What Turns Men On? 5 Evidence-Backed Psychological Turn-Ons To Try

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You see an attractive man sitting at the coffee shop beside you. Do you pretend you dropped the sugar so you must bend down in front of him? Do you keep making eyes at him until he approaches? Do you go up to him and tell him you dig how he licks the cappuccino foam off his beard?

To attract a man, it's important to connect mentally and show confidence. Simple gestures like a touch or a playful look can make a big difference. Wearing red, along with carefully selecting your outfit and accessories, can also enhance your appeal.

Comprehending male arousal is complex, and in my sex coaching practice, I've seen more variability within genders than between genders when it comes to arousal. However, there are some specific ways that men's arousal patterns can be unique. So let's get into it - what turns men on?

Men Naturally Think About Sex More

a man turned on

Men are more likely to experience spontaneous sexual desire than women. As a result, men tend to think about sex more, be more open to casual hook ups, have a larger number of sexual partners, and tend to be easier to seduce than women and people with vulvas.

How do you think gay men have figured out how to combine a gym workout with a casual hookup, or successfully navigate open relationships? It's because (again, broad generalization here backed by studies) men tend to be more open to the idea of casual sex.

This sexual receptiveness can also lead men to misattribute a person being friendly as showing sexual interest (perhaps because when they are being friendly, they also want to have sex). So, if you're trying to turn a man on, it may be as simple as being nice to them, and they may (for once) be correct in jumping to the conclusion that you're digging them.

Display Visual Stimuli

visual stimuli

Research shows that men are particularly aroused by visual stimuli. For example, men tend to be more turned on by watching erotic videos, whereas women may be more aroused by erotica or auditory porn.

Men also tend to spend more time looking at specific erogenous zones, such as breasts and genitals, when watching porn. In contrast, women may spend more time looking at other body parts, the general vibe of the room, and even the paintings in the background.

So, If you are trying to meet someone, showing a little bit of skin can help them take the first step in imagining the sexual situations they'd like to explore with you. Here are some examples of visually stimulating things:

  1. Elegant attire: A well-fitted dress or outfit that accentuates the body's curves.
  2. Hair Styling: A hairstyle that suits your face shape and is well-maintained.
  3. Confident posture: Standing tall, making eye contact, and exuding confidence.
  4. Flattery Jewelry: Subtle pieces that draw attention without being too flashy.
  5. Playful teasing: A flirtatious glance or a playful hair flip.
  6. Physical fitness: Toned muscles or a fit physique.
  7. High heels: They can accentuate the legs and add an element of sophistication.
  8. Lingerie: Delicate and sensual pieces that can evoke intimacy. Pieces can be barely showing, or hinting through pieces of clothing.
  9. Red lipstick: Often associated with passion and desire.
  10. Graceful Movements: Movements that are rhythmic and gentle.
  11. Playful Smile: A genuine smile can be incredibly attractive.
  12. Natural beauty: Minimal makeup, letting natural beauty shine.

Also, if you are already dating someone or are looking to spice up your marriage... sending intimate photos, having sex with the lights on, and creating situations where they can fully take in your body's visual juiciness will likely increase arousal.

Make Them Feel Desired

make him feel desired

Men also want to feel like their partners want them. Indeed, a Canadian study found that the number one factor impacting desire was feeling wanted by their partner, with 73% of men saying that feeling desired was essential to their libido.

Although all genders want to be wanted, men seem to respond particularly strongly to an enthusiastic partner in their desire towards them and their responses during sex. What does this mean?

Here are seven effective ways to make him feel like he's truly special to you.

  1. Compliment Him Genuinely: Everyone loves a sincere compliment. Whether it's about his appearance, his skills, or the way he handles situations, let him know you notice and appreciate his qualities. "I love the way you styled your hair today" or "You have such a knack for fixing things around the house" can go a long way.
  2. Initiate Physical Contact: Physical touch, be it a hug, a kiss, or just a simple touch on the arm, can convey a lot of emotions. By initiating contact, you're showing him that you want to be close and that you value your physical connection.
  3. Listen Actively: When he talks, give him your undivided attention. Active listening involves more than just hearing words. Nod, ask questions, and show genuine interest in what he's saying. This will make him feel heard and valued.
  4. Plan Date Nights: Take the initiative to plan a special evening or day out. It could be something he loves or something new you both can explore together. The effort you put into planning will show him how much you desire to spend quality time with him.
  5. Surprise Him Occasionally: Everyone loves surprises. It could be as simple as cooking his favorite meal or getting tickets to a game he's been wanting to watch. These gestures show that you think about him and his likes, making him feel desired.
  6. Express Your Feelings: Sometimes, just saying "I love you" or "I'm thinking about you" can make all the difference. Expressing your feelings, whether verbally, through a text, or a handwritten note, lets him know he's always on your mind.
  7. Ask for His Opinion: Whether it's about a decision you're making or seeking advice on a matter, asking for his opinion shows that you value his thoughts and insights. It makes him feel important and desired in your life.

If you're into someone (and it feels reciprocal), tell them how much you want them. Tell them they have been in your thoughts (and be expressive to share if some of those thoughts are naughty).

Wear Red

wear red to turn a man on

Here's an easy one: pick up some red.

In a study where men were shown the exact same images of women in the same outfit, either in red or another color - the women wearing red were rated as more attractive and sexually desirable than the same women wearing different colors.

In fact, when asked how much money they would spend on a date, the women in red were treated to a more expensive date! It was also found that women who wear red lipstick are also rated as more attractive than women who wear other color lipstick.

Red lipstick left men staring at women's lips for 7.3 seconds, whereas all different colors led to a shorter stare - with pink lipstick coming in second at a 6.7-second stare (which still seems quite long!)

Smell like Fertility

fertility in a bottle

Scents can have a particularly large impact on arousal for men. On a subconscious level, men can tell when women are ovulating, and this leads them to have an increase in testosterone levels and a heightened desire for sex.

Even more nifty, men can sense when a woman is sexually aroused, and are more turned on by women who are aroused than women who are not (so don't fake it!).

On the other hand, a fascinating study found that when men smell the scent of a woman's tears, their arousal decreases, and they are less attracted to that person. What is the take-home message?

Plan a date when you're horny and happy and let them excite you... and perhaps Titanic or Romeo and Juliet are not good first date movies. If you want to learn more about how emotions can be misattributed to situational stimuli, study up on the Misattribution of Arousal.


All men are unique, and I'm sure that once you get to know someone, you can figure out what tickles their fancy more than weaning red and not crying.

It is also important to point out that these studies are cis-focused and heternormative... however, why not use all the information you can arouse and excite potential partners? Who knows, perhaps some of these strategies can help someone notice how incredible you are.

So, let's put it all together. If your crush is male, especially if you have shown some skin, there's a fair chance they already thought about what you look like naked, perhaps multiple times. If you want to turn them on, show them that you are into them.

How obvert you want to be about this depends on both how brave you are, and what type of relationship you have with them. According to a recent Reddit thread with over 4,000 upvotes, men dig a woman who makes the first move.

Also remember, flirting and getting to know someone should be fun, so be your genuine self. Hopefully, your date won't be too focused on staring at your juicy red lips to hold down a conversation.

Reference this article:

Practical Psychology. (2023, October). What Turns Men On? 5 Evidence-Backed Psychological Turn-Ons To Try. Retrieved from https://practicalpie.com/what-turns-men-on/.

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