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15 Ways To Have Better Sex In 2016

Start 2016 off with a bang. (Sorry.)

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1. Have sex with zero intention of having an orgasm.

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You know how they say a watched pot never boils? Well, it's kind of the same deal with orgasms. If you're focusing too much on whether or not it'll happen, you can ruin an otherwise great time. So instead of making orgasms the end goal, just make the goal to be present and feel really, really good.

2. Stop thinking of sex as just one very specific thing.

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Sex isn't just penis-in-vagina (especially if you're not working with both of those parts). Regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity, there's no reason to make penetration the benchmark of sex. If you're way more satisfied with oral, anal, hand stuff, pegging, using sex toys, or something else, then there's no reason that should be considered "less than" sex.

4. If you haven't used lube before, go ahead and try it.

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It'll probably make sex feel a whole lot different (in a less-painful-more-pleasurable way), especially if you have a vagina or you're having anal sex.

5. Stop faking orgasms.

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It's like telling someone that the nasty dinner they cooked for you is OH MY GOD SO GOOD. You might be saving their feelings, but it's not going to make it any better. And they'll probably do the same thing again tomorrow night.

6. Find out what you should be getting tested for — and then get tested.

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Knowing your status will make you a better, safer, more respectful sex-haver. Most people assume that their doctor will just test them for whatever needs testing, but chances are your doctor doesn't really know your life (or sex life). Check out this guide to getting tested, and schedule an appointment to find out which STIs you might be at risk for.

7. And always take whatever STI precautions you should be taking.

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~Technically~ you should be using a condom or dental dam for any vaginal, anal, or oral sex act if you are at any risk for contracting STIs (like if you're not in a 100% monogamous relationship, if you're not sure of your STI status, or if you're not sure of your partner's status). Remember: You can have an STI even without having symptoms, so the only way to be sure is to get tested.

8. Realize that porn is not realistic.

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Not many people can actually bend that way. Even fewer people actually make those noises. Just go ahead and assume that porn is for entertainment purposes only, and not something you should be striving for in your own sex life.

9. Embrace orgasms whichever way they come.

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Of course it's natural and normal to want more of them, especially if they're elusive, but try to stop worrying about the orgasms you're not having and just be happy for ones you are. Maybe you can only orgasm from masturbation or oral sex or when you're sleeping. Whichever way you come, that's a reason to celebrate — not a reason to stress about all the ways you haven't yet.

10. Try something that's a little out of your comfort zone.

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Not something that's a hard no, of course, but something that you're a little curious about and hopefully won't land you in the hospital. If it's with a consenting, trusting partner, why not?

11. See if you can give yourself an orgasm.

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If you already know you can, then great — check this one off the list! But if not, spend some time figuring out what feels good and what doesn't. It's harder to orgasm with someone else when you don't already know what works for you.

12. Treat your body with an actual fuck-ton of respect.

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This includes making sure you're safe (physically and emotionally), sleeping with people you actually want to sleep with, saying no to things you're not comfortable with, and trusting your instincts.

13. Along those lines, treat your partner with just as much respect.

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Obviously this includes getting enthusiastic consent, but it also means making sure they feel safe, secure, and heard.

14. Be really freaking honest.

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A good rule of thumb for life — whether you're naked or not. Be honest about what you want, what feels good, what doesn't feel good, what your intentions are, and if you're feeling super awkward.

15. Try not to judge your body for the way it reacts (or doesn't react) in sex situations.

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Erections come and go. Vaginas sometimes cooperate and sometimes don't. And there's always the potential for other stuff like queefing, squirting, or coming too quickly. Bodies are weird AF but they're also pretty amazing, so stop worrying about something your body did or didn't do while you were having sex. Don't worry — you're doing great.

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