You are currently viewing Episode 228: What Turns Him On

Episode 228: What Turns Him On

What turns him on? Visual stimulation is very important. Seeing his partner naked works if women can let go of their insecurity.  Join sex therapist and author Dr. Laurie Watson and Couples therapist George Faller as they talk about what turns men on.

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Laurie Watson: So we’re going to talk about what turns men on. I can hardly wait to hear this.

Laurie Watson: Welcome to Foreplay Radio-Couples and Sex Therapy, I’m Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.

George Faller: And I’m George Faller, a couples therapist.

Laurie Watson: And we are passionate about talking about sex, and helping you develop a way to talk to each other.

George Faller: Our mission is to help our audience develop a healthier relationship to sex, that integrates the mind, the heart, and the body.

Laurie Watson: Just as we begin, please remember to check out Uberlube. is where you can get this great lubricant and help support Foreplay Radio.

George Faller: Are you talking about a strong wind turns them on, or what?

Laurie Watson: Am I talking about what?

George Faller: A strong wind, anything, what turns men on?

Laurie Watson: That’s right. I got to figure it out.

George Faller: We got to figure it out.

Laurie Watson: You got to tell me all about men.

George Faller: Well before we get there, I just heard the official news that you are a doctor.

Laurie Watson: I am.

George Faller: Dr. Laurie Watson, a long road and now I have to call your doctor all the time.

Laurie Watson: I’ll call you guru.

George Faller: Dad is so proud of you, I mean, it’s really been a long work and-

Laurie Watson: Thank you.

George Faller: … A huge accomplishment and, we’re all better for you this work you’re doing.

Laurie Watson: Thank you. Yeah, I’m done with my defense, official title, some people know this, and I don’t know if you know this George, but I did my work on helping breast cancer couples survive. Although now I wish I had done it on the sexual cycle so, more to do, more research to do. I found I really do, I mean, I was not a researcher before this process, and I found I really like it. It’s great to be able to look up a study and hear something factual versus just what I think. And I think what’s interesting is, in my work, sometimes I look things up in my research library, and I’m like, man, this is … I had it all wrong, this is not the way it was. I thought what I was observing was truth, and actually the data says something different. So it’s exciting.

George Faller: Well, it’s going to help your pursuant nature, just throw yourself towards research now. And I love getting sent books every week on different topics you’re interested in, it’s-

Laurie Watson: A Billion Wicked Thoughts, I sent you that one.

George Faller: Well that’s … There is so much information out there and-

Laurie Watson: There is.

George Faller: … To show that great energy that wants to immerse yourself in it, that’s a continuous learner. I mean it’s exciting to be around.

Laurie Watson: Thank you. Thank you so much. So men, gosh. So I did do a little bit of research, and I found this study on basically the effects of attractiveness, and status, and dating and desire. And it showed that both men and women like certain things, which we would have guessed probably. They like a person who’s honest, and intelligent, and kind, and trustworthy, but there are big differences between the genders. And of course for men the big difference is, that they put more importance on attractiveness, and for women they put more importance on social status.

Laurie Watson: And, the article goes on to kind of talk about evolutionary stuff about that. Men looking for a fertile partner who can carry their seed, and women looking for a partner who is able to provide for them and their children that they have to commit to at least 18 years, or so many years to raise. But, I know there’s a lot of pain in this too. Men who say, “She only wants me for my wallet.” And women who say, “He only wants me for my body.” And can you shed any light, as a man about this, and what you hear from your patients and see in your couples? And …

George Faller: Well first thing I want to say is, we’re so overgeneralizing.

Laurie Watson: True.

George Faller: Right? There are so many men who, it takes a lot for them to turn on, and they just can’t see something immediately everything works, which is the stigma out there. I think the more we adopt a perspective that’s nuanced, and can pivot, and move with the individual. But I do think there are certain truths, if we will zoom out for a second to generalize that, men tend to be very visual. That’s not something that it’s much of a choice, I mean it’s this nature and nurture it. This is the way it’s been for thousands of years that influences our physiological responses, or is a lot of it just in a culture from the earliest age, from the images of what we’re seeing on TV, and what we’re talking about.

George Faller: But there’s a lot of truth to that immediate visual cue, that kind of can start a process. And men are very attracted to what’s happening between the legs, the breasts, the areas that are the sexual areas, that’s kind of going to be a big, and a lot of women are going to feel objectified from that, but that’s … It’s so often that first initial response why men like negligee, or like the lights on, or like so much of the turn-on is going to be the visual part of it.

