A gourmet meal. Candlelight. Barry White singing in the background. Whether you’re in a new relationship or you’ve been together for years, it never hurts to add a little romance into the mix. So if you’re planning a special date or celebrating an anniversary, birthday, or other holiday, you need to figure out how to set the mood for your partner. But you don’t want to be a one-trick pony or rely on the tired fallbacks that have been used in so many rom-coms, so bring your romantic evening into the 21st century with a modern twist on the classic recipe for setting the mood (by hitting all the senses).
- Taste. Prepare a number of interesting and enticing foods to get your partner in the mood for love (try to include a few known aphrodisiacs like oysters, champagne, chocolate, or strawberries). Just make sure they don’t have any food allergies beforehand…nothing kills the mood faster than a sudden case of hives. Then heighten the sensation by blindfolding your partner and feeding them by hand (think 9 ½ Weeks, but without the milk).
- Sight. Candles are classic, but they’re also a fire hazard. Instead, buy a couple of dim bulbs in a rosy hue, which will make any skin tone more attractive. Or go space age with a chromotherapy lighting system that will filter through a range of colors meant to balance the chakras and calm the soul (stick to orange to stimulate emotions and sexuality, green to target love, and blue to fuel physical and spiritual communication).
- Sound. Forget the standards your parents favored (Sinatra, Kenny G) and go for something unique that your partner will love. If you want to keep things on the DL, you can’t go wrong with a little Jack Johnson (Sleep Through the Static is particularly mellow), but if you decide to change it up, try a little Brazilian bossa nova for some south-of-the-border spice (look for Nara Leão on iTunes or Amazon).
- Smell. A great way to revamp the classic sponge-bath is with the introduction of aromatherapy. So add a little essential oil to the tub to heighten your partner’s senses and leave their skin silky smooth. Just check on what different scents will do for you. You might try soothing rose, stress-relieving lavender, or relaxing jasmine (also said to be an aphrodisiac).
- Touch. You can’t go wrong with massage (which everyone loves), but if you want to try something different, take a class in acupressure or Reiki (the ancient art of using hand positioning to heal and balance the chakras) to make your partner’s body tingle. I don’t recommend acupuncture as it requires years of training to master and most people are afraid of needles.
It’s not hard to make your partner’s night if you put a little time and effort into the preparations. And the best way to get them in the mood is to stimulate all five senses throughout the evening. By paying attention to what they like and going out of your way to plan an evening of passion, you can bring their romantic fantasies to life and hopefully, convince them to return the favor.
Kyle Mentz is a communications coordinator for Alluminare where you can find a large assortment of home lighting options.