You are currently viewing Episode 291: What Turns Men On?

Episode 291: What Turns Men On?

The episode you’ve all been asking for!! We’ve talked about what turns women on…now let’s hear about men!! It may not be what you expect…

We’re borrowing from Michael Castleman’s insightful research on male libido. Contrary to popular belief about what turns men on – a supermodel, beauty, lingerie… the research actually says there are much bigger, deeper factors.

The #1 factor? Desire, feeling wanted. Let’s talk about some of the main factors that impact male libido… and hear from George!

Check out the Article by Michael Castleman.


George Faller 00:02
Sex expert, Laurie… here we go. Today let’s talk about what turns MEN on.

Laurie Watson 00:08
Oh, I am so glad we’re talking about this. I’m so excited. You know, pick your brain G!

George Faller 00:13
I’m going to pick your brain. Between the two of us, we’re going to try to give some helpful tips that maybe, can lead to a little bit more sex.

Laurie Watson 00:22
Okay, that’s good. Welcome to Foreplay Radio, couples & sex therapy. I’m Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.

George Faller 00:31
And I’m George Faller, your couples therapist.

Laurie Watson 00:34
And we are passionate about talking about sex and helping you develop a way to talk to each other.

George Faller 00:40
Our mission is to help our audience develop a healthier relationship to sex that integrates the mind, the heart and the body. All right, so what are you thinking? what’s the magic? Is there something out there that’s gonna-

Laurie Watson 00:54
Turn men on? Well, I think what women think is smoking hot body, and probably next would be smoking hot body, maybe a pretty face.

George Faller 01:03
And number three is a smoker. Exactly. Right. We’re gonna get into this. Every man is different. And we got to dispel some of these myths that you just got to breathe. And that’s all it takes. And a man is ready to go. And I think we’re gonna find out that that’s not the case all the time.

Laurie Watson 01:23
Yeah, that’s true. So we’ve borrowed from Michael Castleman’s work and his blog in Psychology Today. He’s a buddy of mine, endorsed my book, which was so great. But he says that the study that they did with men who were older than 30 was really the #1 thing with men who felt desired by their partners, being wanted, you know. They argued with that idea that men lost and women want to feel desire that he said no, no, no, no men want to feel desire too.

George Faller 01:55
Good job Michael I like it. I wholeheartedly agree with that one and my feedback from work with so many men, is exactly that. I think that’s what they like when they’re watching pornography, right? The women in pornos are like they want sex for themselves, they’re turned on, they want their partner, you can feel that passion and that desire and that’s, that’s intoxicating for a man to know that who they are is desired and wanted.

Laurie Watson 02:22
I think that is so true. And women sell men short on this. They don’t realize that they need to put that out there and really lust sometimes themselves and verbally tell their men how attractive they are and come on to them and you know, sometimes be aggressive, sometimes be the initiator. I think it’s so human to want to feel desired. It’s compelling. And I think it’s magnetic, you know, we know we’re attached and connected if our partner wants us sexually.

George Faller 02:51
You know how I know scientifically, definitely correct? Because the biggest turnoff is the exact opposite. The biggest turnoff is rejection. What’s the opposite of rejection? Being wanted. I mean, this is a huge turnon for men and nobody’s talking about it, right? We want to be wanted, we want to know somebody is not just doing it to make us happy. That’s not working. You know, they’re doing it because they can’t help but want to do it. I mean, that’s what’s such a big turnon.

Laurie Watson 03:23
I think you’re absolutely right. I love that. The opposite of feeling desired is being rejected. And we know that hurts. And we know men get tired of always being the initiator. We know they turn off from that, especially when their partner isn’t up for it. Over and over and over, who would keep going? And I gotta say the human race would have stopped long ago, if men didn’t have the courage to keep initiating, because so many men do, right? They DO keep going in the face of rejection.

George Faller 03:51
It certainly helps that men have that high testosterone, sometimes to get them over that mounting of being afraid of rejection and being able to take that risk. But I appreciate that you’re giving them some credit. It’s not easy to always initiate. And you can make it a lot easier just by partners letting men know they’re wanted.

Laurie Watson 04:12
Yeah, I think it’s more than just testosterone. They have courage, they keep going. And they know how good it feels to be connected, and they look at their partners they’re like, you know what, she’s happier, she’s better. You know, she’s nicer, everybody kind of needs to get laid every once in a while haha. And, you know, they know that and they keep going for it. And I applaud the men who have kept going and found a sexual relationship with their partner because of their courage too.

