Many of us can agree that getting turned on is unique. One thing may make us throb while another may not float our boat. But it’s also not as simple as that. There are tons of other things that can determine whether we get turned on or not.
Anxiety, for example. If your mind is completely preoccupied with other things, it may interfere with your levels of arousal. Medical conditions, hormonal changes, depression, medication side effects and more. All of these can contribute to our state of sexual arousal.
“Our sex drive is so very reactive to everything that’s happening to us in our world and our bodies,” says Marianne Brandon PhD, a clinical psychologist.
Quick Ways to Stimulate and Enhance Your Sexual Desire
Outside influences aside, the magical key to turning yourself on is actually in your own hands. In other words, it’s all about taking the situation head-on and using the things that are within your control.
And once you figure out what that one thing is, you’ll be able to get in the mood fast. Heck, there may even be more than one thing that’ll ignite your sexual arousal! “The mind is a powerful thing,” says Brandon. “It can turn you off to sex, and it can turn you on to sex”.
So, before we jump into the different ways you can turn yourself on, let’s look at all the challenges that may be standing in your way.
Why Can It Be Challenging to Turn Yourself On?
In a world that’s overstimulated, the challenges are plentiful when it comes to turning yourself on. These can range from mental, social, physical, medical, and emotional issues.
Having a negative body image, for example, can be extremely taxing on one’s ability to become aroused. It often leads to people not desiring themselves, not wanting to show their body to their partner, and being in their own heads during sex. All of these can contribute to a lack of being turned on.
Relationship difficulties can also turn you off very easily. It can cause anxiety and depression, which often leaves individuals not in the mood for sex or intimacy. The same goes for other external problems, such as stressful work environments, fighting with loved ones, dealing with grief, or experiencing mental health problems.
Then, of course, there is the aspect of low levels of arousal due to medications or medical conditions. Antidepressants such as SSRIs for example could be a big culprit in one’s ability to get turned on. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and neurological disease can be hard on the body and the mind, making it hard to become aroused.
For men specifically, it can be challenging to get turned on or to have a satisfying sex life when experiencing:
- Premature ejaculation: when semen leaves the body sooner than wanted during sex
- Erectile dysfunction: the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex
- Dry ejaculation: when semen enters the bladder instead of emerging through the penis during orgasm
- Low levels of testosterone: this can affect their level of sex drive and performance, and reduce a man’s ability to have satisfying sex
- Peyronie’s disease: when scar tissue develops on the penis causing curvature and painful erections
For women specifically, it can be challenging to get turned or to have a satisfying sex life on when experiencing:
- Vaginal dryness: when there is a lack of vaginal lubrication being produced, it often results in painful sex
- Anorgasmia: the delayed, infrequent, absent, or less-intense orgasms, even with significant amount of sexual stimulation
- Menopause: during menopause, levels of oestrogen drop, which can lower sexual desire and make it harder to become aroused
- Vaginismus: an involuntary spasm in the vaginal muscles
- Endometriosis: when the tissue similar to that which lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus
- Female sexual arousal disorder: when the body doesn’t respond to sexual stimulation
Should You Be Medically Concerned About Your Levels of Arousal?
During various points of your life, experiencing low levels of arousal is normal. Sometimes it’s merely a case of external circumstances, such as stress or relationship issues, or internal circumstances, such as having a negative body image or engaging in negative self-talk.
“I believe a vast majority of both men and women have a reduction in their sex drive at some point in their lives,” says Karen Stewart, PsyD, clinical psychologist.
To sum up, the root of changes in sex drive usually stem from one of the following categories:
- Medication: some medicines can affect hormones that regulate desire
- Medical conditions: recent surgery or medical problems
- Hormonal changes: change in testosterone levels in men and oestrogen in women
- Lifestyle habits: drinking, smoking, illegal drugs, too little sleep, lack of exercise, unhealthy foods
- Psychological issues: anxiety and depression, low self esteem, poor body image, or a history of sexual abuse
- Relationship problems: lacking communication or trust in a partner
At the end of the day however, remember that there is no such as thing as a “normal” sex drive.
