How to Arouse a Woman

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Clueless When It Comes to Turning Women On? We’re Here to Help

How to Arouse a Woman

Clueless When It Comes to Turning Women On? We’re Here to Help

Men throughout history have bemoaned the fact that they often find themselves mystified as to what women really want, but when it comes to sex, the truth can be even more muddled. 

Think about it: There are still broad societal taboos around sex and talking about it openly. There are sexist double-standards like slut-shaming that put pressure on women not to be open about their desires, and there’s an embarrassing lack of quality sex education out there at any level of learning. 

On top of all that, there’s the tendency for mainstream porn — easily available but deeply unrealistic — to stand in for sex ed when people want to know what sex looks and sounds like.

Factoring in all of the above, it’s too easy for the average guy to make it well into adulthood having no real clue how to arouse a woman. Worse, many men think they know how to, but are actually still in the dark. 

It’s about time we throw off the covers, flip the light switch and clarify a few things about female arousal. In order to help you out, we spoke to five different sexperts to shine a light on how to really turn her on. Shall we?

Male Arousal vs. Female Arousal

One of the first things guys might wonder when it comes to female arousal is how similar the feeling is to their own. Basically, are male arousal and female arousal similar or different? 

And the answer is … both. For starters, there aren’t only two ways to get aroused, divided into gender-specific boxes. Sexual arousal varies from person to person, and trying to differentiate between genders or sexes can prove fruitless.

“People get aroused in various ways, so it’s not particularly gender identity that ties us to what gets us hot in the crotch,” says sex educator Marla Stewart. “I believe that arousal stems from our learning styles when it comes to titillation. Your learning style is a great indicator on how you get seduced. Whether it’s visual, auditory, or tactile, arousal is going to vary depending on these differences.”

Jess O’Reilly, Ph.D., host of the “@SexWithDrJess” podcast, points out that there’s a “great variation among women in terms of what we find arousing” to take note of.

“Some women require a great deal of physical touch to become aroused, and others are more aroused by emotional or psychological foreplay,” she says. “Some are very quickly aroused, and others take some time. One woman might be turned on by the sounds around her, another by the smells and another by something visual. Just as we all learn differently, we also become aroused differently.” 

There’s another important way in which male and female arousal often differ, and that’s in how desire manifests itself in the psyche. It’s a difference that’s likely at the root of a lot of sexual frustration and misunderstanding when it comes to heterosexual relationships. 

“In general, men are anticipatory,” says Coleen Singer at “Women are generally responsive. For most men, the desire for sex and feelings of arousal usually come before any sexual activity, and thus, those feelings drive the search for actual sex. For women, however, this is not always how sexual desire plays out. Of course, many of us have experienced the random, free-floating horniness that is associated with men’s sexuality — some of us quite often; but many women also experience what Emily Nagoski, sex expert and author of ‘Come As You Are,’ calls ‘responsive sexuality.’” 

Responsive sexuality is where arousal is triggered by specific moments of romantic and sexual contact, such as kissing, touching or simply talking romantically, as opposed to developing prior to that contact and inspiring it. 

The unfortunate result of that leaves men expecting women to get aroused the way they’re familiar with. They’re inevitably surprised when their partners don’t initiate sex out of the blue, or take more time to warm up. But that’s not a function of having less desire — it’s a function of a desire that works a little bit differently. 

Now that you know what you’re dealing with, let’s explore how to actually apply that knowledge in your sex life. 

Dos and Don’ts for Arousing Women

Establish Consent

Informed and enthusiastic sexual consent is absolutely step one for arousal. 

If your partner’s not excited by the prospect of getting sexual with you, you’re not going to succeed in turning her on. That means being clear about your intentions and ensuring she feels safe in regards to your desire, not scared of it. 

“Before you even engage in trying to arouse someone, establish safety!” says sex educator Kenneth Play. “Make sure you have consent, that you’ve established a container of safety, because calming the nervous system is actually the very first step of arousal. It’s necessary to switch into the parasympathetic nervous system in order to feel aroused.”