George Faller 04:43
Yes. And we don’t want to get a lot of emails. We’ll spend another show on the good reasons why women don’t express this desire. Things that shut it down, but we’re just really keeping our focus here on the men. That said, if you want to get them going and you want to hit that gas pedal that turns it on, you know, show this desire that you’re not just doing it to make them happy, but you want them so badly.

Laurie Watson 05:05
Right. You want them, you know, George, sometimes you say that men want women who want it for themselves, want sex for themselves, which is probably true, right? That way you have kind of the goose that laid the golden egg. You know, you don’t just have the golden eggs, which is the sexy event, but you have somebody who keeps producing that because they want it. So I understand that but so many women I mean, they can want their guy, they can want their husband, they can want their man and showing that and being vulnerable about that is magic.

George Faller 05:35
That’s the golden combination.

Laurie Watson 05:37
Oh, I love it.

George Faller 05:38
The female partner wants it for themselves and chooses their partner to express that want because they are so special. The combination of that’s like double the longings, who wouldn’t want that? How could that not help heighten the sexual encounter when you’ve got all this want coming into it?

Laurie Watson 05:55
Right on. I love it. The golden opportunity.. Wait, what did you say? The golden something?

George Faller 06:03
They call it a golden something.

Laurie Watson 06:06
Okay, and then two thirds of the men in this study… three fourths of them wanted women who desire them, and two thirds said the thing that turned them on the most was unexpected sexual opportunities. Hmm. Rather than maybe Thursday night or Saturday night. Their partner just gives them the eye and says boom, it’s a Monday. Let’s do it on a Monday.

George Faller 06:33
That’s all it takes is the boom right? Well this fits so well to #1 because what is that expressing? If you’re willing to have it in a spontaneous moment, you’re wanting it because that desire is there. It’s not just about novelty, It’s what the novelty represents emotionally. It represents that spark, that action, you know, that motivation. And that I think is, Yeah, that’s something outside the norm, it’s the opposite of rejection. Here we go with “chosen” again, and all that good stuff. Spontaneity represents at all.

Laurie Watson 07:04
Exactly. And I’m not against scheduled sex. I think that works in a busy lifestyle. But women even low libido women tell me, George, that maybe twice a month they have spontaneous desire. And my work is often, can you just capitalize on that? You know, just send him a text, I don’t care if it’s 11am. And he’s at work. Just send him a text. When you feel that and say “I’m thinking of you, I’m thinking about us in bed,” I don’t care what it is, just send it. You know, for him to have that expression from her, being wanted in that moment in a time that he’s not expecting it.. Whoo. That is so hot.

George Faller 07:43
We talk about, a lot of times the female partner, the willingness is the best they can get to. That’s why scheduling is so necessary. And that willingness to show up and let skin to skin contact do its work. And before you know, you’re getting into it. And that’s great. But every once in a while that you can access that desire for you that wants to initiate it. Like that’s, here we go.

Laurie Watson 08:06
And I do want to say a word: I know there’s sisters out there who are initiating and I remember you. So I’m not saying that you wouldn’t be doing this, but this helps for a lot of men, you know if you would initiate in these moments, and you’re probably on track already. So keep going.

George Faller 08:22
Again I want to translate emotionally to why this is so important. Spontaneity, this expressing desire, there’s creativity, there’s fun, you know, there’s just so much it taps into, that really starts to unleash that excitement.

Laurie Watson 08:38
Yeah. And and don’t we need that in our lives that are filled with work and taking care of kids or you know, just the mundane chores, paying bills? I mean, sex is excitement. It brings excitement. It’s the ordinary holiday is what I call it.

George Faller 08:52
It’s a little bit of mystery, a little bit of unknown. It’s nice to sprinkle out into your relationship.

Laurie Watson 08:58
Yes, into your day. Okay, so what about emotional connection? Half of the men affirm that they, to become sexually aroused, they want to feel emotionally connected, which is what we’ve been saying, right?

George Faller 09:12
This this one needs highlighting. Okay, because this myth out there is men don’t need emotional connection, they just need a stiff hard on and an able body and let’s get rolling! But no, this is hugely important. Hugely important. And I’m glad to see this study accentuate what we’ve been saying, Yes, sometimes it’s cool to have a quickie or anything else. But so often sex is the one way men can be vulnerable. It’s much more than just the orgasm for most men. And for a lot of women, you know, they get this thought out, “my partner just wants to have an orgasm with me,” but no, that this is how they are going to connect with you.

