Sometimes sex is no more than a mood you create. The space you find yourself in, the air you breathe, the lights you dim, the furniture you lounge upon, the music you choose to play (no Barry White or his ilk, please) — all these things can serve to ignite your passion…or snuff it. So follow these simple steps to create the right environment for good sex.
All items suggested below make great gifts for a loved one…
Straighten Up to Relax
Just as you would decorate and straighten up before having platonic company over for dinner, so should you decorate and straighten up for more intimate guests. Remember, it’s not just the bedroom that can sustain a sensual mood. A sexy night can begin the moment you or your partner walks in the door, and every room you move through can play a part. So remove the day’s mail from the coffee table and replace it with an orchid plant or that blush-worthy gift we told you to buy. Pull the drapes across the windows as if to say, This evening is for our eyes only. Or if you’re feeling saucy, leave the drapes open just a sliver so that later your misbehaving shadows catch the eyes of passersby. Make sure your abode smells nice, but not overwhelming sweet or antiseptic — go with subtly-scented aromatherapy accessories (not Febreze).
The Right Lighting
Extinguish daytime’s harsh overhead lights in favor of dim, flattering lighting (installing smart-plugs or smart-bulbs with dimmer controls is a great trick; so is floor lighting tucked in corners and behind furniture). When you switch to candlelight, it’s immediately clear that no more bills will be paid, no more dishes will be scrubbed, no more magazines will be skimmed, no more phones will be answered (but if you light enough candles to be a fire hazard, you’ve overdone it). Instead of “dealing”, you’ll be poring over each other’s bodies, admiring how light falls on skin, how the flickering flames dramatize your partner’s curves or sinews.
Pre-Sex Decor & Accessories
Ignore any furniture that isn’t built for two, so that even if you’re just dozing in front of a movie, you’re doing so with your legs intertwined. Or sprawl on a faux-fur rug, surrounded by copious cushions, so that even if you’re doing the crossword, you’re in each other’s arms — sometimes a few hours of this-might-not-go-anywhere body contact is all the seduction you need. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, then light a damn fire every now and then. If the fire grows dim (or you live in a bedsit), snuggle up under a blanket. (Cashmere’s nice if you live on a cashmere-and-caviar budget, but anything soft will do.)
Moving Things to a Well-Appointed Bedroom
Ultimately, you’ll be drawn to the bedroom. Kiss as you go. Open the window to let the long curtains move gently in the breeze. (Or to give the nosy neighbors something to listen to.) The lights should be, yes, dimmed. There should be no clutter, no mess, nothing in sight that is not meant for spending the night together (if this meant shoving all your crap under the bed with the dust bunnies, so be it). Slide your limbs between silk sheets (or at least sheets with a decent thread count). Consider moving the standing mirror closer to the bed for later kinky use.
Moving Things Out of the Bedroom
And if the satin sheets are in the wash? Sometimes, changing your usual sex venue is all you need to reinvigorate the usual sex ritual. There’s no rule book that says good lovin’ must take place in the bedroom each and every time:
- A new five-star hotel in town is an excuse to break the routine. Dress up in one of the silk nighties for the night. Indulge in oysters at the bar. And later press each other against the thick glass door of the shower in your well-appointed room upstairs.
- A sleazy budget motel rented for a lunch-hour might bring out the taboo in you.
- A lavish soiree may give you the opportunity to part, flirt with others until you “accidentally” bump into each other, introduce yourselves as if you’ve never met before, and eventually abscond to a nearby stairwell to lock lips.
- Or a romantic picnic in a remote corner of the park might inspire you to commune on the long leaves of grass.
You certainly don’t need a lot of money to set a sexy mood (the satin, cashmere, and five-star hotel are just optional extras for the luxe set). You only need a willingness to invest a little time, effort, and imagination. In the end, if you can both keep your eyes open and still get (and stay) in the right head space for fantastic sex, then you’ve succeeded. We’d give you a medal, but in this case the fantastic sex is its own reward. Plus, we’re all out of medals.