I’m one of those people who has a song in mind for almost any keyword said in a sentence. It’s a gift and curse, to my friends and my readers. Today’s song was “Sex Room” by Ludacris and however annoying it might be, I’m excited to get into it with you all. Netflix’s recently dropped a new series – How To Build a Sex Room – which is for sure the adult HGTV series I never knew I needed. But it’s so much better than any HGTV series and honestly better than anything I could’ve anticipated.
The show explores making practical sex rooms for those who will be using them. And a sex room doesn’t always mean cold, dungeon vibes. No! Instead, part of what makes the show great is that they meet people where they are and really take into account the purpose or intended use for the sex rooms, in addition to personality. You get a good variety of luxuries mixed with the feelings of home.
And while I’m not going to spoil the show, I do want to get into what and why someone might need a sex room. Maybe you want one for yourself or maybe you’re someone who passed the preview of this show and wondered, “What’s the point?” If so, keep reading.
Reasons to Consider Having a Sex Room
(L to R) Ryan, Raj, Melanie Rose in episode 102 of How To Build a Sex Room.
Courtesy of Netflix
1. Parental Control and Boundaries
Parents who co-sleep with their children may find it difficult to maintain an air of sexiness in the very room they once created their children in. Though we might say at a certain age parents should set boundaries, realistically keeping your child in their own room is not a boundary that’s always possible. That said, parents might opt for a sex room in order to rejuvenate themselves back into the seductive period of courting prior to having children. Sometimes the boundary setting is simply a matter of changing the setting and opting for privacy in other, less seemingly dismissive ways. This can be accomplished with a sex room.
2. Separation of Home and Sex
While not every sex room is dungeon-style, some are. And regardless of the aesthetic, there may be people who wish to keep their preferred kinks as private as possible. I can’t count on one hand how many times I’ve forgotten to put away my vibrator and someone walks into my home only to see it on the coffee table. And that’s a normalized part of sex…masturbation. However, imagine having someone walk into your home and you forgot to put away your flogger or box of butt plugs, and so on? The sex room helps to provide an extra layer of privacy. Not because you wish to be secretive or feel shameful, but because keeping certain parts of your life separate from others is good form as far as boundaries go. Plus, it can be really sexy to have this part of your home where only you and your lovers exist.
3. Sex, Staycation Style
The monotony of being home and having sex in the same way, in the same place can sometimes be…annoying. But also coming across safe spaces to play with your partner can be equally…annoying. Having one at home allows you to escape the day-to-day without incurring the fees associated with sex clubs. Furthermore, there’s this unspoken rule of exclusivity where you really have to know the right people in order to find kink scenes in certain cities. Having your own sex room eliminates the need for that as you create your own.
Courtesy of Netflix
4. Swinging Made Easy
If one of your kinks is swinging, a sex room might just be mandatory. Not every city has swingers clubs and in my experience when they do have swingers clubs they aren’t always diverse (age and race-wise). But having a sex room in your home allows you to host other couples consensually, thus minimizing the requirement of having to find a couple to swing with in exclusive spaces.
5. Safe Spaces and Such
For those who are into kink and wish to try out new gadgets and contraptions, I encourage you to do so safely. But hold please, because in this case, the safety I’m speaking of is more towards reading the requirements for hanging your equipment from walls and ceilings. Because this can be necessary for swings and such, some couples may opt for a sex room in an area in their house where the ceilings are more conducive to that type of sex gear – like the basement.
The bottom line is there are many reasons that people may want sex rooms. However, I think in any case it comes down to having a safe space to be able to reconnect or even connect with ourselves in ways that weren’t made possible (for whatever reason) beforehand.
If this appeals to you, you may be wondering how to create a sex room for yourself, especially after watching the Netflix series How to Build a Sex Room. Here are some ways.
- Self-Survey: Remember A.S.L via Aim? You should and if you don’t you’re far too young to be reading this article. But similar to that, you want to get a quick and dirty rundown of what you're looking for out of your sex room. So, in this case, A.S.L stands for "agenda, sex, and location."
- Agenda – What do you wish to get out of this sex room? What is your why?
- Sex – What type of sex or touch do you intend to have in this space? How do you intend to utilize this space? Is it a swinging space, or one that is just for you and bae? Do you want to explore new kinks or are you pretty airtight on the things you want to try?
