We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we actually hear the nitty-gritty details of how we might actually achieve those things? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a licensed sex psychotherapist based in San Francisco, to help us out with the specifics. This week’s topic: How to have sex like you're on vacation — at home.
Q: My partner and I just got back from a weekend getaway, and it got me thinking about how much better sex is when you’re on vacation. This trip wasn’t even luxurious (or all that relaxing), but we still had sex that was miles better than the sex we usually have. There has to be a way to at least partially recreate this at home. What do you suggest?
A: Vacation sex is almost universally loved. I mean, what is there not to like? You’re on vacation, so you’re not working, or (hopefully) thinking about the myriad responsibilities you have at home. You move at a slower pace. You get more sleep. You explore new places and try new things. Everything feels fresh and novel and easy. If you and your SO are on vacation alone, you’re also able to spend lots of quality time together. There’s so much more space and time for intimacy and closeness.
All these factors add up to fantastic sex. But luckily, even though you’re now home, there are still some creative and playful ways to bring the vacation sex back with you. Here are 11 suggestions to get you started.
GET INSPIRED BY PAST EXPERIENCES
Try to think back to some of your favorite vacation sex memories. Once you’ve picked out a few winners, get into the specifics of what made those experiences so much better than sex at home. You’re probably going to name some of the general things I mentioned above, like not having any responsibilities, but what else can you identify? Perhaps you enjoyed savoring a glass of wine together at sunset. Maybe you loved wearing lingerie every evening. See if you can start doing some of these things at home.
TAKE YOUR TIME
Perhaps the most powerful contributing factor to the enjoyment of vacation sex is that most people slow down and take their time. Spend 20 minutes every evening just talking to your partner, without distraction. Turn down the lights, light some candles, bundle up in cozy robes, play some of your favorite music, or take a bath together.
We have so many distractions in our daily lives that it’s a miracle couples have sex at all. Vacation sex is so fantastic because we get to get away from all of our distractions. You might not be able to tune out completely at home, but you can still make some big changes. Make a “no cell phones or TV during dinner” rule. Set and enforce boundaries around doing work at home. Clear all electronics out of your bedroom. Get a sturdy lock on your bedroom door. Buy a sound machine so you don’t have to worry about being quiet for roommates. Trust me, these things can make a big difference.
BUILD ANTICIPATION FOR SEX
Most people go into vacations expecting to have more sex than usual. The anticipation that builds can make sex so much more enjoyable (and can make you desire sex more frequently). Message your boyfriend throughout the day telling him you can’t wait to see him in the evening. Wear some smoking-hot lingerie under your work clothes. Fantasize about what you’d want him to do to you when he walks in the door.
LOSE YOUR INHIBITIONS
People tend to be far more adventurous on vacation. It may seem easier to lose your inhibitions in the anonymity of a hotel room, but you can challenge yourself to push your sexual boundaries at home too. Talk about that fantasy you’ve never shared before. Try out a new position. Be more vocal than you usually are. You’ll be proud of yourself for taking a risk!
BUST OUT OF YOUR ROUTINE
Vacations are great because of the novelty. We end up doing and seeing so many different things when we’re away from home. Maybe you went parasailing for the first time, or explored a creepy haunted house. Having novelty in your life is wonderful for breaking up the routine and monotony of relationships.
It’s arousing to see your partner in a new light. Allowing yourself to do things you didn’t think you would ever do builds confidence. You can make novelty a part of your non-vacation life as well. Sit down and take a look at your routines, and see how you might be able to shake them up a bit.
PLAY HOOKY FROM LIFE
One of my favorite recommendations is to call in sick from work, then spend the day having quality time together. It will be thrilling to have this little secret between the two of you. If you can’t afford a full day, tell your boss you have a doctor’s appointment, and take the time to hang out in bed, shower together, and eat a relaxed breakfast.
HAVE SEX OUTSIDE OF THE BED
There’s something about christening a new space that makes hotel room sex so appealing. Ever seen one of those horrifying black-light investigations of hotel rooms? They find “biological matter” everywhere because people have sex on every inch of those rooms! Gross, but try to take the same approach in your own home. Do you have any areas in your room or apartment that you haven’t yet had sex in? On the couch? In front of the fireplace? On the covered patio?
KEEP YOUR SPACE CLEAN
This isn’t the sexiest recommendation, but it’s a valuable one! Part of the allure of hotels is that everything is fresh and clean. Most people’s bedrooms aren’t that conducive to sex because there’s just so much crap and clutter everywhere. Make an effort to turn your bedroom into an oasis. Find home organization tips on YouTube. Pretend you’re renting your place on AirBnB and invest in some of the little touches that you usually find in hotel rooms, like candles, dimmer switches, beautiful throws and pillows, and luxurious bath products.
PUT A MIRROR NEAR YOUR BED
Ever noticed that hotel rooms almost always have mirrors positioned with a good view of the bed? Watching yourselves having sex can be an intensely arousing experience. You can easily replicate this at home! You can get a lightweight, portable mirror if you don’t want it to be obvious to guests. If you feel shy about seeing your body, light the room with candles only.
HAVE ACTUAL VACATION SEX!
Make getting away for mini-vacations a priority in your life. Having time to get away, connect, and see new things always breathes new life into a relationship. If you don’t have much time, take a weekend day to rent a hotel room in your own city and act like a tourist. Or you can go on short road trips. Find a spa or hot springs where you can rent out a private space for an hour or two. Having vacation sex doesn’t need to require a two week vacation halfway across the world.
Images: Justin Fulkerson/Flickr; Giphy