Laurie Watson: 0.7 ratio is what they say. Waist to hips is what, like the hourglass figure too, big turn on for men. But you said, and I appreciate this, really more sexual parts of the woman is what a man is drawn to first.

George Faller: I was interested in that book you sent me about the cliques. what was the name of it?

Laurie Watson: A Billion Wicked Thoughts.

George Faller: It was very interesting that they said for every one model, perfect type body searched, there was three of fat, overweight women that men were searching for on the internet.

Laurie Watson: That’s interesting.

George Faller: That’s a bit of a twist, right?

Laurie Watson: Not what I would have expected.

George Faller: And what are men looking for? A lot of men will get focus more on specific parts. So there’ll be a boob guy that searches for that, or a butt guy who looks at this, or our feet guy that really gets turned on by feet and … But these visual stimulations again, are pretty consistent across the board that, it’s a really, one of the important factors of turning men on. But we also don’t want to limit this conversation because that’s the whole thing. I think when men, if they can express their emotions, if they’re not in their bodies, then you’re going to get over focused on the visual. You have to kind of need something to turn you on.

George Faller: I think what we’re doing here is we’re trying to help men just be more well rounded. That you can really be turned on by their visual, but also by the touch and essential, and the emotional, and that sense of safety, and I think that’s downplayed in a lot of the research. Most men are not talking because we don’t get help talking about it, but certainly that emotional connection is really important to the act of intimacy itself.

Laurie Watson: So yes, men are more visual, and it makes sense that really the big consumer of porn is men, and part of it is just, it’s such a pleasure, I guess, for men to see a woman, and see the body parts, and that’s a sexual big turn on.

George Faller: And it’s the same for gay men, it’s the same turn-ons. It’s not like they’re objectifying women, if they’re attracted to men, they’re doing exactly the same thing.

Laurie Watson: That’s right. It’s partly, what you’re saying is partly male, to use the eyes to really turn on sexually.

George Faller: I think that’s helpful just to repeat. That this isn’t about looking down on or objectifying, it’s just the way men get turned on. So if they’re with other men, they’re doing exactly the same thing.

Laurie Watson: In fact this is, yeah, this study did talk about that because it included homosexual and heterosexual men. True. True there’s something about, I guess the way it hits the pleasure center of the brain. And I know we’re going to get a ton of feedback, you know, I’m a woman, and I like the way a man looks too, and that’s true, we don’t want to overgeneralize and say women don’t appreciate the visual, or men can’t appreciate the emotional connection as a sexual turn on. But I think you’re absolutely right. I think what I feel-

George Faller: Can I add to that?

Laurie Watson: Yes.

George Faller: I don’t know why we always have to polarize and put things in either or, like men need emotional and men need visual, and we both need both. That to me is the most healthiest, flexible relationship, there’s just a lot more to engage with when you can be both in your body, in your mind, and in your heart. That’s the constant theme we’re trying to hit in this podcast. The visual tends to focus more on the way a man’s brain is thinking and how they’re getting turned on. And as we help men also become more emotional, or more in their body feeling touch, they just have a lot more range, same with women. Wouldn’t it be nice if a woman grew in an area of needing more visual, of wanting kind of more of that exploration, that playfulness, that also is a big part of what makes for great sex.

Laurie Watson: True. I think that you know what I feel, you said, what are you feeling about this? I think that some of the negative feelings that I have are just the, not enough. That withdrawing like, oh gosh, I’m going to age, I am aging, just like if that’s the turn on, there’s just some sense of despair about that. Of, I can see the truth in it, but I think so many women, and this is why they hate porn, is the despair. Well I don’t look like that. Or, I mean now that porn is online, there’s millions of women that are more attractive and so-

George Faller: This is so important what you’re saying, to hold both that, it’s a turnoff for a woman if she’s not liking her body and she’s comparing it to some idealized 21 year olds. But again, I think the research is pretty clear with this, men get turned on by seeing that partner’s body. It don’t matter what it looks like, they’re not wanting it to look like a model, they’re liking what they’re saying, whatever that is.

Laurie Watson: I think some men are turned off by their partner’s body. I mean, I deal with them, George. So I mean I love that and I think it is more true what you’re saying, than what I’m saying. Is that, men do like their partner’s bodies flaws and all, and want to see them naked, and want to see them naked when they’re making love to them. So, I think that’s more true than women believe, but I think there’s still that fear inside because, some men lose attraction, or they turn off, or there’s also that too.

