7 Ways to Turn Yourself On

EMandLO.com contributor Jewely Hoxie, who is studying Human Sexuality at the University of California Santa Cruz — you can read her blog here — has a confession to make:

I’ll admit it — most of these suggestions will probably resonate more with the ladies than the gents. After all, guys don’t tend to need much help turning themselves on. But most of the following can be universally applied. If you don’t want to try something yourself, consider doing it for your partner instead.

  1. Use a male scent that you like (or, for dudes, a female scent). I was never a fan of Axe, but Old Spice does me in every time. Try wearing it on yourself — you might find it helpful conjuring fantasies. Gents, if your masculinity feels threatened by wearing a gal’s scent, just spray it on something near you instead.
  2. Focus on your partner’s (or your crush’s) hands doing something active. When I see a guy’s fingers plucking a guitar, for example, I imagine how they could be playing me.
  3. Work out. Stretching after going on a run is probably the key to this natural aphrodisiac. It’s a great stress reliever and gets you in tune with your body in order to figure out what feels good for you.
  4. Listen to music. Some people watch porn; I prefer music for getting in the mood. Different styles of music correspond to different styles of sex. Similar to dirty talk, music can enhance the whole experience… even listening hours before you plan to get busy.
  5. Clean up your place. Okay, so maybe breaking out the broom and the Pledge won’t actually get you in the mood to jump someone’s bones — but it will ensure that when the time comes, you won’t be distracted by dirty dishes and piles of laundry (and even if you don’t find those things distracting, your partner might). Sure, some people get so caught up in the moment that they sweep dirty dishes aside to do it on the kitchen counter, but most of those people are imaginary characters in porn films.
  6. Wear underwear you feel good in — and that you know you look good in. Sure, having someone seduce you in sweats or raggedy old boxers can be nice, too. But there’s something awesome about dressing for sex and then unveiling your secret at the end of the day (or on your lunch break). And dudes, this goes for you, too — you know you have a favorite pair that present the goods just perfectly.
  7. Date someone with a feminist perspective. Ladies, there’s no bigger turn-on than being with someone who understands that women have desires too. (This includes a willingness to use vibrators and sex toys in the bedroom, fyi.) And men, there’s no bigger turn-on than being with someone who knows what she wants in bed and isn’t afraid to ask for it.


  1. startlement — we’re not sure how you’re reading these, but we think that pretty much all these tips are universal. sure, maybe the perfume/cologne tip is more of a het thing — but then again, wearing the opposite sex scent could just be a way to play around with received notions of masculinity/femininity. And we think that everyone — gay, straight, trans, bi, whatever — should date a feminist. Are we missing some way in which any of these tips are exclusively straight?

  2. Are you unaware that the world isn’t exclusively heterosexual and cisgendered, or do you just not consider those people valid enough to recognise in your writing?

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