12 People On The Unexpected Thing That Turned Them On

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

People always talk about wanting to get more turned on for sex with their partners. But then, it's often completely random things that actually end up turning us on. Similar to the way orgasms show up when you're least expecting them but not when you're pursuing them, it's one of those great ironies of sex.

"Fantasies play an important role in our lives, as they offer a form of escapism from the everyday," Astroglide's Resident Sexologist Dr. Jess O'Reilly tells Bustle. "Fantasies may offer a glimpse into the thematic elements of your real-life desires, but it’s important to note that sexual fantasies often include acts, people, and scenarios that we’d never want to pursue in real life."

In other words, there's no need to judge or even try to make sense of what turns you on — or to act on that arousal. Our turn-ons are often completely random and absurd. We can bring them up with our partners, stash them away to fantasize about during future masturbation sessions, or just forget about altogether. And what arouses us at one point in time might not arouse us at another.

In case you were wondering if the things that have turned you on were "normal", I asked 12 people to tell me the unexpected things that have turned them on. Here's what they said.

1. Emily, 31

"That part of superhero movies when the hero's getting beat up by the bad guy, before the protagonist rises up and wins. I'm into submission and BDSM, and I think seeing the hero being forced to submit brings up those feelings."

2. Adele, 38

"ASMR. Listening to someone slicing up a bar of soap turned me on. God knows what that says about me."

3. Andra, 30

"Elvish whispered into my ear right after sex. I know."

4. Anya, 28

"My BF telling me his favorite moment from a ballet."

5. Beth, 32

"One guy’s giant vocabulary turned me on."

6. Bloom, 32

"Recessed lighting."

7. Meg, 36

"The CPR posters at Subway."

8. Nicole, 24

"Much older men (50-70 years old)."

9. Hank, 21

"Cartoon porn."

10. Mark, 35

"The least expected thing that turned me on was watching a girl put her bra on after spending the night at her place. The pre-bra toplessness didn't do it, but the act of putting a bra on did. I still don't get it."

11. Ellie, 32

"Once asked to lick a guy's eyeball, his ACTUAL eyeball. He said 'yes' but was pretty weirded out, and it was amazing."

12. Bart, 28


If you were feeling weird about anything that's turned you on, hopefully, these people's stories have quelled all concerns. When it comes to our own sexual arousal, there are no rules, and there is no normal.