Welcome to 2016, everybody! What do you think will happen in this new year of sex stories? Who will we be lusting after, learning from and reading? What taboos will be given the “former” status and what new activities will shock? I can’t wait to find out along with all of you.

Heavy Petting

So that old “taking the dog to the park” trick just might work after all! A recent (though limited) study has found that caring for a dog, and to a lesser extent a cat, can boost your attractiveness. In the study, that was specific to heterosexually-attracted people, just having a pet can make you more appealing, particularly men to women. It seems there’s an evolutionary reasoning here with women being more drawn to men who are seen as more likely to commit and be more responsible. Indeed, a pooch is more likely to fetch you a bone (groan) as people are more interested in making a relationship work with a dog person than they are a cat person. I suggest you wait and form your opinions after you spend the night at that person’s house. Both dogs and cats can disrupt sexy times with disapproving stares (cats) and uninvited tongues (dogs).

Neither Innocent Nor Guilty

I was a little apprehensive when I saw the title of this intriguing piece on using guilt to spice up your sex life by Pamela Madsen. I was worried it would be a screed on dangerous psychological manipulation to get what you want in bed. Instead, Madsen deftly outlines the idea of guilty pleasures and notes how we’ve all been saddled with societal norms and expectations - and how exciting it can be to break free from those. We’ve seen, over recent years, some forms of sex push the boundaries of those edges, but there are more and more and more for all of us to explore. Of course, we all have individual boundaries to explore. Just like Pamela, I’m also pretty curious about what your guilty pleasures are in this new year...

Sex in Stressful Times

I am truly perplexed by the stories coming out of Belgium about the army and police officers hooking up in an "orgy" while the country was on high alert after the Paris terrorist attacks. Tabloid headlines seem to be touting this as some sort of high treason and a major indictment on the state of Belgian security. After sifting through numerous articles, only a few mention a specific detail to the story: these folks were all off duty. The station they were working out of had closed at 10 p.m. The soldiers were barracked at the police station. Yes, this was a very troubling time, but what do people do in difficult times? They seek out stress relief. This is especially true for front-line workers who have been protecting citizens all day long. Leave them alone. There's no investigation needed. Maybe this is just the story needed to cover up other mistakes made in the search for those responsible for the Paris attacks.

In a DVD Player Not So Far Away ...

Another type of great big guilty pleasure (for some, while others are unabashed fans and love it) has been the dominance of "Star Wars" at the box office over the past month. Anticipation was high, but was anybody really prepared for this kind of behemoth? Hopefully the producers of a "Star Wars" parody flick knew the Force would be strong with this one because sales of "Star Wars XXX" have increased 500% since the beginning of December. With DVD sales blasting into outer space, I have to wonder how long it takes for the first "The Force Awakens" parody to be released. For the record, my favorite Star Wars porn parody isn't even X-rated!

That's General Organa, to You

Speaking of "Star Wars," the incomparable Carrie Fisher has been blowing people’s minds with her unabashed candor on many subjects relating to her career-defining role as Princess Leia. Not only has Fisher struck back at those who felt it appropriate to comment on her appearance, but she's also given new hope for women to openly talk about their sex lives. I find it quite refreshing that she is comfortable telling people how George Lucas got pervy with his sex appeal by telling her to not wear a bra because of space, but also that she slept with fans because, well, she wanted to. Not only did she sleep with nerds, but these nerds have some skills! She might not have been able to discuss these topics so openly when the first trilogy came out, but thankfully times have changed for the better (in some respects).

Positioned for Plenty

One of the most common issues for those who participate in penis- (or strap-on)-in-vagina sex is that the person with the vagina is rarely able to orgasm through penetration alone. A good solution to this situation is to stimulate the clitoris at the same time. This can ultimately enable two types of pleasure (and hey, that sounds like a good idea any time!). However, during this type of intercourse, the clit can be a little hard to reach for either participant. To avoid sore wrists and mashed fingers, this guide to sex positions for people who cannot cum through penetration alone offers some great tips on how to reach and what toys to use when additional stimulation is needed. (And, as a side note, kudos for including people of color. Hopefully some different sizes and bodies will come next!)