If your boudoir looks anything like ours, your bed sits amid cluttered nightstands, teetering stacks of books, overflowing laundry baskets, and countless pairs of shoes. As a room that’s meant to inspire sultry pillow talk and wild abandon, it’s a total joke. That’s why we enlisted psychologists, decorators, and even a randy culinary whiz to help us create the perfect body chamber : one that looks harmless enough to the unsuspecting eye but is so sexually charged you won’t be able to hang out in it without feeling the urge to strip naked and growl like Eartha Kitt.
- “One of the easiest ways to change your environment is with sound. “Customize your playlist so the genre matches the mood you’re in-and the music builds to the mood you want to reach.” For example, start with the soft sound of Band of Horses, shift into the sexy groove of Calexico, and graduate to the steady, pulsing rhythms of Bjork or Portishead.
- A recent study found that women perform better on creative tasks when in the company of plants. Choose classically foxy flora like roses, which emit in a mood-phenythylamine, or PEA. Or, more creatively, surround yourself with lavender and lily of the valley, whose sweet fragrances, according to the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, help increase arousal in men.
- You don’t need an expert to tell you that action on the tube can inspire real-world raunch, but Patricia Covalt, Ph.D., author of What Smart Couples Know, is happy to do so anyway. Heat up your DVD player with Chemistry, by feminist author and sex educator Tristan Taormino.
- When selecting duvets, pillows and throws for steamy sex scene, Jenny Oman, a set decorator for Showtime’s sizzling series The Tudors (yes, the one starring Jonathan “Too hot to Be Human” Rhys Myers), mixes in posh materials like velvet and satin. “Light-enhancing sheens and deep rich colors like dark crimsons and pinks feel sensual and luxurious,” she says. And get this: Less is surprisingly more when it comes to thread count. Designer Anki Spets, founder of Area lines, says a 200 to 400 thread count in high-quality cotton is ideal (anything higher and you’ll be covered in sweat, since tighter weaves decrease much-needed breathability).
- A 2007 study by the University of Minnesto found that high ceilings prompt more invention thinking, and low ceiling help you focus on detail. If your partner is too busy getting kinky to pay attention to your love button, paint your ceiling a few shades darker than your walls to make it seem lower. If your guy seldom strays beyond missionary, paint it several shades lighter, like primrose to complement burgundy walls.
- Bright light so unsexy it would make Shakira hide under the sheets Coval suggests easy-to-install dimmers for flattering, fuss-free lighting. And interior designer Robert Verdi, whose clients include Eva Longoria and Mariska Hargitay, saya colored light bulbs are a bright idea. Pink ones soften the room and add a rosy glow to bare skin, while amber makes your body look sun-kissed. Margaret Walch, director of the Color Association of the United States, agrees: “Pink has calming effects, while amber increase arousal”
- Propping up a mirror next to the bed seems so put-on and can make you feel stilted. for a subtler visual thrill, cluster big, sturdy candles on the floor to create shadows, Oman says. And make those flames citrus-scented: the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation reports that a whiff of orange can increase penile blood flow by 20 percent.
- “If you want a lot of action, you want orange on the walls too,” Walch says. The energizing shade blends the sexiest aspects of red and yellow. Physiologically, red is a stimulant-but its psychological effects can include irritability. Mix it with sunny yellow, however, and you’ll feel uplifted. If an entirely orange room seems overwhelming, try painting the color as an accent on just one wall-behind your bed, for instance-or on another focal point in the room.
- Stoke intimacy with art that reminds you what a horny couple you are. Verdi suggests blowing up tasteful photos of cozy moments-or even having them professionally converted into prints. Souvenirs like the leaf you saved from a romp in the woods look artsy when popped in a frame.