On the new Netflix show How to build a sex room premiered on July 8, viewers had a whole host of questions, starting with what exactly, is a sex room? And who is this Julie Andrews-sounding lady telling us how to build one? Part home renovation, part sex education, the sizzling series is hosted by an interior designer Melanie Rosa, also known as the Queen of Erotica. And honestly, if you’ve ever wondered how to build your own sex room or a designated sex room, let’s just say she’s incredibly qualified.
Well, I know what you’re thinking: an entire sex room sounds… kind of intense. But a sex room doesn’t have to be the sex dungeon you imagine as probs in your head. Also called “fantasy rooms,” Rose describes sex rooms as sacred spaces. “It’s a space where maybe you can share an alternative lifestyle,” says Rose. And before you start getting complete visions of Fifty shades, “alternative lifestyle” doesn’t *just* mean whips and chains (but you can totally have that if that’s your thing). Instead, Rose says it’s just a space that “broadens your horizons [and] opens you up to more experiences.”
If you’ve watched the series, you know that some of the sex rooms were actually your classic dungeons, complete with St. Andrew’s crosses and spanking benches. But others were quieter, with spa-like ambiance and romantic interiors. The goal of a sex room is to ignite your senses, immerse yourself in the vibes that make you feel sensual, and help you have the best sex of your life, all from the comfort of your own home.
Another thing you probably picked up from the show was how diverse all the people were who wanted fantasy spaces. There were straight couples, gay couples, young couples, older couples, parents, polyamorous couples, and singles. That’s exactly what Rose emphasizes: sex rooms aren’t for one type of person — they’re for everyone.
So when you’re ready to act the vibrator in your nightstand drawer for a complete sexy playground, you’re in luck. Rose gave us some exclusive tips and tricks on how to create the fantasy room of your dreams. Here’s what she had to say.
1. Prepare your space.
The first thing you need to do when building a sex room is figure out where to place that sex room. For some couples, that means turning their huge, unused basement into an expansive fantasy space. For others, it means turning a walk-in closet or bedroom into an erotic space. If you’re like me and have roughly no extra room for anything (I literally keep my shoes on a shelf behind my door), the latter is probably more likely.
Whichever route you take—and however many square feet you have to work with—the first step in the Melanie Rose process is to clean and organize. “You don’t want to be surrounded by clutter,” she explains. “How can you get sensual in a room full of laundry? Your mind is not in the moment. Your mind is like Oh my god, I have to put this down.” Distractions are pretty much an arousal ruin, so it’s important to clear out the junk and find better ways to store and organize your items. That way, instead of spending your time staring at the pile of clothes on the floor, you can spend it staring at the back of your head with rapt eyes.
2. Consider your aesthetics.
While the show made it clear that there’s no such thing as a set sex room aesthetic, you might still be unsure how to land on your ideal sexy vibe. If you’re new to the whole concept (hi, pretty much all of us), this is the stage where things might feel overwhelming, but Rose suggests just thinking about what colors and textures you like. Look around your house, peek into your closet and see what tones you are naturally drawn to. They’re probably the ones that make you feel good.
Of course, hues like black, red, and purple are pretty popular, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to strictly “classic” sex colors. If you love a clean white look, Rose suggests adding lots of texture to the wallpaper and floor. If you want an outdoor aesthetic with tones of green and brown, think of sensuous additions like a water feature, succulents and feathers to enhance the sultry vibe. Faux fur, velvet and leather are all your friends here, so have fun with them!
3. Explore a small kink.
Wondering where the sex comes into the sex room? It usually starts with Rose’s little bag of tricks. When sitting down with a new pair, one of the first things the designer does is fill up her handbag kink related toys. She then gives her customers the chance to touch, talk and ask questions about the different items to see what kind of desires they might be simmering beneath the surface.
