Yes, your bedroom impacts your sex life. Here’s how to change it.


There’s no doubt our environment has a profound effect on our mood. As soon as you enter a space, a symphony of scents, sounds and visuals spark your senses, prompting the brain to interpret and react to your surroundings. Given our day starts and ends in one room, it prompts the question, how does your bedroom influence you?

The way you choose to decorate your bedroom isn’t just aesthetic, says Jessica O’Reilly, Ph.D., sexologist, relationship therapist, and WeVibe ambassador. According to O’Reilly, the objects, scents, textures and sounds in your bedroom all subtly influence intimacy, especially if you share the space with a significant other. Yes, positioning your phone charger on the nightstand could inhibit your sex life and choosing a new scent could help spark arousal and blood flow.

As it turns out, your bedroom could subtly impact your sex life — here’s how to make the most of it.

PRIORITIZE PRIVACY

O’Reilly works with thousands of couples during her relationship retreats and says privacy is a common concern. “Couples often complain that they can’t relax in their own bedrooms, as they fear that their kids will walk in at any moment,” she says. Beyond installing a lock on your door, she recommends using sound to create a sense of privacy. “Purchase a white noise machine to drown out intrusive sounds and help you to relax.”

Curating a playlist can also prompt intimacy. “The contagion hypothesis and associated research suggest that music sways our mood, as we tend to mimic what we hear in our environment,” she explains. “Listening to your favorite music can produce similar emotional reactions as consuming fine food or even drugs. This is because music can activate the reward and motivations system of the brain resulting in chemical reactions including dopamine spikes.”

ADDRESS ‘TECHNOFERENCE’

“My husband and I struggled with ‘technoference’ in the bedroom for years, and it took us months to transition our bedroom to a tech-free zone, but it was well worth the effort in the end,” says O’Reilly. Simply charging your phone on the nightstand can be a distraction, so she recommends keeping it completely out of the room. “I suggest that couples ban personal devices (e.g., cellphones, laptops and tablets) from their bedroom, and if they live in a multilevel home, I strongly encourage them to limit these devices to the main floor exclusively,” she says. “Don’t even let them creep up (or down) the stairs to your bedroom, as they detract from focus and intimacy even when they’re in silent mode.”

DECLUTTER YOUR TOP DRAWER

Clutter doesn’t just look bad, it also has a psychological effect. A UCLA study found women who live in a messy environment have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with anxiety, digestive problems and more. If your bedroom needs tidying, O’Reilly recommends starting with your bedside drawer. “Replace receipts, to-do lists and other random items that pile up over time with mints, lube and your favorite toys. When the mood strikes, you don’t want to go hunting for your essential accoutrements.”

DECORATE WITH COLOR

“Whether you opt for a throw pillow, a lightbulb or lingerie draped over the bedpost, a pop of red has the potential to help reignite the spark. The color red is not only associated with love, passion and sex, but research suggests that it enhances attraction regardless of gender,” she says.

“Psychological research suggests that red has the potential to heighten energy, increase heart rate, and intensify emotional response — all of which can be harnessed for sensual and intimate pleasure,” she points out. In one study, heterosexual women deemed men more attractive if their photograph was taken against a red background than white. “When heterosexual men participated in the same study (looking at photos of other men), the backdrop color had no bearing on attractiveness ratings — this suggests that the allure of the color red is connected to sexual attraction as opposed to merely the aesthetic,” she says.

RETHINK PHOTOGRAPHS ON DISPLAY

While you’re decluttering, take a closer look at the photographs on display. “Wedding and family photos often find their way into your bedroom, but if you’re no longer in touch with one of your bridesmaids or you’re experiencing tension with a sibling or cousin, you may want to move their photo out of your bedroom,” says O’Reilly. “Even photos of your kids and other loved ones can detract from sensuality and eroticism, so consider finding another spot to feature and enjoy them.”

CHOOSE SCENTS WISELY

Yes, there is a science to the scents you find appealing. “Human attraction is scent-driven and a range of research connects various scents with arousal and blood flow,” she explains. “The aroma of peppermint, lavender, licorice, and even donuts can help to set the mood. What better way to heighten your olfactory response than via an aromatherapy diffuser and essential oil collection?”

———

Get the latest on home decor trends, design ideas, shopping guides and food news, and take a look inside your favorite celebrity homes on DomaineHome.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Alzheimer’s Association, Atlanta Braves team up for folks with dementia
Alzheimer’s Association, Atlanta Braves team up for folks with dementia

Atlanta seniors living with dementia were recently treated to a feast of the senses designed to prompt their memories of America’s favorite pastime. There was the smooth feel and smell of a leather glove, the bright red stitching of a Rawlings, the salty taste of popcorn and roasted peanuts, and the sights and sounds of a crowd cheering and announcers...
Private vs. public: 6 ways private and public school differ 
Private vs. public: 6 ways private and public school differ 

For parents of preschoolers right on up to those with high schoolers eyeing the all-important college admissions game, the decision to attend private versus public school can be a weighty one. And you can't even rely on long-held assumptions about the merits of each. A recent Time piece asserted that sending a kid to private school could actually save...
College students moonlight as ‘grandkids’ for hire
College students moonlight as ‘grandkids’ for hire

When Andrew Parker’s grandfather began suffering from dementia three years ago, his grandmother had to start taking care of the house and caring for him. It was hard work, and one day, Parker got the idea to hire a college student to help out. “I said, ‘Hey, can you go hang out with my grandfather and make him a sandwich or something?...
The Piedmont Park 2018 schedule: festivals, concerts and preservation
The Piedmont Park 2018 schedule: festivals, concerts and preservation

Bought in 1834 for $450, closed to traffic in 1983, and today the 189-acre crown jewel of Atlanta green space, Piedmont Park is an Atlanta icon. Centrally located in the heart of Midtown, it’s big enough to host our largest concert and festival productions, and versatile in its offering for families, young professionals and day-drinking...
Faith calendar

Basketball league: Boys will be able to improve their skills and have fun during a summer basketball league. Sessions will include warm-ups and rotating scrimmages. Open to boys in kindergarten through second grade. Registration is $90. 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays, June 26 and July 10-24. Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody. 770-394-0675...
More Stories