Laurie Watson 09:50
And Michael says, you know, it’s about maybe that sexual connection through emotional connection happens after you’ve been talking and you’ve been vulnerable, maybe he’s been vulnerable. Maybe she’s been vulnerable. And there’s laughter and there’s this deep sense of, you know, we’re together. I think this is the reason sex seems hotter when we’re at the beginning of a relationship is because it is often hours and hours and hours of shared conversation. I mean, people set aside copious amounts of time to talk. They go out to dinner several times a week, you know, they’re talking, talking, talking, they’re sharing their histories, you know, it’s so much self revelation, which bonds them emotionally. And then, of course, sex flows out of that.

George Faller 10:32
Right. And that’s why the afterglow, typically for men, when I asked those scores with my couples, it’s constantly the man who was saying, that is so important for me afterwards to just fall asleep, snuggling or holding, it’s like, where they feel the most connected, that their brain is settled down. And that bond is so strong in those moments.

Laurie Watson 10:53
Yeah, they like to fall asleep kind of knowing it’s, it’s done right, that they are connected. It’s so present, it’s kind of been instead of always trying to get there. I love what you’re saying. And I think we as women need to hear that so many women talk about you know, all he wants is sex all he wants is this kind of carnal moment, and I don’t think that’s true. Men field sex as love so many times.

George Faller 11:21
Know, that sense of falling asleep, kind of hold your partner, the world doesn’t get much safer than that, you know, there’s no pressures you’re, you’re on the same page. It’s just all good.

Laurie Watson 11:33
Sounds good. Well, let’s come back and talk some more about what really turns men on. Hey, I just want to take a minute to thank our Patreon 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 11:51
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 12:00
Find a link on and we are so thankful for your support.

Announcer 12:08
Frustrating low libido can be, well, frustrating. Sound familiar? Visit and complete your online consultation today to see if Addyi or Flibanserin is right for you. Addyi is for premenopausal women with acquire generalized hypoactive low sexual desire disorder age HSDD who have not had problems with low sexual desire in the past and who have low sexual desire no matter the type of sexual activity, the situation or the sexual partner, the low sexual desire is troubling to them and it’s not due to a medical or mental health problem problems in the relationship or medicine or other drug use. It is not for use in men or to enhance sexual performance your risk of severe low blood pressure and painting is increased if you drink one to two standard alcoholic drinks close in time to your Addyi dose wait at least two hours after drinking before taking it at that time. your risk of severe low blood pressure and painting is also increased if you take certain prescriptions over the counter or herbal medications or have liver problems low blood pressure and painting can happen when you take out even if you don’t drink alcohol or take other medicines sleepiness sometimes serious can occur. Common side effects include dizziness, nausea, tiredness, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep and dry mouth. Visit,

Laurie Watson 13:10
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George Faller 13:34
Back with the emotional importance of turning these men on Laurie, that heart’s really important, it’s not just about the orgasm. Let’s get a little pop back to that hearts. Okay, how do we do that? Well, again, it’s just it’s given men permission that this isn’t wimpy or weak or there’s something feminine about that. I mean, if you can’t get vulnerability through any other way, you should be obsessed with sex. Like we have to reclaim our own rights and dignity to this emotional connection. Right? So again, a more men become comfortable to refute some of the myths that are out there to say, wait a second, what is wrong with me expressing my love this way? It’s physical. But this is how I’m going to get closer to you and connect. And that’s the real goal of sex. It’s about strengthening the bond, and we want to have a good time and doing it. But the more men sees that themselves, it’s a lot easier to say I get maybe you think it’s this, but that’s not how it is. For me the difference between the intent and the impact.

Laurie Watson 14:35
Absolutely. They need to stand up for themselves in this but this is another way and it’s also emotional for them. I like that I think that argument shuts men down they feel so accused and they feel so bad and it’s it’s not true. So I love what you’re saying and and you know you do a really great job George of showing the other side of things, you know, in in I work with couples, you know the withdrawal or maybe what they might be feeling when they’re shut down or the pursuer what there’s feeling on the other side of it, you know, not necessarily just the dysfunction

George Faller 15:12
was said a steak for me is when I’m working with men who don’t recognize that’s what’s driving it. They actually think it’s just about the orgasm and it’s just a carnal act. And yet there’s so much in them that’s driving the emotional push, and they don’t even see it themselves. So yes, a lot of what we’re doing is we’re trying to educate men and women to say no, look, look at this so much more than this plate, then this little piece that you’re nibbling on.

Laurie Watson 15:37
Yeah, and sexual connection, right? physiologically, we know it’s a good thing for people we know that oxytocin is released, we know they’re going to feel bonded. I love what you said, why should it be bad that this is the way I connect? You know, this is the way I love. This is the way I feel loved. You’re right, we need to empower men. And I think we also need to empower some women to say that too.

