Making your bedroom more suitable for Valentine's Day lurve-making can actually be shockingly easy. Think of it like NSFW Marie Kondo; use a bit of feng shui and suddenly your room is gasping for sauciness.
We've done our research, and it's time to share our top tips for sex-ifying your boudoir, and bringing those romantic, sultry vibes.
Even if your room is a war-zone of dirty clothes and old plates (mugs, always mugs), these little changes can really transform your personal space into something far sexier. You're welcome, gals.
1. Move all those family photos or childhood trinkets AWAY from sight.
Try adding in pops of colour to your bedding, and enlist in some autumnal or dark coloured throw pillows. Michael recommends warm hues like tan, browns and gold, but NOT red. Interesting…
"I wouldn't recommend red, because red stimulates hunger, and is usually used in a dining room," she says. This is news to us. A warm-toned blanket at the end of the bed brings a sense of cosiness and intimacy.
3. Invest in new sheets
"The one thing I would invest in, and I tell people to invest in, is really good sheets," says Michael. "It makes all the difference."
We're talkin' breathable material, like linen or cotton, instead of heavy material or cheap, coarse fabric. It's all about those smooth vibes.
4. Put a nightstand on each side of the bed
This one is more unconventional, we admit. Sandi Kaufman, a sex and relationships therapist in New York, says that putting a nightstand on each side of the bed is a healthy way to keep a power balance in the bedroom.
They're also super handy for stowing condoms, lube and sex toys, FYI.
5. Vicky Howie suggests incorporating elements of FIRE to the room.
Now this we have to hear. Heat things up with some sultry candles and lamps, just DON'T set the whole place on fire, for the love of GOD. We don't want to get sued.
Why not try massage candles? They're handy for sex-duty by giving off a nice light and also melting down to a body-safe wax that can be used with a partner. Sounds fun to us.
6. Red objects for femininity
Okay, this one is slightly more bizarre, but it's feng shui. Try to be open minded: placing a red object on the 'female' nightstand is thought to heighten the woman's libido.
Women's Aidhave launched a new guide on safety orders for young women who are experiencing abuse in their relationships, due to new laws being introduced.
The legislation brought in at the beginning of this year allows women who are going through dating abuse to apply for Safety and Protection orders.
Women's Aid are instigating the guide on Valentine's Day as part of the #TooIntoYou campaign to emphasise the darker side of love.
60% of abuse starts before the age of 25. Today, on Valentine's Day, we launch our #TooIntoYou campaign for young women including a NEW GUIDE to Safety Orders – now available to people experiencing abuse in dating relationships. Check out the free guide https://t.co/5MKQmB8T9apic.twitter.com/YSmlMoOGZH
RTÉ's Can't Stop Dancing presenter Bláthnaid Treacy is also urging young women and men to "know the signs of dating abuse", especially because 60 percent of abuse in relationships begins before the age of 25.
Women's Aid are a national organisation which provides vital information and support to women experiencing dating abuse and domestic violence. Their #TooIntoYou campaign aims to spread much-needed awareness on the topic.
#TooIntoYou uses social media and poster advertising to strive for the spread of information from February 14 until March 8 (International Women's Day).
New laws brought in at the start of 2019 under the Domestic Violence Act 2018 allow women to apply for important Safety and Protection laws.
Today are calling attention to the darker side of relationships at this time that the #TooIntoYou campaign will have a high impact. We are asking – what part of love is abuse? If you are concerned about your relationship take our quiz and read the signs https://t.co/kLjf4jMVjXpic.twitter.com/Kwjo9WRBU7
However, the organisation believes that many young women are still in the dark about the change and how to get the necessary protection, which is why Women's Aid ae bringing in the 'Guide to Safety Orders in Dating Relationships' online today.
Spotting the 10 key danger signs of dating abuse and providing information to combat online stalking and digital abuse is of imperative importance for women in Ireland today.
Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid says:
"1 in 5 women in Ireland experience abuse in relationships and in a national survey on domestic abuse in Ireland, almost 60 percent of those who had experienced severe abuse in intimate relationships first experienced it when they were under the age of 25."
