Hot & Bothered: His Unconscious Turn-Ons
You might think that a low-cut top matched with a breathy voice and lick of the lips is enough to send a man into the stratosphere of arousal (and you’d usually be right), but men can be just as enigmatic as women in matters of sensual.
Consider the fact that men are less likely to be attracted to long, shapely legs as they are a woman with a considerable wingspan, according to research from the University of New South Wales. which surveyed men watching videos of women, and then rating their attractiveness. Long-armed ladies got the highest ratings, while lengthy-legged girls didn’t even rate in the final figures.
So what’s the reason? One theory posits that long arms give a woman a slimmer appearance, and another is that men want a partner who will come in very handy on a trip to the apple orchard.
But before you start Googling ‘Arm-extension treatment’, check out the other unexpected ways a man can be turned on:
A good jolt to his fight-or-flight reaction is sometime just the thing to get a man in the mood. Don’t believe us? Then take it from Roger Sterling of AMC’s Mad Men, in one famous scene from a TV show that’s full of them.
More than just a vehicle for scripted drama, there’s hard science behind the connection between fear and arousal from the University of British Columbia who conducted a study putting male volunteers into situations involving varying amounts of risk. The ones who faced more fear were more graphic in their answers on a sex survey – delivered by a beautiful assistant – following the event.
Perhaps opt for the red dress on your next date-night out; while the color crimson is synonymous in the culture at large with passion, hearts, romance and all things Valentine’s, that thinking comes from commonly-cited evolutionary psychology that goes towards explaining men’s reaction to the hue; prior to ovulation, female humans and primates got red in the face, signaling to males when they’re at their most fertile.
The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published a 2008 study from the University of Rochester that had men rate the attractiveness of a number of pictures of women wearing clothes of all colors.
The highest-rated? You guessed it – women wearing red. Meanwhile, different colored clothes – worn by the exact same women – scored much lower.
Everybody has a ‘type’, and some of these types are universally held as attractive, but a man’s own facial appearance has some sway on what he finds fetching in a woman.
Some men fall for women whose facial features are similar to their own, and this is based on the theory of homogamy – that we reproduce with people who share similarities to us in some way, bringing into turmoil the whole ‘opposites attract’ thing we hear so often.
Get Your Giggle On
Actually don’t just get your giggle on – go for a full-on guffaw and chuck in a chortle while you’re at it.
According to Maria Sophocles, MD and assistant professor at the University of Basel, a man’s subconscious equates your laughter with the moans they might hear during sex. So is this why ‘a sense of humor’ is listed so high on the traits of men who are prime partner material?
Some say that arousing a man is as easy as pie, and we agree – as long as that pie is pumpkin.
Among more than 23 fragrances, the Smell and Taste Research Center in Chicago founds that the smell of pumpkin pie mixed with lavender increased penile blood flow the most.
Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Thanksgiving will never be the same again.
Finally, one of his biggest turn-ons you’ve perhaps not realized until now is your sex toys; we’d be hard-pressed to find any man that doesn’t appreciate knowing that he’s with a woman who knows how to take her pleasure.
And considering that men are most aroused by what they can see, bringing your toys into the bedroom for a new kind of playtime will be a win-win kind of situation – if there’s a better kind than that, we’re all ears!
Katy Thorn is a post-grad writer with a passion for writing about sex, sexuality, and all things rated R. She received her degree in Women’s Studies with a focus in Intersectionality at the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!). She has a cat named Yoko, drinks too much black coffee, and hates writing bios.