George Faller 16:00
Yes. We’re Equal Employment Opportunity people, right? We go across genders or however you want to identify yourself.

Laurie Watson 16:09
That’s right. Also, man, you know, what arouses them is talking about sex, big surprise, you know that they love those conversations. That’s I think that’s why men asked, you know, was it good for you or what can we do different or what was that like? Or tell me a better way to do it. And kind of the debrief afterwards or the morning after debrief is I think for them it’s what keeps the moment going it keeps it sexual and so of course talking about sex turns them on,

George Faller 16:40
again, underrated element that most people don’t talk about, because a lot of men don’t get a lot of feedback and so often then don’t look for feedback. And there’s not a lot of talking. But yes, I agree with you. I think it’s just a way of accentuating it’s like once you start embracing want to talk about it, it just makes it more alive that process you got more to work with.

Laurie Watson 17:01
mm hmm Absolutely. I think that in some ways that’s sometimes what the withdrawing partner is afraid of if I talk about it, just gonna turn him on but you know, it’s also gonna make it better talk before shaking his head he’s shaking his head he’s like

George Faller 17:17
well, there’s so many twists and turns there are my brain just saying you know, how can talk can be bad beforehand it builds anticipation during the act itself it’s just been fun afterwards you just getting feedback it’s all good. But yeah, you’re right for some people it’s not all good if it’s eight and pressure. But okay, say it again talking about it before is good because it’s anticipation builds anticipation talking about it during is just fun find you just shout it out there. Break it up that that spontaneity just unleashing that energy that’s all good. And talking about it afterwards is good feedback. Celebrating victory. I mean, hey, it’s like you score the winning touchdown though. You want to talk about that? Catch it, get it again. years later. You want to replay it in your head? I mean, that’s all these what you want to do. at this position, ever, I mean, it’s pretty cool, isn’t it? I have a to me that’s that. That sounds fun.

Laurie Watson 18:14
Yep, as a demo right here, man like to talk about sex and George’s just told us three ways they like to talk about three times right and and then and then again, right. Glory Days,

George Faller 18:27
just in case you miss it.

Laurie Watson 18:30
Yeah, no, I think that’s I think that is great. And so many men would say yeah, exactly talking about it is good. It’s good stuff. Right? So the visual okay, back to smokin hot! Let’s hear it, what turns men on about visuals? I wanna learn about the visuals.

George Faller 18:46
This visuals are really good too.. it’s such a it’s such a direct I mean that’s gonna tap right at that physiological response is instantaneous right? So if you see your partner’s body or just a way they she bends or like that that immediately gets your body primed right so that visual the Yeah, I mean, is it fine if you’re in sweatpants or you’re jumping the bed with the lights off? Yeah, you know that’s all different types of sex. But you know the have that visual that accentuate that I think that really gets like I’d like to see it, it Prime’s the pump it starts to get if we go back to B.E.S.T., Laurie. B.E.S.T. sex you know, so we’re talking about integrating the body the emotions, the heart, the spirit and brain, the thinking brain, right? That I had a guy described to me that his wife came out and read neglige and red is like a hot color! So it makes a difference, right? Boom! It seems like the fireworks started going off. Red for fireworks. So his body’s alive and he’s aroused and he’s ready to go. But then the visual starts the erotic mind. And now he starts to anticipate ,wow what’s it gonna be like to take that top off? and you know, what am I going to do next? So that physiological lead to the erotic mind. Mm hmm. And then he starts to think about, you know how important she is to him. He wants her and how special she is. And the romantic part starts to come online. And then this guy starts to talk about and he just had a moment, you know, as they’re kissing where he was, like, Am I the luckiest guy in the world? Thank you, that gratitude that starts at the top and that is spiritual. So you can see how that visual just kind of lights up all four of those components. It’s the it’s the brain light up, the brain light up. I like it.

Laurie Watson 20:38
I think that women don’t do the visual because they’re so anxious about their bodies. You know, they are not necessarily the supermodel or the beauty queen or something. But I what you’re saying is a man wants to see his partner. He wants to see her accentuated, he wants to see the way she moves. He wants the lights on. Right. You always say oh, you know, he wants to see her in lingerie or the striptease. It’s like the central aspect of the visual that it just turns them on. Her. I wish we could like bottle that and sell it to so many women to take that medicine. It’s so important.

George Faller 21:13
Yeah. And it doesn’t matter so much what the body looks like. It’s just the idea to have naked fun with it.

Laurie Watson 21:19
It’s the naked body.