A ten year domestic homicide review was due to be published in February 2017.
NWCI tonight expressed serious concerns about the length of time which was elapsed since the review was announced. We urgently need the findings of this review to be published https://t.co/bs49KdNzkk
"A stark reminder of this risk is that 1 in every 2 women, aged between 18-25, killed in Ireland since 1996 were murdered by their boyfriends or exes," Martin concluded.
The campaign is being launched on Valentine's Day to highlight the hidden reality of many young women's relationships, despite the fact that today is traditionally associated with love and romance.
Martin's goal for today, is to ask the hard questions; "We are clearly asking – what part of love is abuse?" She spoke directly to victims and survivors; “You are not alone in feeling something isn't right with your relationship."
Visit the #TooIntoYou website here for more information, or call the Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline at 1800 341 900.
Ah, Galentine's Day. Our saviour from the horrors of Valentine's Day, AKA the only day of the year where showing love and men being romantic is socially acceptable.
Whether companies are using female friendships as a marketing tool or not is a WHOLE other discussion.
For now, we're just gonna bring Leslie Knope vibes for 2019's Galentine's Day, which falls the day before Valentine's Day, and celebrates the power of galpals.
Of course, you don't need to be single to celebrate the special day that is Galentine's; You can snatch all them sexy roses from your boo and high five your ladypals at the same time.
1. Channelling the OG Renaissance Romantics:
Happy #GalentinesDay everyone! Don't forget the real meaning of the holiday, which is not only about uplifting your best girlfriends but coming together as women to drown men and have great hair pic.twitter.com/A7g06btUtw
New research suggests that social media is becoming a "common problem" in Irish marriages, according to The Independent.
Over 3,000 clients took part in a survey in Maynooth over two years which discovered that both men and women find social media and technology "behaviour" causes difficulties in marriages and relationships.
Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service maintains that constant access to technology and phones has taken away the "cooling off" period following an argument.
Social media and finances cause difficulty in marriages – Accord https://t.co/oNviu2tc06 Both men and women agree that technology and social media cause difficulty in their relationships and marriages. #ACCORD
Valentine's Day can put a LOT of pressure on our shoulders (or those of our boyfriends/husbands) when it comes to gifts.
Whether it's the classic present of roses, chocolates or more elaborate ideas like a hotel getaway; you're going to need some good offers because the holiday brings some expenses alongside it.
We've created a list of our top Valentine's Day gifts you can find at the moment, get them before they're gone.
1. Jo Malone London Valentine's Day Floral Box
What better treat to give than the iconic Jo Malone glamorous glass bottle, containing a scent inspired by "seven of the world's finest roses", with a hint of lemon and crushed violet leaves.
Positively dreamy, a little bit like everlasting love. The special floral box is available exclusively from February 7 until Valentine's Day, and we advise pre-ordering because these will absolutely fly out the door.
2. Absolut Vodka: A Drop of Love
Some of us need something stronger for Valentine's Day, and Absolut really is the perfect choice. They've created the Drop of Love bottle; an ink message fed from signs of hatred around the world and turned into a message of love. Pretty inspiring.
The action has been used by the company to show the ability to recycle hatred and create something better from it; for example some UNREAL vodka with natural ingredients and no added sugar.
The Swedish vodka brand love coming up with campaigns with artists, designers and aid organisations, and this Valentine's Day bottle is the best one yet.
3. Jo Malone London Irresistible Pairs
Jo Malone have partnered up their most loved scents to curate the Jo Malone London Power Couples; layer the fragrant duos to create an irresistible pairing on your skin.
Trust us when we say…they smell AMAZING. The New Romantics feature peony and blush suede and wild bluebell for a softly sensual scent, The Sweethearts combine the English pear and freesia with nectarine blossom and honey for a golden pair.
Seaside Soulmates bring together zesty citrus nots with lime basil and mandarin and wood sage and sea salt for a dynamic duo. Lastly, Star-Crossed Lovers pair jasmine sambac and marigold with wood sage and sea salt for a heavenly experience.
We can't gush enough about these, what a beautiful Valentine's treat these would be.
