It's the end of the day, and you crawl beneath the sheets next to your significant other with a *certain* expectation (cue bedroom eyes). Then, something happens — and, spoiler alert, it's not sex. You get distracted. Or your partner does. Long story short? The only things going down in that bedroom are libidos.
If your bedroom is more fizzle than sizzle lately, it might be time to re-examine the source. Yep, as much of a sanctuary as your beloved bedroom is, it may also be your sex life's biggest saboteur. But wait, there's hope! You don't have to rip your room down to the studs to rectify the situation.
Take a look at the following list of sneaky ways your bedroom could be causing problems between (or on top of, or whatever) the sheets. Being more mindful of these sexual road blocks is the first step to removing them.
It's a hot mess
I don't know about you, but staring at a pile of wrinkly laundry lingering in the corner of the room doesn't exactly put me in the mood. Nor does noticing a plate on the nightstand left over from my lover's latest midnight snack. Being relaxed is a big key to achieving the big "O" — and it's hard to relax when your room's a wreck. Do your due diligence on a regular basis (tidy up, change the sheets, etc.), and your sex life will thank you later.
It's filled with photos
Unless you have some sort of voyeurism fantasy role play going on, pics of anyone but you two can be a real no-go in the bedroom. Hang 'em in the hallway. Create a curated collection for the living room. But don't, for the love of your libido, put them in the bedroom. All it takes is one sideways glance at a photo of Grandma Fran or your mother-in-law during the throes of passion to kill any and all sexual chemistry.
Four words: Netflix and too chill
Listen, we all love a good binge-watching date night. And while there are pros and cons to catching up on your favorite shows or watching a good rom-com, there is also mounting evidence that TV in the bedroom can be a huge turn-off. One Italian study showed that couples with TVs in their bedroom have sex half as much as couples who don't. Half!
It's a phone-friendly zone
If you've ever felt stinging resentment toward an electronic device, you're not alone. As a matter of fact, the phenomenon of feeling frustrated while trying to connect with a person glued to their smart phone has been dubbed "BlackBerry abandonment." When you and your significant other bring your phones into the bedroom, it makes it that much more likely you'll spend the evening with your hands all over a keyboard and not each other.
It doubles as a dining room
Don't get me wrong — I love a good late night snack just as much as the next person. The trouble, though, is that late-night snacking can lead to a whole host of decidedly un-sexy things. Like, for starters, bugs who come for the crumbs. Or painful bloating. So if you're looking to get romantic, keep the leftover lo mein in the kitchen.
And an office, too
Whether you're literally or figuratively bringing your work to bed, it's a habit you should nip in the bud for your love life. If you're worried about what's going to happen in the boardroom tomorrow, your focus clearly isn't on your significant other. Besides, some experts posit that working in bed actually makes you less productive in the office.
There are other people (and sometimes creatures) in it
This one is pretty straightforward, people. If there's a tiny human or a furry friend of the four-legged variety sharing your bed, you're not maximizing your bedroom's potential for romance. Of course, sometimes your little ones find their way into your bed, but don't forget to find time during the week for the bedroom to be just for the two of you.
It's filled with bad juju
For many of us, the time that we crawl into bed at the end of the day is the first real moment we get to actually converse as a couple. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that we bring whatever we've been stewing over all day to bed. However, the next time you're tempted to pick a fight in your bedroom, heed the words of Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D. — and drop it. According to Weil, the author of Make Up, Don't Break Up, it's better to keep negative vibes out of the bedroom, lest they affect your sex life and your sleep. Instead, end the night on a good note and pick up with any potential problems over breakfast.