13 Subtle Things You Can Tell From Going Into Your Date’s Bedroom

Before you hook up or continue anything, keep an eye on their bedroom.

couple sitting in guy's bed with laptop and pizza PeopleImages.com - Yuri A / Shutterstock

A friend of mine said that I have an eye a lot like Sherlock Holmes. I agree, assuming that Sherlock Holmes was blind. I’m not always super perceptive, and in my day-to-day, it takes a while for me to parse out what I’m seeing.

When it comes to a person’s bedroom? That’s a bit different. Because I used to be an escort (and also used to date a wide variety of people), I quickly learned what to watch for in a bedroom.


Obviously, these observations don’t always hold water, but in my experience, they are fairly accurate.

Author’s Note: I’m going to try to avoid obvious ones, like hobbies that you can see decorations of or identifiers like old college stuff. I’m going to talk about things you might not always pick up on and what it means about their personality.

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Here are 13 subtle clues that I notice when I step into a date’s bedroom:

1. A dirty bedroom with seriously filthy sheets and surroundings tends to signal poor hygiene or problematic behavior

When I say a dirty bed, I don't mean that the sheets weren’t changed or that they forgot to make the bed. That’s just sloppy. I mean, you can see crumbs in the bed, the bed smells, cigarette butts everywhere and you see food lying about.


A good rule of thumb for any house is that a dirty home is a home where bad s*** is happening. At best, you’re looking at a person who cannot take care of themselves because they’re either physically incapable or were never taught to do so.

In most cases, it’s a sign of severe mental illness or drug use. People who are very depressed, traumatized, or schizophrenic tend to have really messy bedrooms. If it’s not mental illness, I’ve found that it usually deals with substance use.

Personally, this is a dealbreaker that should be pretty widespread. It’s a serious warning sign.

2. Books by the bed indicate a curious mind and a thirst for knowledge

I’ve heard more than one person say that they view a lack of books in a home as a red flag. As a writer, that’s kind of a thing for me but I’ll point out that some people have e-readers like Kindles and tablets.


But a book by the bed? That’s always a good sign that you’re dating someone who appreciates intelligent conversation — or at least wants to learn something new.

Obviously, the quality of the books also matters here. If I were to see a Jordan Peterson book on his shelf, I’d probably just collect my belongings and leave. On the other hand, if I saw a book about Japanese culture, I’d probably whip out some shibari ropes.

3. A pull-up bar or similar workout equipment shows your date cares about their health

Look, I’m just going to point this out: a lot of those gym bros are great lays. Whenever I see a pull-up bar, a yoga mat, or similar equipment, I’m going to assume that the person is in touch with their body.

While this could just be a matter of being a health nut, the truth is that it tends to show that the person in question takes care of themself. That’s a huge thing these days because a lot of our problems boil down to a lack of self-care.


PRO TIP: If your partner is sporty, expect to pick up a barbell or two if you want to keep them around. That’s a cornerstone of their life, man.

4. Keep a close eye out for photos in the bedroom, especially of other women

A lot of people keep photos in their bedrooms, especially of their weddings and significant others. And actually, I have a story about this that’s fairly old. You see, there was a point where my friends and I all were having sex with this one dude.

I’m not going to get into details, but one of my guy friends who would just watch us go at it pulled me aside. He pointed to something on the guy’s dresser: a picture of said man in a tuxedo, smiling and waving. No wife was to be found.

My friend said, "I did a little research. Everyone’s f-buddy is actually married."


What tipped my homie off? It was the picture of the neighborhood Lothario, smiling in his tuxedo. That was, in fact, his wedding photo. He just hid the ones of his wife in a drawer.

On a similar note, you might want to watch out for undergarments that don’t match the person’s gender. This often means your partner may have other side pieces you don’t know about.

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5. Sex toys open on display means they’re sexually liberated, kinky, and possibly a horndog

I can always tell who’s going to be a powerhouse in the bedroom when I see a lot of sex toys in their bedroom out in the open. People who have this bedroom trait tend to have very high sex drives and also are better schooled in sex education than most.


I also noticed that people who have this trait tend to be a lot more relaxed than most other people. They may have better confidence in the bedroom and also may be more interested in pleasuring their partners.

If the sex toys are really out in the open (think a St. Andrew’s cross in the corner of the bedroom or a giant dildo on the nightstand), it’s also almost certain that they don’t have kids. Most parents aren’t cool with their kids finding a "buzzing rocket ship," and rightfully so.

6. Religious paraphernalia in the bedroom often means they may have shame about their sex life

So, I’m going to point out something. Those Christian-y signs that involve sayings like "We are blessed with love," are the biggest boner killers I’ve ever seen in my f***ing life.

And yet, I often see them in the bedrooms of people who grew up (or still are) Christian fundamentalists. This is a culture that tends to have a lot of sexual shame and if you have reminders that Baby Jesus is watching you boink, chances are that you have issues dealing with feeling wrong for this.


If you see this on the wall, chances are that you’re not going to have a good time. This is usually a warning sign that they have issues where a Madonna/Whore Complex could turn up. Or worse, they may have sexual shame or weird repressions that you don’t want to deal with.

From my own personal experience, the last guy I f***ed who had a cross in his room had an emotionally incestuous relationship with his mother and was very sexually abusive. 0/10, would not recommend.

