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Sex after divorce can be intimidating: a new partner can mean a new bed, a new body, and new — well — techniques.  Usually, though, the hardest part is just becoming psychologically ready to date again after divorce.  After that, you're likely to find that the old riding a bike analogy applies to other leisure activities as well.  

That being said, there's a lot you can work on all by yourself to improve your sex life.  And since this is a (relatively) new year, why not invest in some resolutions for your sex life?

I'm not much of a fan of the usual type of resolution (I quit smoking when I was good and ready, and I'll lose this post-baby weight the same way) because they are generally just another tool with which to bash ourselves over the head and really, haven't we got a boxful of those already?

There's a certain appeal, though, to the art of light-hearted self improvement. The stakes are low — if you promise to buy yourself a cute vibrator and you never get around to it, so what? It's not like your insurance is going to go up. In that spirit, here is a list of sexual self-improvers for the new year. Do them or don't, we'll never know!

1. If you've been faking it, cut that right out: Just quit it. If you're tired of the action, why not just say "We can stop now?" And if you feel the need to prop up a sagging ego (not your own), maybe it's time to wonder why you don't feel comfortable just telling the truth, or to start going out with someone who doesn't require that sort of bolstering. 

2. Try something new: As simple as leaving the light on or as complicated as joining a special interest club and buying a whole new wardrobe.

3. Learn about something new: Even if you're not sure you want to try it. A great deal of our "Ew, gross, nobody should ever do that" reaction to unusual practices comes more from their novelty than from any real inherent heinousness. That, and from our tendency to assume the worst. So much of so-called kinky sex is not only utterly harmless but rather endearingly nerdly in practice, but there's no way to know this without risking at least a little exposure. Web-surfing is safe!

4. Buy a toy: Easy! And shopping is patriotic! The sheer variety of choices available may be overwhelming but I'm here! "A Ladies' Guide To Sex Toys" is forthcoming. Step 4 may be instrumental (no pun intended) in achieving Step 8, so it's really not as frivolous a it may sound.

5. Find something that makes you feel invincible and irresistible: The usual suggestion is lingerie, of course, but I personally recommend boots. My own are tall and jungle-red and you do not want to mess with me while I am wearing them. Everyone needs some sort of armor. Really well-fitted (not shiny/skimpy/sleazy) underwear, a great haircut, or did I mention boots?

6. De-clutter the bedroom: Clutter is distracting and dispiriting and we don't need another facet of ourselves we feel the need to hide, excuse, or apologize for. Make your bedroom an oasis from life's distractions and teetering stacks of outdated magazines and expired transit passes, real or metaphorical.

7. Ask someone out: Aren't we old enough to stop waiting by the phone already? What's that fancy new Razr/Blackberry/iPhone for, anyway? (These last two are the big meta-resolutions for anyone wondering how to improve a sex life, currently playing or coming soon to a life near you).

8. Figure out what you want: This may require some research, whether via the aforementioned toy-buying (peruse the catalogs carefully for word or images that strike your fancy, no matter how unexpectedly), or by scouring the Web or a nice erotica shop for reading/watching material that rings chimes you did not know came with your equipment, or by fantasizing.

Obviously, exploration with a partner is a worthy route but one doesn't want to make the mistake of waiting until a partner is magically delivered like a surprise pizza to your door in order to start figuring out how you like to be touched. You should know this before he or she shows up. 

9. If you have a partner, tell him what you've discovered: No cheating on this one. If you don't tell, no fair being mad at him when he doesn't guess.


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