On the sex tip, I'm a huge supporter of couples gettin' theirs whenever and wherever they want. But let's be real—most people are going to opt to "engage" inside of their house and, more specifically, inside of their bedroom. And that's what got me to thinking.
In my sessions, I hear couples talk all of the time about how they wish their partner came to bed looking like sex might be on the menu rather than like they are on a sex fast—or worse, a sex strike. But when it comes to creating the right kind of ambiance, shouldn't it be about more than lingerie and sexy boxer shorts? Why is it that, when it comes to being at home, some of us really aren't in the mood to get down, but then when we're at a hotel, it's on and poppin'? Some of it, I think, is because there are certain things in our home that aren't sensual, exciting, alluring, epicurean—sexy.
This coming weekend, do you, your partner and your sex life a favor by conducting a quick inventory of your house. See if the following 15 things could be what's keeping you from treating your home like the hot and passionate love den that it should be. Shoot, with all that you're paying in mortgage or rent, you should be getting as much out of your home—especially your bedroom—as possible. And sometimes, just a little tweaking is all that you need to take your sex life up a notch or two. And what exactly are some overlooked household sexual turn-offs?
1. Poor Curb Appeal
This point might sound really weird, but first impressions are important. If it's your first time bringing someone over to your place, you might be surprised by how much they'll appreciate a well-manicured lawn, a porch that's been swept and fingerprints not being on your glass screen door. A good lover is totally into the details. Well, if you care about what your curb appeal looks like, you're quietly conveying the message that you have the tendency to be quite meticulous in some of the best ways possible.
2. A Messy House
OK, hopefully we all know the difference between "messy" and "nasty". But whether it's your first time bringing someone over to your place or you've been married for five years now, something that can be a real libido-killer is a messy house. Dishes in the sink. Clothes on the bed. Clutter all over the place. A home that is clean—or at the very least, straightened up—makes it easier for people to relax in. The more relaxed someone is, the more willing they are to have sex. So yeah, if your place is a total wreck, that is definitely working against your sex life.
3. An Old Mattress
Off top, if your mattress is more than seven years old, it's probably time to replace it (definitely don't wait past year 10). Also, if you've not been able to have the best sex of your life because you've had to worry about things like your mattress squeaking or it not being able to absorb the "shock" from all of the positions that you and your partner want to try, make sure that you select a mattress that is great for doin' the do. Ones with gel memory foam are able to offer a lot of support. Natural latex ones are made out of hypoallergenic and antimicrobial material that not only keeps stored-up bacteria at bay, but it's basically noise-resistant too. Finally, hybrids mattresses offer a cooling layer. If you're curious about how certain mattresses rate in the sex department, check out "Best Mattress For Sex 2019", "The 6 Best Beds for Sexually Active People – 2019 Reviews" and "Best Mattress For Sex: 39 Sex Therapists Share Their Tips". A great mattress is one of the most underrated tools for an awesome sex life.
4. A Bed That’s Too Big
I was just having a conversation with a wife who shares a king-sized bed with her husband. She was telling me that, whenever she tries to cuddle with him, it's like she has to reach all the way over to get to him; sometimes, she's too tired to do it. There are a ton of interior decorators and even some marriage therapists who will say that, if you want your bedroom to be a haven of intimacy, you need to have a queen-sized bed. Anything bigger than that and well, I just gave you an example of why that could end up being a really bad idea and intimacy enemy of yours.
5. Family Photos Near Your Bed
This point is something that you might have not given a lot of thought to before, but really—who wants to be in the doggy-style position, look over to their right and see their grandma and auntie staring at them from their nightstand?
Who wants to be in the middle of cunnilingus or fellatio and see their little brother or young child giggling on the dresser? Yes, everyone knows that people have sex. That doesn't mean your family is who you want to be thinking about while you're doing it, though.
Interior decorators have said for years that bedrooms should be used for sex and sleep only. Anything in your bedroom that doesn't foster those kinds of feelings and actions, they really should go someplace else.
6. Not Having a “Kink Drawer”
Massage oil. Vibrators. Handcuffs. Satin ties. Blindfolds. Edible body butter. Cockrings. Condoms. Whatever else and your partner's little hearts' desire. It's a lot easier to roll over and pull something out of a drawer that's next to you than to get up and have to walk someplace to get your sex toys 'n things. So, if you don't already have nightstands, having access to kink drawer or two is a great reason to get some.
7. Unsexy Sheets
When it comes to old-school jams, a lot of us would put "In Between the Sheets" by the Isley Brothers on the top of our sexy song list. Unfortunately, our bedding doesn't express how much we agree with its lyrics, though. While organic cotton sheets are typically the best idea overall, when you want to feel like the sexiest woman ever as you're rolling around all over your bed, opt for sheets that a 100 percent Egyptian/Prima cotton that comes with a 600-thread count. Oftentimes, they'll run you between $150-200, but they'll also keep you from getting too hot or two cold. Plus, they're super comfortable and really durable. If you happen to be on a tight budget, the next best thing are some cotton-polyester blends; they're cheaper and they don't wrinkle.
As far as colors go, a fun fact is whenever there's a linen sale, 90 percent of the sheets are white, ivory, light brown or beige. That's because a lot of people associate light neutrals with feeling fresh and luxurious (which is why most hotel sheets are white). But, as far as color psychology goes, shades of red will make you feel passionate; shades of pink will make you feel loving, and shades of purple will make you feel warm and elegant—especially if it's (pardon the pun) the color of eggplant.