When Should You Consult a Medical Professional for Low Sexual Desire?
- If your low sex drive is affecting your relationship
When one partner has a low libido, it not only affects them but their partner too. Their partner may believe they’re undesirable, and this could lead to more intense relationship issues. In this case, a medical doctor and/or a sex therapist could assist one or both partners to navigate the concern.
- If your low sex drive is affecting your quality of life
If you find yourself worrying about why you have a reduced sex drive, feel that you’re no longer desirable because of low libido, find less pleasure in sex or intimacy, or feel a strong sense of guilt, shame, anxiety, or depression because of your low sex drive, it may be best to seek medical help.
- if you noticed that you’ve experienced a sudden drop in sexual arousal
You may experience a drop in sexual desire if you’ve just changed medications, or perhaps if you’re going through new and stressful life events. This is generally normal. But if, after time, you notice that your low libido sticks around, you may want to seek medical help.
- At-home remedies don’t work
And now… onto the sexier stuff! Whether you’re living with low libido or not, we’re certain that these tips will prove invaluable.
Use them when you’re ready to enjoy a solo session or fun with a partner because they’ll most certainly help you to get in the mood fast.
Our Recommendations: 25 Ways to Turn Yourself on Fast
To make things simpler, we’ve divided our recommendations on how to turn yourself on fast into five categories:
For any and everyone looking to get turned on, here you’ll find 25 different techniques and sexy activities. Let’s get your libido rising for lustful adventures.
Get turned on mentally
- Past experiences: Think about a super sexy sexual experience you had in the past. What did you do? Who were you with? How did it feel, taste, smell? What made it so incredibly arousing?
- Embrace your sexual feelings: Many of us have felt ashamed about some of the things that turn us on. It could be because of a specific upbringing, religion, or just society’s expectations in general. But remember that embracing your sexual feelings and turn-ons can be entirely powerful and could bring about a much more pleasurable side in you.
- Use sexual mindfulness: To be sexually mindful means identifying what’s happening inside your body and mind without judging the experience. It’s simply feeling them and being present at the moment.
- Forget about your to-do list: When your mind starts to drift or you’re preoccupied with things that are to happen in the future, you’re a lot less likely to get turned on. It’s time to turn off that wandering mind, focus on the now, and how you can get yourself feeling all riled up.
- Fantasise: There are so many delicious fantasies to indulge in. Whatever it is that you’re about to do, things you want to do, something you’ve seen in a movie or porno, or even something that simply turns you on even though you have no intention of ever doing it. Fantasising is a great way to get turned on fast.
Get turned on physically
- Dress up and be your erotic self: We often feel our best sexually when we’re confident. And an outfit has the power to bring about all sorts of confidence. Why not experiment with sexy accessories, lingerie, or even role playing outfits? Find something that makes you feel absolutely insatiable.
- Get touchy feely: This doesn’t necessarily mean touching your genitals, but it could. It all depends on what makes you feel good. You could go for some of your erogenous zones, such as your nipples, balls, or perineum, you could slowly start to rub yourself, or even grab a massager to add in an extra layer of sexual stimulation.
- Deep breathing: Studies suggest that deep breathing actually helps with arousal because it releases nitric oxide in the body. This will relax your smooth muscles, which can further increase blood flow. Take the time to be in the present moment and take deep relaxing breaths to calm the mind, and get those juices flowing.
- Massage: Sensual massages are yet another way to really let go. If you’re with a partner, you can take turns and slowly massage one another. Start off simply, and go for the lesser-known erogenous zones to bring about peace and relaxation. Then, glide your way to their naughty bits.
- Take a bath: When you have a bath it promotes blood flow… which is exactly what’s needed to get aroused. Immerse yourself in this self-care ritual, take deep breaths, and if the moment feels right, touch yourself sensually.
