Given that I’ve been living with my Mom ever since I moved back to the West Coast, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that there isn’t a whole lot of sex happening in my bedroom these days (at least not with a partner.) Although I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity to live with family while I grow a successful freelance writing business (I couldn’t have done it otherwise), it hasn’t exactly been great for my sex life. Not only do I live under my Mother’s roof, her bedroom is right next to mine. It’s not exactly a set-up conducive to sexy times.
However, I’d be lying if I said nothing ever happened in my bed. My Mom travels a lot, so there are times when I have the house to myself. And sometimes I date people. At 33 it often feels like my hormones are raging and I want to have sex with everyone & no one all at the same time. So, when the opportunity for sex arises sometimes you just have to roll with it and make do with what you have.
This is exactly what happened the first time Fitness Guy and I hooked up last year. After a fantastic date, I invited him inside and things progressed from there. However, once we were making out on my bed, I realized I was completely distracted by my familiar surroundings. While I should have been focusing all of my energy on squeezing my pelvic floor muscles or how amazing his ass felt cupped in my hands, there was this inner voice that kept saying things like, “What if he looks away from my boobs and notices that I have an extensive wooden monkey collection? Oh god, did I forget to hide my Muppet memorabilia before he came over?! Oh no wait, that isn’t Gonzo’s nose, that’s just an errant purple Dildo I reviewed last week.”
It was Fitness guy himself who pulled me back into the moment.
“Hey, there you are.” he said, as he tenderly held my face in his hands.
It was only when he forced me to make eye contact that I realized how distracted I had been. Our tryst was steamy and passionate, yet part of me couldn’t fully relax. It was silly, because at the end of the day I don’t really think Fitness Guy cared about what was on my walls or any of my strange collections of objects d’art. In fact, when we were finished he wandered around my room, thoughtfully looking at the artwork on the walls and eye-ing my book collection with admiration. If there was something about my decor that he found off putting, he didn’t let on.
With that said, I vowed that the next time I had a guy over I would make sure that my space was cleansed of anything that I might find embarrassing. Now, flash-forward to close to a year later, when I found myself in a similar situation with a new guy I was dating. When it was decided that we would move our make-out from the front seat of his station wagon into my bedroom, I asked him to give me a 4 minute lead so I could run inside and tidy up a bit.
Mainly I was concerned about Joe and Hammer (who at the time had been going through a particularly interesting week costume wise). So, I spent the next 3.5 minutes shoving everything (and everyone) into the closet as quickly as possible.
However, the same thing happened again.
Things were fine, until they weren’t. When my date noticed mid-makeout session that I seemed kind of distracted and asked, “What are you looking at?” I couldn’t tell him that it was this….
Whether it’s just casual or I’m in a relationship, I like my sex full of intimate eye-contact, playfulness and connection. However, for some reason I can’t quite get there when I’m in my own space. Instead, I find myself really holding back. The irony is that anyone who attempts to have sex with me in my own bedroom likely leaves with the impression that I’m a bit uptight and possibly have some detachment issues- which couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’m sure you’re wondering at this point, “If no one is home to hear you, why are you so uncomfortable about having sex in your bedroom?” Trust me, I asked myself the same thing. The answer is long and complicated, however the short version is that my current bedroom feels like a place that is both deeply personal yet not entirely my own either.
I’m currently living in the room that was once my younger sister’s teenage bedroom. Since moving in, I’ve tried to make the room mine. I’ve yuppified the space with my collection of Jonathan Adler pottery and Dave Eggers books and added my favourite art work to walls, yet the space still doesn’t feel 100%…well, adult. The bed is pushed into the corner, just like it was when it was my sister’s room and although they are long gone, I can still sense the presence of Beastie Boys posters on the walls.
Although I let go of a lot of stuff when I moved from Toronto, everything that I cared to save from my sprawling two bedroom apartment – my favourite books, my purse & shoe collection, special mementos – is now crammed into one room, which makes it a very personal space by default. This room is also my office, which means there’s my desk, business files and other “work related items” ahem lying around – like boxes of sex toys and lingerie that need to be reviewed. And, because I’m trying to run a biz and live a happy, intentional life, there’s also all my soul-searchy woo woo stuff – like the inspiration board I made that highlights my dreams and plans for the upcoming year. You’d think that it would seem crowded in here, but it’s not. It’s just if you throw in some beauty products and a couple of Muppets, it’s like “Hey, this is everything I’m about IN ONE ROOM.” It’s a lot to take in without throwing sex into the mix.
Recently, while having coffee with a friend I confessed, “It’s weird – I feel more naked showing people my bedroom, than I do actually being naked.”
Maybe everyone who has ever lived with their parents has felt this way at some point.
The easy solution to my predicament would be to move out into my own place. While this is definitely in the works, it looks like I’ll still be here for the next few months. In the meantime, I’m going to be moving into a more isolated area of the house. I’ve also invested in a few new things to make my space feel more adult. The nice people at O.co aka Overstock.com sent me these Chevron pillows and I’ve picked up a few prints from Made by Girl.
When I told the same friend about my plans, she scrunched up her nose and said, “I know you’re feeling frustrated with your living situation right now, but all of that stuff – the Muppets, the sex toys, the inspiration boards, Joe the Intern – is what makes you so quirky and unique, which is a huge part of why I love being your friend. Although I think a lot of this in your head, if the people you’re dating make you feel uncomfortable about what makes you you, maybe you shouldn’t be dating them.”
I think she has a point.
And on that note, I’ll end this post here.
PS. If you want to learn more about my day to day life as a full-time sex & relationship blogger, be sure to check out my feature on Lovehoney: “The Real Life of a Unexpected Sex Blogger.”