George Faller: Right. We might have to get back to this at the break.

Laurie Watson: Okay. After break big questions.

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Laurie Watson: It’s scent free, it is taste free, so you can switch from foreplay, to oral sex, to intercourse with no problem, and it leaves your skin feeling soft and silky, which is awesome. I would just love for you to buy some right now. I know we’re still in the shelter and place orders, and maybe make a date night of it. Make sure that you have a lovely romantic dinner planned, and some special time set aside, and buy the Uberlube from So George, I want to talk to you about what you’re doing with EVRYMAN. What is EVRYMAN? It’s a podcast and a movement, and an organization?

George Faller: It’s a movement, yeah, trying to get men to be more vulnerable and more emotional.

Laurie Watson: So you’re going to be on Facebook live with them, and we’re going to be able to ask questions of you and them, and it’s about men and vulnerability. And we’ll post it on Facebook, all of our-

George Faller: Yes.

Laurie Watson: … Social media.

George Faller: It’s always men, but they want women to come to this one to expose women to what’s happening here too, so.

Laurie Watson: Awesome. EVRYMAN is a great organization, I’ve been following them for a while. They’re really doing good work in terms of helping men;

George Faller: And they have a similar shared mission to really make men more accessible and flexible, so they can access more parts of themselves and have richer, more engaging lives. It sounds like a good mission to me.

Laurie Watson: Okay, so George Faller, Cinco De Mayo with EVRYMAN, we will post the details

Announcer: To join George for the free EVRYMAN global community call on Tuesday, May 5th, sign up today at that’s E- V- R- Y

Laurie Watson: So we’re back talking about male sexual arousal, George.

George Faller: All righty.

Laurie Watson: You know, one of the things I hear the most from men is that their huge turn on, and I think the root of many of their fantasies, is really about a woman being turned on, their partner sort of turning on. Often men tell me, and for the record women say this, but men more often say that the thing that is most exciting is when they’re in the moment with her and she turns on. And it’s like, ooh, they feel that.

George Faller: Absolutely, I think that is the biggest turn on. A woman feeling embodied, and empowered, and wanting sex, because she wants sex, not because she’s doing it for her partner. And just seeing that energy, is so arousing because, she’s wanting him, he’s feeling both desired and seeing her wanting it for herself. That’s a win-win in both scenarios.

Laurie Watson: Absolutely. And that doesn’t always happen right at the beginning for women, I think sometimes it happens midway. Which, that’s I think where our signals get confused-

George Faller: Yes.

Laurie Watson: … Is women just, they feel that once they’re aroused versus men who feel it at the beginning. And once her body turns on, it’s like then she wants it, she wants to keep going.

George Faller: You got to figure what was God thinking when He made this mixture, right? A man starting off ready to go, and wanting that hot, mutual desire and passion, and you’re right, a woman’s taking some time, needing the foreplay, and needing that safety to kind of build in before you can let yourself go.

Laurie Watson: Exactly.

George Faller: And oftentimes a guy reads that as you’re not so into it, just because your body’s taking a little bit more time.

Laurie Watson: Yeah.

George Faller: Right? And then maybe that’s when-

Laurie Watson: And he starts to probably be filled with doubt, okay, she’s not that into me, is what he’s telling himself, right? So his energy gets flatter, because he’s struggling against this sense of questioning. Does she really want this? Is she into me? Maybe she’s not. I mean, I can imagine what’s going through a guy’s head when he’s in a moment and she’s not turned on yet.

George Faller: Well even worse than that, I think, some of the time it’s a turnoff if your partner’s not in a space where you’re at. If you’re really turned on and you got this big, hot passion and your partner doesn’t really have it, that’s a turnoff. But then the fear is if you turn off, you might lose your erection, so now you’ve got to start thinking about other things to try to keep yourself aroused, and it can start heading in the wrong direction. But we’re going to spend plenty of episodes on what could go wrong. This is about staying focused on what actually turns the guy on.

Laurie Watson: I’m glad you refocused.

