We Asked a Sex Therapist How Couples Can Have the Best Hotel Sex

Hotel rooms are known for sex. Far from your everyday home routine, a new place can spark excitement about trying other experiences. For couples wanting to explore a threesome or being with another couple, it’s a safer setting. Others just want to get away from it all, relax, and let it happen.

Whatever your goal is, simply booking a room doesn’t guarantee the steamy romp you desire. Dr. Christina McDowell, a sex therapist, certified through the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, is here to push us to think beyond step-by-step sex to the erotic journey that’s a far better trip than the one to your hotel.

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

McDowell calls out the toxic myth that great sex must be spontaneous and unspoken. Instead, conversation builds expectation, hopefulness, and excitement.

“It’s really nice for couples just to talk about what qualities they would like to experience,” says McDowell. “What type of vibe do you want to create? Do you want to try new things? Do you want romance? Do you want kink? Thrill? A sense of awe? Do you want to explore energetics, like tantra?”

Fun surprises are still possible, but communication around expectations and desires reduces misunderstanding. If one person wants to explore a new fantasy and the other hopes to relax with “vanilla sex,” both are likely to be disappointed.

Picking the Perfect Setting

Resorts are popular choices, and there are several hotels geared towards romance and sex. What you’re looking for will depend on what you want to experience and your general aesthetic. Wherever you go, don’t overlook the details. Not only how large the bed is but how high is it? What other furniture is there, and what are the textures? How large is the shower? Do you want a tub? How much countertop is there?

If you’re a bit nervous about the noise, remember older hotels tend to have thinner walls unless otherwise specified. If you want more privacy, request a room away from the elevator and as few shared walls as possible. Hotels are not shocked by people that want a good space for sex.

Bringing the Right Gear

Now that you know what you’d like to do and where, grab the gear you want to try. It can be obvious: massage oil, lingerie, leather, latex, and toys. It could also be more subtle tools like a quality speaker to play the perfect playlist to set the mood and muffle your moans.

Don’t forget that the hotel can help, too. Concierges don’t think twice about providing whipped cream, strawberries, flowers, and even condoms. It just takes a call, particularly for a surprise waiting when you return to your room. Several hotels and resorts now even have pleasure kits for guests, which typically include lubricant, a personal vibrator, and a condom.

Scheduling Sex Is Actually Sexy

There is one thing that sex therapists strongly recommend: planning and scheduling sex. Being on vacation is no different and may even be more necessary. If you’re not going to a hotel solely for sex, then finding time for intimacy may be at odds with the rest of your itinerary.

“Let’s say you’re at an all-inclusive,” says McDowell. “One day you have horseback riding, the next day you’re going out cycling. You’re going to be in the sun. You’re going to be hot. You’re going to be exhausted. And then have a five-course dinner. That might not be the best night.”

The key is to consider time for sex before arriving at your destination.

“We typically think that scheduling sex is really unsexy, but you plan the horseback riding and the cycling. There’s nothing wrong with planning sex,” explains McDowell.

“Let’s look at this morning; it looks really luxurious. We have nothing planned until two o’clock in the afternoon. This could be our time,” demonstrates McDowell.”We make time for what’s important to us, and we make it a priority.”

Go Easy on the Booze

Sure, some couples have great drunk sex. Many of us have even hoped a little liquid courage would reduce inhibitions. But sometimes, the couple who drinks too much on vacation can find fights or hangovers taking the place of romance.

“If you want to have a sexy time, know how you and your partner respond on alcohol and/or weed and plan accordingly,” advises McDowell. “How people perceive what somebody else said or did or how we choose our emotions and respond appropriately can really go haywire.”

Play Without Pressure

Get rid of the narrow mindset that says you have to orgasm for great sex. “Pleasure is the measure,” says McDowell. “People get too focused on the things that they’re doing. We’re going to do this position. We’re going to try to sing. We’re going to do this new toy. We’re going to have like fifty orgasms.”

Eroticism happens in your brain–the thoughts, feelings, and desires you create and then co-create again with your partner. Figure out what you enjoy doing to both give and receive pleasure.

“That’s where you get into that space of exploring sexual energy,” says McDowell. “It’s really just playing, exploring, and being creative. We know from studies you can have great sex with no erection for guys, no orgasm, and no penetration.”

And if it’s not happening? Grace, compassion, and a sense of humor go a long way. “This is not a defining moment. It’s just a step in the journey of your sexuality and your growth together,” says McDowell.

Ready? Check in to Some of Our Favorite Hotels and Get Busy

For a Classic Sex Resort: Hedonism II in Negril, Jamaica

As a four-star clothing-optional resort in Jamaica, Hedonism II brings eroticism and exploration to the standard all-inclusive. The resort offers themed fantasy nights, sensual shows, and the famous Romping Shop Playroom for couples, single women, and invited single men.

For a Sexy Themed Room: Hotel ZaZa in Dallas and Houston, USA 

These upscale boutique hotels in Texas offer concept suites that are destinations themselves. Take your pick from dozens of choices across the properties, including Parisian, Japanese, Moroccan, West Indies, and Bohemian-inspired rooms that set the scene. Skip the subtlety and rent the Erotica or Notorious suites in Dallas and the For Your Eyes-Only suite at the Houston Museum District property.

For a Couples’ Sexual Retreat: IntimacyMoons – EastWinds Resort in St. Lucia 

Marissa Nelson, a certified AASECT sex therapist, leads one of the highest-rated couples retreats worldwide. Couples receive a pre-retreat session to discuss goals and nine hours of small-group work over three days during the retreat. The rest of the week-long retreat is for fun and rejuvenation with a full range of all-inclusive resort options. IntimacyMoons provides two monthly group check-ins post-retreat.

See more at Fodor's Travel