How to find out what turns you on, when you have no clue where to start…

Do you really know what turns you on?

If you do know, you’re one step ahead of me.

I felt totally vanilla, totally idiotic, totally numb on this part.

Because, if you’d have asked me to describe my fantasy or what turns me on to you a few months ago, you’d have got nada.



Honestly, this is how I felt:


I had no idea!

And one of the hardest parts of my journey was finding out (remembering?) what turns me on. Do you feel that too?

When you feel completely dead inside, bereft of any kind of sexual energy, even contemplating something sexual or trying to imagine being turned on was impossible. I couldn’t remember me ever enjoying sex, and wondered how on earth anyone ever associated sex with pleasure.

Although I’m still finding out what works for me sexually (and it’s the fucking best thing I’ve ever done for myself!), I wanted to share some useful tools and ideas that I used to help me work out what I want in bed.

Because it’s as simple as, if you don’t know what turns you on, how can you tell your partner?

And if they don’t know, they’re never going to be able to make you crave sex because it unlikely to be exactly what you want.

(Yes, really!).

I knew I had to really start from basics at this point.

So, below is my sexual exploration journey. I hope it’s helpful to you too.

How to find out what turns you on.

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So, let’s begin with a basic principle.


Sexual desire is a subjective feeling, triggered by both internal and external things.

There are lots of random fetishes out there- people are turned on by trees, light bulbs, the smell of almonds…. Its every woman for herself when it comes to what does get you going!

But, there are some things that we all have in common.

So to begin with, for all of us to feel desire there is normally some kind of “erotic stimuli”….. or in laymans terms, something that gets our juices flowing.

Different things that could stimulate us are:

  • Fantasy/thought/memory (of someone attractive, a steamy sex session, a specific body part that you like, an object that you like the thought of)
  • Pictures/image/video (this could be pornography, or maybe a sext from the boyf, or maybe an erotic novel!)
  • Smell (maybe aftershave, suntan lotion, the smell of your BO- yes, my boyfriend is completely animalistic in the way he loves my sweaty pits!)
  • Taste (chocolate, cum, strawberries, lube, strawberry lube- take your pic!)
  • Music (I quite like a bit of Ella Fitzgerald, but each to her own)
  • Physical stimulation/touch (again, the hand on the lower back, it’s a winner every time!)
  • A flurry of hormones

Where to begin?

It can feel a bit overwhelming to try and pin point what does turn you on.

The best place to begin is to make a list, and begin with the last time you can remember (if you can) when you felt aroused by something.

Was it a smell? A taste? A photo? A scene in porn?

List everything you can remember- this is the beginning. Keep this document and add to it when you find something new or remember something else. Think of this as your sexual anchor, it’ll keep you grounded if you ever lose yourself again.

(I probably had one thing on my list, at at push! So really don’t worry if you don’t know. Rome wasn’t built in a day!)


The next place I’d recommend you check out is learning about what your erotic blueprint is.

You can read my blog post on this here– trust me, it’s a huge eye opener!

It helped me find a new language to talk about what I wanted in the bedroom, and understand how to articulate my desires for how my boyfriend approaches me to initiate. Riveting reading!


Next, another blog post on “what turns you on?” in which I’d recommend that you complete the tracker.

Although it’s a ball ache to fill it in and it’s an ongoing task to accompany what you learn here, it’ll really help illuminate whats going on for you in your sex life. I found it really helped me realise some of the areas where we were going wrong. I hope it does the same for you.

Next, there’s this fab quiz by The Intimacy Coach called “What turns you on: the erotica test“.

I’d also advise the downloadable resource created by the wonderful Irene Fehr available here that you can fill in as you work out more of what you like and what feels good.

The GOOD SEX also has a ton of resources on  working out what you want- in life, love and in bed. Check out Alison’s site for more information and resources to help.

A great article from Relate here too on “how to discover what actually turns you on”.

Working this out is a lifelong but also really exciting process.

Your likes and dislikes will change across your lifetime, between partners, with partners, and in response to what’s going on in your life.

It’s a GREAT journey to go on and I hope you enjoy the process as much as the end goal, because this is what makes you YOU.

So, hopefully that’s a start and you’ve jotted down some ideas about what turns you on so far.




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