Get turned on using sex toys
- Masturbate: There are so many wondrous sex toys available to make your masturbation routine even more arousing. Experiment with different sensations, such as clitoral, G-spot, anal or penile sex toys. Find your most tantalising and allow it to do its magic.
- Wearable vibrators: For some partnered play, you could grab a wearable vibrator and hand over the remote control to your lover. Or, if it's a solo session you’re indulging in, you can take the reins. The fun part is that you can wear it anywhere you please… at a restaurant, in the cinema, or even when you’re walking about town. Play with the settings and allow yourself to bask in a new kind of play.
- Try something different by stimulating new erogenous zones: If you’re someone who likes a certain type of stimulation, why not mix things up? Perhaps you’ve never tried a different kind of sex toy, like a male masturbator or a butt plug. There are multiple ways to get aroused, and you may find something unexpected that really gets your motor going.
- Mutual masturbation: Play with your partner! Take the time to find a few toys that you fancy. Then, try them out together during mutual masturbation. This kind of play could be using your respective sex toys on yourselves at the same time whilst watching one another. This is also a fantastic way to explore voyeurism and exhibitionism… a fantasy you may not know that you even have!
- Use a sex toy on your partner: Imagine two types of stimulation at the same time. Perhaps your partner could go down on you whilst teasing you with a G-spot vibrator. Or, you could use a male masturbator on your lover whilst you tease his balls. Feel all the sexy vibes that come with sex toys!
Get turned on using technology
- Porn: There are as many different porn videos online as there are clouds in the sky. The list is seemingly endless, which makes it a treat to find something that really gets you aroused. And if you’re not a big fan of traditional male-centred porn, you could try watching female-centred porn. Female-centred porn is more slow and sensual.
- Movie sex scenes: If porn isn’t your thing, is there a go-to movie sex scene that always seems to get you aroused? Go for it! There are so many lustful movie sex scenes that can raise your libido. Perhaps something from 50 Shades of Grey? That scene from Basic Instinct? The film, Secretary. Or possible even the TV show, Sex/Life which is rife with erotica.
- Sex stories and audio: If you’re the type who prefers to use your own imagination and create your own visuals, there is a plethora of sex stories and erotic audio available. Choose one or more that takes you through your ultimate sexual fantasy and let your mind and body free.
- Sexting: sexy voice notes, nudes: Use your phone for a bit of naughty fun with a partner. You could start with sexting, which is always a fun way to pass the time and gain arousal. And, if you’re interested, you could swap a few photos or even send a few suggestive and erotic voice notes to get turned on. Remember, to send responsibly!
- Turn off your phone: On the flip side, sometimes our phones can be a big distraction. So, instead of embracing technology, turn your phone off! Use your wild imagination to conjure up the most erotic things you’re after, and touch yourself.
Get turned on by setting the scene
- Dim lighting and/or light candles: Being mentally stimulated is often just as important as being physically stimulated. Create a scene that makes you feel sexy and desirable. This could be dimming the lights or lighting a few candles. Perhaps a few scented candles could also aid in some erotic feelings.
- Music: Make a sex playlist! Is there a song or songs that take you back to a sexy moment in time? Do you have a preferred style of music that really makes you want to jump someone’s bones or get yourself off? Turn it into a fun activity creating a playlist and use it when you want to get turned on fast.
- Food: There is a lot of pleasure associated with food. So the next time you’re in a jam (pardon the pun) grab some flavoured lube, whipped cream, strawberries… whatever it is that is delicious and sensual. Eat it slowly and intentionally. If you’re with a partner, eat food off of each other to get the party started.
- Soft sheets, pillows, and props: Feeling sensual is all part of the fun. The softness of the sheets, pillows that feel so good to prop you up or lay your head down, or other kinds of plush items can make a big difference in how you experience arousal.
- Play a sexy game: Just as there are thousands of sex toys available today, there are just as many sex games. It could be something simple like a game of truth or dare, or you could buy a sex board game with daring questions and sexual prompts to spice up your date night.