When it comes to setting the mood for intimacy, we often think of dim light, a locked door, a fragrant smell, and fresh sheets. And while those do create a mood, what if I told you that one of the best places we can start setting the mood for a positive sexual experience is with ourselves? 

Let’s look at it this way. If you’re baking a cake, and you’ve overlooked the ingredients that make for a delicious outcome, it doesn’t matter how much frosting, filling, or sprinkles you add...the basic but critical core components were overlooked, leading to a less than tasty cake. 

Prepping our mental and emotional space is a lot like the core critical ingredients for baking. We can add all of the candles, lingerie, or lube we want, but if we have overlooked our mental and emotional state, all of the ambiances can fall flat. 

One of the best ways we can shift our mental and emotional space is to be intentional about transitions. Most of us have many different roles including mom or dad, sibling, friend employee. These lead roles can overshadow the lover part of ourselves. 

Just like we transition from morning to night by changing into and out of pajamas, we can use this same principle of transitions to shift our sexual mood and openness. Research shows again and again that when we create cues that we are transitioning into a different mindset or role, our mind and emotions will follow.  Being intentional about transitioning out of one role, such as mom, and into the role of a lover is a great way to create the mood for yourself. 

The other thing we can do is experiment with personas. Let me tell you about my friend named Chloe who uses 5 different pairs of earrings to transition into different sexual personas.

“I started exploring sexual personas and archetypes last year. I have 5 personas total and each one has a pair of earrings that represent her. What’s awesome about this is that not only do I enjoy putting them on and getting into character, but they have become a great form of non-verbal communication between my partner and me. I kind of lay out and play around with the persona with my partner then pick out the earrings that match her. 

One of my personas is really anywhere-and-everywhere adventurous. One of them is in total control and pretty bossy. The other likes dirty talk. So the earrings kind of speak for me and set the tone without having to set the scene. The BEST part is wearing the earrings all day or out in public together and no one knows what they mean but the two of us. Sometimes we don’t even get around to the sex (because of life!) but the flirtation and energy is still there. It keeps the pan simmering. It’s also a really easy way for me to initiate or invite sex or just express what flavor of desire I’m feeling that day. I’ll put on some earrings and text him a picture at work or have them on when he gets home. And we playfully make suggestions about 'what would go well with turquoise earrings'. My partner REALLY appreciates how much information he gets from this without having to ask or infer and that helps us both relax and have more fun.”

Creating different personas can help us step out of who we typically are or believe we are and step into who we want to be.
Something as simple as a pair of earrings, a pair of sunglasses, a lacey bralette, can completely shift your mood! When we set the mood, it can allow us to start building anticipation and simmering our sexual energy. Shifting our internal mood is the difference between starting to drive a cold car or a warm car. AND don't forget everything we've been learning from day FOUR, THREE, TWO and ONE. The partnering, the understanding of yourself, the non-sexual touch, the communication, the play....that all adds to the sexual energy and KEEPING the mood alive.

Looking for other ways to set the mood? Check out my Business Time Playlist. Not sure what business time is? Let the Flight of the Conchords explain.

To see the full collection of 12 Days of Sexmas product recommendations to date, click here.


If you find that you rarely want sex or feel like you have a low level of desire, take the desire quiz created by Emily Nagoski, author of Come As You Are. You may not be low desire but may have a responsive desire style meaning that you often don't want sex spontaneously but are open to it and want it once you start feeling aroused. If you and your partner are trying to figure more ways to navigate differences in desire, I recommend the following books:

The Sex Starved Marriage

Come As You Are

When Your Sex Drives Don't Match