“Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.” — Anaïs Nin, Delta of Venus
Throughout history, female sexual desire has been misunderstood. We’ve been taught that women are less sexual than men for ages, and that evolution underlies men’s urge to “spread their seed” and women’s desire for fewer partners and less action. Recent large-scale studies have helped clear the air a bit, revealing that these and many other myths surrounding female sexuality are false. (Thank. The. Lord!)
Why is female sex drive so enigmatic? Many reasons! Male sex drive is more linear than ours, for one thing, and the arousal signs, more obvious. And until recently, very few studies analyzed female sexuality; much of what we’ve been taught derives from age-old speculation and assumptions. Society also plays a major role, having long taught us that “good girls” are prudes, “bad girls,” sluts and men think with their penises, while the harsh beauty ideals promoted by the media and entertainment make it difficult to embrace our bodies sans cosmetic surgery or unhealthy weight loss. These forces affect both genders and all ages, but we aren’t powerless to them.
One bit of fabulous news: There are COUNTLESS female turn-ons! Most women are aroused by a broad range of influences, according to a growing body of research, and our Girl Boners are more excitable than many folks realize. Studies headed by Meredith Chivers, a highly regarded psychology professor and researcher at Queen’s University in Ontario, showed that while heterosexual women claim to only feel aroused by men, their physiological responses tell a different story. The vast majority of participants showed significant arousal (wet, swollen vaginas, racing hearts racing, brain stimulation…*dreamy sigh*) in response EVERY visual stimuli they observed, including male and female bodies, heterosexual and homosexual sex and even animal sex, whereas straight men were only turned on by female imagery.
Granted, many other factors contribute to our arousal–in good and not-so-good ways. We may be easily turned on by limitless stimuli, but influences that make us feel less attractive, lovable or sexually confident can make us plummet from aroused to disinterested in little time.
So what’s a concerned partner to do? The fact that you’re reading this post suggests that you value your partner’s sexual satisfaction as well as your own. (Thank you!) We LOVE men here at Girl Boner Central, and numerous of you have inquired about this very topic. (Thanks for that, too!) While many of the following suggestions apply to both genders and individual preferences vary, male arousal tends to be a lot more straight forward than women’s. Gaining a bit of understanding might help you and your partner enjoy a more gratifying sex life.
10 Ways to Send Our Girl Boners Reeling!
1. Talk with us! For many women, emotional closeness functions as major foreplay, and little draws people closer than open communication. Share your feelings and inquire about ours. Help us feel wanted and trusted by opening your heart. (Believe it or not, we find your sensitivity extremely hot!) We want to feel desired and that you’re genuinely interested in who we are inside and out—which, of course, should be a two-way street.
2. Look us in the eye. St. Augustine called the eyes “the windows to the soul.” If you’ve gazed into your lover’s eyes for any length of time, you understand why. Locking eyes with a partner makes us feel vulnerable in a beautiful way, promoting a sense of trust, desire and intimacy. Gaze aversion, on the other hand, is associated with shame, embarrassment and shunned intimacy, says psychologist, Aaron Ben-Zeév, PhD. If eye-lock feels unnatural, grasp her hand and say something like, “I just want to look in your beautiful eyes for a minute.” There’s a good chance she’ll melt.
3. Touch us where it counts! In a Women’s Health survey that asked women to list their top turn-ons, “when he touches my thigh” was a common response. “Certain parts of your body, like your inner thigh, are impossible to touch by accident,” Dr. Scott Haltzman, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University, told the magazine. “When you’re close enough emotionally to someone to allow him into that space, it’s very arousing and reflects the trust you have in each other.” So when you’re sitting in a restaurant, touching her inner thigh below the table can be extremely hot. (And gals—why not guide his hand there?)
4. Embrace PDA. Couples who show each other affection in public tend to have closer-knit relations at home, including in the bedroom. Kissing, hugging and walking hand-in-hand in public instill a sense of trust; we know that you’re not only delighted to be with us, but to let the world know about it. If you and your partner have different comfort levels regarding PDA, aim for a happy medium. Easing in through baby steps (holding her hand more often, for example) is a safer bet than leaping uncomfortably in.
5. Play romantic tunes. If you’ve been following along in Girl Boner land, you know that music is a major turn on. In a study conducted by Spotify, participants—a mix of men and women—were 40 percent more likely to be sexually aroused by music than touch. (That doesn’t mean don’t touch us, of course! How ’bout both?) Music is also a helpful way of concealing sex sounds, which is a libido-reducing concern for some. Playing music she adores or that you find particularly romantic also shows thoughtfulness.
6. Don’t fixate on your body—but do accept it. Men who don’t obsess over their appearance are the most likely to tantalize women, says relationship coach Yangki Christine. Accepting your body as-is shows us that you’re secure enough to value what’s on the inside most. If you struggle with poor body image, do some internal work. Try to reverse those negative thoughts, avoiding damaging influences such as porn, dieting and compulsive workouts. If your partner struggles with similar issues, work through them together.
7. Lubricate our lips! (Yes, those ones!) Just pondering that phrase is enough to tickle one’s Girl Boner… Wetness, whether from your mouths or a commercial lubricant, can make sex more sensual and fun for both partners. Lubrication also helps minimize arousal and libido problems associated with hormonal shifts, dry skin, menopause and depression. Take your time and apply it to your penis, her vagina or both, paying special attention to her clitoris.
8. Caress the clit. As you may know, the clitoris is a primary pleasure area for women, and most us climax through clitoral stimulation. To give her clit proper attention, make sure you know where it is and how she prefers to be touched. If you’re not sure of either, see number 1. Your gal might prefer rapid touch, sucking, pressure or a combination of the three. For more on the topic, check out: The Highly Sensitive Clitoris.
9. Help ease our stress. Stress is a top libido tanker for everyone, but particularly for women. Sex can actually help minimize stress, but not if we don’t arrive there in the first place! To reduce stress and increase arousal for your partner, incorporate relaxation into your dates. Book a couple’s massage or surprise her with an intimate dinner and sudsy bubble bath. If her plate is overloaded with work or family responsibilities, seek ways to help ease her load. If you’re both stressed, strategize solutions together. (Heck. Do so naked!)
10. Cultivate sexual variety. One of the most intriguing and pronounced findings from recent research shows that women are more likely to tire of sexual monogamy than men. That doesn’t mean we need multiple or perpetually new partners, however. To keep the sexual synergy and excitement alive, take steps to increase variety in your sex life, such as incorporating new positions, sex toys or locations. New experiences also help your brain release dopamine—the chemical responsible for new-love euphoria. Chances are you’ll both benefit big time.
As a final note, keep in mind that none of these tips should be viewed as a sort of give and take. In other words, don’t implement an exchange system: If I do _____, we’ll have/she’ll want sex. It’s healthier and more pleasurable for everyone if we all pay mind to each other’s wants and needs within a relationship, increasing intimacy and creating a loving environment in which sexual experiences flow naturally. Choose actions that feel most sincere and that need not end with a specific act, then enjoy what’s bound to be a pleasurable ride.
What turns you on most, ladies? What do you do to turn your partner on, guys? Which items struck you most? I always love hearing your thoughts. ♥