Don’t Rush

“Arousal takes time for some women,” says Kayla Lords, a sex educator for “You might get hard just thinking about a pair of breasts, but many women need much more than that. They need the chance to relax. They may need small touches before focusing on erogenous zones. Some women want to be seduced.”

That extends to the speed of your touches, too.

“Unless your partner has made it clear she loves fast movement against her breasts, vulva, or any other part of her body, slow down,” she adds. “Fast clit action can be very unsexy for some women. A few seconds of nipple sensation might not be enough. Take your time!”

Make Her Feel Sexy

“Arousal is more than touching body parts,” says Lords. “For many women (and people in general), arousal starts with the mind. Help your partner relax. Talk about wanting them or what you’d like to do with them. Create a picture in their head of what you could do together before you touch them.”

Using your words can have a big impact in the early going, so don’t forget to speak up.

“Starting with subtle compliments of her sexy looks and style and moving on to gentle caresses of her hand and neck, and the moving on to kissing when the time is right based on her cues,” notes Singer.

Don’t Assume What She Likes 

You might think you know what works, but if you really want to get her aroused, you should try to throw your assumptions out the door.

“Don’t assume that what turned on your last partner will work on your current partner,” insists Lords. “Everyone is different, so your ‘signature’ moves aren’t always going to arouse every partner. Talk to them. Listen when they tell you where and how to touch them. Treat your partner’s arousal like the sexy learning experience it is.”

Read the Signs

Even if she’s not especially forthcoming with what she wants — it can be hard to know exactly how to communicate that if you’re shy or inexperienced with desire — you can also pick up clues from her reactions. 

“Pay attention to how she smells, how her skin feels, the subtle changes in sounds she makes,” says Play. “Do more of what she enjoys!” 

It might be easier, for instance, for her to say, “Yes, I like that” in response to something you’ve tried, as opposed to telling you outright what she likes beforehand.

“If she loves something you did, even something small like trailing your fingers across her tummy or kissing her neck, keep doing that,” he adds. “Ultimately, arousing techniques will vary from woman to woman, so learn your partner’s favorites.”

Don’t Use Penetration to Arouse Her

Guys might be used to their penis being a focal point for arousal, but thinking of it as an all-purpose tool is a mistake.

According to Play, you absolutely shouldn’t attempt to use penile penetration to arouse your partner. A non-aroused person likely won’t be properly lubricated, and as a result, will probably not enjoy the experience — it could be quite painful, in fact. As a result, it just won’t be sexy.  

“It’s like someone trying to put your soft penis in them — it just isn’t the same,” he says. “Make sure you view arousal and foreplay as a full experience before you get into penetration.”

Use Your Breath

Instead, try for some more subtle tactics. O’Reilly suggests that even well-calibrated breathing can be a big turn-on. 

“Hover a wide-open mouth over their skin to arouse them with warm air, or purse your lips to cool them off,” she suggests. “Explore the entire length of their body using your breath, lips and tongue. Lick a sensual line, and then breathe warm air over it slowly and purposefully working your way from toe to head.”

Your partner might have certain places that really do it for her when it comes to this technique — the back of the neck and earlobes are common areas — but if she’s not sure, trying out different spots and seeing what she likes could yield powerful results. 

Don’t Use Dry Hands to Finger Her

As with trying to penetrate before she’s properly wet, another no-no is trying to finger her vagina with dry, unlubricated hands. 

“Don’t use a dry hand to rub a clit to get her wet,” says Play. “A lot of guys forget about this. Would you rub your c*ck dry? No. If she isn’t wet yet, use some lube before you touch her genitals.”

This could mean using a sexual lubricant, or if there’s none around, using some of saliva can work in a pinch. 

The important thing is just to recognize that, like your penis and testicles, the clitoris is a highly sensitive body part. A little lubrication will go a long way towards making it a pleasant experience rather than a painful one. 

