Movies make sex look so easy. The characters are always magically able to get over their hangups, become immediately turned on, and spoiler — everyone always orgasms. In real life, humans don't have "on" buttons (although... toys can come pretty close).
Instant arousal can happen, but that doesn't always mean it will happen. The brain is the most powerful sex organ, and until your head is calm and clear, sex is usually off the table. Once you've finally allowed your brain to relax, your mind is free to start roaming into naughtier pastures. But to get there, you have to remember — to get into the mood, and you have to set the mood.
A Moment Like This
Sex experts maintain that making an effort to create an environment conducive to sex can help keep the spark alive in a relationship. You'd be surprised to know that setting the mood for romance isn't always about showering the bed in rose petals. There are a handful of factors at play when you're trying to get into the right headspace to fool around. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Clear the clutter
After a hectic day, the last thing you or your partner wants is to move a pile of dirty laundry off the bed so you can get down. A cluttered, chaotic space is a bonafide vibe killer. You don't have to be meticulously clean, but a little tidying up can go a long way.
Communicate your desires
There's a fine line between letting your partner know you feel like making love and pressuring them into it. That being said, they're not psychic either. There's nothing wrong with making eye contact and vocalizing your desires. If you feel awkward or intimidated, you can be less direct by letting them know how sexy they look or sending them a naughty text before they get home from work. Because who doesn't want to hear that their partner wants them?
Be sure to read the room and your partner's cues before you get too hot. Mouthing "I want you" to your partner while they're on the phone with their mom may not always be the best idea. Coming up behind them while they're doing the dishes and giving them a playful nibble on the ear may be a better moment.
Remember the little things.
Finding a nice balance between being overly blunt and too coy is a crucial starting point, but there are other subtle ways to build anticipation. These little things can make your partner feel appreciated and put them in a loving mood.
Leaving them a sweet (or sexy) note, hanging up your lingerie where they can see, surprising them with a small gift (we love a good massage candle), or an indulgent aphrodisiac like chocolate can make all the difference.
Create a sanctuary
Even if your room doubles as your gym and your kitchen moonlights as a home office, you can still create a little sanctuary for you and your boo. Setting a romantic mood in the bedroom and elsewhere doesn't have to be complicated. Try changing your sheets to something silky or satiny, keep soft throw pillows around and dim the lights or toss a scarf over a lamp. A few touches can make a space feel drastically different and make sex better.
One surefire way to create a sensual ambiance is to light a candle. Candlelight casts a sultry glow that makes everyone look sexy. Playing around with different scents can elevate the mood even more. And don't forget the final and most important thing — keep those phones silenced and out of view.
Queue the music
Music is one of the most potent aphrodisiacs than chocolate or wine. Music can make any environment feel unique and sensual, whether you love getting down to R&B or having classical on in the background. Create a playlist just for this purpose and leave the radio (and its jarring commercials) off.
Loosen up and let it happen
Taking some time to relax and unwind is non-negotiable for getting into the right headspace. A little yoga, meditation, or reading can do the trick. If you're looking to create an intimate ambiance over dinner, set the table, light a few candles and enjoy an uninterrupted meal together.
Wondering how to set the mood for your partner? Draw them a hot bath or offer a massage. Maybe take a few chores off their plate. Anything that helps your partner decompress can set the tone for affection and physical intimacy.
Try to keep the pressure off yourself. You and your partner deserve to enjoy each other with no distractions.
The Hazards of Love
Setting the mood for sex isn't just about what you should do. You should avoid some things as well when you're trying to put the moves on your loved one. Don't:
- Rush it. Good things come to those who wait.
- Be bashful. There's no need to play games — tell your partner what you want.
- Pressure your significant other. Always respect boundaries and don't take it personally if they're just not feeling it.
- Overanalyze. Leave work and chores at the bedroom door. You can worry about them later.
- Forget the accessories. There's nothing worse than getting hot and heavy and realizing there's not a condom or lube insight.
- Make it all about you. Yes, you're feeling aroused, but your partner may take more time. This is where sex toys can be a lifesaver. What could be hotter than doting on your partner with a powerful vibrator or prostate massager? Just saying.
The Best Laid Plans
Spontaneity can be sexy, but know what else can be too? Grabbing your partner by the waist and pressing the play on that sensual playlist, you will be ready to go. Or undressing only to reveal you're wearing racy lingerie underneath your clothes.
Making your partner a priority is one of the sexiest things you can do. Whether that means having the accouterments on hand so that you can be spontaneous or planning an entire erotic evening — foresight can make everything hotter.
Your mind and body are connected, and that affects your desires. If you're overwhelmed with work and burning yourself out, you'll be physically and mentally uninterested in sex. That's why clearing your calendar for self-love or partner time is vital. Sex educators recommend making weekly space for sex and treating that time as a legitimate appointment. It's one you won't want to miss.
Foolproof Fooling Around
Setting the mood can differentiate between satisfying sex and a dud of an evening. By making small efforts to build a sensual ambiance and set your worries aside, you create the conditions for you and your loved one to enjoy all the other has to offer. It's also crucial for savoring alone time for yourself.
How to set the mood for a romantic night isn't complicated — a little forethought can lead to excellent foreplay.
Need help setting the mood? Here are some more of our favorite enhancers:
- Jo Spicy Clitoral Gel Warming
- We-Vibe Vector Rechargeable Silicone Vibrating Prostate Massager with Remote Control
- Satisfyer Pro Penguin Next Generation USB Rechargeable Silicone Clitoris Stimulator Waterproof
- Dona Kissable Massage Oil Chocola
- Work It Black
- Jo H2o Flavor Lube Banana Lick
- Rouge Threaded Stainless Steel Anal Plug
- Satisfyer Double Joy White
- Earthly Body Earthly Body Edible Massage Oil Mango
- Endless Love Male Anal Relaxer Silicone
Sexual and Reproductive Anatomy. (January 2021). Planned Parenthood.
The 7 Best Ways To Set The Mood, According To Sex Experts. (March 2018). Bustle.
13 Tips to Get You In the Mood ASAP. (August 2017). Redbook.
Why I Reserve Time on My Calendar to Masturbate. (October 2019). Healthline.