How to Turn Him On: The Role of Seduction in Your Relationship

How to turn him on

In the many workshops and seminars I’ve held for couples, there are certain questions that pop up quite often. One I’d like to discuss today is what many a wife or girlfriend has posited: “I want to learn how to turn him on.” This brings us to the role of seduction in marriage and long-term relationships, as well as the challenges of keeping the erotic alive when you’ve been with the same person for a number of years.

How to Turn Him On: The Role of Seduction in Your Relationship

In essence, seduction is a form of enticement. The underlying, unspoken message is, “Hey, I’ve got something over here that you may not be thinking about or wanting at the moment, but give me a chance and you’ll want it–and therefore need me–more than ever!” This is at the heart of not only sexual seduction, but even TV commercials for decadent chocolates. The goal is to stir that enticement within the object of your desire.

If you’re married or in a long-term relationship, you want your partner to desire you. You want to feel wanted. To be desirable. To be longed for. You are a sexual being, and you want the person who matters most to you to recognize and celebrate that. And while your spouse might use all the right words to express how desirable you are to them, the words won’t mean much if they don’t culminate in the physical expression of desire.

From Lusty New Relationship Energy to Infrequent Lovemaking: Where Has All the Sex Gone?

When your relationship was new, the erotic aspect probably felt completely natural. So much so that you may not have had to consciously think about it. You didn’t have to wrack your brain for how to seduce your man or how to make your girlfriend desire you. Most likely, sex felt like a given; you each couldn’t get enough of each other.

But as your relationship deepened and became committed, and as you enmeshed your lives (and may have taken on new and very major commitments together, like having children or co-owning a home or a business), sexual desire probably waned, at least compared to how it was in the beginning of your relationship.

Not to worry, this is normal! The “New Relationship Energy” you felt at the beginning included a mix of hormones in the brain that contributed to the massive sexual desire. It’s normal for that to settle into a more manageable level as you become familiar with each other (and it may be a good thing in some respects, since when we are newly in love, we’re so distracted that we don’t get much work done–life maintenance is easier down the road of your seasoned relationship).

This news doesn’t mean that you should throw in the sexual towel if you’re married or if you’ve been with your partner for a long while. Quite the contrary: understanding the psychology behind our sexual patterns can provide us with valuable tools for re-igniting the flames of desire, no matter how long we’ve been with our partners.

So let’s get to the focus of our article: women’s question about how to turn their men on.

3 Tips for How to Turn Him On

1) “Listen to my body.”

“What I like,” says Carlos, 37, “is when Meghan listens to me. Not to my words, which I don’t have so many of when I’m really turned on. But when she listens to my body.”

Carlos is expressing his appreciation of his girlfriend “listening” to the erotic cues his body is giving off during foreplay and love-making. Although Meghan, 39, likes to talk out what she’s looking for from Carlos in bed, she’s learned that he wants something entirely different.

She listens for verbal cues (moans, groans, contented sighs, for instance), but also, she enjoys “reading” his body: noticing when he might stiffen uncomfortably or when he might relax. When he might turn toward her or turn away.

“The best part of all this,” she says, “is that even though I’m someone who’s normally easy to offend, I don’t get at all offended when I do something in bed that he doesn’t like. Without him needing words to get his message across, nothing feels like a criticism of me. I just notice how his body reacts to what I’m doing and either do more of that or chalk up my attempt as something he didn’t like.”

Carlos adds: “And the fact that Meghan takes the time and the interest to read me this way has made me a more attentive lover, too.” He laughs. “At least I think so.” (She agrees.) “Her willingness to let my body do the talking,” Carlos says, “has inspired me to reciprocate the pleasure, in the way she needs.”

2) “Don’t be shy; talk about sex and turn-ons.”

“I absolutely love when Natasha talks about sex,” says Matthew, age 44. “And I don’t just mean in an oblique, round-about, flippant way. I mean when she’s not afraid to get explicit, and not afraid to tell me what turns her on, down to the last detail.”

