Reading between the sheets

Reading between the sheets

Can pyjamas improve your sex life?

I was going to talk about Hugh Hefner, but he was a man whose sex life (presumably)improved in spite of his predilection for pajamas, rather than because of it.

Since pyjamas are worn without underwear, let’s denude from this question, for a
moment, the subject of sleepwear altogether: Can improve your sex life?

“What? Doesn’t make sense.”

Except if you lop off the question mark. Then it has the ring of the dubious claim. As might be emblazoned in point-form down the label on the receptacle of the super-food of the moment. Let’s take coconut oil:

  • promotes weight loss
  • reduces cardiovascular disease
  • treats diabetes
  • removes sunspots
  • can improve your sex life

“Really? What, when applied topically? Okay, it improves massages… But your sex life? Well… No, sorry, not directly, not the same way bicarb relieves us of indigestion. There’s no causal certainty here.”

Massage may improve my sex life? And, on the other hand, once the pyjamas – or other vestments – have been dispensed with, the energy radiating between us may – at just the right moment in just the right setting – send precisely this message to the reward circuit of the brain, whereupon the nucleus accumbens will swoon, and the gallant ventral tegmental area will issue forth a veritable gush of dopamine: can improve my sex life, at that instant, is surely the pertinent idea; as in – can, nay, will improve my sex life any moment now!

But at that point we are, hopefully, not really thinking of self-improvement, let alone bringing to mind obscure anatomical terminology. No, hopefully we’re in a state of deep blissful connection, our respective pairs of finely crafted sleepwear in an aesthetically pleasing pile next to the vegan bear-skin rug, but not to close to the open fire.

In the same way that its medium-chain fatty acids may, during a reciprocated massage, render coconut oil a better bedfellow than inferior oils, it could be said that hand-crafted 100% organic cotton sleep apparel makes date night feel that much better than, say, a devil-may-care ensemble of dull misshapen poly-cotton blends.

Whittling down even further our advertising culture’s hackneyed but inescapable bit of proto-clickbait, we’re left with:

Improve your sex life.

The thing itself. Here, not a dubious claim, but an exhortation, an imperative, a
motivational pitch which speaks to a basic physiological need.

But, if the mad king had it right, and “unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal…” we cannot – as he invites Poor Tom to join him in doing – go around stark naked. I’ve already explained this.

Not at work, at least, and not during the courting phase.


It’s down there. Down there in Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs with homeostasis and excretion. Ascend two levels, however, and we find ourselves aspiring to something richer – sexual intimacy – which is more to do with love and belonging than scratching a biological itch. Indeed, the expanded version of the hierarchy included, just below self-actualisation, mind you – aesthetic needs: appreciation and search for beauty, balance and form.

While an aesthetically pleasing, high quality, pair of pajamas may not directly improve our sex lives, it can definitely enrich the intimate theatre of our racy rituals whose end is, ideally, love and belonging.

Here’s a slogan: Good pajamas – unleash your inner aesthete.