This year, we celebrated our 18th year together as a couple. And this coming September, we will be celebrating 10 years of ‘marriage*’. 50% of my time on this planet has been spent with one person. And honestly, I couldn’t see myself spending that time with anyone else.
But things haven’t always been smooth sailing. Every relationship has its ups and downs; although I am eternally grateful that we’re often more high than we are low. And no, that isn’t a drug reference – I’ve not touched that stuff for a very long time. We just have found a good status quo in our relationship. To give you a brief history of the lows; my husband was diagnosed with a generalised anxiety disorder a few years ago. This was a diagnosis that was essentially kept secret from me for ages. For a long time, I was convinced that he had lost interest in me, didn’t find me attractive anymore and I was genuinely worried about where our relationship was heading. Sex wasn’t happening as often as it once had; and when it did happen, it either didn’t last very long or just ended up being the same thing every time.
There had been episodes that I can look back on now and be like “Yeah, I get it now” but at the time, I was going down a dark path and I was frustrated because I just didn’t understand what was going on. After a slightly explosive episode that was brought on by something mundane, he finally came clean with what was causing him concern. I sat in silence for a few moments. My head was reeling.
I was furious, when he told me. I look back now and feel absolutely disgusted in myself at how I reacted; but in the moment I was angry. Angry that he hadn’t been open and honest with me. Frustrated because all I wanted to do was understand what was going on. I also felt betrayed because for a moment, I felt I didn’t really know him anymore. But that misplaced anger and betrayal paved the way for empathy and understanding. Everything made sense. Since that day, things in the bedroom have been so much better. That’s not to say we still didn’t have some problems; but we were heading in a good direction.
At the beginning of this year, I decided I wanted to focus more time on my other passions and hobbies in life; working 40 hours a week in retail management just wasn’t fulfilling me. We agreed that we were in a a good position financially, that I could take a step down and spend more time at home; and my goal was to return to blogging on a more ‘full time’ basis; because I love writing, and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish with TBGR over these last 8 years. And that’s why I’m able to sit here and bring you today’s post.
How to build a Sex Room
If you are living anywhere in the world right now, you will know that a lot of countries have been experiencing extended periods of hot weather; here in the UK we reached a temperature that exceeded 40 degrees Celsius for the first time EVER. It’s been unbearable, to put it politely. I don’t mind a bit of sun, but I prefer not to feel like I’m suffocating. I don’t think that’s unreasonable? Our bedroom is located in the roof, and after a particularly warm day; the heat will often accumulate up there, to the point it becomes inhabitable. When it’s 31 degrees INSIDE at midnight, you know something is wrong.
So one night, we decided to sleep downstairs in the lounge, as we have air conditioning. We have a glass roof which means the temperature can get quite high, even when it’s not massively warm outside; and with 2 little pugs running around – we wanted to make sure they were comfortable, as well as us. And it has certainly been a worthwhile investment – especially if this last month is anything to go by.
On this particular night, we decided to peruse Netflix and I remembered everyone had been talking about this new show about building sex rooms; I thought this could be perfect blog fodder; so we gave it a go. I wasn’t expecting much; but the general consensus seemed to be that it was an informative watch. If you haven’t seen it – then I think you should go and watch it. Go on. Right now. I’ll wait for you.
In the show, Melanie Rose (a kinky Mary Poppins, if you like) visits various couples who are looking to turn a room of their house into a more intimate location. What I loved about the series, is that it at no point feels like it’s making fun of anyone. It’s matter-of-fact tone is refreshing and it shines a light on all sorts of kink and says ‘yeah, it’s a thing, so what?’. For example, she meets a poly family who enjoy water sports; so it was important that their room had good drainage. Girl on the Net has a really good article that sums up my feelings on the show in general – go check it out because she can articulate it much better than I can.
The reason I wanted to bring it up though, is because of what the show has done for us, as a couple. Once we’d finished the final episode, we sat down with a good old cup of lady grey tea and I asked him – if money was no object and we had the space; what would we put in our ‘sex room’. What I had envisioned as being just a silly little conversation, actually turned into something incredibly beautiful.
Communication is Key
As we sat there and begin thinking about soft furnishings and colours, the conversation took a turn into territory I wasn’t ready for, but at the same time – it was so enlightening. I learnt that he still harbours performance anxiety issues; something that I didn’t necessarily see but upon reflection, we could identify instances where this had caused some friction. We drilled down deeper as to why that could be; and it was so endearing to see him be vulnerable and yet so open.
It wasn’t all heavy though; through our discussion, we learnt a little more about how he likes to be turned on, how I like to be turned on. I asked him if he enjoyed role play; something that I was keen to do more often – but always found hilarious. He said he didn’t necessarily like it, because he feels silly. I agreed and said it can feel incredibly silly; but at the same time – I didn’t mind that. Because sex should be fun. If we both end up in fits of giggles, what’s wrong with that? After giggling about the times we had attempted it in the past, he confessed that he liked the ideas of ‘scenario’ based play and would be open to trying it.
After a good couple of hours of discussion; the plans were complete. And we decided that actually, it might be nice to give our bedroom a bit of a makeover; it’s looked pretty much the same since we moved in; and it would be nice to give ourselves a space that’s ‘just ours’. So what’s going in our sex room, I hear you ask. Well I’ll tell you!
I confessed to having a little bit of a thing for locker rooms / changing rooms; so I had suggested the ideas of having some lockers that would double up as toy storage. Combined with a changing room style bench; it can help bring that locker room aesthetic – and hey, if I want to imagine that I’m being banged by the personal trainer over said bench then so be it? That side of the room has been completed and I’m already loving how it’s looking.
On the yet-to-be-done side of the bedroom, we are going to have a ‘snuggle zone’. This isn’t necessarily a space for sex, but it’s a space that’s not the bed, that will be very tactile and sensual – think faux fur, silks and velvet fabric and big cushions for snuggling into after a long day. A big vase of ostrich feathers and little sensual play kit including some soft cuffs, a blind fold and a whole manner of little sensory toys such as pin wheels and ticklers.
His confessed little scenario involves being in the doctors office, and having a deeply intense physical; so naturally I will be ordering a white coat, a stethoscope and a clipboard to complete my transformation. To sell the fantasy even further; a pop-up massage table that can double as an examination table. In the other corner, a tantra style sofa and a display of lubes and lotions for some long drawn out sessions.
It’s all very exciting; but room aside; this show has brought us together in a way that didn’t think was possible, even after being together for as long as we had. I didn’t think there was anything new to learn about him, or to share about me. But apparently there is; and it’s funny that it took a little Netflix show to get us to have this conversation. And yet I’m really glad it did. Because in the weeks since then, I’ve never felt closer to him than I do right now. Sex has new meaning. We’re experiencing levels of intimacy that we haven’t felt in a long time; and it’s all thanks to a show that didn’t really show us HOW to build a sex room; but it did show us how we could build a better relationship. Thank you, Melanie.
*we technically aren’t married, we are in a civil partnership, but you now… married sounds better.