12 Things to Turn You On

This post about things to turn you on was originally published March 2018. Text and images have been updated. 

If you think back to be the best sex you’ve ever had, it probably involved emotional and mental preparation that started long before you got it on with your beau. Maybe it was obvious, like grooming or getting a massage or sexting your beau. Or perhaps it was more subtle, like reading your favorite novel on lunch or having an intense intellectual conversation. Regardless, there are lots of things to turn you on that you can do during the day because…

When you intentionally prep your mind and body, you’re more likely to “find” time for sex.

Here’s an example. My counseling client Jane (totes not her real name) came to me feeling totally disconnected from her body and her husband. A self-described “people pleaser,” she knew this habit negatively impacted her sex life and relationship. Her first assignments?

  1. Take a 10 minute walk at lunch.
  2. Flirt with the barista where she got coffee everyday.
  3. Say no to at least one work thing and one personal thing each week.

By our second counselling session she felt “amazing: sexier, lighter, and more energized!” She and her beau had deeper conversations and were making decisions as a couple again. Sex was still a bit awkward but they were having it regularly again!

Small changes in the rest of your life lead to more intimate, exciting, & fulfilling sex.

Jane’s story has three big takeaways.

First, you don’t need to overhaul your whole life. Small, incremental changes make an impact.

Secondly, what impacts your sex life the most has nothing to do with sex. Jane and I didn’t get into the nitty gritty of her sex life (aka sex positions and techniques) until a few months into counseling. By then, her original struggle resolved itself, and we wrapped our work together shortly after.

Thirdly, you don’t need spend hours each day on intimacy-building activities. You have a beautifully full life and no time for that BS. That’s why this list of things to turn you on embodies my ethos of foreplay all day.

12 Things to Turn You On

With that in mind, here are 12 ways of getting in the mood that won’t break your budget or schedule.

  1. Build a little bit of “me time” into your day. Take even 5 minutes and do something that you love, just because you love it. Listen to or read a book or podcast on your commute. Do a face mask before bed. Color, knit, or take a walk at lunch. Just do you!
  2. Create a custom blend of essential oils that you only use during sex. Your mind will associate it with intimacy, and soon the scent alone will turn you on! Pick a scent you both enjoy. Some personal favorites are Red MandarinSandalwoodClary Sage, or Jasmine.
  3. Invest in bras and undies that fit well and make you feel sexy, gorgeous, and powerful (or however you most want to feel). Toss anything stained, holey, or stretched out. Replace your period panties with black undies (black masks the stains but still feels sexy AF). Get measured at a bra boutique.
  4. Pamper yourself with an essential oil-infused bath or moisturizer before getting it on. Bonus points if you have your honey rub the lotion on for you! Ylang Ylang and Clary Sage are fabulous aphrodisiacs, while this hand & body cream is so silky.
  5. Treat yourself from time to time. It doesn’t have to be expensive! Buy a new song from an artist you love, rent a movie, get a mocha instead of your standard latte, or buy a sliver of that fancy cheese, hit up the free night at a local museum. Alternatively, decline an invite that’ll just stress you out, even if you “should” say yes.
  6. De-stress throughout the day. If you’re tense all day, it’s harder to feel connected when you see your beau. Stretch at your desk. Have a dance party at the end of the day. Diffuse calming essential oils like At Peace, Tranquility, or Peace & Quiet. Journal about your worries to get them out of your head.
  7. Only keep clothes that spark joy make you feel amazing. What’s the point of having clothes that don’t help you feel your best, whatever that means to you?! Yes, even your lounge clothes. Make it so that no matter what you pull out of your closet or how you’re feeling that day, you’ll feel at least pretty good about your clothes. Keep in mind that this is a process, and your likes and dislikes will change over time. Just like with sex.
  8. Get out of your head and into your body. This helps you be more present during sex and enjoy every sensation! Meditating, exercising, dancing, and masturbating are great options. Diffusing some Sweet Oasis helps the shift along, or just rub a drop between your hands and inhale deeply.
  9. Warm hellos and goodbyes. Anytime you part and reconnect with your beau, take the time to get a little intimate. Put your phone/computer/tablet down, hug it out for at least a minute, and give them a big smooch. Use partings and greetings to deepen your connection and remind you that you do love them.
  10. Eye gaze/stare down. Before sex, sit across from each other on the bed (or wherever!), hold hands, and look into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes. Like long hugs, extended eye contact causes your body to release oxytocin – the bonding hormone. Bonus points if you diffuse this Love blend.
  11. Notice your yes and your no. Before getting it on, check in with yourself. Do you really want to be having sex right now? Sometimes a lack of desire comes not from there being anything wrong with you but from not wanting to have sex. That’s ok! Maybe you discover there’s something you need to facilitate you being in the mood. Work with your beau to meet that need! Similarly, if the answer isn’t a clear yes or no, communicate that to. You can say something like, “I might be down. Can we start with some kissing and see where it takes us?”
  12. Laughter. Laughter is such a great stress reliever, reduces pain, and helps you get in the moment! Plus it fills your body with endorphins that make you feel happier and more confident, and make it easier to connect.