Sex and the B&B

Posted Feb 9th 2011 02:15 PMUpdated Feb 10th 2011 04:56 PM


Sex and Bed and Breakfast

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With the promise of roaring fireplaces, freshly baked muffins and four poster beds, the idea of spending Valentine's Day at a bed and breakfast sounds like the ultimate in romance. But when you're trying to reconnect with your loved one, the thought of a B&B's thin walls, creaky antique bed frames and judgmental guests eyeballing you the next morning over silver dollar-sized pancakes is enough to send you packing to the nearest no-tell motel. Don't be put off by the potential pitfalls. Simply follow these rules to avoid awkwardness.

Consider Victorian vs. Modern
At first thought, delicate antiques, a proliferation of lace and canopy beds may conjure up all things amore, but consider the fact that the older a B&B is, the higher the likelihood is of encountering creaky, delicate furniture. My husband and I found ourselves in a bed like this and after a night spent trying to quietly maneuver our bodies in the most non-offensive way possible, we were left longing for the shaky metal frame at home that we had put together ourselves from Pier 1 Imports.

Where is the Loo?
Unless you want to recreate the mistaken identity bathtub scene from "National Lampoon's European Vacation," check to see that the room you book has a private bathroom – even some of the most upscale B&Bs may offer a shared one down the hall. To us, the thought of tip-toeing around with our toothbrushes is less than enchanting.

Remember That Size Matters
On a recent trip to Pennsylvania, I chose a B&B with four rooms, each one based on the theme of a different season. The idea sounded quaint but the place was so tiny that it gave us the feeling of being a guest in a relative's house. Also be sure to ask questions about the furnishings – at 6'4" my husband finds nothing alluring about a claw foot tub that he has to fold himself into, while being on the petite side, a canopy bed raised three feet off the ground that presents me with a middle of the night gymnast hurdle is a definite mood-killer.

When staying at a B&B....
I 'reconnect' quietly so the neighbors won't hear?1 (33.3%)
I make wild whoopee because the neighbors don't know me.1 (33.3%)
I am restrained because I don't want to be blamed for the damage.1 (33.3%)

Pay Attention to Amenities
You don't have to pay extra for an overpriced "weekend of romance" package but certain perks will clue you into the fact that your B&B is no stranger to love. Whirlpools, in-room fireplaces and a no-kids policy are all good indicators your place caters to couples.

Know Thy Proprietors
When you're choosing a B&B it's not just the property you want to get the specs on. Are the owners friendly but unobtrusive? Unless you're looking for long chats over chamomile in the kitchen, this may be the way to go. Also do your research to get a sense of any restrictions or culture attitudes that could potentially clash with your sexy sensibilities. Stepping into a young couple's B&B with religious bric-a-brac on every available surface made us feel downright unholy.

Forget the 'Supposed To's
When you're at a B&B you're supposed to be unplugged, right? Not necessarily. We've stayed at places with everything from no television set to a tiny 10x10 black and white cube discretely covered in a cozy, and neither place was as much fun as having over 100 channels on demand. Staring deeply into each other's eyes is great for about a half hour, but for us, happiness is admitting that we are actually uncouth hooligans who would rather lie in bed eating snack treats while watching VH1's 100 Greatest Metal Hits.

And remember: Even with the most careful planning it's possible that your B&B may still not be the perfect fit. In that case, throw caution to the wind and enjoy yourselves.

And if that prude couple from the next room gives you a funny look over breakfast, simply smile and ask them to pass the syrup, secure in the knowledge that you will most likely never see them again.

Ronnie Koenig is based in Brooklyn.

Filed Under: Tips & Tricks

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ah ....we tried a B & B before, and I did feel that way, rooms so close, it didn't feel romantic, I felt like I was sneaking around someone's house, wanting alone time with my husband lol I guess, it just wasn't for us.

