On the Impossibility of Good Sex in a Bad Room

If it’s not instaworthy, it’s not happening

We’re going to do a role play in this article. In this article, you are playing yourself – young, naive, full of life, vim and vigour, an innocent smile splashed across your face. I am playing someone who is like your mother but not your mother.

The subtle difference is that I am 19 so if I was your mother, I would have either given birth to you when I was a baby myself, which would have been weird, or, if you’re older than me, I would have given birth to you prior to being born which would have been weirder.

However, much like your mother, I’m here to yell at you because your room is a mess.

Your room is a mess and you need to sort it out – or else…. Or else… NOBODY WILL HAVE SEX WITH YOU EVER!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! !

Let me expand. I’m not talking a sock on the floor. I’m talking an aesthetic mess. Where are your cacti? Where’s your Virginia Woolf poster? Where’s your placard from a protest that you spent 10 minutes at before fucking off to Pret a Manger?

These are all vital components to maintaining a healthy sex life. Take it from me, your almost-mother, the expert. My sex life is so fulfilling that I’m writing this article in bed alone on a Friday night, something that I know that you all aspire to.

I’m actually only writing this article as a longform way of bragging about my room last year

As your humble mum says, the only thing that matters is what’s on the inside. Yes – the inside of a room. Let’s set the scene. It is the first night of freshers and you have gone to Cindies because you don’t know any better. On the d-floor you meet a charming young whippersnapper called Jimmy/Jemima who is studying something you don’t care about at a college you misheard.

Conversation with Jimbo is flowing, they’re yelling some half- baked banter in your ear, you’re nodding along like a hapless intern on their first day of work experience, The Circle of Life comes on and you and Jimothy decide wisely that it is time to leave.

You and Jimminy walk home via McDonald’s because I had to include something in here about how clueless you are as freshers and you should have bloody gone to Van of Life. You decide to go back to Jimolina’s because it is closer and you walk into their room and you are GREETED BY A JEREMY CLARKSON POSTER.

No.

You remember that it is always OK to relinquish your consent at any time, so upon seeing the poster you leave. Anyone who possesses such terrible taste in TV and decor clearly has no respect for this planet or its inhabitants.  

Jeremy Clarkson’s entire career is based on masculine aggression, white entitlement and crashing cars into things for no reason, so it’s safe to say that any sexual experience with someone who loves this man enough to immortalise him on their wall in their room where they rest their weary head, would similarly be a car crash. Save yourself the pain.

This is only one example in ultimately a much larger point. Don’t have sex with people who don’t know how to decorate their rooms. Your body is a temple and temples have rooms inside them. The room and the body are therefore inextricably interlinked. If you wouldn’t put a Take That poster in your vagina, you certainly shouldn’t put any person who owns a Take That poster inside there either. This just seems so obvious to me, I mean for God’s sake, KEEP UP.

Perhaps you don’t realise what your surroundings say about you. I’ll give you a quick rundown – if you own anything from Cath Kidston it means you’re a Tory from Surrey. If your walls are barren, it means that either you have no friends which is true of all of us but not something to admit, or you couldn’t be bothered to splash some paint on a piece of paper and hang it up claiming it was a Jackson Pollock, meaning you’re uncreative and bad at plagiarism.

ON THE OTHER HAND, if you have a Smiths poster, or even better, Joy Division, this gives you +1000000 Manic Pixie Dream Girl points. Congratulations, because you’ve just earned about 2.3 seconds of respect from your lover before they morph into a music critic before your very eyes, and you’ve successfully perfected the cool-but-miserable aesthetic, which, once paired with round glasses is very, very sexy.

1000x YES all round

I really cannot overemphasize the importance of a good room. E.L James, the author of 50 Shades of Grey, clearly the greatest novel of our age, spends more time in her book describing the way in which rooms look than she does developing her characters. The message of this is clear; good decor is preferable to a good personality, or even any personality at all. So think carefully about the aesthetic. 

In a group chat even more thrilling perhaps than the one on that Babe series, Sarah reveals that her own room decor tastes are… singular.

I once went into someone’s room who had a whole shelf dedicated to old school portraits of himself. In uniform. This says, (say it with me now) hapless narcissist who doesn’t have a hope. Take a moment out of your day to actually imagine trying to get intimate with someone while the clear, full-colour version of their 13 year old self is staring down at you. Now leave that image where you found it and try and get on with your life.

Heed my words. Get creative with your own decor now. And if you ever walk into someone’s room and notice something amiss – a stray cardboard cutout of Nick Clegg, any form of “Keep Calm and Carry On” memorabilia, a fish tank without any fish in it – I beg you, for your sake and for my sake – run.

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