23 Things That REALLY Turn Women On, According to Science – and Women!

Ever wonder what really turns a woman on? 

It's not always what you think. 

Science has stepped in to learn from women themselves the fascinating truths about female arousal, and we're about to dive deep into them. 

From hormones to evolutionary psychology, scientists have pinpointed specific turn-ons that are guaranteed to get her excited. 

This isn't just about understanding the other half; it's about enriching your own perspective. 

So whether you're looking to have a hot first date or take your long-term relationship to the next level in the bedroom, these no-so-secret secrets are sure to make her melt faster than a popsicle in July.  

Knowing how to turn on a woman gives you the key to unlocking her passion and taking intimacy to new heights.

What Turns Women On Most? Here Are the Top 3

Ever caught yourself wondering what really flips the switch in a woman's world of desire? 

There are certain things that reliably get a woman's motor running – and no, we're not just talking about buying her flowers or giving unsolicited shoulder massages. 

Real female turn-ons run much deeper than that. 

Scientists have identified specific triggers that activate arousal and attraction through psychological and physiological responses. 

couple hugging intimately science of what turns women on

Understanding these responses can help take your physical connection to the next level, whether you're out on a first date or cuddling in bed with your long-term lover. 

While every woman is unique, certain elements consistently emerge as top turn-ons. Here are the top three:

  • Emotional Intelligence: Women are often drawn to partners who display a high level of emotional intelligence. This means being empathetic, understanding, and in tune with her feelings and needs. It's about genuine care and connection, not just going through the motions.
  • Confidence: Confidence, not to be confused with arrogance, is a major attractor. A confident partner who is comfortable in their own skin and respects boundaries can be incredibly appealing. It's the kind of confidence that shows through actions, decisions, and the way they treat others, including her.
  • Sense of Humor: A good sense of humor is irresistible to many women. It's not just about cracking jokes; it's about being able to laugh together, enjoy the lighter side of life, and find joy even in mundane moments. A shared laugh can be a powerful connection.

These three aspects consistently stand out as significant factors in turning women on. 

They signify a deeper level of connection and understanding, which is often what ignites the spark of attraction and desire. 

How to Turn a Woman On Using 23 Science-Supported Secrets

From scents to sounds and words to touch, here are 19 secrets guaranteed to help activate her passion and take your intimacy to the next level.

1. Play With Her Hair

There's a reason hair stroking is a classic move – studies show it's a major turn-on for women. Lightly running your fingers through her locks and giving a gentle scalp massage releases oxytocin, the “love hormone” that promotes bonding and arousal. 

Plus, playing with her hair makes her feel pampered and relaxed. Start off slowly, gauging her response as you brush her hair off her neck and shoulders. Then, run your fingers from the nape of her neck up to her crown in soothing, repetitive motions. She'll be putty in your hands.

2. Kiss Her Neck

Few things are more tantalizing than kisses along the neck, according to research. The neck is loaded with nerve endings that react to touch, heat, and vibration – all things delivered by sexy mouth-to-neck action.

Start with soft, gentle kisses at the nape, near the earlobe, and along the collarbone. As arousal builds, try light sucking or nibbling to really drive her wild. 

Pro tip: Pay attention to her breathing and body language to know when to dial up the intensity. Kissing and sucking the neck releases dopamine and stimulates the vagus nerve, triggering desire. 

3. Compliment Her Intelligence 

Want to turn up the heat? Stimulate her mind. Intellectual conversation and compliments about her intelligence make women more receptive to courtship. Engaging her intellect causes a release of hormones that activate the sexual centers of the brain. Try asking thoughtful questions, discussing current events, and even debating ideas. 

Show your admiration for her wit, perspectives, and mind. Say things like, “You always have such an interesting take on things” or “I love your insightful opinions.” Intellectual intimacy helps create emotional intimacy – which is the best foreplay for women.

4. Act Like a Gentleman

Sexual turn-ons for women don’t always involve touching. Women are turned on by old-fashioned chivalry, like opening doors, pulling out her chair, helping her with her coat, etc. Taking care of small courtesies shows your respect, attention, and desire to impress. Cultivate gentlemanly manners and thoughtfulness. 