- Location – Where in your home do you envision this work of art being crafted? Are we keeping it in the bedroom or do we want it somewhere covert?
(L to R) Ryan, Raj, Melanie Rose in episode 101 of How To Build a Sex Room.
Courtesy of Netflix
- DIY or For Hire: This one is rather simple. Hmm, on second thought, if you’re someone who doesn’t understand limitations, like me, you might have a difficult time realistically gauging how to go about building your sex room. Nevertheless, you must decide if this is something you want to pull a “do it yourself” with or if it requires you to hire a contractor. Perhaps a combination of the two – it simply depends on the answers to the first two questions.
- Secret Shopper: Purchase the toys you’ll need to fill this space. However don’t get caught up like a kid at Christmas, as we want this space to be fulfilling but efficient – not cluttered. You might consider creating a list of must-haves to get you started and then creating a secondary. Wishlist.
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Featured image courtesy of Netflix
Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Self-employment is something many people prefer or aspire to, as being your own boss is both admirable and empowering. And women are bossing up more than ever, representing almost 40% of all self-employed professionals. Being self-employed myself, I can attest to the benefits, but like everything in life, there are two dueling sides to every coin. And if you're considering taking the leap from 9-to-5er to self-employed, there's a lot to consider before totally pulling the plug on your day job.
Here are a few things to know, from my own experience, before transitioning into self-employment:
1. Recognize that self-employment is not entrepreneurship.
There are key differences between being an entrepreneur and being self-employed that many people get all mixed up and confused about. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they are definitely not the same.
A self-employed person operates just like an employee, often offering services and talents to business owners, nonprofits, or organizations. An entrepreneur typically offers goods and services to a client or customer, registers their business for tax purposes, and can reap the benefits of resources like business bank accounts, financing, and investments.
When you're self-employed, you often don't get paid if you don't work, most typically as a freelancer or on a project-by-project or client-by-client basis. When you're an entrepreneur, you can successfully scale a business where you can reap the benefits whether you're actively working in it or not.
You can indeed launch a one-person business (i.e., as a limited liability company or LLC), but there are requirements related to that, particularly when it comes to taxes. There are also things to consider, such as lifestyle, goals, and risk tolerance. The annual and financial obligations entrepreneurs have aren't the same as self-employed professionals, like additional taxes, filing fees, and mandatory financial reports.
(I know some of y'all entrepreneurs might be reading this with a side-eye, but hey, not every self-employed person is a business person, and some simply might not want the extra maintenance and responsibilities of having a registered business, no matter the perks.)
While I'm not discouraging any self-employed person from launching a business, knowing the difference between the two is important because it sets the tone for how you approach the work that you do, your expectations on the lifestyle and requirements, and what benefits might be afforded to you.
Many entrepreneurs can employ people, scale their businesses for expansion, get capital investment, and even take days, weeks, or months off without having to actually work yet still reap the benefits. This is often not the case for a self-employed person whose salary largely depends on actual work hours, paid invoices, and strategic budgeting.
2. Inform yourself about the tax obligations and other financial shifts that might happen once you are self-employed.
When you're working a 9-to-5, your company handles taking taxes out of each check. This is not the case for self-employed folk. There's a quarterly schedule that must be followed for federal taxes, and there are other regulations based on the state where you primarily work (even if you're working remote). If you're used to having a hands-off approach to taxes (other than going to the tax preparer once a year), you definitely want to shift your expectations and get to know all the information you can about self-employment taxes.
Also, the way you budget might be a bit different when you're self-employed. If you find, for example, that you're constantly living check to check or that you're used to a guaranteed paycheck every two weeks, you'll need to shift the way you look at how money flows in your household.
Self-employment can include periods where you're not getting paid as consistently, and many companies work with invoices that are paid 30, 60, or even 90 days after you've finished the work you've done for them. Keep this in mind and plan accordingly based on the industry you'll be working within.
Talk to a tax or personal finance professional to find out about how your finances and tax obligation might change once you decide to become self-employed, and then set up a plan so that you won't get caught slipping come Tax Day. The process is different for self-employed people, and this is an important aspect of the process that will save you lots of money and stress in the long run.
