5 Sex Habits To Break Before The New Year

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Some habits actually undermine your sex life. Here are a few examples.

4. Focusing on intercourse more than you want to. Intercourse has a lot going for it. It can be intimate, pleasurable, relaxing, and if you want to conceive, it's definitely the way to go. But it's the only kind of sex that requires an erection or birth control (if you don't want to conceive), and many women don't climax from it. There's absolutely nothing that makes intercourse special, "normal," or superior to other kinds of sex (except for that conception thing). So if you're in a sexual routine that always ends up with intercourse, feel free to change it.

This is why I dislike the word "foreplay." It assumes that the "real thing" will follow. The word for all the erotic stuff you do before intercourse is "sex." And you don't necessarily need intercourse after it.

5. Being less than 100% responsible about birth control. This is a simpler issue than many people make it. Anytime you have intercourse, you either want to conceive or you don't. You don't walk into a hair salon and say "I'll leave it to Jose — if he perms and dyes my hair red that's okay, and if he doesn't, that's okay too." So don't use that approach to pregnancy. If you don't want it tonight, use a scientifically reliable form of contraception. Yes, you really should be 100% sure before proceeding. Because every time you have intercourse you have a small chance of being 100% pregnant.

If you're angry at your guy because you two haven't worked out the birth control issue, either handle it yourself or don't have intercourse. There are no time-outs on this thing. Your fertility continues even while you're negotiating which method you're going to use.

Dr. Marty Klein is a sex therapist in Palo Alto, CA. His seventh book is "Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want From Sex, and How to Get It" (HarperOne).

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Dr. Marty Klein

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Dr. Marty Klein is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist.

In his award-winning books lectures, newsletter, and therapy, he helps men & women understand and accept themselves and their sexuality, reducing their feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, and isolation.

Dr. Klein's new book is Sexual Intelligence. Psychology Today says, "Read this book if you want to improve your sex life." To connect with Dr. Klein, see his provocative newsletter.

Location: Palo Alto, CA
Credentials: MFT, PhD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Sexuality
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