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Since sex rooms are about exploring new sexual worlds, it’s very important to explore the types of sex that might interest you. Rose says this is a crucial step, because often even couples who think they have a very basic sex life usually find something new that piques their interest, such as: play shot or role playing game. But unless you’ve hired Rose and she’s sitting in your living room with tea and sex toys (lucky you!), you’ll have to make that step yourself. Her suggestion is simple: go to a sex shop.
“Take your partner and look closely at the different types [of toys] you have ahead of you,” she says. Touch the leather whips, give each other small slaps with riding crops, feel the coolness of some metal handcuffs and don’t be afraid to ask your questions to the person who works in the shop – they honestly heard everything. If that idea sounds daunting, just try to think of this outing as a fun date. Sip a cocktail, dress smartly, and explore the aisles at your leisure.
And, um, just an important little note about consent: “Nobody should be pressured into doing anything they’re not willing to do,” stresses Rose. It’s like always and forever. “If you go to the harder end of BDSM, or even if you’re just breaking new ground, approval is the word of the day.” If your partner is interested in something you’re not interested in, talk about it! “You’ll find that you’ll find yourself meeting in the middle with some agreement on something,” says Rose, so keep lines of communication open and agreement flowing, do you mean?
4. Invest in some (quality) sex toys.
Once you’ve done a little sexual exploration, it’s time to start shopping for toys and sex accessories for your space. Although you can buy them in the sex shop (because you did go on your desired excursion, right?!), you could also buy some items online after getting an idea of your sexual tastes. To help you narrow down the options, Rose says that pretty much all couples — straight or not — can benefit from vibrators. Since most people with vaginas *need* clitoral stimulation to reach climaxthe extra sensation a vibrator provides might just be the trick to getting that big O.
If you’re new to the world of sex toys (welcome, we’re glad you’re here), you might not have realized how many different ones there are Types of vibrators there is. Out of Vibrators that imitate oral sex to classic magic wand vibrators that give you a deep rumbling feeling, there’s a vibe for every itch. The best Vibrators for beginners usually focus on external stimulation that is easy to use alone or with a partner. If you want something you both can enjoy, try a vibrating cock ring or a remote controlled vibrator.
Whatever your choice, Rose suggests staying away from ultra-cheap toys, as they a) may not be made from body-safe materials and b) won’t last as long. She suggests mid-range options or even indulges in something luxurious (her favorite high-end brand is lelo) because yes, you deserve it.
Oh, and if – like every couple on the show – you have one sex swing In your mind, Rose warns you before she nails it. “If you’re installing something with suspension, make sure it will fit into a ceiling joist. Otherwise you’re going to get in trouble.” It’s best to call in a professional to avoid any potential pain…or at least pain you weren’t expecting.
5. Don’t forget your budget.
Love the idea of a sex room but don’t have the money or space to opt for a complete makeover? Absolutely OK. Rose says there are plenty of ways to get that erotic vibe without playing your cards to the max or replacing your kitchen with a sex dungeon.
One of the easiest places to sexify is your bedroom, and it can actually be done pretty easily. Of course, first you need to organize and put things in order. Find a place for your toys and lingerie. Put your basket away. Remove as much clutter from the room as possible. Then Rose suggests adding a feature wall to quickly change the energy of the room. Painted or wallpapered (there’s peel-and-stick, that’s *cook’s kiss* for rentals), it’s an easy and inexpensive way to transform your space. After that, she will tell you to change your sheets (yes, that’s the time to get those Million sheets of thread count), whip out your scented candles and add some textured throws or pillows. “Make it as romantic and sensual as possible,” she says.
Finally, add something new, such as B. Underbed restraints (most are discreet, Velcro fastened and easy to install) or a sex wedge giving a novel concept without dedicating an entire room or second mortgage to a sex room.
Ultimately, whether you’re opting for a full-fledged sex room or just increasing the eroticism of your current state, Rose says the most important thing is to relax, be in the moment, and enjoy.
“Keep an open mind and have fun with it,” she says. At the end of the day, sex room or no sex room, it’s about feeling good and connecting, whether it’s with your partner(s) or with yourself.
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