4. Weir & Sons Valentine's Day jewellery collection
This Fabergé Palais Tsarskoye Selo turquoise heart locket pendant is exclusive to Weir & Sons of Grafton Street, Ireland.
It's absolutely stunning, and would certainly attract attention if your lover chose it for around your neck.
We'll be dropping hints left. right and centre for this one. Whoever picks it out for us would truly have our heart in a box.
5. Limited Edition Red Caps & Keepsake Heart-Shaped Box from Jo Malone London
Limited edition red caps are only €5 each along with a free heart-shaped box when you make a purchase between February 1 and February 14, and you can even add a free embossed message, date or initials to the box as an added extra.
It's the first time that the veteran brand are offering a romantic take on Jo Malone London’s signature cream and black packaging; you can acquire the gorgeous heart-shaped box when you buy two or more products in select boutiques in Ireland.
We're heading straight to the shop, we can't let this offer go.
6. L'Occitane Romantic Rose collection
For Valentine's Day, it's only too important to smell and feel your best. We've found the ideal scent for the eve: ROSE. French powerhouse brand L'Occitane have gifted us with a set, that we all both need and deserve.
The gorgeous and elegant fragrance set includes: Rose Eau de Toilette, Rose Shower Gel, Rose Body Lotion and Rose Hand Cream.
L'Occitane 'Romantic Rose' collection is priced at €69 from the L'Occitane website.
7. Bia Beauty facial oil
We are LUSTING after Bia Beauty at the moment; the emerging Irish brand use Mother Nature to deliver 100 percent natural, highly effective, ethically sourced and excellently-packaged products.
Owner Tracey Ryan is a herbal scientist based in Cork, so she has an abundance of fresh ingredients on her doorstep to use, which helped her to create their facial oil.
The nutritious skin product contains rose hip seed oil which is full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids. Wear it at night to repair and soothe the skin or during the day to boost hydration and plump the skin.
Give it as a gift this Valentine's Day for a woman who desires reduced scarring and increased cell rejuvenation. Gorgeous, Irish and cruelty free: Award-winning Bia Beauty products are definitely made with love.
8. Solid Fragrance Combining Palette by Jo Malone London
A sleek, travel-ready palette is absolutely genius from Jo Malone; it effortlessly encases two solid perfumes for on-the-go scents.
Customers can fill their palette with their choice of two Jo Malone London scents from a selection of ten of the brand’s most-loved, to curate their own pair.
Choose from; Lime Basil & Mandarin, Basil & Neroli, Pomegranate Noir, English Pear & Freesia, Blackberry & Bay, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Peony & Blush Suede, Mimosa & Cardamom, Wood Sage & Sea Salt and Oud & Bergamot.
The Palette and Refills are available now at Brown Thomas Dublin, get your hands on a pair ASAP before they sell out for Valentine's Day. The cologne's are basically unisex, so they can be bought for man or woman.
9. The Clean Beauty Edit haircare essentials gift-set
Time to go clean and green in 2019; the Clean Beauty Edit are bringing cult, clean beauty brands to Ireland through their gorgeous online boutique.
Olio E Osso, Ilia Beauty, Evolve Organic Beauty, Warpaint, Lily Lolo, Ere Perez and Sun Potion are the brands which Clean Beauty Edit are importing to Ireland,
All products are natural, cruelty-free, toxin-free and sustainably produced and packaged, and their haircare gift-set is GORGEOUS for Valentine's Day. The set includes luxury travel sizes of their Superfood Shine Shampoo, Superfood Shine Conditioner, and Nourishing Hair Elixir.
Their luscious shampoo is formulated with natural cleansers from sugar and coconut which gently cleanse scalp and hair without stripping natural oils. The Baobab proteins boost the shine and organic pomegranate extract rehydrates and protect the hair; what a stunning, thoughtful gift.
10. CraicPack Valentine's Day box for Irish Expats
CraicPack bring some chocolate Irish goodness to everyone at home and abroad. This year they're making a new Valentine's Day box with up to 50 sweets that Irish people living far away miss the most; such nostalgia.
