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10 Romantic Dates You Can Go On (In Your Own Home)

Who said you had to go out in order to spend some romantic quality time with your man?

Love & Relationships

Not too long ago, while looking up some wedding data, I read a published study on The Knot that literally had me shaking my head. It was talking about how often married couples go on dates. The findings weren't very impressive. I'll put it to you this way—while 11 percent went on dates once or more a week, 30 percent only did it once a month and 36 percent hardly ever had one. That really is kind of disturbing considering most of us have heard that the way we get someone is the way we should keep them. Plus, dating shouldn't be seen as merely a way to woo someone into being in a relationship; it should also be about wanting to spend real quality time with them. No matter how long two individuals have been together, that should never get old.

If you totally agree but the challenge is that your lifestyle (hard to find a babysitter), budget (need to save most of your coins) or current circumstances (like a roaring pandemic that is happening at the time that I am writing this) are what's preventing you and yours for being as romantic as you'd like, I've got a few ways where the two of you can still date each other from the comfort, convenience and safety of your own home.

1. Have a Spa Day (or Night)

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Something that can be romantic and sexy while also being a way to de-stress is to create a spa-themed date. It can consist of things like giving each other massages with aphrodisiac essential oils (see "Blow Your Man's Mind By Giving Him This Tantalizing Massage" and "8 Natural Aphrodisiac Scents, Where They Go & How To Make Them Last") and doing some reflexology on one another, to taking a soothing bath together; one that consists of DIY bath soak recipes. Make sure that you take luxury to another level by warming up your towels in the dryer before using them, picking up some rose petals to put into your foot soak or bathwater, lighting some soy scented candles, opening up a bottle of wine, and turning off all of your electronics (except maybe a device for some background music).

2. Binge-Watch a Series from Your College Years

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Call it blinded nostalgia if you want to, but some of my favorite television-watching years was the early 90s. A Different World. Living Single. Martin. In Living Color. Yeah, those were the days. If you were in college then, take a walk down memory lane by binge-watching some of those shows with your significant other. Whether you knew each other or not at the time, it can bring up all kinds of memories and fun stories. You can take it up a notch and eat some of the same foods that you did while you were hanging out in your campus's university center. (By the way, this suggestion applies to any television era; the early 90s is simply my personal favorite.)

3. Put a Twist to Sip & Paint

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Pretty much every city has at least one place where you can go to take painting classes while you sip on a glass of wine (or some other alcoholic beverage that tickles your fancy). Put a twist on that by throwing a very private and personal sip & paint at your house. Sure, you can put up easel if you want to. But I have something a bit more erotic in mind.

How about making some of your own body paint (or you can purchase some edible body paint, in a variety of different colors, here), stripping down to your underwear (or less) and painting each other? It's something that is both sexually stimulating and really fun at the same time; especially if you bring that bottle of red wine (which is a big time aphrodisiac) into the equation. #bottomsup

4. Go on a “Travel-Themed” Date

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There are a couple of different ways to have a travel-themed date night in your house. One way is to either order or prepare foods that represent another country. You know, maybe a pasta dish to represent Italy or a Greek salad to represent Greece. The cool thing about this idea is your date can be any time of the day. For instance, maybe you want to make some Rabanadas (which is basically Portuguese French Toast) for a breakfast or brunch date, or a couple of bowls of Vegetable Pad Thai (which represents Thailand) late at night. Selecting foods based on a particular place can be a great way to expand your palate while bonding if you plan on preparing the dishes together.

Another approach to a travel-themed date is to put on some soft music, light some soy scented candles and hop on Instagram or Pinterest to plan a dream vacation together. And just where would you get the money to pay for it? Check out "5 Reasons Why Every Married Couple Needs A Sex Jar". If you play your cards right, planning the date will be nothing more than a creative foreplay move (if you catch my drift).

5. Make a Disco Ball and Dance the Night Away

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The more that you and your partner touch each other, the more oxytocin will surge throughout your systems to make you feel emotionally close and physically connected. So, why not have a night when you turn off most of the lights, put on your favorite music playlist and dance all night long? You can make it feel more like a "formal date" by actually dressing up and even hanging a homemade DIY disco ball from your ceiling. If the ball is something that you'd like to try, you can get some fairly easy step-by-step instructions here.

6. Design Your Own Drive-In (in Your Backyard)

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Who said that you had to spend a mini mint on movie theater tickets? Buy some candy, pop some popcorn and watch your favorite flick from the comfort of your own backyard by setting up your own drive-in experience. For this idea, it all depends on how sophisticated you want it to be. You can purchase a projector and put together an entire set-up (click here, here, here or check out a great Dollar Tree video here for some tips on how to do that). Or, you can simply take your computer outdoors and watch a movie on that if you just want a change of scenery.

7. Enjoy a Sports Night Together

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Even though there is apparently a scientific reason for why men like sports more than women do, there was a Gallup poll from a few years ago that said 51 percent of women consider themselves to be some pretty diehard sports fans too. If you are one of them, another date idea is to have a sports night at home. There's not much to this one. Simply order up some hot wings or pizza, crack open a couple of bottles of beer and watch a game or competition to your hearts' content.

8. Have a Video Games Competition

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It's a huge misconception that it's only men who enjoy playing video games. In fact, one study revealed that as much as 46 percent of women consider themselves to be avid gamers. If you happen to fall into that demographic, have a video game competition with your man. If you'd prefer to take it back to old school retro stuff, articles like "The 6 Best Sites to Buy Retro Games Online" can help to point you in the right direction of finding vintage consoles and game cartridges. Just make sure that you come up with a really sexy prize for the winner in order to make this date all the more…stimulating.

9. Transform Your Bedroom into a Hotel Room

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The married people in my world know that I advocate for them having as much sex as they possibly can. I try and put my money where my mouth is by sometimes putting couples up in hotel rooms or a bed and breakfast, free of charge. If money is a little tight right now and you can't afford to book a reservation, how about transforming your bedroom into a hotel room?

Purchase some new white 300-count (or more) sheets and then apply the triple-sheeting technique where you put a thin blanket in between your top sheet and your actual comforter for more of a layered and hotel-like feel. Buy a couple of terry cloth robes. Put together a toiletry basket with things like candles, massage oil and fruits in it. Get a three-way light bulb for your lamps. Invest in a blackout curtain (so that you can sleep in the following morning). Consider investing in a sound machine or hopping onto YouTube to listen to ASMR ocean waves or rain videos.

Little touches like these can easily make you feel less like you're in your same ole' bedroom and more like you're in a five-star suite.

10. Create Your Own Bed & Breakfast

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If you decide to try the hotel room date, make the moment last even longer by waking up to some good old-fashioned morning sex, followed by a breakfast that both of you make together. If the two of you want to go a couple of more rounds after, make sure that your meal consists of aphrodisiac foods like blueberries, honey, avocados, dark chocolate and ginger. Like maybe a bowl of berries and whipped cream, some chocolate chip pancakes and/or an avocado omelet with some ginger tea. Oh, and don't forget to put it all on a tray and eat it in bed. It'll be the perfect way to end a date—or start an entirely new one, if you know what I mean.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

15 Date Ideas Based On Your Love Language

Could Your Home Decor Be Totally Wrecking Your Sex Life?

Before You Make A DIY Sex Tape, Read This.

10 Things Couples Who (Consistently) Have Great Sex Do

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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