09 20 19 — how to, people
When it’s been a long day and the only thing that’s turning you on is the thought of your sofa and sweatpants, sometimes you need to ease yourself into the right mood for sex.
Studies have found that taking the time to set the mood can help keep the spark alive in relationships and improve elements of intimacy, and sex experts say that a well-staged environment is a great place to start. Recent studies have shown that people in long term relationships who report the most sexual satisfaction are those who spend time creating an atmosphere that encourages aspects of intimacy. Statistics have also reported that these people were overall happier in their daily lives. While setting the mood can mean different things for everyone, it certainly doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many simple ways of creating the right ambiance without seeming trite (no Marvin Gaye here—unless, of course, that’s your thing).
Here’s our maudern guide to setting the mood.
Light a candle.
The flicker of candlelight immediately makes things seem more intimate (not to mention bathes our bodies in a rather flattering glow). When in doubt, lighting is always the tried and true way to quickly create a sexier backdrop and ambiance within a room. And the right fusion of scents—say, notes of amber, cedar leaf, lemongrass, tonka bean and medjool date—can help everyone relax while also stimulating the senses. Even better if it happens to be a massage candle…
Emphasize connection and communication.
It may seem obvious, but making eye contact with your partner(s) is important. Science even tells us that the mood begins the very moment your eyes meet—this action signals our partners to know we’re ready and we want them. It’s also very important to set an intention for what’s about to happen—after all, if one person is expecting a wild, energetic romp and the other is anticipating slow, sensual love-making, things may not go so well. (Our guide to mindful sex can help.)
Run a bath.
From elevating the mood, to reducing muscle tension and even detoxing properties, a warm bath can do wonders for the body. There are few better ways to unwind than an ambient, long evening soak. Running a beautiful bath is also a perfect opportunity to do something kind for your partner. Throw in some aromatic salts, some skin-softening bath oils, and create a moment of relaxation and intimacy to enjoy together.
Cue the playlist.
Like we’ve said before, music is an aphrodisiac and it’s essential to setting the mood. But again, try to make sure you’re on the same page about what constitutes the right kind of music for getting it on. One person's Celine Dion is another's Neil Young. Keep in mind what kind of music your partner enjoys and choose something that will serve well in the background. Always play up the five senses. Sound, smell, sight, touch and taste all serve as a guidebook for creating a sexy ambiance--they each have different components related to sexual arousal.
Nix the tech.
Aside from whichever device happens to be providing your sexual soundtrack, place any technology far, far away. There’s really only one thing that should be vibrating in the bedroom. The largest sex organ in our bodies is our brain, so it’s essential to create calming and relaxing moments within a space that encourages us to enjoy ourselves and our partners. Cutting out other distractions also shows compassion and consideration for your partner, so work to eliminate everything else and concentrate on the moment.