What really turns men on

Jun 12, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. ET

Men are a bit of a mystery to women. We think we know what they want, but do we really? We asked some male relationship experts to let us in on the secret of man, with one question in mind: What really turns them on? You might be surprised by some of their answers.

Happy lovers in bed together smiling.


Respect for ourselves and our partner is one of the elements that make up a positive and healthy relationship, but it goes further than that. We know that mutual respect is important for a healthy relationship, and family psychologist and marriage therapist David Simonsen says that respect is a turn-on for men. He explains that, in his experience working with couples, three things are always involved in a long-lasting, active relationship: "respect, sex and food."

How to work on respect in your relationship: Your partner needs to know you respect who he is. Show an interest in his work and personal life, and spend a little time each day reconnecting, even if it's only over morning coffee.


Self-confidence is not always easy to come by, but loving yourself and the skin you're in is a turn-on for men, according to licenced marriage and family therapist David Johnson. When you exhibit self-confidence, it can pique an interest because it's sometimes rare to see. Johnson explains that "self-confidence affects how she carries herself and how she engages and interacts with people," which is why it's a quality men find sexy and interesting in a woman.

How to be more self-confident: Take the time to fall in love with you — yes, flaws and all. Our partner sees us as sexy even when we don't, so try to see yourself through his eyes, and learn to love the skin you're in.


When we look for a partner, we want to find someone who is happy and loves life. Happy and enthusiastic people are fun to be around, and their happiness can rub off on us. According to certified sexuality educator Charlie Glickman, enthusiasm is a turn-on for men. He explains, "What turns men on more than anything else is a partner who's enthusiastic. Enthusiasm just can't be faked." Enthusiasm can come in many forms, from being open to trying new things to the ability to navigate through change with a positive attitude.

How to be more enthusiastic: Eliminate things that make you unhappy and run you down. Try new things in the bedroom and out in the world. Greet life with happiness and a positive energy, and the world will take on a different colour.

Ability to love

A healthy long-term relationship must have some element of love. While that love can phase in and out over time, your ability to love is a turn-on for men. Relationship coach Anthony David Adams says that when it comes to sparking the desire in your man, love works. "The number one thing a woman can do to stir a deep attraction is to cultivate her ability to love. Sexuality is not a tight dress and makeup; it's a deeply spiritual process, free of dogma in which two lovers unite in a passionate and eternal embrace."

How to be more loving: Make time for your partner, and do new things together. It doesn't always have to be in the bedroom, but take time to nurture and remember the love you had in the beginning. Go on regular dates, leave each other love notes, and remember that if you don't work at it, it won't happen.

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