George Faller: Refocus. So we’re going to stay focused on what turns a man on and we’re going to dispel some of these rumors. We are talking a lot about the visual, and having your partner really turned on for themselves, and kind of wanting you, and of course that’s really good stuff. But there’s also a lot more men are looking for. We don’t give men a lot of credit for how important the emotional is. But for me that’s like, so many men I’m working with, that’s a critical part even if we don’t talk about it. It makes me think about a lot of men describing the traumatic experience of, try to have a baby, and get your wife pregnant.

George Faller: And it’s like you know, all right, it’s during this time, you got five minutes. All right, ready? Go. And there’s no like … It’s like, are you kidding me? Like a little glass of wine, a little kissing-

Laurie Watson: No romance too?

George Faller: … Men need this, a little romance too. When you make it so mechanical for men, you would think, well this is what they want anyway, this should be easy. No, they don’t like that at all.

Laurie Watson: They want that romantic, being wanted, not just wanting their sperm moment.

George Faller: That’s right. It is not just the orgasm, I mean men need their hair rubbed, and their back scratched, and their neck kissed, I mean those things are so important for men too. It’s not just the-

Laurie Watson: They are.

George Faller: Yeah, and how do we start putting words to that emotional, in a world that that is so critically important to a man too?

Laurie Watson: The more intimate aspects of sex, which make it so much larger for him. I think men, because of testosterone, are blessed with easy physical arousal, but the expansion into emotional arousal, what they’re feeling, what it brings up for them, the other affectionate aspects of sex, kissing, hugging, holding, skin on skin, I do think that physically we give men permission to have that during a sexual moment. But that they can have it even beyond that, or while they’re having sex, or after sex, that that skin on skin will make them feel good, and loved, and connected.

George Faller: Right, that rhythm that you’re talking about, that you fall into with your partner. That sense of emotional connection that skin to skin takes, you can just feel that flow, that becomes part of something bigger than yourself. That after glow afterwards, that just kind of leaning your head, and just kind of relax and fallen into your partner. I find Peggy Kleinplatz’s work on great lovers and magnificent sex, and men and women describe the same thing. And we have this perception that men just want visual, and they’re just focused on the physical, and sure that’s an important part of their turn on, but it’s so much more than just that.

George Faller: Great lovers talk about being in the present moment, feeling in synchrony with somebody, feeling that deep intimacy. You’re anticipating each other’s moves, there’s a sense of creativity and spark and authenticity.

Laurie Watson: Slow down, slow down you’re saying too much I want to-

George Faller: Oh, it’s just there’s so much there, it’s just good stuff.

Laurie Watson: I want you to spend some time though, what are you mean when you say in synchrony? What does that look like? What does that feel like? What are you saying?

George Faller: When you’re in synchrony, you have to be in a present moment, right? You’re not thinking about last week, or the dishes, or the chores, or cutting the lawn afterwards. You’re not worried about things not working-

Laurie Watson: Do you ever think about the dishes George, honestly?

George Faller: I think all of our minds wander.

Laurie Watson: Okay.

George Faller: And, when you’re at your best, you’re in the present moment. So to be in a present moment, allowing yourself to … This is why the emotional piece is so important to men. It’s one of the few times in life where you can really just let yourself go and surrender, and really feel that sense of synchrony or merging. I think a lot of men can relate to it, maybe on playing on a sports team. When you’re really part of something, an essential parts, but you’re depending on so many other parts for it to work well. Right and-

Laurie Watson: I think of it like a dance. Like at a wedding, you dance with a lot of different men and different partners but, when I dance with my husband, it’s like I know where he’s going to go. I know how his body is going to move. I know that I can relax in his arms and he’ll guide me. And it’s that sense I think, in sex that it feels like synchrony to me. Where you’re not necessarily worried about keeping up, or you’re just sort of relaxed in it, you know each other’s bodies and that feels like synchrony to me.

George Faller: Right, that’s beautiful. And it’s like you can read each other’s mind and anticipate each other’s move. And as if, you could flow and you could pivot, and you could turn directions. And if it’s awkward or you miss a step, you could laugh about it and get right back in track. And that’s, oftentimes men won’t use an image of a dance, that’s why I used a team.

Laurie Watson: Oh I’m sorry.

George Faller: But it is … No, no it’s good I mean-

Laurie Watson: Please do the male thing.

George Faller: … It’s different worlds, different-

Laurie Watson: … Please do the male thing. You were about just do sports, do sports.

