7 Hacks To Get Turned On

by Rachel Krantz

It's tricky for me to suggest that you hack your own sexuality. I'm super weary of any advice that tries to "teach" women how to get turned on quickly, because the implication is generally that they should learn how to do so in order to be able to have sex with men at the drop of a hat. Female sexuality is a complicated beast, and it certainly does not respond to being rushed — nor should it.

That said, as someone on libido-dampening anti-depressants who's also in a relationship with someone with a high sex drive, I recognize that sometimes you want to want to have sex, but just don't find yourself in the mood.

Since I don't tend to respond to mainstream porn, I've devised some other tricks over the years to get myself going (many of which, by the way, are just as applicable to getting yourself in the mood for solo play), which I hope you might find helpful.

Once again, I'd like to reiterate that you should never have sex if you don't want to, or feel you "have" to make yourself get in the mood. If someone is making you feel that way on a regular basis, then be careful, because that is a potential sign of an emotionally abusive relationship. But if you're just looking for some tricks to feed your desire for your own enjoyment, then you've come to the right article.

Here are seven hacks to get yourself in the mood.

1. Suggest A Massage (Or Give One To Yourself)

This works on me pretty much every time. The next time you can tell your partner wants to have sex, but you're just not feeling it, suggest a massage and get naked. Be sure to use lotion or massage oil (extra points for candles), and enjoy the feeling of their hands on your body. You can play "anything but," where they are free to touch any part of you besides your clit, or whatever else would tease you most.

Either way, if your partner is being giving — and you're not pressuring yourself to get in the mood, or thinking you "owe" them anything as a result of the massage — you will probably get horny.

If you're on your own, you can also massage yourself! Start by rubbing a nice-smelling oil onto your legs, and then rub your own feet, slowly working your way up your body. You might be surprised by how well you can seduce yourself.

Babeland Massage Oil, $14, Babeland

Jimmyjane Afterglow Massage Candle, $29, Babeland

2. Create A Constraint

You could add a literal constraint to your foreplay, of course, like being tied up or using a blindfold. But you can also use an invisible constraint. For example, if your partner propositions you for sex but you're not in the mood yet, you could suggest they only be allowed to kiss your breasts for five minutes, or that they can kiss you anywhere besides your mouth and pussy. If you like being dominated, you can say that you'll follow any directions they give for how they'd like to see you touch yourself for 10 minutes, and see if that does it for you.

Once again, what's important here is that you suggest these games with a spirit of openness, rather than implied obligation — the deal could be that if you're still not into it after a certain amount of time, they can masturbate while you watch, or try again later. And just because you suggest the game doesn't mean that you should feel pressure to have sex as a result. (Remember that pressure tends to squash desire, and what you're trying to do is increase yours.)

You can also create a constraint for solo play, like laying in bed and only allowing yourself to touch your breasts, or only using your vibrator on its lowest setting, and seeing how riled up that gets you.

Bondage Starter Kit, $85, Babeland

Red Room Blindfold, $60, Babeland

3. Take A Bath

This one almost always works for me. Being warm and naked (once again, bonus points for candles) is a sensual way to get yourself feeling yourself. If you're alone, think of it as a form of self-care seduction, and wrap yourself in a fuzzy bathrobe afterwards before getting into bed with your favorite vibrator.

If you have a partner, you can leave the door open or closed and make a sexy game out of it. Tell them they're not allowed to come in, and have to wait until you're ready to get out. Or tell them they're allowed to come in and look at you — but not touch.

Jimmyjane Iconic Vibrator, $125, Babeland

4. Watch Your Partner Masturbate

If your partner is super horny and you're just not feeling it, suggest they masturbate while you watch. It will take the pressure off of you, and you might be surprised by how quickly it gets you in the mood. Men get the reputation for being the more visual animals, but women also get off on seeing naked bodies and sexual acts.

And while there's plenty of negative bullshit out there about female masturbation, we're also trained to think that male masturbation is somehow "less beautiful" — that it's a gross habit men should hide. This is not so. If you have a male partner you're attracted to, not only is it hot to watch them, but you also might learn a thing or two about how they like to be touched. If you feel you want to be more involved, strip down and give them something great to look at, or put some lube on your hand and touch them if you feel yourself getting worked up as well.

Hathor Aphrodisia Lube, $20, Babeland

5. Spend The Evening Naked

The first thing most of us do when we get home is take off our bra and pants — so why not do away with all the clothes? If you feel self-conscious about your body, this also doubles as a great exercise to increase your own body positivity.

You could read naked, eat dinner naked, online shop naked — whatever. The point is, by being naked, you're just going to find yourself in the mood more often. If you're worried about it driving your partner too crazy, once again, turn it into a game. Say something like "I'm trying this experiment I read about tonight. I'm going to be naked and see if just doing ordinary things like that all night ends up getting me in the mood. You can cuddle me how you normally would, but you can't try to initiate sex until I say I'm feeling genuinely horny."

6. Watch A Hot, Romantic Movie

For those of us who don't tend to love porn, know that there are other options. There are sites like Make Love Not Porn that depict real sex between real couples. And, of course, there's Netflix. While there's nothing hardcore on Netflix, there are plenty of hot, romantic movies — check out this list.

Climb into bed with your favorite vibe or lube, pick out a movie, and only start masturbating when you start feeling horny. Movies don't have to be pornographic to arouse us — sometimes, just watching an actor you think is cute can take your fantasies to the next level. You can make it into a marathon sesh and take all the breaks you want. And if you have a partner, you can view it as some much-needed self-time, or invite them to watch you (and the movie, if they manage to concentrate).

Boss Lady, $69, Babeland

Sliquid Oceanics, $15, Babeland

7. Create An Ambiance And Flirt From Afar

If you live with your partner, or have been with them for a while, you might sometimes forget how it once felt to view them from afar. When I start feeling this way — or just feel like I need some quality time and attention— I make the lighting in our apartment romantic, turn on some Marvin Gaye or D'Angelo, maybe have a glass of wine or smoke a joint with my partner, and then we just talk. I'm always amazed by how much we have to catch up on, even though we live together.

When we start feeling even a little bit disconnected emotionally, desire is often the first thing that drops in response. If you find you're often not in the mood, chances are you guys have some stuff you've been putting off talking about. If you hash it out — even if it leads to a fight at first — desire will likely return.

Assuming there are no serious matters to be discussed, flirting and taking in your partner from afar is a great way to increase desire. You can enjoy sitting a little bit apart from your partner, and try looking at them as if they were a stranger or someone you just met.

If you really want to play a sexy game, you can even try to pretend it's your first time at their apartment, or your first date, and talk until one of you is brave enough to make the first move. Don't blame me if you end up falling in love all over again.

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Images: Parkwood, Columbia Records; Giphy