Whether your bedroom is your own meticulously decorated oasis or just somewhere you sleep, you might be spending a lot of extra time in it if you’re suddenly working from home, living with a partner, or living with a partner who also works from home.
There’s nothing wrong with using your bedroom as a cozy, multipurpose eat/sleep/work area, but setting up your home office (the pile of pillows propping you up in bed) in the same place where you hope to have sex later isn’t always ideal when it comes to actually having sex later.
After a long day of staring at a screen in bed or at a cluttered desk just a few feet away, switching to bone mode might not be easy. (And that’s OK! There’s a deadly pandemic going on outside, and sometimes you just need a nap.) If you do want your bedroom to also feel like a sex zone, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of brushing crumbs of the bed before you bang (or, not all of the time, at least). Changing your mindset doesn’t require a total furniture/life overhaul, and you probably don’t have much space to install a stripper pole or a sex swing anyway. With a little planning, your bedroom will be ready to go when you are, whether you're on your own or with someone else.
Good lighting goes a long way, so try something softer and more natural after work.
“The first thing you should look at whenever you’re turning a space into a sexy getaway is the lighting,” said sexologist Megan Stubbs. “Consider [using] side lamps that cast softer light and shadows.” Warmer, more natural light feels more intimate, and it can also be relaxing, especially if you work in a bright room all day or usually use overhead switch lights. Turn down your dimmer switch if you have one, or drape a sheer scarf or shirt over a lamp.
As Gigi Engle, a sex coach and sexologist, said, “After staring at screens all day, the softer the lighting, the calmer you'll be.” Engle also recommended just using candles rather than lamps, which can also add a nicer scent. No need to go full Phantom of the Opera—just one or two candles will do, and when you’re done, they can go in your nightstand drawer (which might help you associate them even more with sex).
Set certain times to put away your laptop and other work stuff.
Stow away your laptops, cords, electronics, or any work materials when you’re not using them, even if that just means tucking them under your bed for a while. “Make the space feel like a place for sex and sleep, not work and stress,” said Engle. “If possible, try to leave screens outside of the bedroom. I know this is easier said than done, but it can make a big difference in overall mood.
“Before the pandemic, I never worked in my room, so this has been a huge transition for me,” said Alison Stevenson, a writer in Los Angeles and co-creator of Thick Strip, a body-positive strip show. On performance nights, Stevenson transforms her bedroom from work space to virtual strip club. “I invested in a foldable desk that has been a huge benefit. What’s great about the desk being foldable is that at night I can put it away and my room instantly feels like just my room, with no office elements.” Try creating a designated space for your work stuff, or if you need extra storage, make it something you actually enjoy looking at. “I have a small dresser type thing reserved just for my ‘office’ supplies, but from the outside, it just looks like a vintage dresser,” Stevenson said.
Minimize clutter to help you feel less distracted in the moment—and free up more areas of the room.
“You never know what kind of ocular distress that pile of need-to-hang laundry in the corner might cause when you're trying to get it on,” said Stubbs. “Tidy up the space so that the only things on your mind are you and your partner." She also said that having a partner over is far from the only reason to straighten up before getting into it: A clean and comfortable space is just as important for solo time.
Once you minimize the clutter, you’ll also have more space to move around the room without getting grossed out or out of the moment, which can be useful for switching up your location. “You don’t have to always do it on the bed,” Stevenson said. “Lately, I’ve had a few sessions in front of my full-length mirror.” Consider what else yours might reflect, and whether you'll care about that.
Stock sex essentials somewhere easy to reach.
In the name of less effort and disruption in terms of The Vibe, get your nightstand drawers in order and stock them with the things you typically like or need to have on hand during sex. Having to stop and dig around for batteries or discovering you’re out of protection can really take you out of the moment and back into the more humdrum aspects of life.
Within this, make sure you have your lube, condoms, or any other gear within easy reach. “I have a box with a variety of toys,” Stevenson said. “I make sure to have them charged, and I highly recommend having all those wires and plugs organized for easier access.” Keeping baby wipes, tissues, or a towel in your sex drawer, shelf, or box near the bed are also essential for post-sex cleanup, or for putting down a surface layer beforehand if you think things might get messy.
Change little details, like bedding or music, to switch up the mood of the room.
Particularly if the bed is your work station by day, try changing up the sheets or bedding when you clock out. This can help differentiate between work time and sex time. “I have pink satin sheets and black satin sheets, both from Ross and under $20,” Stevenson said. “They’re soft, sexy, and a little tacky, which is just how I like it.”
“The important thing is to pick colors that make YOU feel calm and sexy,” Engle said. And texture is key: No matter what they look like, make sure you choose fabrics that turn you on and feel good against your skin.
You really don't have to buy anything if you don't want to, though. Make a go-to playlist of your favorite music that works well for hooking up—something you can put on shuffle and not worry about—for a non-visual way of instantly cueing up a different atmosphere, too.
However you use it, your sex-ready bedroom space should feel relaxed, relatively organized, and well-stocked with the stuff that helps you get off. Just make sure you put it all away before your next video call with your boss.
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