As if the housing crisis were not acute enough, it turns out that your home probably does not have the one room that promises a life of excitement and a long-lasting, fulfilling relationship: a shag room. A dedicated space for such purposes is the “hot new trend for sex in 2020”, according to the Sun. The actor Brian Cox recently told the Guardian that he and his wife meet up in a room a few floors below their Manhattan apartment. “It’s basically her room and I’m allowed to visit occasionally,” he said. So if you don’t have a dedicated shag space, are you missing out? Should you turf one of the kids out of their room, or forgo a downstairs loo?
For most of us, the bedroom is where the action happens, but as Lucy Beresford, the broadcaster and author of Happy Relationships, says, it “also becomes the place where you charge your mobile phone, have your laundry basket, maybe your kids come in and want to share your bed at various times of the night. All of those things need to be stripped out if possible. If that is difficult, having a room that is completely dedicated [to sex] is a brilliant idea.” Furnish it how you like, install flattering lighting. “You can pretend you’re in a hotel, you can turn it into whatever you want it to be. It’s also a place you go to, so it has that sense of anticipation – every time you go to the den, this is what’s going to happen – and that can be just as arousing. It can also be the place that everybody else knows is your sex space.”
Wait, everyone from the in-laws to the babysitter is going to know? “In an ideal world, it shouldn’t be a taboo subject. It’s not about giving details, but it’s about recognising that you take this part of your life seriously and give it the attention it deserves.”
Beresford acknowledges that most of us don’t have the space for such a room. In that case, says Silva Neves, psychosexual and relationship therapist, who also likes the idea of a dedicated room, make sure your bedroom doubles as the sex room. “If you want to keep the bedroom as an erotic place, declutter, make it a space that feels more adult. If you have children, have a policy of no walking in without knocking.” He advises changing the bedspread to something more sensual. “Changing one object can be enough for people who want to use the bedroom for sex. [Put out] candles, a picture that is titillating or sex toys on the bed – anything that reminds a couple that this is an erotic place, and it goes back in the drawer until next time.” A sex drawer may not sound as exciting as a sex den, but it does seem more achievable.