Exactly Why Hotel Sex Is So Amazing — and How to Make the Most of It
A sex and relationship therapist shares her take on why getting away can be amazing for getting off.
If you've stayed in a hotel with a partner, you probably know that hotel sex just feels a little... exhilarating. But, why does it feel this way? Why do hotels inherently feel sexy?
There's an energy to the entire getaway that not only helps you relax but also connects you more easily to your partner(s). Here's exactly why hotel sex feels so damn satisfying — plus, how to make it even better.
1. It Puts You In a "Container"
Why is hotel sex so sexy? For one, it's a literal container for your sexual escapades. Let me explain.
Whenever I start teaching or doing a therapy or coaching session, I set the container: talking about how much time per session, what the intentions are, etc. Your hotel room is a literal container for whatever you want it to be. Want to bring your new sex toys and dedicate an hour of time in there for exploration? Great! You don't often have an opportunity to put up a "do not disturb" sign and have a blast playing around in "real" life. This container is a literal and metaphorical boundary to keep certain things out. Your kids, e-mails from your job, household chores, and thoughts about other relationships are all distractions that can potentially keep you from being present. And when you're present, you have the best sex. And on that note...
2. It Takes You Away from Your Routine
If you can't stop thinking about all the bills you have to pay or all the work you have to get done, it's probably hard to get into a space of wanting to be turned on, let alone playing around with your partner(s).
But on vacation in a hotel? It's almost like all of those worries melt away and you're present in the here and now. (Related: How to Teach Yourself Mindful Masturbation — and Why You Should)
One of the main reasons why most people feel sexier at hotels is because you're separated from the normal responsibilities — and thus stress — that day-to-day life brings. Think about it: sometimes it's hard to feel turned on when you've worked a full day, cooked dinner, worked out, and possibly cared for children Most of the time, day-to-day life doesn't necessarily scream sexy.
Being in a hotel with your lover away from these everyday anxieties can feel liberating and exciting. Then, add on the fact that when you're staying in a hotel, you're usually on some sort of vacation, which often means you feel compelled to wear your cutest clothes, go to nicer restaurants, drink more (water and booze) often throughout the day, etc. all make for a prime sexy-time setting.
3. New Is Sexy and Exciting
Humans love routine. The idea of knowing what to expect, when to expect it, and having an order to things. But spontaneity is also valued too, the thrill of mixing things up — it's a delicate balance. And when it comes to sex, specifically, a new but comfortable environment can work to create some extra feelings of excitement. Because you're in a new place, you may feel explorative — even if explorative just means having sex more often than you usually do. When you try new things, your brain can literally develop new neural pathways, a series of connected nerves along which electrical impulses travel in the body (basically the freeways in our brains). When you do this, you open yourself up to wanting more different experiences. And when you do these new things, your brain releases extra yummy chemicals like dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in pleasure, motivation, learning, and memory.
New bed, new couch, new shower, new balcony — new feels sexy, and having new experiences with your partner can feel really sexy too. And if you're thinking to yourself "I don't love new things," you can probably still recognize the need for a change in routine. You need to periodically be in new environments for yourself and your relationships (both sexual and not!). When you try new things, you can benefit in many different ways, such as getting to know yourself better, creating neural pathways to overcome fear, and stimulating creativity. (Related: How to Be More Creative — Plus, All the Perks It Has for Your Brain)
These intentional getaways add a little jolt of life to your relationships — they remind you to spend quality, one-on-one time together, splurge a little if you can, and just enjoy each other's company. Sometimes in normal day-to-day life, the sad truth is, it's hard to let go of everything going on to fully embrace this and to see your partner as romantic and sexual.
How to Make Hotel Sex Even More Amazing
First things first, when talking about hotel rooms, if you or your partner is nervous for hygiene purposes to have sex on certain surfaces, lay down a towel! Or, travel with a FuxPad (Buy It, $185, fuxpads.com) or Liberator Fascinator Throw (Buy It, $120, amazon.com) along with you just for sex (sounds crazy, but it's worth it).
If you're staying close to the top floor in a very tall hotel, it can be super fun to have sex while facing out the window. I'm not just talking vaginal penetration either — you can use toys, perform oral — you name it! Seeing the views of wherever you're staying during sex is a really cool experience and can help keep you present. If you're worried about indecent exposure (every state has different laws; check yours here), keep the hotel robes on.
Ask yourself, "what will feel different than at home?" This can help spark your creativity. For example, if you and your partner have kids, you may usually have sex in your bedroom, in your bed. So, you could try couch sex, floor sex, balcony sex, sex against a wall, shower sex, counter sex, chair sex — whatever feels enticing, new, and different.
How to Choose a Great Hotel for a Sex Getaway
When you're picking the hotel for your rendezvous, think about what kind of vibe you're looking for. Even if you decide "yes" to splurging on somewhere nice with cozy sheets and plush robes, you still need to think about if you want a playful vibe (check out The Roxbury Motel in the Catskills in New York), a tropical ambiance (consider the W Hotel at Punta de Mita in Mexico), a cozy and romantic mood (think: The Montage in Deer Valley, Utah).
Visiting historic places turned into luxurious getaways such as Hutton Brickyards can help create an environment where you want to be both intimate and adventurous with your partner. There's something about being immersed in a theme (in the case of Hutton Brickyards, in an industrial-era brick factory) that can make the feeling of fantasy even stronger. The attention to detail at a place such as Hutton Brickyards makes it so you don't have to think about much. This then allows for your brain to relax and open up to other things — sexy things. (Related: The Best Vacation Spots for Couples In the U.S.)
Look at the rooms, and make sure it's in a place you'll feel relaxed and sensual. For example, at Hotel Dylan in Woodstock, New York, they have nightstands that dip beneath the edge of the bed, making it so you can't see what's on your nightstand once you're in the bed. Let's be honest: Your nightstand is likely usually filled with crap, plus your phone is often sitting right there charging when it's time for bed. With the nightstands out of the way, it feels more like an "out of sight out of mind" experience, which helps you to stay present during any sexual experiences there.
Peep the bathrooms too — they can be the perfect spot for out-of-bed sex or (literally) steamy foreplay. Consider Hotel Delamar in Connecticut, which has incredible showers that fit two plus a soaking tub. Climb out and wrap up in one of their complimentary robes — only to take it right back off.
What I recommend to my clients (and try to practice myself) is taking quarterly getaways with your partner(s) — for all of the reasons above. Hotel sex gives you the opportunity and the privacy to branch out in ways you might not feel comfortable doing at home, but also just might not have the opportunity to do at home. So, get after it babes! (And don't forget to bring your lube!)
Rachel Wright, M.A., L.M.FT., (she/her) is a licensed psychotherapist, sex educator and relationship expert based in New York City. She's an experienced speaker, group facilitator, and writer. She's worked with thousands of humans worldwide to help them scream less and screw more.