Have you ever wondered what really gets people in the mood and what are the top turn-ons? Or if the sight of you doing the housework sets your partner wild? Well, wonder no more.
According to a recent YouGov survey, just over a quarter (27%) of Brits are having sex each week. But could that number change if we knew what really gets us in the mood?
To help, MattressNextDay has scoured the Ask Reddit community, boasting 36.1 million members, to reveal just what turns us on.
Then to help ignite the spark in all bedrooms, they’ve also enlisted a relationship and sexpert to share her top tips.
Stretching and tying your hair up is the number one turn-on
You might think cooking a romantic meal or booking a hotel is one of the most common ‘turn-ons’ for people, but that’s not the case.
According to a subthread posted in a Reddit thread with 36.1 million members, watching their partner stretch and then tie their hair up is what really gets most people in the mood, with over 3,900 people upvoting (agreeing) with the Redditor who first commented this.
Martin Seeley, the CEO at MattressNextDay said:
Whilst this may seem like a surprising number one turn-on, stretching is known to improve your sex life. Firstly, it signals to your partner that you’re making yourself more flexible which naturally, suggests that you will be able to utilise more body positions should you have sex straight after stretching. It also makes you feel more energetic due to increasing the circulation of blood and oxygen to your muscles, therefore, giving you more stamina. And, of course, when you complete a stretch, your body releases endorphins.
However, that’s not the only turn-on that MattressNextDay uncovered…
The biggest turn-on a man can do is roll up his sleeves
Redditors also agreed with the statement that a well-dressed man is enough to get them in the mood. Specifically, 2,250 people upvoted comments describing men ‘rolling up their sleeves’ as one of the top turn-ons.
Martin Seeley said, “When analysing the Reddit threads, most of the people who upvoted this is because it suggested that they’re getting ready to do ‘something practical’. Many commenters also agreed that their favourite body part on a man is their forearm so naturally showing them off turns them on.”
A further 405 also upvoted the comment that described their partner reversing with their arm across the back of the passenger seat as one of the top 10 turn-ons.
Watching your partner do the chores is the third most popular turn-on
It might not be cooking a romantic dinner, but 2,200 people agreed (upvoted) that doing chores around the house is enough to make the list of turn-ons. This included them doing the dishes and ‘any physical labour in the house’. So, it might be time to reach for those marigolds…
Likewise, another one of the top turn-ons is watching your partner do something they are passionate about, likely because doing something you have passion for can give a greater sense of overall happiness and satisfaction. And your partner will notice that.
It turns out, however, that there is a common theme when looking at the comments. 177 people combined also agreed that ‘taking the kids to school’ and ‘cooking’ is enough to get them in the mood.
Alongside the above, there were also some surprises on the list…
Over 500 people agreed that ‘spontaneously ordering a pizza’ is enough to get them in the mood
Food has long been thought of as an aphrodisiac, with Brits even voting steak as the most likely food to get in the mood.
So, it’s not surprising that 522 people upvoted a comment that said ‘spontaneously ordering a pizza in’ gets them in the mood. What’s perhaps more surprising is that only 33 upvoted a comment that their partner cooking is a turn-on.
Food can boost your mood, making you feel better and, therefore, improve your libido. So, with that in mind, next time you are getting intimate, don’t forget to order a pizza.
But, if that is what gets us in the mood, what is it that we are talking about in bed together?
After analysing what gets us in the mood, you might not be surprised that a lot of couples discuss food in bed.
In fact, 8,400 upvoted a comment that said they ask their partner ‘you want to order a pizza?’ after getting intimate. So, it seems that pizza is a common topic in bed.
Cuddling may not be a turn-on but it has many health and relationship benefits
While it wasn’t one of the most common turn-ons for Redditors, coming 44th in the list, cuddling actually has health benefits.
Martin Seeley, CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay said, “Whilst cuddling as a couple may not be a turn-on for many, making it part of your day is incredibly important for its health and romantic benefits. Not only does it release serotonin (otherwise known as the ‘happy hormone’) into your body, making it easier for you to fall asleep, but it lowers your blood pressure, resulting in better quality sleep.
“From a relationship perspective, it also sends a signal to your brain that you feel safe and secure with your partner. In one 2019 study, 80 couples were randomly assigned to one of three groups, a cuddling group where the couple cuddled more often, a group where the couple spent more time together, and a control group where nothing changed. After 4 weeks, the cuddling group showed the greatest increase in relationship satisfaction and quality of life.”