8. Non-Aphrodisiac Scents
The best sex will appeal to all five of our senses—sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. I don't know about you, but there have been times when I've walked into a man's place and, if it smelled really good, I was already "down". Yeah, when it comes to setting the scene, scent is as important and relevant as anything else.
That said, sometimes, no matter how clean a house may be, it can still smell stale if windows aren't opened up every once in a while; so, make sure you do that. Also, if you want to set the mood, get an oil diffuser or buy some soy candles that come in aphrodisiac scents like—vanilla, jasmine, rose, cinnamon, sandalwood, patchouli, orange, pumpkin, lily of the valley and/or ginger. It'll get you and your partner in the mood every time.
9. No Mirrors
Mirrors are sexy—and functional. On the functional tip, if you place them on a wall that is directly across from a door, it can make your rooms look bigger. On the sensual side, while mirrors on the ceiling can seem a bit corny, a well-placed full-length mirror against a wall can be really hot if you're a visual person who likes to watch you and your partner without actually putting anything on video.
10. Bright Light Bulbs
Something else that interior decorators tend to frown upon is bright light bulbs and overhead lighting, in general; especially in the bedroom. In order to create a romantic atmosphere, go with dimmers or, at the very least, three-way light bulbs. Or, if you want to add a little color to your place, another option is to get some remote-controlled and color-changing LED RGB light bulbs. They're affordable and, a lot of them can change up to 12 different hues.
11. A Nasty Bathroom
I remember, back in my college days, there was a guy who I kicked it with for a couple of years. While he was still in school, he was an athlete, so he stayed in one of those quad dorms. Now that I've got some "love nephews" who are college athletes, some of them talk about bringing girls to their place. Whenever they tell me about it, one of the first things I say to them is, "Ugh. I remember those days. I hope you clean that nasty bathroom first."
When it comes to sexual activity, there's a pretty good chance that someone is going to need to use the bathroom and/or take a shower. That's why, aside from the bedroom, the next room that needs to be clean is the bathroom; especially when it comes to the sink and the toilet. And ladies, if you think that this is something that only guys should keep in mind, there is a scene (at around the 18:58 mark) from a great Black web series Mind of a Single Male where a woman leaves her make-up all over a guy's bathroom counter. And yes, it totally turns him off.
I once heard a comedian explain sex to her young daughter as being an amusement park and toxic waste dump all rolled into one. No one wants to think about that when they are in the mood. Oh, but they will if they happen to walk into a nasty ass bathroom.
I know. It's kind of ironic that something called a "loveseat" is a no-no for sex. But if you've got one, you know that while they are cute and save up space, they aren't the most comfortable or durable piece of furniture on the planet. That's why, if you like to have sex in your living room, den, office or man cave, you should invest in a couch instead. Make sure it's one that is—eh hem—deep and long, and that it doesn't have those thin little arms on the side. Oh, and avoid leather. It's just gonna make things slippery and/or sticky.
By the way, if you're tempted to overlook this tip, check out GQ's "Couch Sex Is the Best Sex" and Women's Health Mag's "The 18 Best Sex Positions For Doing It On The Couch". Then you'll get why I had to bring this whole couch thing up.
13. No Plants and/or Flowers
Who doesn't like Quincy Jones' throwback joint "The Secret Garden" featuring Barry White, James Ingram, Al B. Sure, El DeBarge? Now that is a sexy song right there. Speaking of sexy, there is an entire book in the Bible that has all sorts of sexual references in it as well; that book is the Song of Solomon and one of my absolute favorite lines in it is, "Behold, you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant! Also, our bed is green." (Song of Solomon 1:6—NKJV)
Green is a color that symbolizes life, energy, safety, nature, fertility, harmony and growth. So yeah, why wouldn't you want some plants and flowers, not just in your bedroom, but all over your home?
If you've got a green thumb, why not have a Hooker's Lips plant next to your bed (it really does bloom red lips, y'all)? Or, if you want to go the sexy flower route—passion flowers, roses, dahlias, orchids, roses and lavender top the sexy list. There really is something about walking into a "green space" that is very sensual and alluring. Plus, plants can calm you down and pull pollution out of the air which makes them a "win", all the way around.
14. Electronics in the Bedroom
Again, the bedroom is for sex and sleep, so no, your bedroom does not need to look like your personal office or even an entertainment center for that matter. In fact, if you've got a television in your bedroom, there's a study (of four million people) that says it will reduce the amount of sex that you have by around six percent. Another study that I checked out cited that the use of smartphones is the reason why 25 percent of women have lower libidos. So, if your sex isn't as turnt up as you'd like, there's a chance that it could be because you need to unplug more often.
15. An Empty Fridge
I can't count how many times I've given my all to a sex partner, felt famished and all they had in their fridge was a box of baking soda and some Gatorade. Listen, if you want to go a couple of rounds, it always works in your favor to have some food in your kitchen. Ones that work in you and your partner's libido's favor include watermelon, avocado, pesto, dark chocolate, potatoes, bananas, red meat, blueberries, spinach and red wine. Foods that are a no-no include canned soup, cheese, fried foods, microwave popcorn, shrimp, asparagus, deli meats, anything made out of white flour or soy and, if you're trying to make a baby, bottled water. So basically, opt for snacking on something fresh rather than ordering a pizza on Postmates and you should be good…to go. Just one more reason to go grocery shopping this week…right? #yourewelcome
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