You’ve no doubt heard of a “Bucket List:” A summary of things someone would like to do/achieve during their lifetime (or in other words, before they “kick the bucket.”) It’s a great exercise for a lot of reasons, but few extend the concept to improving their own sex lives. At Sex Across America, we think it’s time to change that.
Keeping in mind that such a list should be both achievable and in tune with your own particular core values, the steps involved with creating your own sex bucket list are actually pretty straightforward. Start your list with the “whats” and “whys” and try to make them specific and compelling. Don’t worry about the “hows” right now. The means for accomplishing many of your items will often present themselves down the road as a result of clearly defining them and having significant reasons in your thinking. If you’re unclear about an activity or have a weak reason for it, chances are it won’t fly or you’ll just give up on it at some point.
As a general means for identifying your potential items and their reasons, here are five quick tips to get you going:
1. Know thyself first. Some barriers you may have might be the legitimate result of your socialization and/or prior experiences, but perhaps you haven’t consciously figured out why you feel the way you do about some things in your sex life or if you’re now better prepared to change them. It’s hard to plan when you’re unclear about your own wants and/or limitations, so do a self-assessment to determine your sexual strengths, weaknesses and potential. Take the time to sort these things out up front and see where there’s some room to explore. Be candid with yourself regarding areas that you feel are solid or could honestly use some improvement. Brainstorm a thorough list of things you’re still curious about–and then prepare to safely explore them when an opportunity arises.
2. Fantasize, fantasize, fantasize. This tends to be a bit tough because fantasies are often very personal and difficult to communicate fearlessly. Additionally, there’s a rational risk avoidance in sharing a fantasy because if it’s actually played out–and fails–then there may be tremendous disappointment all around. Well, true enough, they’re rarely ever as perfect in practice as they are in your perfect thinking, but that’s missing the point. They’re supposed to be fun, intimate and exciting, so just plan accordingly. Keep the first few times as simple as possible (the less complex, the better the chances are for success) and even if it falls a little flat, learn from the experience and try again. Additionally, even if you come up with a fantasy that doesn’t lend itself to playing out in reality, the exercise of imagination will eventually spark other ideas that will work.
3. Attitude for altitude. Ramping up a high sense of adventure, especially if you’ve gravitated to a fairly consistent sex routine over time, can be a bit of a challenge but it’s worth it to push the edge of the envelope when developing ideas for your list. Building your list and then tackling the items on it should be viewed as a major positive as opposed to drudgery or just going through the motions. Even if you’re taking small steps at first, make each one count and keep reinforcing the attitude that you’ll keep moving up, even if you trip a little along the way. Remember, even if you involve a particular loved one, this is something you’re doing for your own happiness and well-being.
4. Knowledge breeds confidence. Just as you wouldn’t take a road trip without checking a map (or, these days, setting your GPS), doing a little bit of research about a potential activity helps set a more solid foundation to build on. With the explosion of legitimate sex-positive resources out there these days, it shouldn’t take much effort to find out important details for just about any potential item you’re considering for your list. (If you’re really stumped about finding useful information, however, feel free to drop us a confidential email and we’ll do our best to help point you in the right direction. If your concern isn’t necessarily private, or the answer could help others as well, then please consider posting your question below as a response to this article and we’ll try to address it there.)
5. Give a little to get a lot. People are much more inclined to be supportive when they feel they’re receiving equal support. If you’re going to be doing the activities on your list with someone in particular, involve them in this process and find ways to be able to support their ideas whenever you can. They’ll be much more likely to back your wishes in return (not to mention the potential benefits for improved communication and shared intimacy). Another strategy is to develop your lists separately and then compare them to see if there’s any overlap. If so, try starting with those items once you get the proverbial ball rolling.
Bear in mind that while planning is important, you’re not looking for military rigidity and precision (unless, of course, “Shock and Awe” just happen to be your thing). Adding a spontaneity component affords you flexibility and can add to both the intimacy and excitement of an item on your list. And while some items may find their way to your list as “once in a lifetime” events, don’t be so quick to push them away from the table once you’ve checked them off. Just because it seemed like it would be a one-shot deal doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. If it was fun and satisfying, just use your imagination to work it in again sometime if that’s feasible.
It’s a sad thing to reach the end of one’s life with regret over missed opportunities. It doesn’t have to be that way at all. A little bit of thought and planning now will not only help open previously unforeseen prospects through sharpened focus, but also go a long way towards ensuring a fulfilling and exciting sex life. Start that journey right now–and make your own destiny.