Your bedroom environment could be killing your intimacy

Lack of desire for sex is a difficult subject. It may affect one of both parties in a relationship. When only one party is affected, it is a common cause of conflict as the unaffected partner feels starved.

When both parties are affected, the immediate result is a sexless relationship, a situation where sex becomes extremely rare and may not happen at all. This can soon degenerate into loss of intimate connection, conflict and, if no action is taken, separation.

“For me the frustrating bit is that we cannot put a finger on the cause of the problem,” Juliet said when she came to the Sexology clinic with her husband Richard. “We have done all manner of tests, sometimes very expensive ones with no clear cause identified.”

The couple, both in their mid-thirties, had been sexless for two years. They had been married for eight years and had two children.

“And it is not about children causing disturbances in the bedroom,” Richard explained. “Our children have been out of our bedroom for a while now.” Juliet nodded in affirmation.

I assessed the couple, looked at the health of the relationship and did a physical examination, psychological assessment and laboratory tests. I could not put a finger on the cause of the problem.

“I would like to invite you to my home,” Richard said, noting my inability to identify the cause of their problem. “Come for dinner and just have a relaxed time talking to us, possibly that may help you figure out anything else we may not have said of ourselves.”

That was a request of its kind. It is not common for a doctor to be invited home to continue the diagnosis journey. I took it up and was in the couple’s house the next day. Richard took me around the compound as well as the rooms in the house as Juliet prepared food. It was a beautiful house, quite well designed and built and with expensive furnishings.

“And bear with me on the status of the master bedroom, it has been a busy day, so we did not have time to clean it up,” Richard requested.

There was some bad odor in the room. The bed was not spread. There were shoes allover the floor. The linen basket was overflowing with dirty clothes. The dustbin had not been emptied in a long while.

“And Juliet is a scatter brain,” Richard continued, “I have learnt to live with it, good thing is that we always trace whatever we are looking for out of this mess.”

The arrangement was that the house help cleaned every area of the house except the master bedroom. As Richard put it, the privacy of the master bedroom must be guarded at all costs.

The dinner was great. As we enjoyed the meal I took the opportunity to figure out Richard and Juliet’s personalities. Richard was quite picky, a bit too systematic and organised, almost bordering on being obsessive and compulsive. Juliet was the exact opposite.

“So just wondering, how do you feel when your bedroom isn’t so tidy and organised,” I asked Richard.
“We fought over it for a long time and finally two years ago agreed that we should let it be, there are bigger things in life to focus on,” Richard said. “I sincerely endure being in there; I am however happy to do it for the sake of my wife.”

Juliet grinned broadly. She avoided looking at me. She was embarrassed.

“It is possible that your untidy bedroom has killed your intimacy,” I said to which there was pitch silence.
A welcoming bedroom is most important in improving a couple’s intimacy. It is important, at the very least, to keep it clean. This includes changing your beddings frequently. The arrangement and the decor should be welcoming too. If possible add some erotic art.

Consider appropriate lighting. There are times when bright lights are needed and other times when they are not. It is therefore important to have lights of different shades and colors.

Then consider the smell. Some smells are irritating, especially if you or your partner is allergic to them. Some couples occasionally spice up the room with a scented aromatherapy candle. All that is fine as long as your bedroom is not ponging.

These days it is also important to remove electronic distractors. This includes TVs, phones, computer games and other common gadgets. Some soft romantic music is however much encouraged if both of you are for it.

“So your diagnosis is that our bedroom environment is unsuitable for intimacy?” Richard asked rhetorically. “We will work on it and get back to you.”

A few weeks later the couple invited me back to their home. They had done a complete makeover of the bedroom. They even had a cabinet for their sex artefacts. Strangely, they had been able to break their two-year sexless experience.