George Faller 21:20
It’s provocative, and it’s showing I mean, I think men want to do it themselves. They don’t mind doing a striptease, they might have a beer belly and a receding hairline. But for them, it’s just like, let me take this shirt. Oh, let’s have some fun here like that. Trying to, if that’s what we could take. I guarantee they’d be doing a striptease every night. Absolutely. Yep. The visual, so exciting. The visual is really important. And it also helps men if it starts to process it will help them get more in that body. Like they’ll be more aware of the importance of some music or the candles in the background. Or you know why we want to do a little bit massage. It just accentuates the whole process.

Laurie Watson 22:00
I just don’t think a man can be a good lover if he hasn’t looked at his wife a lot. I mean, how can he know where he’s touching? If he’s not looking at her? Right? He’s got to see it. He’s got to see your vulva. He’s got to see your clitoris. He’s got to see where he’s at. If he’s touching her and most men think that is hot. That’s on fire. And women say oh, you know, I don’t look so good down there. I think I’m ugly. It’s like girlfriend. Get over that. Show him.

George Faller 22:26
Show hikm. He wants to see. I’ll make it better. I like better. Yeah, exactly. So throwing a lot of stuff out there, Laurie, all these different things that can kind of get these men the engines running.

Laurie Watson 22:41
That is sad is good. This is what turns men on. So most men that I talked to you. Yeah, you know, they can find other women attractive. I mean, they’re not blind. But most of them find their partner very attractive, too. And the fact that she’s willing to be naked with him, if she would do it with the lights on he would really like that. It would be more exciting to him. And I I talk to couples all day long, you know, that find each other attractive, I don’t necessarily find either one of them that attractive. Or maybe they’re super hot, but you know, they find each other attractive. And that’s what’s important. I think you got to believe you got to believe him when he says he wants to see you naked or he wants to see him in lingerie or he wants to see you so that he can get better at technique. Gotta believe that.

George Faller 23:24
And you have a right to know what turns you on. Right? Your partner’s not you, they can’t know. So if if you need visual express that you’re you have a right to it. If your partner’s not so into it, and they have their own issues, that makes sense too. We’re trying to hold two different truths here. But like, I really want men to stop apologizing for what turns them on. To be able to be more confident saying you know, I’ll work with you. If things are getting in the way of that that’s fine. But there’s nothing wrong with me liking these things and expressing my love for you. In this way.

Laurie Watson 23:58
I had a girlfriend, I was early married. And she was talking about her husband wanting the lights on and touching her. And she was not feeling very confident about her stomach. And he was touching her stomach and just like oh, no, no, don’t make us you know what, if you don’t like it, you do something about it. I like it, I’m gonna touch it, end of story. And it was like, so powerful for her to to accept that he liked her body period. And if she was hung up about it, she had to do something about it, you know, but he wasn’t going to lay it out on her. He was going to touch wherever he wanted to touch. And he wasn’t going to kind of deal with her herself consciousness and have it limit what they were doing in bed. And I mean, he was kind of forceful about it and it worked for her.

George Faller 24:44
I love that because most men would take that as rejection. And that starts to put the brakes on the process so that he was able to push you know, in a respectful way, because she keeps having issues with that, then it’s not going to be so easy. But in this case, he was able to push past and she was able to kind of get into it. But that he felt there’s nothing wrong that I like my wife’s belly is just the way it is right? You know that they could have a conversation. I think that’s fabulous.

Laurie Watson 25:14
Yeah, it was the visual. Okay, so we’ve got what really turns men on feeling desire themselves, an unexpected sexual opportunity, emotional connection, talking about sex, of course, and the visual of their partner.

George Faller 25:32
All right, homework assignment, listeners. Try a couple of these on, let’s see what happens.

Laurie Watson 25:39
No, no, don’t send us pictures. Please. But you know what we would love for you to follow us on Instagram we have we put a ton of energy into Instagram we do some graphics about sexual and emotional connection. And please find us at @foreplay_radiosextherapy on Instagram. We have like 8K followers, we’d love for you to follow us there and comment! We post our episodes and stuff about what we’re talking about. We try to teach there so please check it out and share it as well! That would help us a bunch.

George Faller 26:10
Yes and spread the word, we need your help. Healthy perspective on sex. We have enough bad myths out there and we need some help to spread some good ones.

Laurie Watson 26:20
So thanks for listening.

George Faller 26:22
Keep it hot.

Laurie Watson 26:23
Keep it red.

George Faller 26:24
Keep it red!

Announcer 26:26
Call in your questions to the Foreplay question voicemail dial 833-MY4-PLAY and we’ll use the questions for our mailbag episodes. All content is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for therapy by a licensed clinician or as medical advice from a doctor. This podcast is copyrighted by Foreplay Media.