Items included in the adorable box are 10 different types of Dairy Milk, 15 other Cadbury items, Butlers and Love Hearts. Oh, and they even add a box of tea to every pack, because what else would you pair with a chocolate bar? Nothing, that's what.
To help the local community, CraicPack donate up to €5 from every box sold to Focus Ireland to aid the on-going homeless crisis in Ireland. Hon the lads.
11. ÉminenceChocolate Mousse Hydration Masque, Apricot Body Oil and Firm Skin Acai Exfoliating Peel.
Éminence organic skincare is a luxury spa brand that you NEED to hear about, especially for the romance of Valentine's Day. They plant a tree for every product sold; over 10 MILLION to date, and use wind and solar energy for production.
Their peanut inner packing is even made from cornstarch, so it can be composted and is water dissolvable; they really do care about the environment, and their skincare range reflects that.
Not only are they ethical, their newest Valentine's Day products are the perfect present to treat a loved one with.
The Chocolate Mousse Hydration Masque fights the visible signs of ageing. Containing a healthy dose of antioxidant-rich cocoa, which is great for your skin, it's macadamia, almond and jojoba oils also provide deep hydration.
The luxurious Apricot Body Oil is blended with an assortment of essential oils, such as grape seed and jojoba, to create a luscious massage oil that leaves skin feeling irresistibly soft.
Last but not least, the Éminence Firm Skin Acai Exfoliating Peel is an at-home peel that can easily be done before a romantic meal.
12. The Westbury's indulgent romance experience
Valentine's Day always brings an onslaught of great hotel offers, but how can you choose the best one for the most practical price? The Westbury has been voted Ireland's number one hotel by Condé Nast Traveler Readers, and for a good reason.
Enjoy some lavish indulgence in the heart of Dublin by retreating to The Westbury's romance experience. This includes an overnight stay for couples with a romantic rose petal turndown, bottle of chilled champagne, strawberries and delicious chocolates, and a delicious full Irish breakfast in bed in the morning.
‘Romance at the Heart of the Dublin’ with The Westbury is available to book from €450 per room; a great offer considering the prestigious location. Treat yourselves to a trip, you deserve it.
13. Aldi's Valentine's Day alcohol offers: G-in Love
Aldi are offering us something MAJORLY special this Valentine's Day, whether you're waking up to champagne in bed, or heading on a dinner date with gin in mind.
They're giving us the exclusive Boyle’s Alchemy Colour Changing Gin, infused with petals of the Asian butterfly flower, which shifts colour from blue to pale pink with the addition of tonic. Yep, actual. real-life COLOUR-CHANGING GIN.
It’s all to do with the movements in pH, but we can guarantee that this is some magical science.
That's not all they've got up their sleeve; Aldi's DV8 Pink Gin Cream Liqueur is BY FAR the perfect gift. Made by the Irish producers of multi-award-winning Brennan’s Old House Gin, this gorgeous liquor will make anyone's day special.
Aldi have some unique sale offers especially for the most loving day of the year; Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut NV, the best-selling and award-winning wine from Philizot and Fils is reduced to only €19.99.
Giotti Spumante Rosé, Sparkling Rosé Blosson, Beaujolais Rosé 2018, Fairtrade Moscato Rosé 2018 have each had their prices cut so that love can blossom with a bit of alcohol to help. Even if it's self-love…
14. CND nails Valentine's range
CND are changing the GAME when it comes to nails. For Valentine's Day, why not treat yourself or your significant other to some gorgeous new shades from the iconic brand.
Their new range has stunning pinks, dark berry, ravishing reds and blush tones; show off your romantic side.
Mambo Beat, Rose Bud, Hot Pop Pink, Tinted Love, Wildfire and Dark Lava are ideal for a hot date, or pretty much anything the night has in store. There's a colour for every kind of date.
All of these romantic shades are available in both CND SHELLAC and CND VINYLUX, for longer-lasting looks.
15. 'Hex Your Ex' Galentines book from ASOS
We couldn't forget to include a present for that gal-pal of yours who really needs a humorous Valentine's pick-me-up.
The Hex Your Ex book contains over 100 spells,potions and rituals for getting some petty revenge on that douchebag ex of theirs.
