Is Your Bedroom Sabotaging Your Relationship?

April 23,2019

Does your bedroom make you want to be intimate with your partner?

Or is it a place that makes you feel frazzled, anxious, or exhausted?

Over the last few weeks, Xander and I have experienced some prime examples of the power your bedroom can have on your sex life.

Two weeks ago, we were in Phoenix, Arizona for a business conference. We stayed in the same hotel that hosted the conference, and it was your typical mid-range business hotel, with tacky art on the walls, harsh lighting, and scratchy bedsheets. It didn’t exactly inspire intimacy, and we didn’t have much of it while we were there.

Last week, we flew to Berlin for a mix of business and pleasure. Berlin is pretty cheap, so we stayed in a nice boutique hotel. The second we walked into that room, I felt relaxed. The color scheme was soothing, there was soft mood lighting, everything looked fresh and clean, and the bed was gloriously comfortable and inviting.

It was just a sexy room. And we ended up having a lot of sex in it!

The contrast between these two experiences reminded me just how important it is to have a bedroom that inspires and welcomes intimacy with your partner!

And it fit in perfectly with this month’s theme… Spring cleaning your relationship.

Every week this month, we’re going to give you tips about spring cleaning one element of your relationship. Because the truth is that pretty much every relationship needs a little refresh from time to time!

This week, my challenge to you is to “spring clean” your bedroom with the goal of improving your sex life. I’m going to walk you through four steps.

Step 1: Do an honest evaluation

Take a good, hard look at your bedroom with your partner. Ask each other, “Is this a space that we actually want to be intimate in?”

Make a list of things about your bedroom that support intimacy, and then the things about it that actively get in the way.

For example, maybe you have candles on your bedside table, and you both enjoy setting the mood with a little candlelight. That’s great!

And maybe you have your laundry bins crammed into the corner, and the messiness always ends up distracting you. Not so great!

Step 2: Pick a focus

Think about your version of an ideal bedroom. If you had to pick just one word to describe it, which word would you pick?

Relaxing? Energizing? Sensual? Private? Cozy? Minimal? Playful? Serene?

Having just one word to focus on can really help you decide how to focus your efforts in the remaining steps!

Step 3: Brainstorm

Next, come up with some specific ways that you can remove the distractions from your bedroom, add more sensuality, and incorporate your focus word.

With your partner, start by brainstorming a list of every single idea that comes to mind, no matter how big or small.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Step 4: Come up with a game plan

After you’ve made a big list of ideas, pick a couple that you think would have the maximum impact. Somewhere between 2-4 ideas is a good starting place.

For those ideas, make a game plan for how you’re going to take action.

You can divide and conquer. So maybe your partner can hang new curtains, and you can create some room in your bedside table for your favorite sex toys.

Or you can do it together, like taking an hour to rearrange the furniture.

Give this bedroom makeover a shot and let me know how it goes! You may be surprised what a bit of thought and effort towards your environment can do for your sex life!


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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!