The only time I’ve seen this not be true is with pagan religious items like altars and statues. I often assume it’s because paganism is a lot more sex-friendly than an angry dude on a crucifix would be.

7. A bedroom that looks unusually youthful for the person’s age can be a red flag

A lot of people nowadays have a "geek corner" in their room with their favorite media stuff. They also may have stuffed animals they love. That’s actually pretty normal, especially for people who are young at heart.


However, there is a difference between a person who’s young at heart and a person whose bedroom looks like it belongs to a 12-year-old. I had an ex whose bedroom looked like it belonged to him at 13. Yes, it was unsettling AF and he lived with his parents.

My stupid self didn’t recognize it as a red flag when I was 21. But, it totally was. That particular ex was the worst case of "failure to launch" I’ve ever seen. He remains living with his parents and he’s almost 50 now.

Your bedroom decor can tell a lot about who you are as a person. A person whose bedroom looks unsettlingly youthful is a person who may be emotionally or mentally "stuck" in that era. They may also be very emotionally immature.

In other words, this is a sign of a room that reflects a person’s inner world. Don’t be surprised if this person acts like a kidult.


8. A sparse room tends to mean that they either are deeply utilitarian, not actually living there, or don’t spend much time at home

We’ve all seen pictures of bedrooms where no decorations or personal touches are inside them. Most of the time, it’s in brochures about corporate housing for rent. If you’ve ever gone into a person’s home that looks like this, it can be jarring.

It looks stark, maybe even a little uncanny or soulless.

When you see this in a partner’s bedroom, it tends to mean that they don’t actually live there and that they travel more than they stay at home. However, that’s assuming they’re neurotypical.

People who don’t have many decorations or knickknacks may also have a sensory issue that requires them to keep clutter and colors low. This can be done to help them focus or to just reduce anxiety.


9. Rooms with unusual lighting, artsy decor, and heavy colors tend to belong to creatives

I like to joke that I can always point out the creative’s room. These rooms tend to be very colorful, filled with knickknacks, paintings and drawings. They also tend to be the ones that involve unusual lighting like fairy lights or LED strips.

Generally speaking, the more aesthetically-oriented a room is, the more likely it is that the person in question really focuses on artwork as an outlet or career. People with these types of bedrooms are often eccentric, quirky, or just really into provocative ideas.

If you see a ton of bright colors, you may also have a person who has a bold and vivacious personality. They’re looking to be the center of the action, not a person on the sidelines.

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10. You can also tell how a person regulates their feelings in their room

For a lot of people, their video game systems are their feelings regulators and those are in the living room. Usually, anyway. On the other hand, we all need to have moments where we just kind of "wonk out" in our bedroom.

Take a look around the room. Do you see scented candles? An alarm clock that has waterfall sounds? Maybe it’s actually the soft lighting and aesthetics that help them calm down. Either way, it’s a good thing to know and how they help relax.

11. Bedrooms that look ultra-trendy tend to suggest that the person is very centered around keeping up appearances

We all have that one friend whose bedroom looks like it was professionally designed, right? The friend who constantly has the bed made, everything perfectly spotless, with just the perfect little touch of decor? Yep. That’s who I’m talking about.

A person who adapts the look of an Insta-worthy room either is an influencer or happens to really care about looks. Most people do not have the budget or the time to keep up a room that is spotless on their own time.


So if you see this, it could be that the person really wants to be perceived as stylish or elegant. Or, it could be that the aesthetic of the room is what helps them unwind and calm down.

12. A bed without a boxspring suggests your partner is either broke or doesn’t really care about his surroundings

Obviously, this is not a red flag if you have a platform bed that doesn’t need a boxspring or a futon. What I’m talking about here is a typical spring mattress plopped unceremoniously on a floor with no bed underneath or anything.

Bro, I’ve always seen this and I never understood it.

A mattress that needs a boxspring (like a spring mattress) is going to crap out on you if you don’t have one. This can affect your sleep quality. Besides, it doesn’t look good on the floor. It looks ratchet, and can even attract bed bugs.


Maybe it’s just from what I’ve seen, but every person I’ve met who had a mattress on a floor has seriously scary issues.

13. A bedroom that wasn’t cleaned prior to your entering can be a sign that it’s time to dip

When you’re going on a date, you want to put your best foot forward — especially if you intend on inviting that person to your room. That’s why it’s very telling when a date invites you to their apartment after dinner, only to have the apartment’s bedroom look like a pigsty.

I’ve seen a lot of dates who didn’t bother to tidy up their rooms before I came over. Heaps of laundry on the floor, drawers left open, random crap everywhere…It was not appealing. It was messy, but it didn’t get to filth yet.

A person whose bedroom looks like this when they invite you over doesn’t really care about impressing you. Or, they just can’t seem to care for themselves because they are too busy with life. Or it could be minor depression kicking in.


I always viewed this as a relationship red flag, even when I was younger. Seeing a messy room is fine if you’re just trying to get laid, but think about what that means if you two end up as an item.

Chances are, they aren’t going to change their housekeeping habits. They are going to stay messy. You might end up being the housekeeper — and trust me, that will get aggravating fast.

Lately, I’ve also heard of guys purposefully leaving their homes a mess to try to goad f-buddies into cleaning their place. Ladies, do not take this, okay?

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others.