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Women's Health

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Surprising Turn-Ons for Men

Look beyond the obvious and think sweet, not just racy.
WebMD Feature

What's the best way to get your man in the mood? You won't find the answer in the Victoria's Secret catalog.

Sure, sheer lingerie and scantily clad models will do on most days. But there are a lot of sweeter, PG-rated, and not so obvious turn-ons that also work, especially if you are in a relationship that has a future beyond that first night together.

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As a younger man, Richard, a professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville who asked that his full name not be used, went for the sexy, racy look with lots of skin. Now 40, he and his wife recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. His tastes have matured, mellowed.


“We have children, so there isn't a lot of turning on,” Richard jokes. “Actually, my turn-ons are a lot more pedestrian these days. Just getting to spend time alone together is a turn-on.”

Richard and his wife try to have a date night every week: dinner and a movie and holding hands.

“It's the intimacy, period,” Richard says. “Cuddling has become more precious.”

After a moment's prodding, an admission: “I am into shoes, high heels. But it's a minor turn-on. I don't put them on. Let's just be clear about that.”

Minus the shoes, John Horner, 53, finds himself turned on in much the same way. Married for 25 years, the Richmond, Va., drafter puts emotional closeness and intimacy far above the sexual.

“Early on, it was the physicality, the clothes, that turned me on," Horner says. "Now, just sitting near my wife while we read is a turn-on. There's an emotional depth there.”

Neither man's wants are unusual.

“Men want more affection as they get older,” says Irvine, Calif.-based sex therapist Stephanie Buehler, PhD. “When they're younger, they can dispense with that and get right down to it. But especially in their 40s, 50s, 60s, things don't happen as automatically. They need more time warming up.”

Ask Him

What will warm your guy up? Whatever it is, don't expect him to tell you, Buehler says.

“Men rarely ask for what they want,” she says. “A lot of men don't like asking for small signs of affection, but they like getting them.”

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