How to Build a Sex Room and Upgrade Your Sex Life
Netflix's newest reality TV show that everyone is buzzing about, How to Build a Sex Room is a delightfully entertaining approach to sex, design, and communication. Hosted by Melanie Rose, the "Mary Poppins of sex rooms", we're treated to the perfect mix of Marie Kondo and kink that I'd be honored to have redesign my dungeon. Melanie is a charming sex-positive Brit with down-to-earth energy who shocks and surprises with her openness; her frank approach to sex puts her firmly in my list of role models with Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Sue Johanson. Though How to Build a Sex Room initially comes off as a design show, Melanie actually redesigns more than rooms: she also renovates relationships.
There are many amazing points to How to Build a Sex Room, but one of my favorite themes is the variety. Not only was there a range of rooms and redesigns (including a van!), but there was a large variety of people as well. Though the show started with a traditional heterosexual couple, we are also introduced to queer couples, a polyfamily, and a singleton. I enjoyed how everyone was treated to the same open, honest, non-judgmental conversations--no relationship was considered taboo. Melanie worked to assure that communication flowed freely between partners, everyone's voice was heard, and all desires were fulfilled no matter how outlandish they may have initially seemed.
Melanie not only meets the rooms, she assess the people as well. Going beyond a discussion of aesthetics Melanie chats about sexual appetites, and with her signature bag of tricks, tests to see how adventurous the client is willing to go. All flavors are embraced from vanilla to dark chocolate with no shame, and using insight to enhance what's already there, Melanie takes things to the next level. Moving beyond a simple renovation, Melanie takes the client on excursions for a boudoir shoot, learning to dirty talk, exploring sex toys, and visiting professional Dominas. Episode 2 had me squealing with excitement at the sight of Princess Isobel Devi, and then Mistress Nicci in later episodes. It was inspiring to see my colleagues on TV and sex work being taken seriously.
Much of what Melanie does with the couples reminds me of my own work with clients and assisting them in exploring their sexuality. We teach good communication and provide education. We ask about what they've tried, what they like, what's gone well, what's gone wrong, what their needs are, and help to troubleshoot so they can have better sex in the future. We find boundaries and gently push them. Sexual pleasure is a fundamental human right, and I could see from the look on Melanie's face our similarity in ideals when she heard a client say she "wasn't sure" if she'd ever had an orgasm--an injustice that needed to be amended.
If you'd like to build a sex room of your own, Melanie has been interviewed extensively and generously given many tips to upgrade your sacred spaces. Cosmopolitan has an article with tips directly from Melanie Rose. Heavy has put together a list of items to help decorate your room. There's an ultimate guide to building a sex room that includes a list of many items provided on the show. And of course, if you're wanting an experienced hands-on guide to help you explore your own sexuality or take things up a notch with your partner, you know where to find me.