Touch Her Whole Body

One sex mistake a lot of guys make is focusing just on a woman’s nipples, vagina and vulva. 

While it’s true that those are incredibly sensitive regions where the right touches can drive a woman wild, ignoring the rest of the body is a big mistake. 

“Treat the entire body as an erogenous zone,” suggests Play. “Don’t go straight for the butt, breasts or genitals. Good foreplay isn’t just, ‘I want to arouse you so I’m going to do X.’ It’s actually, ‘I’m exploring your body by paying attention to you, delighting in the details and really feeling every part of our interaction.’ The arousal is feeling seen and touched and felt.”

Don’t Forget to Groom

Your grooming can be a hugely important factor in turning your partner on, too. 

“Obviously, men know enough to take a shower and put on clean clothes before going out with a woman they’re courting, but it’s the little things that really count as well,” says Singer. “Get a haircut so you don’t look like a shaggy dog that doesn’t care much about his appearance.” 

Even a seemingly last minute detail like your fingernails can play a role in how aroused your partner gets, particularly if you’re going to be using your hands to touch her body. 

“It may sound silly, but make sure your nails are clean and filed before you touch sensitive parts,” says Play. “A good check: Look at your nails and think, ‘Would I stick this in my mouth?’ If not, go do something about it first.”

Arousing Her at Different Stages of the Relationship

Depending on your past experience, this might not be immediately obvious, but arousal also functions differently over time. 

The difference between how aroused you get as a teenager and how aroused you get later in life aside, the changing nature of arousal can mean that turning your partner on the first time you hook up will be a very different setup from doing it several years into a long-term relationship. 

Your First Time Together

“Ask a lot of questions,” advises Lords. “You can do it in a sexy way that is arousing, but making it clear you want to give your partner what feels good to them can be such a turn-on. Ask ‘Do you like this?’ or ‘Can I touch you here?’ in your sexiest voice. When she offers feedback, listen and act on it. You’ll turn her on in no time when you do.”

O’Reilly agrees that paying attention to what she actually wants is crucial in a situation where you don’t know each other well just yet. 

“Pay close attention to her hips,” she suggests. “How is she moving? Is she perfectly still? Follow her speed and rhythm. It’s true that in many cases, the hips don’t lie.”

A Few Months Into the Relationship

“Bring up a mutual fantasy you have together,” says Lords. “Maybe you’ve talked about kink or browsed sex toys together. Ask her if she’d like to try something new. Not only are you making it clear you want to explore sexual pleasure with her (which is a turn-on!), you’re also focusing on what she is curious about which shows you’ve been paying attention.” 

And if you haven’t talked about sex enough to know what her fantasies are yet? Well, now’s the time to start.

“Start talking about your fantasies and ask about hers outside of the bedroom,” says O’Reilly. “When you’re watching a show or movie, ask her how she feels about a specific scene, character or interaction. Listen with an open mind and share your thoughts, too. Simply talking about your fantasies can lead to desire, arousal and hotter sex.”

Deep Into a Long-Term Relationship

“It’s easy to get into ruts and routines once you’ve been together with someone for a long time,” says Lords. “At this stage, it’s about the small moments.” 

Apart from little gestures, she notes, like “a hand at the small of her back,” another good approach is to make her feel doted on.  

“Take your time with pleasure specific to her — oral sex, sensual massage, a kinky thing she loves,” notes Lords. “Giving her long, unrushed moments of what she enjoys without the expectation of something in return is hugely arousing for many women. And even if she’s the focus one night, your turn will definitely come soon enough.”

O’Reilly, for her part, advocates using your imaginations together. 

“Talk dirty about things you might never actually want to do in real life,” she suggests. “Tease her about how you’d love to share her and worship her body with someone who admires her. Talk about having sex in public or in a group environment.” 

Even if you never actually act on these desires, sharing them with each other can be both deeply arousing and a great, safe way to bring some excitement into the bedroom when the initial spark has given way to a sense of comfort over raging desire. 

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Source: AskMen


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