We can't tell you how Aphrodite styled her bedroom, but we can show you some décor hacks that double as aphrodisiacs. As we've mentioned before, a "good" sex life is primarily about communicating and listening to your partner's needs. But since we know that sensory perceptions can alter our moods, it's worth considering how things like lighting, color schemes, and physical comfort contribute to sexual desire. But we're looking beyond the usual mood-setting suspects.
After all, creating a healthy and intimate environment in your home isn't only about dimming the lights and playing some cliché tunes. So if you're looking for ways to boost your bedroom style as well as your libido, these five tips will allow you to do both simultaneously. Scroll through to get the full details, and then decide which styling ideas you want to try for a sexier space.
Choose Alluring Colors
Our perceptions of colors depend largely on the experiences and memories we associate with them. That being said, Psychology Today also explains that strong messaging patterns create collective perceptions. In other words, a certain color can catalyze a similar emotional reaction in many people. For example, try closing your eyes and imagine red; do you associate it with power, anger, passion, or desire? If you do, this is because red is depicted as emotionally intense. Blue, on the other hand, symbolizes trust, loyalty, and depth.
Combine each of those qualities in the context of a romance, and you have a recipe for a mutually respectful and erotic exchange. And these colors have more than just symbolic meanings. A study that investigated the correlation between color and cognitive performance find that blue stimulates better performance for creative tasks, while red triggers better performance on detail-oriented tasks. And now a lesson for kindergartners… Mix purple and blue together to get the best of both worlds: purple. According to a survey taken by a British retail company, couples with more purple in their bedrooms reported the highest number of intimate encounters.
Shine Bright Lights
Since we're in the middle of winter, the days are short and the (rare) sunshine is weak. This has a direct impact on male libido because bright light stimulates the production of testosterone. So from late fall until early spring, hormonal dips are to be expected. But while studying ways to treat low libido in men, researchers used a light box that mimics natural light to see how it impacted the subjects' mood (they're also used to treat seasonal affective disorder).
Many of the subjects reported a greater interest in sex after they'd been exposed to the bright light, while those who weren't, didn't report a change in sexual desire. While a lot of people assume that dim lighting set the mood for romance to enhance the sexual experience (for some people, it probably does), keeping the lights on may be a better option depending on your sexuality and libido. It's also worth noting that hormones aren't the only contributing factor in low libido.
Get Tactile And Clean
We've had many debates about the pros and cons of making our beds. But we haven't considered why pristine sheets and hospital corners may be better for our sex lives. We take care of our personal hygiene to stay healthy and as a sign of social respect. You wouldn't want to vigorously work out right before a first date, right? And if you have done that, you probably wouldn't introduce yourself with a sweaty, stinky bear hug. Since we sweat a lot during sleep, let's extend those hygienic practices to our bed by washing the sheets regularly.
And if you're in the market for new bedding, pay close attention to texture and material of fabrics. Low-quality, itchy fabric doesn't exactly encourage nudity. In fact, uncomfortable sheets make us want to pile on more protective layers. While we aren't encouraging you to go out and buy some slippery silk sheets, the fabric has been linked to wrinkle prevention, temperature control, healing irritated skin, and it may even help keep vaginal pH levels balanced.
The connection between scent and sexual attraction is undeniable. Certain smells trigger feelings of disgust that can then cause us to physically recoil… And that's obviously not a great mood to be in if sexual intimacy is the goal. Scent compatibility is related to hormonal interactions between partners as well as personal preference (similar to the symbolic associations with color we noted earlier). Your natural smell is an important component of attraction, but there are also some scents that naturally function as aphrodisiacs.
According to a study by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, men reported higher levels of arousal after smelling lavender and pumpkin pie, and doughnuts, while women reported higher sexual desire when smelling cucumbers and candy. Instead of chucking desserts at your sexual partner, replicate the sweet, fresh smells by lighting a nice candle.
Heat Things Up
Temperature plays a crucial role in intimacy and sexual desire. Indeed, in a report by Dr. Matthew Vess for Psychological Science, studies suggest that "temperature and intimacy are psychologically interchangeable." While physical warmth promotes feelings of closeness and attachment, you shouldn't pump up the thermostat to 80 degrees to get your partner in the mood for sexual activities. If it's particularly chilly outside, create a comfortably warm environment with blankets and a crackling fire.
What do you do in the bedroom to set the mood? Share your décor aphrodisiac ideas in the comment section below.