We use the phrase “turning someone on” to talk about helping them get in the mood for sex, but the reality is, making a woman horny isn’t as simple as pressing a button.
Given that everyone has their own sexual kinks, it should come as no surprise that every woman gets horny from different things—just like we all do. Some may appreciate physical touch, like a massage, while others may be down for a little dirty talk. Plus, people have different patterns of sexual desire: some may experience spontaneous desire—i.e., they’re suddenly in the mood to get it on out of nowhere—whereas others may experience responsive desire—i.e., it takes a little action to get them in the mood.
If your partner falls in the latter category, Jor-El Caraballo, a licensed mental health counselor in Brooklyn, New York, recommends giving them the “romantic equivalent of an amuse-bouche”—say, a lingering kiss, or a foot rub, or anything you think they’d like. “You’re helping them awaken that energy, and they might be ready to go after that,” Caraballo says in Men’s Health Best. Sex. Ever.
If you’re not sure what makes your partner horny, it’s always a good move to ask your partner what turns her on. (Some women may simply get turned on being asked what turns them on—meta!) It shows that you care about her pleasure and want her to have the best sexual experience possible, not to mention it maximizes your likelihood of success.
But some women might not be sure exactly what gets them horny. Or, the surprise—the spontaneity—is what really gets her hot and bothered. Since every woman has something different that gets her in the mood, we asked 14 to share some of the hottest ways their partners have turned them on.
“My partner is bilingual, and I speak his first language imperfectly. I understand most of what he says, but my responses are limited. During sex he will often talk dirty to me in his first language. It’s incredibly hot, especially when he whispers in my ear in a low voice.” —Anonymous
“[He] pressed me against a wall in a club, kissed me hard, and told me what he was going to do to me later. He’s usually quite shy about PDAs or dirty talk, so this was a fun surprise.” —Anonymous
“I sent him a sexy pic and instead of responding over text or snap, he sent me a voice memo of his reaction (plus detailing all the things he wanted to do to me later).” —Anonymous
“By taking control. In bed, I want the opposite of what I want in real life.” —Alex
“Just watching TV, and he starts massaging my feet without asking.” —Leah
“Ultra thoughtful gestures, or whispering nasty, dirty shit in my ear in public.” —Mina
“Running his hand along the small of my back and pulling me in for a deep hug.” —G.L.
“My partner played with my boobs during my period. It gave me a boob-gasm and helped my cramps! I didn’t know that was possible before.” —Anonymous
“We met up so he could suck my dick. He was not only really good at it, but he kept looking into my eyes. He looked so handsome, and he was fully present the whole time. He would also dirty talk, which really turned me on. We were totally on the same page the whole time, and I really liked our dynamic. Also, he would tell me when I was turning him on, and when I did something that he didn’t like, which helped.” —Anonymous
“Once me and this guy were hanging out, and he was like, ‘Have you ever played with ice?’ And I was like, ‘Not really.’ He was like, ‘Oh, it can be really sensual,’ so I said let’s try it now. He told me to go to his room and had me lay down. He slowly rubbed an ice cube all over me, in non-sexual places first, then my neck and boobs. Then he would kiss the areas too. But the way he slowly used the ice was delicious torture! The slowness of it led to such a huge buildup.” —Ashley
“The guy I’m currently seeing woke me up one morning by slowly running his hands all over my body and murmuring, ‘Come play with me,’ in my ear. (A+++ would wake up again.)” —Becca
“A guy I’m sexting has started recording voice notes to take the sexting up a notch. He created stories about us having sex and sends them to me in chapters. He writes it all himself, and they are very detailed with aspects of things he knows that I like and what will turn me on. He always finishes a chapter on something that he knows will leave me really horny. The latest story focused on being tied up and blindfolded. The sound of his voice and the content of the messages are sending me wild. I don’t think I have ever been so turned on in my life, and I keep listening back to them!” —Elizabeth
“I can smell insecurity in a man from a mile away, and as a polyamorous woman, there’s no time for that with me. The most attractive thing a man can do for me is to have a quiet kind of confidence, where they don’t feel the need to prove themselves or overcompensate. This ends up extending to the bedroom. For whatever reason, men can be very skittish with me, even after I’ve given consent. At that point, just go for it! I really love it when I can tell someone has been waiting for my yes, and then that tension is unleashed. Past that, little cocky things during sex is fun. One time, I made eye contact with a partner while both his hands were inside of me. He blew a kiss and the audacity of it got to me, but in all the best ways. Teasing, letting me think I’m in charge and then reigning me in… those are some of the keys to my heart.” —Gabrielle
“Ooh, I love when partners ‘yes, and’ my fantasies. It validates the fantasy as sexy and lets me inhabit a space in my imagination where I get to keep growing as a sexual being. And I get to see them take delight in me as a sexual being. If I say, for example, it would be so hot if you kiss me really softly…and they say, ‘Ooh, yes…and then what?’” —Natalie
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