“To reap these benefits, you should make sure that you cuddle before you sleep, not during, as you’re likely to wake up due to being hot and bothered. You should also try to cuddle whilst naked as skin-to-skin contact produces oxytocin, otherwise known as the ‘love hormone’ that helps you bond with your partner. Plus, many studies have shown that sleeping naked helps you fall asleep faster.”
For even more information, we’ve also pulled together tips on how cuddling can improve your sleep.
Sexpert shares eight top tips to inject intimacy into your bedroom
To further encourage Brits to spend more time getting intimate with their partner, Pippa Murphy, the sex and relationship expert at condoms.uk has shared her top tips to improve your sexual spark.
1. Focus on smaller acts of touch
There’s a reason that being lightly touched on the back of your neck made it into the top 10 turn-ons. This is because being physically touched releases oxytocin in your body, which is otherwise known as the ‘bonding hormone’, which is essential for any relationship.
However, if you’re going through a dry spell with your partner, it may feel like initiating sex is an impossible task. Touching a person's neck makes it easier, along with smaller acts of touch – such as holding hands, kissing or giving a massage.
2. Tease for as long as possible to build tension during intimacy
Your brain is wired to experience more pleasure when the anticipation of a reward goes on for a long period, making foreplay key to sex. If you feel that your partner rushes it, take control of the situation and ask them to slow down.
Tell them to relax and spend some time touching them. If they try to touch you, slap their hand away and tell them that you’re in charge for the time being. That way, you can take things at your own pace.
3. Ask your partner what they find sexy about you
You may think that you know what your partner finds most sexy about you, however, you could be wrong. Over time, our turn-ons can change as we begin to love the ‘imperfect’ parts of our partner.
With this in mind, simply ask your partner what they find sexy about you and do the same for them. Not only will this give you both a confidence boost, but it could also lead to better intimacy as you accentuate or focus on these things in bed. After all, the more confident you feel, the better sex you’re likely to have.
4. Have sex the opposite way to what you’re used to
Naturally, having sex the same way for many years is bound to get a little boring so it’s important to actively switch it up. For example, if you normally have sex at night, switch it up and have a quickie throughout the day. If you always stick to the same positions, buy a sex positions book, and fold the pages of the ones you both want to try. Or perhaps you always have sex in bed – try doing it on the dining table, in the shower, or on the sofa.
All of these small changes can really add some spice to your sex life, and bring out some fantasies you might not have known you craved.
5. Keep your phone out of the bedroom
Another way to improve your sex life is to keep your bedroom a strictly no-phone zone. If you scroll on your phone before bed, you’re not only impacting your ability to build a deep connection with your partner. But chances are you’re decreasing your ability to get horny by being greeted with a social feed of negative news, ranting and more.
Instead, keep your phone outside of the bedroom and spend the last ten minutes or so before bed getting intimate with your partner – whether that’s through sex or a conversation.
6. Make time for a life outside of your relationship
Naturally, those in long-term relationships are likely to share similar interests and friends. However, it’s equally important to have a life outside of your relationship. For example, you may have a separate hobby, friends that are not shared, or be part of a group.
Actively partaking in these activities will give you something to talk about when you are together and, therefore, make you a more interesting partner. After all, remember that first-date feeling when you knew nothing about your partner, and they seemed so mysterious? It’s important to keep this part of you alive, both for yourself and them.
7. Prioritise date days or nights every week
You should also go on a date every single week – whether it’s on the weekend or after work. You could try a newly opened cocktail bar, tick off a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, or go for a walk around a park.
Whatever you choose, make a pact to not talk about work or mundane topics from your everyday life. Instead, try to impress and excite your partner as if you were on a first date. Discuss how your week has been and what’s made you laugh.
8. Write down your fantasies and share them
Whilst watching your partner tie their hair up or take off their watch can be a turn-on, chances are you have some more creative fantasies in your head than that. Take some time to think about these scenario types of turn-ons.
If you are struggling to explain or are even nervous to share your fantasies with your partner, why not write them down first? That way, you can figure out exactly how to ask what you want, and share the notes with your partner to start the conversation. You never know - you may even end up having the same fantasy.