George Faller: Well, when you talk about an athlete, athletes know what it’s like when they get into a place of the zone. It feels like the ball, it’s slowing down and the ball gets bigger, and it’s just easy to catch it or hit it, you just fall into this sense of easiness, the sense of time starts to slow down. So that’s what we’re talking about, and sex is like, when you’re having great sex it’s like, you forget about the world. You’re just kind of in that moment with somebody, and it’s just like you really just get each other. And that sense, that’s an emotional connection, that’s really, really important. And men crave and long for that.

Laurie Watson: I’m sure.

George Faller: But often don’t talk about it.

Laurie Watson: First of all, I like your sports analogy, and I just had this feeling when you were talking about it like a whole team full of people being … Working as one. That must must be amazing. I always did individual sports so I didn’t quite have that same sense. But, I think that particularly for men, the getting lost in the performance, must be the biggest distraction that they don’t let themselves just feel. They get so worried about their erections, whether or not they have on, whether it’s good enough, all this stuff. I think they stop feeling what feels good even. You know so then how do you respond and move if you’re so worried about that? Must be difficult.

George Faller: Right, and that’s why when you’re in the flow, you’re not worried about that. So we’re trying to-

Laurie Watson: How can we help people get into the flow?

George Faller: Well, that’s a whole nother episode. But yes, it is about getting people, especially men, recognizing the importance of this emotional bond, of the physical sensation to not just over rely on what their eyes are seeing. To develop other muscles. And there are a lot of men who are experts at doing this. It’s not chance that people all over the world that have the best sex, describe the same kind of things. There’s something about needing to feel safe, that allows more space to actually explore, and to change.

George Faller: I mean, there’s an essence of change, and playfulness and, doing things differently, that’s a lot easier to do in an environment where you can trust, where you know the other person’s authentic. Where you trust their motivations and they’re doing it because they want you, and you’re so special. I mean there’s so many of these elements that are critical towards really good sex.

Laurie Watson: I think that’s so true. I would love as a woman to know kind of the … And I think I’m speaking for women. Like, what we can say to men to make them relax. You know, it’s usually the other way around, right? A man telling a woman, “Just relax.” But in some ways it’s like, telling a man, just relax, and let themselves feel, let themselves be touched without so much pressure.

George Faller: And that’s why the touch, instead of talking about it, let your hands and your body communicate that. That this is okay. How does that feel? What does turn you on? Most people can’t really answer that question. What turns you on? What turns you off? To allow people to explore their own bodies, to explore their partner’s bodies.

Laurie Watson: Yep, so true. Okay, well thank you, this has been lovely talking about this. The way men are both visual, and the way they turn on when she turns on, and also the way that they can have better, more optimal sex by getting into synchrony, allowing themselves that, taking the pressure off themselves, and their partner can take the pressure off them with reaching out-

George Faller: And when you’re in-

Laurie Watson: … And touching them.

George Faller: … And when you’re in that sense of synchrony, a lot of men will describe a feeling of transcendence, or transformation. It’s like, it’s not only enjoyable, but you grow from the experience. You know more about yourself, you know more about your partner. Different places were exposed in that act and you had success in exposing those parts of who you are. You didn’t know that really you liked the way that felt, and all of a sudden you express that and your partner responds to it.

George Faller: And both people get lifted up through that experience. So it’s transformation or transcendence, or people talk about it feels spiritual, the part of something bigger than themselves, that’s all about emotional components of sex. So how do we start allowing men to be proud about that? That we just don’t need the visual, that we also need this emotional component. This isn’t just something we have for our female partners, this is something we really need for ourselves.

Laurie Watson: I think women want that too. Want to give that too as well. I think that’s good news.

George Faller: All right.

Laurie Watson: Okay. You’re listening to Foreplay Radio, keep it hot you all. Hey, I just want to take a minute to thank our Patreon and supporters. I am very grateful for what you’ve done, and we’d love to invite the rest of you in on our mission.

George Faller: Your support means more than you realize, and it keeps this project moving forward, and we’re really hoping to reach greater heights.

Laurie Watson: Right now our exclusive content includes an episode about, getting her aroused and, our sponsors. Uberlube. have partnered with us, and they have offered to send the first 12 people who sign up on Patreon for a $10 and above level, a free package of Uberlube. Find a link on, or, and we are so thankful for your support. And Foreplay family, I want you to know, we had our highest download day ever thanks to you. Our downloads are just increasing by leaps and bounds, we are so grateful for your sharing, thank you again.

Laurie Watson: Definitely subscribe, that helps our rankings in iTunes, which is important for us.

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