February 12 2011 at 7:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My husband and I run a B&B, and your article hit the mark. We have stayed in other B&Bs all over the world, and it is not easy to pick the perfect place for your travel needs. As most people now book online (normally after viewing a website's photos and amenities) it is hard to find your choice less than what you saw on their website. Our reccommendation is to call the inn or B&B directly---you will definitely get a sense of what to expect when you arrive for your stay after speaking to the innkeeper. Have any questions written down, and ready to ask, and always let the innkeeper know if you are celebrating a special occasion or anniversary--or if you have any special dietary needs. The beauty of staying at a fine B&B is that you get customized service, great breakfasts, special amenities, and the attention to detail that you can't find at chain hotels. B&Bs are great places to learn about where to go and what to see. Most B&Bs belong to sites like where real customer reviews are posted--so check those out before you book--to learn what you might actually expect to find. And, if you are ever in Southern Oregon, come stay with us for a wonderful B&B experience!!!

February 12 2011 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i a gree

February 12 2011 at 5:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary Mayer

The sexiest resort is Hedonism II in Jamaica but the most romantic hotel is the iron Horse in Milwaukee. That city has sure become chic since I left - perhaps that's why.

February 12 2011 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When planning your romantic getaway at a B&B, remember, you are booking a room in somebody else's house. You have to eat those silver dollar size pancakes when the owner makes them, so don't be thinking you can roll out of bed at 9-ish and bebop down to the dining room in your bathrobe for a hot breakfast. You've missed it, and lunch isn't for another couple of hours. Damn.

In the evening, when you both need a rest from the horizontal mambo, remember... when you head down to the living area to get out of the bedroom, not only is there no tv, but you'll be surrounded by strangers who all want to get in your face and talk to you. Of course, if you go down and take a quick head count, you should be able to decipher whether it is a good time to go to the bathroom so's you can sit for a few minutes, which is always required for a really good bowel evacuation. Never mind that everybody else in the place knows who's in the john, too, and who just left that present. There are just some things I believe should be done with privacy, and one of them is to dookey.

All in all, I don't know why anyone would want to stay in a B&B. Obviously, if the choice of accommodations is between a tent and a B&B, I'm in. But short of that, reservations at a B&B are not something I would make in my right mind. By the by, that photo up there with the two lovers on the private balcony with what appears to be a lovely, in-room continental breakfast? I'll bet you dollars to donuts that pic was NOT taken at a B&B.

February 12 2011 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

valentines day is for the heathen make sure your lady does not smell like an ashtray give her a red king james bible selah.

February 12 2011 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't overlook even small details - in my case, we went to an upscale inn in Vermont (admittedly well over 10 years ago) and after I took a shower, discovered there was NO hairdryer in the bathroom! And it was October, so it was rather chilly to be going out with wet hair. We couldn't even find one in the small town we were staying in - the only pharmacy in town didn't carry any. I mentioned this to the owner (a WOMAN) and she seemed rather surprised that I would expect one, like I was being demanding.
Since that time, when I will be staying in a non-chain hotel/inn I always take a small folding hairdryer, just in case, although I have never had this happen to me again.

February 12 2011 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A married couple has nothing to apologize for especially around religious bric a brac. The Lord allows sex in marriage so why feel bad. You're doing what you need to do to keep your marriage alive so what is there to be ashamed of? But maybe you might not want to be screaming at the top of your lungs when it gets really good, lol

February 12 2011 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I totally agree with Deborah. Some of my best travel experiences have been at B&Bs. I haven't seen a "shared bathroom" in any BB I've stayed at and all of them have had internet access.

I have found the the owners of these properties show a real sense of Pride of ownership and go out of their way to make me comfortable.

I too like larger properties...I want to be able to come and go without reporting to the owners. I have used to book getaways and the information is always right on the mark. I'll look for the Top Romantic Inns.

February 09 2011 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deborah Sakach

Shared baths in a bed and breakfast is definitely a thing of the past. Say 25 years ago. 100% of inns on the iLoveinns website and in our bed and breakfast books offer private baths.In addition 90% offer internet.

We are announcing the Top 10 Romantic Inns for 2011 - our 18th year.

For newcomers to country inns and bed and breakfasts we highly recommend that you stay in a larger inn - definitely not a 4 room place. Try an 8 room or 12 room inn and you will really feel comfortable and enjoy the feeling of being entertained at a professionally run property. Also read the reviews on a site like ours and you'll know where you want to stay. The majority of people who try a professionally run B&B are absoultely astounded at the value and the ability to de stress. They become B&B fans for life.

February 09 2011 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Deborah Sakach's comment

I agree!

February 09 2011 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply