Here's how a month marked by two retrogrades and a sign switch for the planet of sex will affect your relationships.
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January Horoscopes - Sex & Love
Credit: Alex Sandoval

No matter how your 2021 landed, it's always refreshing to be presented with a brand new calendar year. It's the ultimate blank slate on which you can write your hopes, dreams, intentions, and visions — especially those you have for your love and sex life. But it bears noting that while there will be opportunity for fulfilling romance and deepening relationships over the course of the year, January 2022's astrology isn't so much about kicking off something new as it is about looking back.

That's because the month hosts not only one but two retrogrades that could be easily felt in your day-to-day — and, particularly, in your love life. Venus, the planet of romance, continues its retrograde in industrious earth sign Capricorn until January 29, stalling relationship matters and requiring internal work around relating, self-love, pleasure, and your perception of beauty. As it moves backward, it'll conjunct the confident sun on January 8, helping you to feel more self-assured and prepared to act. And just before it goes direct, it'll pair up with transformative Pluto for the third time recently (the last two conjunctions were on December 11 and 25), intensifying desires in a way that could even morph into infatuation and power play. (Also read: How to Decode Zodiac Sign Compatibility)

From January 14 to 25, messenger Mercury, the planet of communication, will be retrograde in future-minded air sign Aquarius, similarly urging you to go inward and reflect on how you're standing in your sense of self and showing up in all of your bonds, whether romantic and platonic. And from the 25th to February 3, it'll move back through Capricorn, reviving any interpersonal issues that arose last month.

Read: Your 2022 Horoscope for Love and Sex

A Cancer full moon on January 17 underlines themes of security, your roots, sentimentality, and caring for yourself as well as you do for others.

And action-oriented Mars, the planet of sex, moves into bossy Capricorn on January 24 — inspiring a more goal-oriented vibe and possibly more experimentation with Saturnian BDSM — until March 5.

Want to know more about how January's astrological highlights will affect your sex life? Read on for your sign's January 2021 sex horoscope. Pro tip: Be sure to read your rising sign/ascendant, aka your social personality, as well as your sun sign. You can find your ascendant with this online rising sign calculator or by getting a natal chart reading to find out. (And read your January 2021 Horoscope while you're at it, too.)

aries horoscope

Aries (March 21–April 19)

Your focus has been more on your career than anything else lately — yep, even your sex life — but around January 17, when the full moon lands in your fourth house of home life, you could be feeling like it's time to tip the scales and balance how much energy you're pouring into all areas of your life. Whether you have to tackle a pressing issue in your apartment with your S.O. or you're stirred to do self-work around old emotional wounds, this moment will be all about taking a step back from your intense hustle to care for your inner life. From January 19 to February 18, the confident sun moves through your eleventh house of networking, turning your focus to platonic bonds. If you're single, this period could be useful for meeting a potential partner — or sexy new hookup — through your friends, and if you're attached, you and your S.O. could find it easier to plan double and group dates, which by allowing you to see one another in a different light, could strengthen your relationship. (Related: The Best Openers to Use On Any Dating App)

taurus horoscope

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Since last month, a bevy of planets have been hanging in your ninth house of adventure, pushing you out of your comfort zone, and from January 24 to March 5, gung-ho Mars, the planet of sex, will be there, too, motivating you to not only move beyond your usual routine in the bedroom but experiment and learn along the way. Whether you've been thinking of trying shower sex, dominant and submissive role play, or bold new positions, this transit can light a fire under you. And around January 17, when the full moon falls in your third house of communication, you'll feel stirred to have an emotional heart-to-heart with your S.O. or a dear friend. Talking through tough emotions can lead to feeling reassured that your vision for your romantic future is on track.

gemini horoscope

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Romantic Venus continues its backward turn through your eighth house of emotional bonds and sexual intimacy until January 29, potentially dragging out hookup ghosts from the past but also requiring you to tie up loose ends around shared resources with a partner. In short, you're being challenged to look to — and make peace with — the past in order to best prepare for your love life's future. And gung-ho Mars will be there, too, from January 24 to March 5 is sure to crank up your focus on your sex life. Not only will you be more in touch with what you want emotionally and physically — and craving it more than usual. And although you're generally more comfortable with all things light and airy, this transit can also urge you to dive into exploring deep feelings and learning about what you need and could stand to ask for more of. (See: How to Manifest Love — and the Kind You Deserve)

cancer horoscope

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Romantic Venus continues to retrograde through your seventh house of partnership until January 29, requiring self-reflection around how you're showing up in your one-on-one relationships. Although this transit has you looking backward, the January 2 new moon there marks a sweet opportunity to set a powerful intention around what you want moving forward. And around January 17, the full moon in your sign cranks up your sensitivity, sentimentality, and the intensity of your innermost desires. The moment's all about exploring and striking a balance between what you need for yourself and what your partner — current or future — requires. And once sexy Mars moves through your seventh house from January 24 to March 5, you'll be presented with a clear runway for tackling any shared goal — in or out of the bedroom — with your S.O. If you're single, consider sharing a powerful love-related intention with your BFF who can be a major source of support as you navigate your game plan.

leo horoscope

Leo (July 23-August 22)

