Original Illustration for MyDomaine by Stephanie DeAngelis
Does more sex equal more happiness? Our immediate reaction is to say yes, but it turns out that might not be the case. According to a study from Carnegie Mellon University funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there is indeed a correlation between sex and happiness, but it doesn't have anything to do with frequency. Rather, it's about quality. Based on these findings, one of the researchers, Tamar Krishnamurti, suggests that "couples may want to work on creating an environment that sparks their desire and makes the sex that they do have even more fun" for both partners, rather than simply having more of it.
Since environment seems to play a large role in sexual arousal and fulfillment, we decided to ask Erica Chidi Cohen, a relationship, sex, and reproductive specialist as well as doula, author, and founder of Loom, how to spice things up in the bedroom and beyond. Of course, there's no definitive best place to have sex or magic trick that automatically results in a better experience. "It depends," she told MyDomaine, explaining that some people are "into sex outside of the home since new environments create an interesting thing" while others "don't have time to get away" and can have just as much fun trying new things at home.
To discover creative ways to optimize pleasure and find out the best places to have sex in and out of the home (without breaking the law), read through the 12 tips below.
- Introduce some sex toys. You can even go browse through a store, online or in person, to pick some out together.
- Just because you're having sex outside of the bedroom doesn't mean you actually need to go too far. Why not try doing it on the washing machine in the laundry room?
- Try out new Kamasutra positions that look fun to you and your partner, but try not to make it too much of a goal-oriented task with an endgame in mind; you don't want to take the spontaneity out of it.
- Another fun place to have sex that's still in the confines of you or your partner's space is the kitchen. If you're having a romantic night in and things get steamy while you're cooking together, who says you have to hop off the kitchen countertops and bring it to the bedroom? Just make sure you don't burn dinner in the heat of the moment.
- Or let's say you'd rather not sleep where you eat, and you start heading for the bedroom… Why not cut the trip short by settling somewhere in between, like the hallway floor or a living room chair?
- Download a smartphone app to spice things up. There are a ton out there. Some are sex games in and of themselves while others can guide you through new positions and try to give you daily tips. Others still might be able to provide some roleplay ideas so you don't have to do all the creative legwork yourself if this is new, scary territory for you.
- Showers can be a great venue for sex since you're already naked and lathering each other up with soap. That being said, keep in mind that water sex can dry up lubrication, so it might not be enjoyable for everyone. This is because "vaginal fluid isn't the same pH as water," Chidi explained. So "it can go from feeling really great to creating a lot of friction."
- What comes before foreplay? Try sexting your partner earlier in the day—the anticipation will increase sexual tension later.
- If you're interested in having sex outside the bedroom but aren't opposed to all beds worldwide, why not plan a romantic getaway? If you don't have enough time for an actual trip, just have a staycation at a local hotel instead.
- Read an erotic story aloud together or watch a steamy movie on your next date night in.
- Car sex allows you to get more creative with new, unexpectedly pleasurable positions since it presents new spacial restrictions. Plus, the semi-public element can be exciting or some.
- If you don't usually play music, try making a new playlist that puts you in the mood and leaving it on while you have sex.