all that you do, and the more your lover is invested in nurturing you, the more orgasms will become a frequent experience. Make them a priority in the New Year.

Lovemaking and sex have two different purposes; enjoy both. One isn’t better than the other, but they are different experiences. When you’re making love, you tend to share some level of connection that is deeper than physical touch. You make love when you stare into the eyes of your lover and see more than physical beauty. You make love when you share the same glass of water as second nature and without much thought. You make love when you actually care intensely about pleasuring each other beyond more than just the physical, and invest in creating pleasure as a multifaceted experience. On the flipside, sex is a concentrated effort on physical pleasure, and nothing else matters in that moment. It’s when you just want to make your lover’s toes curl and share the experience of physical touch on multiple levels. It’s when emotions can take a backseat, and carnal desires take over your body. Both lovemaking and sex are vessels of pleasure. Explore the benefits of both, and choose which activity to share with your lover(s) accordingly.

Shame is your enemy, and silence will stifle your growth. There’s no reason to feel guilty about natural desires, and if you haven’t already, this is the year to throw shame out of your life. Refuse to ignore your curiosities, urges, and intuition. Talk to your lovers, friends, and family about sex, sensuality, and sexuality. Use these relationships as a classroom for your growth. The more you open up, the more people will respond with wisdom, guidance, and affirmation. You need community to grow. You cannot become your best sexual and sensual self without the support of others.

Exploration won’t kill you; try something new. There are so many people that try to tame their curiosities instead of confronting them with an open spirit. This year, promise yourself that you will research new techniques for improving your sex life, date people outside of your norm, and explore pleasure as a personal priority. Don’t be scared to try out that new position in the bedroom, explore your bi-curiosity, or invest in a good sex toy. You are the master of your boundaries, but you’ll never know if what you already like can be enhanced until you try something new. Set your boundaries as closed or open as you like for 2014. But make sure you’re the one that’s setting your limits, not societal pressures or religious dogma.

Vulnerability makes you stronger, sexier, and bolder. It’s okay that you don’t have it all figured out or know it all when it comes to sexuality. It’s beautiful if you can admit that you struggle with certain conversations, feelings, body hang-ups, and histories. Be vulnerable with yourself, your lovers, and your loved ones. It will only help your growth this year, and you’d be surprised how transformation and humility work hand in hand.

Sexual health is a priority; don’t be reckless. Taking risks can feel exhilarating except when it comes to sexual health. Make it a priority to get tested, use protection, and find ways to enjoy safe pleasure. At the end of the day, you only get one body, and how you allow it to be susceptible will influence how long it stays healthy. Love your body through protecting it. And only gift its vulnerability to those who deserve it.

Have a Happy New Year and share how you plan to enhance your sexuality in 2014!

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