Sex

Here’s What 2,000 People Are Fantasizing About

From new sex positions to video chat sex.

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What are the biggest sexual turn ons? It's a big and, sometimes confusing question. Because sex is so subjective, different people fantasize about different things. And if you’ve never had the time or space to really explore your body and sexuality, you may not even know all turns on you have.

As sex educator Cassandra Corrado explains, most people don’t inherently know what feels good sexually. Like finding the perfect face serum for your complexion, learning what turns you on takes time and practice.

“Your best friend or partner may absolutely love something that you find pretty ‘meh’ or downright annoying,” Corrado tells Bustle. “Everyone's desires and preferences are different, so explore for the sake of knowing yourself better.”

When discovering what gets you hot and bothered, Astroglide's resident sexologist Dr. Jess O'Reilly encourages the use of fantasy. "Fantasies may offer a glimpse into the thematic elements of your real-life desires,” Dr. O’Reilly tells Bustle. “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."

Dr. O’Reilly says that fantasies offer a form of escapism from the stress of daily life. Because fantasies are make-believe, they can be a low-stake way to discover what feels sexy to you. When touching yourself or getting it on with a partner, you can mentally be on an island in the tropics or a groupie at a Chainsmokers concert.

If you’re looking for some sexy inspiration or just want to know what other people find hot, sex toy retailer MysteryVibe surveyed 2,000 Americans in 2021 about spicing up their sex lives and pinpointing their post-pandemic turn-ons. Here's what the survey found.

1

Trying New Sex Positions

If you and your partner have been dating for a while, you may have your go-to moves for hitting all your sweet spots. While comfort and consistency are important for great sex, 44% of respondents reported fantasizing about trying new sex positions with their partners.

"All couples struggle to keep their sex lives interesting and passionate," Jonathan Bennett, dating and relationships expert at Double Trust Dating, previously told Bustle. "If you’re going through a dry spell, as long as it’s not a trend, realize that you’re normal!"

Bennett attests, falling into a sex routine (or rut) with your partner is completely common — especially after a year of quarantine. So if you’re looking to turn up the heat between the sheets, trying some new sex positions like adding a vibrator to doggy or doing it on a chair may have you both majorly turned on.

2

Adding A Sex Toy

You probably already know your favorite way to play with your holy grail vibe. But as the saying goes, sharing is caring. If you’ve ever fantasized about using a sex toy with your partner, you’re certainly not the only one. According to the survey, 46% of respondents want to add toys to partnered sex.

For Stacy Rybchin, sex toy expert and founder of My Secret Luxury, bringing a toy between the sheets can help you and your partner feel more connected and get more in the moment. If you get in your head about taking a while to finish, or if you have trouble finishing with a partner, adding your favorite vibrator may help you relax (and come!)

"Sex toys are the key to helping you and your partner express yourself sexually," Rybchin previously told Bustle. "So allow yourself to explore what feels good and experiment with new types of sensation."

3

Talking More Openly About Sex

Even within a loving partnership, talking about sex can be... awkward. Yet, 57% of respondents reported being turned on by the prospect of talking about sex more openly with their partners and making their relationships a more encouraging place to try new things and discuss different sexual turn ons.

“You will have much better sex if you actually know what a partner wants, doesn't want and isn't sure about,” Dr. Laura Deitsch, Vibrant's resident sexologist, previously told Bustle. "Sharing fantasies and desires is the best way to keep the spark alive.

If you’re feeling shy or sheepish when talking about sex, Dr. Deitsch suggests bringing up sex in a curious way like, “So I saw this thing in a movie...” or “I was just reading this article...” Another way to casually talk about sex is to make a “Yes, No, Maybe” list or discuss things you like, don’t like, and want to try.

4

Role Playing

As Dr. O’Reilly describes, embracing fantasy can be an instant turn-on in the bedroom. Whether you and your partner pull out costumes and props to create an entire scene together or just switch off with some dominance play, role-playing, and orgasm control were ranked highest among things respondents want to try with their partners. If you’re feeling overwhelmed thinking of the perfect first role-play, Vanessa Marin, licensed sex psychotherapist, says not to overthink it.

“Start with something simple and easy,” Martin previously wrote on Bustle. “There’s no need to get overly complex your first time!”

When thinking of basic scenes, Martin suggests thinking of mellow and classic role-plays like, repair/delivery person and homeowner, teacher and student, or model and photographer. Or you can nix the roles and just experiment with dominance play — bring your partner close to climax and make them beg to finish or take turns picking out the next positions.

5

Experimenting With BDSM

In addition to role-playing, a majority of respondents reported being turned on by fantasizing about getting kinky with their partner. While you may want to start stocking up on floggers and nipple clamps, Dana Myers, sex expert, says you can get into BDSM with items around your house.

“To begin, you might simply try being blindfolded and let your partner tickle you with a feather, or lightly stroke your skin,” Myers previously told Bustle. “If that turns you on, move towards slightly racier bondage play, like binding wrists with a tie or exploring the sensation of playful spanking.”

From scarves to spatulas, there are plenty of kink-ready props in your apartment already. If you’re ready to buy some kinky treats, Myers suggests looking into massage candles that have a lower burn temperature and can be dripped onto the skin.

6

Phone/Video Chat Sex

Thanks to a year and a half of all-staff Zoom meetings, you’re a pro at video chatting. That might be why cyber sex, including phone sex or sex over video chat, ranked as one of the highest turn-ons of 2021. Carol Queen, Ph.D., author and staff sexologist for Good Vibrations says this is because cyber sex allows for intimacy in a different way than IRL sex.

“It's an extremely versatile kind of erotic play because it can involve this kind of power play-and-kink aspect, or just be a way to riff on fantasies or good times you've had when you were in the same bed,” Dr. Queen previously told Bustle.

Though you may connect phone sex with long-distance relationships, Queen shares that getting frisky through a screen can be an exciting way to connect with partners that you live with or live near. With the buffer of the phone, you may feel more comfortable asking for something or bringing up something you want to try. Additionally, sexting during the day can be great foreplay.

7

Group Sex

While you may get your social fill from parties and indoor dining, 27% of respondents reported being turned on by the idea of multiple-partner or group sex. If you’re thinking about how to bring up adding a partner (or partners) to your sex life, Tatyana Dyachenko, B.Sc., a relationship expert and sex therapist with Peaches and Screams, suggests being as transparent as possible. While you may want to think of the perfect way to ask, Dyachenko shares honesty is the best policy.

“You both need to be very clear on the rules to avoid upsetting each other,” Dyachenko previously told Bustle.

Like anything in sex, try talking to your partner about threesomes in a calm and low-stake environment. Let them know they can have time to think about it and get back to you and that there’s absolutely no pressure to do something they’re not into.

From sexy texting to switching off with power play, it seems like a year in quarantine inspired all sorts of new turn-ons.

Experts:

Cassandra Corrado, sex educator

Dr. Jess O'Reilly, Astroglide's resident sexologist

Jonathan Bennett, dating and relationships expert at Double Trust Dating

Stacy Rybchin, sex toy expert and founder of My Secret Luxury

Dr. Laura Deitsch, Vibrant's resident sexologist

Vanessa Marin, licensed sex psychotherapist

Dana Myers, sex expert

Carol Queen, Ph.D., author and staff sexologist for Good Vibrations

Tatyana Dyachenko, B.Sc., a relationship expert and sex therapist with Peaches and Screams