Ask thoughtful questions about her day, goals, and interests – then really listen. Thoughtful acts like walking on the traffic side of the sidewalk demonstrate you want her to feel protected. Doing little things just to make her life easier and showing sincere interest in who she is builds comfort and trust.

5. Touch Her Face 

From light caresses to full-on face massages, stimulating the face is an often overlooked erogenous zone. The skin on the face is ultra-thin and packed with nerve endings, making it extremely receptive to touch. Lightly trace her eyebrows, cheekbones, and lips with your fingers. 

Or try a sensual face massage: Start by tracing circles along the hairline, then use your thumbs to massage the forehead, temples, and along the jaw. Face touching triggers the release of oxytocin, helping create feelings of intimacy and arousal.

6. Share Chores Equitably

Research confirms women are more sexually attracted to men who actively take on their fair share of household work. Couples who split chores like cooking, cleaning, and childcare evenly report higher relationship satisfaction and sex lives. 

couple laughing science of what turns women on

So be an equal partner; don't wait for her to ask. Notice what needs doing and proactively do your part. Take initiative on your least favorite tasks, not just the fun ones. Changing diapers, folding laundry, prepping family meals – she'll notice and appreciate your efforts. 

Sharing the mental load helps her relax and feel grateful for your support, both in and out of the bedroom. Less stress = more (and better) sex for both of you

7. Give Her a Scalp Massage

A head massage is one of the most intimate yet underutilized turn-ons for women. Apply light pressure in circular motions across her entire scalp using your fingertips. Focus on the forehead, temples, crown, and nape of the neck. Add in gentle hair tugs and scratches with your nails. The scalp has acupressure points linked to relaxation and arousal. 

A scalp massage releases endorphins, reduces stress hormones, and stimulates feel-good oxytocin. Plus, it shows your desire to pamper and pleasure her. 

Pro tip: To take it up a notch, do it when her hair is wet – think while still in the shower – for added sensual sensation.  

8. Talk About Sex Out Loud

Want to really get her in the mood? Try putting desire into words through sexy, suggestive talk about what you want to do to each other. Verbalizing arousal activates the brain's sensory cortex, creating a feedback loop that increases anticipation. 

So tell her in tantalizing detail exactly how you plan to please her. Whisper sweet nothings in her ear. Women also rate men who speak their sexual intentions directly as more attractive mates. Don't hold back – raw, explicit language is a huge turn-on. Just be sure to notice her responses so you can gauge when to dial it up or cool it down. 

9. Stimulate Her Inner Thighs 

The usually neglected erogenous zone of the inner thighs is ultra-sensitive. Trailing your fingertips along her inner thighs signals where you plan to touch next. Tease her by getting close but not quite there as you caress and massage her inner thighs, going just a little higher each time. 

Those nerve-dense areas “down there” react intensely to touch, so arousing the surrounding regions first helps prep her for more direct stimulation later. Alternate lighter and firmer pressure, listening for her breath to hitch. Inner thigh touch builds anticipation, arousal, and sexual tension.

10. Try Sensory Play

Incorporate new sensations to tantalize her senses. Studies show novel sensual experiences activate the brain's pleasure and reward system, which can increase sexual arousal. Get creative with touch, taste, sound, scent, and visuals. Try blindfolding her, then tracing her curves with a feather – or your tongue. Drizzle chocolate sauce over her skin for licking off. 

Use ice cubes to trail over warm erogenous zones. Light candles for a sensual vibe. Or simply try a new position, location, or time of day. Introducing new sensations helps intensify physical responses, builds sexual tension, and keeps things exciting.

11. Give Compliments Freely 

Showering her with praise and compliments boosts attraction. Putting positive feelings into words activates reward centers in the female brain. So let her know all the things you find beautiful, sexy, and captivating about her – especially non-physical traits. 