I learned the hard way to negotiate, upfront, a set period of time for my services (when applicable and reasonable) to be written into a contract and to set my rates not solely based on my previous salary but considering additional costs like WIFI, travel, health insurance that I have to pay for out-of-pocket, home office technology and tools, and the time it actually takes to complete tasks. The pandemic brought home how super-important this was because, as a freelancer, someone can simply cut you with no compensation or warning.
3. Get to know your true strengths and weaknesses when it comes to work ethic, skills, environment, and motivation.
Self-employment is definitely not for the faint at heart. It can be a constant hustle in the beginning, and if you're not careful, you might end up wondering how you'll pay your rent or car note simply because you don't have clients or work lined up. It's good to be a self-starter and super-organized. It's also good to brush up on your marketing, communications, and sales skills because you'll need to pitch yourself and your background in order to land projects and clients.
While working your full-time job, take a few courses or find a self-employed mentor so that you can strengthen your skills in areas where you might need some improvement (i.e., pitching, online marketing, social media branding, or project management.) Practice self-employment on the side as an intern or with a side hustle so you can learn a bit more about yourself that you might be overlooking while serving as an employee.
Being self-employed means you become multiple departments in one person. For example, your current company provides support like assistants, accounting departments, legal teams, and IT, so you might not be used to having to handle all of those things on your own. For some, this can be overwhelming, while others find the challenge invigorating and worth the sacrifice if it means having autonomy and financial and time freedom.
Also, if you're motivated to do your best by being around teams or working in an office, self-employment might be too isolating for you. True, there are groups and co-working cultures you can join, but it's definitely not the same as having built-in comradery of fellow full-timers at a company. Be aware of these things so that you're realistically making a choice that suits the life you want to live and the work experience you want to have in order to thrive.
4. Create an emergency fund solely for the transition.
While you're working a 9-to-5, create a separate savings account just for the transition. Anything can happen between quitting your job and getting your first freelance gig, client, or project. When I first stepped out to be self-employed, I thought I had the dream client, only to find out that it wasn't a good fit and I'd be looking for a new one after six months. This might happen several times before you really hit a groove, find your fit, build up your reputation, and get consistent work.
Having a financial cushion outside of your usual emergency fund helps to soften the blow if something like a client loss, a late invoice payment, or an unexpected work-related expense (i.e., computer replacement or broken equipment repair) comes up.
Sometimes, self-employment can include certain up-front costs like renting an office space, investing in new technology or other tools, travel expenses, or hiring other self-employed professionals (i.e., a consultant, web designer, or tax preparer), so you'll want to be smart, be prepared, and keep your receipts.
5. Understand your why.
Every great and sustainable journey starts with a good reason---a "why" that keeps a person going. If you know your why, you're less likely to just give up when things get rough, and you're less likely to make costly, mentally and physically draining mistakes. I decided to go for full-time self-employment because, after more than a decade working in my field, I really felt burned out at the time, began to resent not being promoted as quickly as I thought I should, and saw that I could make more money contracting my skills and talents out than working full-time for one company.
I also loved that I could pick and choose who I worked with and align my values with the projects that I was part of (versus being forced due to being a full-time employee beholden to a contract and the so-called values of a corporation or company.)
I've made quite a few mistakes over the years, but my why remains the same, and when times get hard, I simply remember the overall peace, flexibility, and autonomy I have in serving the women millennial audiences I want to serve through journalism and communications.
6. Be sure that you're offering services or expertise that can be used for years to come and that's competitive.
If you're considering self-employment, be sure your skills are competitive and have a future of need. I knew, even a decade ago, that much of the media industry was going the freelance route, and today, with layoffs becoming commonplace and full-time employee budgets being cut, contract work has become the name of the game. I saw this industry shift coming a mile away, and, like my early foray into digital media before publishing houses were monetizing it, I knew eventually, freelance work would be abundant and preferred.
If you're already doing a job that is in high demand or you offer something niche and one-of-a-kind, working for yourself might be the move. But if you've found that your current skills might be obsolete in the next two to five years, try learning another skill, shifting how you do the work you do, or tapping into another passion that can ensure you're offering something valuable in a market where it's direly needed.
Self-employment can be a joy and a pain, and for many of us, it's the only choice for self-care, mental wellness, and financial freedom. If you're considering taking the leap, take into account these tips and go forward in bold confidence, informed, and prepared.
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Featured image LaylaBird/Getty Images