Can the Feng Shui Bagua Revive a Woman's Sex Life?
- Stress and anxiety—two common libido killers—can come from any number of places in life.
- What happens if that stress and anxiety stem, at least in part, from a messy, cluttered house?
- Enter feng shui bagua, or a feng shui map. The flow of the inside and outside of your house may be able to get you back on track.
When mental factors affect libido in women, environmental components are often overlooked. Furniture layout, decor and organization systems make up what skilled consultants refer to as the feng shui—or feng shui bagua, meaning feng shui map—of the home.
"I think for folks who are already having struggles with desire or libido, things that feel like extra barriers become a little more important," said Tera Jansen, Psy.D., a psychologist and certified sex therapist in New York City and the co-host and producer of the sexual health podcast "University of Pleasure." "A space that feels chaotic might be the one extra thing that makes it a little bit harder to approach being sexual with someone."
What is feng shui?
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that focuses on arranging objects and spaces—particularly in the home and workplace—to promote harmony and balance and create a sense of positive energy (otherwise known as 'chi').
Pronounced as "fung shway," the term can be roughly translated as 'wind and water.' These two elements are associated with good health and good fortune in Chinese culture.
What are the feng shui rules?
One of the keys to good feng shui is achieving a balance of the five core elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
What these elements signify and how they can be incorporated into your home include the following:
- Wood. This represents traits such as growth, strength and flexibility. Incorporate freshly cut flowers, natural fabrics and furniture made of wood.
- Fire. This can encourage expressiveness, inspiration and confidence. Natural light, scented candles, salt lamps and red light can boost a woman's libido, according to feng shui principles, by infusing eroticism into the space.
- Earth. This element promotes a feeling of groundedness, harmony and stability with earth tones, crystals and images of landscapes. Integrate cozy items such as chunky knit blankets, textured throw pillows and other materials with soft edges.
- Metal. This increases clarity and creative energy. In addition to gold, silver, iron and aluminum, add rocks and stones, round shapes, and shades of silver, gray and white to the space.
- Water. The element of water creates fluidity, emotion and a spirit of abundance with features such as aquariums, essential oil diffusers, the color black, reflective surfaces and curved shapes.
What are common mistakes women make with the feng shui bagua?
The internet might be full of information, but it's not necessarily accurate or true to your needs and how you live. The following feng shui bagua mistakes are relatively common.
Failing to consider upkeep
Avoid the pitfalls of following mainstream advice and consider what may or may not fit into your lifestyle.
"If you're going to do the work to improve the feng shui in your home for your libido or sex life, make it simple and make it sustainable," Jansen said. "Make sure that whatever you choose to do is something you can keep up."
While disorganized surroundings can contribute to a lackluster sex drive, Jansen cautions against obsessing over creating the 'perfect circumstances' to have sex in.
"Let's look at cleanliness as a variable," she said. "If it must be clean and orderly in an extremely specific and rigid way in order to have sex, it's probably tipping over into something that's not going to be helpful."
"People often talk about how to increase desire and libido," Jansen said. "But focusing on what you can add to increase your sex drive isn't always the most effective strategy."
Examine what you can take down or move in a way that allows energy to flow a little more easily.
"It's contextual because some people feel held in a maximized space while others feel more held in a minimalist space," said Calvin Hauer, L.M.F.T., a therapist and sex educator in Minneapolis.
- A Woman's Libido Changes With Age—But It Doesn't Disappear: The female sex drive is very different from men's and should be approached accordingly.
- 7 Great Sex Positions for Female Orgasms: Here are 7 clever positions with great clitoral stimulation for good sex.
- 6 Sex Positions You Probably Can't Handle but Will Enjoy Trying: Experts share some challenging and unconventional ways for partners to bond intimately.
What is the best feng shui bedroom layout?
According to the rules of feng shui bagua, bed placement is imperative. Positioning your bed at the commanding point ensures that your feet are not in line with the door when lying in bed. Avoid placing it under a window if possible—its principles claim this can disrupt your sleep—and invest in some quality bed sheets.
On the bedside table, Hauer advises keeping a speaker for playing music, a remote control for the lighting, nontoxic lube and sex toys to help ease into the mood.
"When there are tasks and to-dos that need to happen in the home, it can be extremely hard for women to turn that off in their brains," said Nell Walker, a pleasure coach in Waterloo, Ontario, and the host and producer of the podcast "Millennial Triggered."
What's the best furniture placement for a sensual living room?
The commanding position is the best for living room furniture.
"There are so many fun furniture and décor options you can incorporate in your living space to bring an energy of seduction and sensuality, like a sex swing," said Kate Klein, L.M.H.C., a psychotherapist and sex therapist in Brooklyn, New York. "Different types of sex furniture can be used for bondage, to increase comfort—especially for those with chronic pain or differently abled bodies—altering sensations and adjustment of incline or deeper penetration, like a sex pillow."
Walker recommends a waterproof throw blanket or mat for protecting your furniture so you can relax, play and have fun without worrying about bodily fluids.
What can you do to promote a peaceful bathroom?
"I love putting eucalyptus in the shower," Walker said. "It looks classy, and even when it starts to die, you can't tell because it still looks great."
She suggests comfortable and stylish floor mats, a custom shower curtain and some waterproof sex toys tucked away in the bathroom for solo or partnered shower play.
Does what's on the exterior of your home matter in feng shui?
Earth tones are recommended for the exterior of your home to mirror the environment, according to feng shui practices. However, you can attract vibrant, positive energy with pops of color in your window trim or other architectural details.
Curving pathways around a garden helps energy flow freely, and windchimes can be used to create an inviting ambiance.
Does feng shui work?
Adult females experienced a higher percentage of major depressive episodes (10.3 percent) compared to males (6.2 percent) in the United States, according to a 2021 study.
"I think our environment greatly affects our mood and, therefore, our ability to get in touch with our desire and arousal," Klein said.
It's difficult to feel turned on in a messy room.
"Different environments can impact how sexy or attractive we feel. Having clutter in our surroundings can make us feel overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed and has been shown to increase the stress hormone cortisol, which is a desire killer," Klein said.
With the knowledge that environmental disarray can produce or exacerbate various mental stressors in women, it may seem reasonable to consider that incorporating feng shui principles in the home could help introduce feelings of relaxation and calm.
The bottom line
Whether or not you're in your sexual prime, a dip in libido isn't a sign you're doing anything wrong. Sexual drive fluctuates with the influence of mental and environmental factors, so it may be worth taking inventory of your surroundings while maintaining your mental health support.