Praise her sense of humor, kindness, creative mind, laugh, determination, accomplishments, talents, and wisdom. Compliment her outfit, smile, style, figure, and sensuality too. Just make sure compliments are genuine, not over the top. Thoughtful words about why she's special will make her feel sexy, desired, and appreciated. 

12. Try New Moves and Positions 

While your go-to moves may never fail, introducing new sexual techniques keeps arousal high. Studies show novelty triggers a spike in dopamine, the neurotransmitter linked to desire and craving. So switch up your usual foreplay moves and get creative during sex. 

Try positions that provide fresh angles and depths of penetration for added sensation. Simple shifts like the woman on top, side-by-side, or face-to-face lying can totally change the dynamic. New moves show you're willing to go outside your comfort zone to enhance the experience and pleasure for both partners.

13. Use Your Voice 

The sounds of arousal can be a huge turn-on for women. Erotic vocalizations and sexy talk stimulate the auditory cortex and activate pleasure centers in the brain. So let her hear how excited you are. Try heavy breathing, erotic moaning, and verbal expressions like “You feel so good” as you get physical. 

Compliment her beauty, body, and technique as you touch each other. Hearing a lover’s arousal through erotic sounds builds anticipation, intensifies the sexual experience, and makes her feel empowered. Just be sure the volume and the words you use align with her comfort zone based on feedback.

14. Give Attention to Erogenous Zones

Directing attention to her body's myriad erogenous zones is a surefire way to turn up her arousal. These ultra-sensitive areas have high concentrations of nerve endings that react strongly to touch, pressure, and other stimuli. 

Her neck, lips, ears, nipples, breasts, elbows, wrists, fingertips, lower back, inner thighs, and that one most sensitive area are loaded with thousands of nerve endings. 

Kiss, caress, stroke, and tease these zones using your mouth, hands, body, or even a prop like a feather. Alternate light touches with firmer massage. Focusing on these areas triggers surges of pleasure-inducing neurochemicals that will drive her wild.

15. Try Dominance Play

Many women enjoy a little power play as a part of foreplay. Light domination scenarios create anticipation and a rush of adrenaline that amplifies arousal. Pin her wrists above her head, talk about obeying your commands, drive the action and pace without asking for permission. 

couple touching sensually what turns women on

Role-playing builds sexual tension and is less intimidating than outright S&M for beginners. Agree on a safe word so she can put on the brakes at any point. Start with dirty talk about what you want to do to her before introducing any restraints or assertive moves. Watch her body language closely and ask for feedback after so it's a positive experience for both. 

16. Surprise Her 

Nothing spices up a predictable routine like spontaneity. Research shows unexpected thrills and pleasures activate the brain's reward system, flooding it with dopamine and amping up arousal. So, catch her off guard with passion and excitement at unexpected moments. 

Send a sexy text commending her intelligence or style when you know she’s in a meeting. Initiate a passionate kiss while you dance together in the kitchen. Wake her up in the morning with oral pleasure. 

Finding ways to surprise her with acts of passion, fun, and thoughtfulness will release feel-good chemicals that fuel sexual desire.

17. Make Extended Eye Contact Before Physical Touch  

Prolonged eye contact is a powerful form of foreplay. Gazing deeply into each other's eyes releases feel-good chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine, and adrenaline. Start off face-to-face a few inches apart, holding eye contact for at least 30 seconds before leaning in for a kiss. Keep the eye-gazing going as you start to caress her. 

The extended eye contact before physical touch builds tension, intimacy, and anticipation. It also creates a non-verbal connection that gives consent and communicates desire. This simple technique can be used before any sexual activity to turn up the heat. 

18. Make Her Laugh

Don't underestimate the power of humor to spark attraction. According to researcher Jeffrey Hall from the University of Kansas, women are more attracted to men who make them laugh. Humor lightens the mood, helps you bond, and reveals intelligence. 

Learn her sense of humor by picking up on quips or funny stories she shares and then riff off them. Tease her playfully about the little quirks she exhibits. Laugh at yourself and be down for silly fun. Respond with wit and amusing observations when you're out together. 