Treat yourself or your BFF, it looks pure gas.
16. PrettyLittleThing Valentines body in red striped lace
This jaw-dropping body from PLT is the perfect treat to yourself or your girlfriend this Valentine's Day.
The red lace and plunge neck will have you feeling sexier than ever, why not give yourself the romantic day you deserve? Spicy AF.
There you have it, our top picks for Valentine's Day gifts this year.
Between perfume, flower arrangements, lavish hotel getaways, skincare and lingerie; it's set to be a GREAT day.
We'd appreciate if someone who adores us can buy us each and every one of these, pretty please?
Let the love rain down this year, if you're single or taken. Like this adorable teddy bear here:
Most researchers seem to be pretty busy with conducting medical studies and making valuable scientific discoveries for society's gain, but this latest survey really takes it to the next level.
Bloom & Wildhave worked with London Metropolitan University to undergo an experiment to figure out when the 'love hormone', AKA oxytocin, is released.
The anti-anxiety and stress reducing hormone is pretty special, the chemicals are made when you're in love, and having some KICK-ASS sex. We heart it.
The study measured how the brain reacts to receiving certain gifts, and it's led to some pretty interesting, and useful, results. We're not hugely surprised at what topped the list, they're all unreal.
Research also suggests that people in the first three stages of love reported higher oxytocin levels that last for roughly six months to a year. At a chemical level, can presents recreate this high of lovestruck heartbeats?
Scientists reported that the subjects of the study showed an average increase of 73pg/ml in the hormone oxytocin after getting chocolates, and 62pg/ml after receiving flowers. Feeling loved comes in all shapes and sizes, it would seem.
The official top five items or experiences included on the list which trumped having sex were; chocolate winning the number one spot, then flowers, food, shopping and booking a holiday.
Receiving chocolate apparently creates a high increase in oxytocin the same rise in oxytocin comes from sex, so a quick nip down to Butlers could solve your stress issues.
Flowers can spark the same feeling as love, relationships and sexy times, and a study by Havas Worldwiderevealed that 57 percent of millennials think that food is better than sex. Damn.
Retail therapy also made the list, according to the experiment. The neurologist David Linden, in his book The Compass Of Pleasure, explains that the experience of shopping triggers dopamine circuitry in the brain's mesolimbic pathway.
In plain-old-English, the mesolimbic pathway is a key part of how we experience entertainment and happiness, so having a sneaky online shop at ASOS is good for you. Thank God we have a valid excuse to do this now…
Booking a holiday is better than having some intimate. alone time with a partner, according to research. 16% of Brits claim to support this, so those Aer Lingus January sales must have had people feelin' pretty damn euphoric.
So, I'm sure we can all agree that sleeping with a housemate is (for the most part) a bad idea.
It's messy, it's awkward, and it's more hassle than it's worth.
But, that's not stopping us.
A new study conducted by Web Blinds, whichlooked at the reasons why housemates split up,found that over 20 per cent of people admitted to having a sexual encounter with a house mate.
They surveyed almost 3000 UK adults who had previously lived in shared accommodation and found that one in five had gotten frisky with a living partner at one stage or another.
What's more, over half of those admitted that either themselves or their house mate had been in a relationship with someone else when the encounter took place.
According to Marie Claire, less than 25 per cent of these 'housemate-with-benefits' relationships led to an actual romance, and were actually noted as the second most popular reason a house share didn't work out.
Unrequited love was another big one with one in ten participants admitting they had fallen for a house mate who didn't feel the same way.
Check out top ten reason why housemates split below.
1. My ex-housemate(s) were unhygienic /messy
2. I had a sexual encounter with an ex-housemate that made living together awkward
3. I argued/fell out with my ex-housemate(s)
4. My ex-housemate(s) were bad with money and didn’t keep up to date with rent/bills
5. My ex-housemate(s) were too loud/noisy
6. I didn’t like my ex-housemate(s) friends/partner
7. I began to develop unreciprocated romantic feelings for a housemate
8. My ex-housemate(s) invaded my privacy too often
9. My ex-housemate(s) stole from me
10.My ex-housemate(s) got a pet I couldn’t live with