“It took me a while to get comfortable with the idea that talking about sex didn’t have to be taboo,” Natasha, 40, says. “I was raised by parents who never talked about it, and they had the belief that people who did were somehow not good people. It wasn’t till I was in my 30s that I saw the error in that way of thinking. And my married sex life is so much hotter since I’ve given myself permission to ‘talk dirty’ with my husband and tell him what I like…it drives Matthew wild!”

How to seduce your husbandSex is perhaps the most intensely personal of all the human interactions. So there’s a great deal of variance when it comes to specifics. Just because talking about sex is a seductive turn-on for Natasha and Matthew doesn’t mean it would be–or should be–for every couple.

“I get turned off when Joan is straightforward in talking about what she likes in bed,” says Tyler, 41. “I’d much rather discover it for myself. When she tells me point-blank, it feels like it takes the mystique out of sex for me. I like her to be more shy. I like to explore her and pick up cues about what’s working and what isn’t through how she’s reacting.” (Much like Carlos, in our previous example, preferred for himself.)

“Thankfully,” Joan, 45, says, “this works for me, too. Otherwise, I don’t know that we’d be all that compatible in terms of our lovemaking.”

You’ve probably heard that men are more visual than women when it comes to getting aroused. (That’s why they more often ask, “What are you wearing?”) But many a man also likes hearing things that turn him on. And because talking about your turn-ons in an explicit way can be seen as “naughty” or “forbidden,” it might be all the more seductive for your man.

Again, the operative word is might. Sexual preference, as we can see from the polar-opposite likes of Matthew and Tyler, cannot be rubber-stamped! Try it and be attuned to how he reacts so that you can determine whether you should do more of it or back off and try a different approach.

Part of the joy of sex is the discovery of what your partner likes, as well as what you like. And you might encounter surprises along the way.

3) “Ramp up the erotic teasing.”

“Oh, man,” says Quinn, 29, “when Lila teases me, I am helpless.” He shakes his head and runs his hand over his face. “Helpless in a good way!”

Sometimes the power of seduction is found in the withholding of whatever it is that is promised. Anticipation is an extremely powerful human mental activity, and it stimulates desire long before the actual event. Erotic teasing is a behavior that blends seduction and anticipation to create a spicy mix indeed!

“Sometimes I’ll send him texts when he’s at work,” Lila, 28, says, “nothing that anyone would get horrified over if they were looking over his shoulder. Maybe a pic of a new sexy nightie, but not the whole nightie–the pic is only showing a swatch of the fabric draped over my leg, so you see a bit of my skin in the background. He’s admitted that those kinds of things have driven him crazy.”

Quinn adds, “And then she’ll say things like, ‘Maybe you’ll see me in this, and maybe you won’t. Maybe next week. Or maybe I’ll return it before I take the tags off.’ I’m useless at work after texts like those! I can only think about getting home to Lila!”

Flirting and teasing and withholding-to-arouse are all powerful forms of foreplay. Like with the seduction message in general, they send the message: “I have something I know you’ll like, but for now, just think about it. Trust me, it’ll be worth the wait.”

Seduction isn’t just for him!

As in anything that deepens intimacy or adds a fresh spark to your sex life, the benefits extend to both partners, the one incorporating the new idea or approach, as well as the partner on the receiving end.

As with our first example above, Meghan enjoyed “listening” to Carlos’s body. Although she was ostensibly doing it “for” him, she was contributing to the relationship’s sexual health and gratification overall and deriving her own arousal and satisfaction in the process.

When you seduce him, you are experiencing heightened desirability, one of the keys to sexual satisfaction. (“I feel like I make him want me in those moments,” Lila, our erotic teasing example, says. “And I love being wanted even more than I love wanting.”) So there’s no need to keep score or to demand that the next sexual seduction be on his time. You’re already reaping the benefits when you’re at the seduction wheel!

Here’s to discovering how to turn him on!

Dr. Rich Nicastro

(Featured [top] image Sensual woman posing in shirt” by Stockimages & “Loving Couple” by Imagerymajestic/