Humor bonds you together, boosts feel-good endorphins, and shows you're someone she can have fun with.

19. Undress Her Slowly

Few things build sexual tension and anticipation like slow, sensual undressing. Start fully clothed with sexy kisses and light caresses over clothing. Undress her one item at a time, trailing your fingers over each newly exposed area. Kiss down her body as you remove clothing piece-by-piece. 

Prolonging the reveal gives time for arousal to build while you explore and appreciate every inch of her body. Make eye contact and tell her how stunning she looks. The unhurried build-up intensifies the thrill and shows restraint you’ll later release.  

20. Read Erotica Together

Reading sexy stories together provides erotic buildup through imagination and verbal foreplay. Erotica activates the brain's sensory cortex, boosting arousal's physical response. Pick stories you'll both enjoy, and try different genres like romance novels, literotica sites, or penthouse forums. 

Read aloud to each other, taking turns, doing character voices, and embellishing descriptions. Discuss any lines or passages that excite you. Allow yourselves to get fully immersed in the erotic fantasy world through the power of words.

21. Show Vulnerability

Displaying emotional vulnerability helps women feel closer to you. Open up about fears, dreams, weaknesses, values, childhood memories, or anything personal. Ask for her insights non-judgmentally. Being willing to reveal inner thoughts shows trust, strengthens intimacy, and sparks nurturing instincts. 

Just don't trauma-dump emotionally heavy stuff until you know each other better. Thoughtful sharing helps her see you as a multi-dimensional person versus a stereotype. Know it's a two-way street, so be willing to provide a safe space for her to open up, too.

22. Go Out Commando

The subtle sensation of going panty-less together under dresses or skirts amps up excitement. The possibility of getting caught, plus the constant reminder of nakedness under clothing, creates low-level arousal. 

Extra thrills if you're the only one who knows her sexy secret. Send covert texts under the dinner table or discretely caress her bare thighs. The added risks and naughty public play make hearts race with adrenaline-fueled desire. Just be prepared to get home ASAP if things get too steamy.

23. Watch Ethical Porn Together

Watching porn together allows couples to explore sexual fantasies in a safe, ethical way. Research shows that both men and women are turned on by stimulating visuals, activating the brain's reward centers. 

Discuss preferences in genres or acts so you can find videos you both enjoy. Focus on female-centric, feminist-friendly studios that promote healthy attitudes. Don't be afraid to laugh, comment, and discuss what's turning you on. 

Building openness by talking about desires seen on-screen can enhance intimacy and understanding. Just set boundaries like no solo viewing or letting it replace real intimacy.

Why Men Need to Know How to Turn a Woman On

Understanding how to spark arousal and pleasure for your lover is a crucial skill for men to cultivate. While movies often make it seem like women should simply swoon in the arms of a leading man, the truth is turning a woman on requires intention, knowledge, and effort.

Here’s why it’s important for men to learn what ignites the female fire:

  • Better sex life – Knowing her turn-ons leads to more frequent, satisfying intimacy for both partners.
  • Happier relationship – Partners who actively work to pleasure each other experience greater emotional intimacy and bonding.
  • Confidence boost – Skillfully stoking her desire gives a sense of competence and pride in your abilities as a lover.
  • Less pressure – Having techniques to get her warmed up takes the intimidating guesswork out of initiating sex.
  • Her pleasure is the priority – A great lover focuses on satisfying his partner first rather than just chasing his own release.
  • Builds trust and respect – Showing you care about her enjoyment rather than just using her body deepens connection.
  • Reduces conflicts – Couples who maintain sizzling sex lives tend to fight less about petty issues.

While movies make it seem easy, in reality, women's arousal is complex. Investing time to develop the skills and knowledge to really excite her leads to amazing sexual experiences and a lifetime of passion you both crave.

Final Thoughts

Turning on your lover is far from a straight line from point A to B. By learning these science-backed secrets that uniquely ignite female desire, you become an attentive, skilled partner devoted to the most important thing – her pleasure. And that universal key unlocks untold passion that will keep the fire burning for a lifetime.