From January 14 to 25, messenger Mercury will be retrograde in your seventh house of partnership, dredging up relationship issues from the past that demand your attention and ideally, a resolution. Remember that retrogrades generally ask you to retread well-worn terrain differently than you may have in the past. This transit's all about you showing up for yourself – and possibly for your S.O. — in a way that not only feels more genuine and creates plenty of space for compromise. The confident sun, your ruler, will be in the same zone from January 19 to February 18, turning your attention even more so to your one-on-one connections. You'll be considering your long-term relationship goals and whether or not you might want to implement a new strategy for hitting them. At the same time, making a point to prioritize downtime with your sweetheart or a potential new partner can benefit your bond and your fulfillment — physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

virgo horoscope

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Sweet Venus continues its retrograde in your fifth house of romance until January 29, urging you to reflect on and experiment with how you're expressing yourself in love and pursuing pleasure. Once the planet of relationships pairs up with the confident sun on January 8, you may feel as though you've hit a turning point and have learned more about your desires and how you can ensure they're fulfilled. Prepare to come away from this transit feeling truly empowered. And while action-oriented Mars occupies the same zone from January 24 to March 5, you'll get another burst of energy and motivation to infuse your sex life with more fun and creativity. You're generally hyper-focused on your work and big picture goals, but these few weeks give you the green light to take a time-out when necessary — and put your steamiest fantasies front and center for a change, whether that's pursuing a threesome or finally trying tantric sex with your partner.

libra horoscope

Libra (September 23-October 22)

From January 2 to 24, messenger Mercury will be in your fifth house of romance and self-expression, cranking up fun, flirtatious, creative communication. If you've been wanting to share how you feel with someone new or write a sexy note to your S.O., you'll be particularly inspired now. Just bear in mind that from the 14th to the 24th, Mercury will be retrograde there, causing you to look in the rearview mirror at your romantic past. You're one of the signs most susceptible to texts from exes now, so it'll be crucial to remember that Mercury's a trickster, and getting haunted by a hookup ghost may be nothing more than a test to ensure you've fully moved on. And once the confident sun moves through your fifth house from January 19 to February 18, you'll enjoy more self-assuredness in love and in the bedroom. Because it'll feel easier to be more direct and playful about what you want, this can be one of the hottest transits of the year for you.

scorpio horoscope

Scorpio (October 23–November 21)

As romantic Venus moves backward through your third house of communication until January 29, your mind has been nearly nonstop buzzing with thoughts, brainstorms, and ideas for your romantic future — informed by your past, of course. Big conversations are inevitable now, and around January 8, when the confident sun pairs up with sweet Venus, you could be ready to have a major conversation with your S.O., if you're attached, or to put yourself out there in a whole new way, if you're single. What would normally feel like a leap of faith can actually seem like a no-brainer now, because you'll be so self-assured. Speaking of leaps of faith, around January 17, when the full moon lights up your ninth house of adventure, you — a total creature of habit — will actually be fed up with your mundane old routine between the sheets. Your emotions could steer you toward tuning into and more fully embracing your sexual impulses. (See: Understanding These 2 Types of Sexual Desire Will Help You Feel In Control of Your Libido)

sagittarius horoscope

Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)

You'll be kicking off the new year feeling busier than ever, thanks to messenger Mercury moving through your third house of communication after January 2. But on January 14, it goes retrograde, requiring you to slow down and deal with old business. If you're single, you might be less inclined to say yes to dates with new matches, preferring to see where things go with someone you've already been seeing or to use this time to work on feeling more emotionally centered. If you're attached, this could be a key opportunity to carve out time to dream with your S.O. and spitball game plans for making your shared future vision a reality. Around January 17, when the full moon lights up your eighth house of emotional bonds and sexual intimacy, you'll be reflecting on what you need to feel most comfortable in your closest relationship — current or down the road. Even just flirting with the idea of being more vulnerable can kinda freak you out, but you might realize that it's actually the key to feeling truly seen and connected in an emotionally and spiritually — and, in turn, physically — fulfilling way. (Related: How to Build Intimacy with a Partner)

capricorn horoscope

Capricorn (December 22–January 19)

Because romantic Venus is still moving backward in your sign until January 29, this month is all about continuing to ensure the image you're projecting in your love life reflects who you genuinely are and what you want most. And around January 8, when the vitality-bringing sun pairs up with Venus there, you'll be feeling more confident about the moves you've been making lately. If you're single, you could get the sense that your app profile refresh is resulting in matches who are a better fit than they were previously, and if you're attached, your newfound self-assurance can have your S.O. feeling even more attracted and turned on than usual. And around January 17, when the full moon falls in your seventh house of partnership, you'll be reflecting on how you can best create space for both your own needs and those of your S.O. — present or future. This is set to be an intuition-boosting lunar event, so consider tuning into your heart over your head for the answers you're seeking.

aquarius horoscope

Aquarius (January 20–February 18)

With the planet of communication, Mercury, moving into your sign on January 2, you'll find it's easier to share exactly what's on your mind with your S.O. or potential partners. And it'll be fairly smooth sailing until the messenger planet is retrograde there from January 14 to 25. That's when you'll be nudged to meditate on how you're expressing yourself and presenting your long-term vision, possibly even refining the specifics. And once Mercury slips back into your twelfth house of spirituality from January 25 to February 3, you might be more inclined to spend more time dreaming — and keep what you're musing about to yourself until you have more clarity. And as fiery Mars moves through your twelfth house from January 24 to March 5, your imagination will get a major boost. Even if you're not quite ready to share what you're craving sexually, giving yourself plenty of time and space to explore your desires feels right now.

pisces horoscope

Pisces (February 19–March 20)

Around January 17, when the full moon falls in your fifth house of romance, you'll want to take a break from training your focus on team projects so you can prioritize your own pleasure, fun, and self-expression. You could feel guilty taking the step back from pitching in on a communal goal, but devoting time and energy to your heart's desires feels like a must now. Consider a weekend getaway with your S.O. or getting swept up in sexy, flirty banter with a new app match. And while the confident sun is in your twelfth house of spirituality from January 19 to February 18, you'll be even more in touch with your dreams than usual. You'll do well to let your imagination run wild by meditating more or diving into a favorite creative outlet. You could land on helpful insights that can inspire you to care for yourself even more fully within your closest relationships.