What Are Your Random Turn-Ons?

What Are Your Random Turn-Ons?

In the wide world of human attraction, there are expected turn-ons (a good sense of humor, a kind heart). And unexpected ones….

When I was 10, I (like many hot-blooded tweens at that time) was in love with Jonathan Taylor Thomas from the sitcom “Home Improvement.” The Lion King was at the height of its popularity, and I sometimes carried a stuffed Simba, who was voiced by my crush. When you squeezed its paw, JTT’s voice crooned, “We’ll always be together.” I played it 12 million times. That stuffed lion was, perhaps, my first experience with a random thing that gave me butterflies.

In the years since, I have often been surprised by the things that catch my eye. A tattered paperback on the subway, a perfectly starched shirt, blue veins running through hands and forearms.

Curious, I took a poll of the men and women in our shared workspace, and here are some other random turn-ons…

– Foreign language skills. Like when Bradley Cooper revealed that he speaks fluent French.

– A half smile. “Like she has a little secret.”

– Loafers with no socks. “Seeing the ankle is key.”

— Windbreakers, fleeces. “Especially when paired with cold cheeks.”

– Carrying a pocket knife. “If I needed my old-school Coke bottle to be opened on the street, he could just do it. Or if I needed a fire to be started, he might have flint.”

– Scars. “Think: the eyebrow scar on that guy from 90210.”

– Overhearing your partner sounding authoritative and intense on a work phone call. “It’s like a secret side you didn’t know existed.”

Last night, I turned to the new man in my life. “We were talking about random turn-ons today,” I said. “Care to share some of yours?”

“Everything I like is very specific to you,” he said, because he is smart.

“Like what?” I asked.

“I like to watch you read,” he said, because he is special.

What are your random turn-ons? Please share them! We’d love to hear.

P.S. An awesome dating tip, and how long do you wait to sleep with someone?

(Illustration by Alessandra Olanow for Cup of Jo)

  1. Brittany says...

    A beard! I’m weirdly attracted to guys that have beards. And am instantly more attracted to guys that are a bit older…

  2. Caroline says...

    I’m on board with so many of these (forearms, YES!), but I can’t believe no one has mentioned this one which I assumed was a turn on for every girl:

    A guy in a coming-undone tuxedo. To paint a picture: cumber bun, black suspenders, but the bow tie is untied and hanging down, shirt unbuttoned a few buttons, and sleeves rolled up. Oftentimes this look is accompanied by drunken dancing and a slightly sweaty brow.

    It’ll be no secret to you then that I met my husband at a wedding when he was a groomsman :)

    Also, my husband uses complete, full sentences with proper punctuation when texting and I love it.

  3. Saira says...

    Love your observations!

    Witty/sarcasm/quick banter, loafers (yes!), knowing a few languages, global perspective (intelligently understand foreign affairs), interested in my culture in an authentic way (not you are exotic!), humour, researches interesting things to do and knows his facts, gets your food allergies (in a scientific way). Ok, maybe I am dreaming of the perfect man, but whenever I encounter these….

    Best wishes on your new relationship!

  4. a cat lover or a cat dad. glasses and that person is actually intelligent. someone who gets my jokes, and who understands my wants in life marriage ok kids no. a person who likes to have fun randomly and loves to travel. someone who helps me and who’s there when i need them most. geeky and a foodie. im just a sucker for glasses though lol but the personality that goes with them is a sealed deal. lol

  5. Kodi says...

    I watched a former boyfriend of mine do really well at Rockband…the video game…when friends busted it out at a party and oddly wanted to leave with him immediately. Not normally into gaming, but I think it being music related did me in.

  6. A guy who counts well!

  7. Katie says...

    -When they are the sweetest to their grandparents
    -No shirt and jeans
    -Eskimo kisses

  8. Sarah says...

    Omg, that photo of JTT! It still makes me heart-eye-emoji :)

    Loved reading these comments. Mine are:

    – a love of reading
    – long sleeves pushed or rolled halfway up their forearm
    – seeing them with babies and kids (cliche, I know but swooooon)
    – laugh lines
    – being tidy and well groomed, not obsessively clean or vain, but showing care and respect
    – showing kindness, particularly when they think no one is watching

  9. Gilly says...

    YEAH CAROLINE! starting relationships this time of year is the best because the cold weather mandates cuddling, strictly for survival purposes.

  10. AMEN to loafers

    I find it interested that you listed scars – I have one on my face near my upper lip from when I fainted a few years back. I was at a friend’s birthday party once and a guy friend of hers actually used it as an opener. I was pretty taken aback and shocked that he would use that to strike up a conversation with me, but he told me it was exactly for the reason you mentioned! Turns out he had an odd scar also and because of that he finds not only the stories behind them fascinating but also thinks their strangely attractive. Nothing ever came of it in the end, but it defiantly made me feel better about my scar.

  11. – Tattoos (nicelly done. Ugly tribals are way off limits!)
    – deep voices.
    – a sarcastic sense of humor.
    – guys who workout (sitting on the couch is not a sport!)
    – fitted jeans (and cute… bums!)
    – beards!
    – guys who are not affraid of looking you in the eye.
    – guys who keep low profiles and a sort of a mysterious aura around them.
    – guys who know how to dance, and are not afraid of using their dancing skills.
    – guys who get things done without needing you to boss them around.

  12. Kate says...

    – When he’s the first one on the dance floor.
    – When he asks for directions/information from strangers.
    – When he acts selflessly because it’s the right thing to do.
    – When he shows the genuine love he has for his grandma.
    – When he shares what he’s learned independently about one of my interests. It shows he pays attention in many ways.
    – The way it seems like he can explain anything in science, history, politics, or finance.
    – The fact that he can fix anything and build anything.
    – The smile and sweet things he says in the morning in a half-asleep state.
    – When he wears that shirt I like…
    – Nice shoes.

  13. Lily says...

    long fingers, scars, being able to do that one eyebrow raise thing, flannels, calling your mom every day

  14. Noelle says...

    Watching my now ex-boyfriend hail a cab was always such a turn-on, I hope it carries over to whoever I find next. I have no idea why though!

  15. I’m just excited that Caroline has a new man in her life. She deserves only the best!

  16. Super cute! Strong hands, friendly to strangers…those are two big ones for me.

  17. hanna says...

    -The scar from cleft lip surgery
    -Watching my husband teach
    -My husband drumming on the steering wheel along with a song
    -Fully tattooed arms (on both men and women)
    -Flannel shirts with rolled up sleeves (add bookish glasses on a woman or beard & tattoos on a man and I melt)
    -Jughead in the new Archie comics
    -Preferring Star Trek to Star Wars

  18. Shar says...

    Oh my goodness, JTT! An entire wall in my bedroom was plastered with JTT posters.

    Mine is when he is explaining something very complicated to me and I have no idea what any of it means… but he does because he’s so smart.

  19. Kate says...

    I blame my late 90s hippie high school but anytime I see a guy wearing Birkenstock clogs, I get a flutter. I’d agree with everyone about rolled up shirtsleeves. They’re magical (and I wonder what the equivalent is for women.)

    I was at a party at my current crush’s house on Saturday, and he was playing the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Turrell “United” album on his record player and serving his home-brewed beer on his Nitro tap. And my crush intensified from “Hmm, he seems cute” to “Well, I need to make this happen. SWOOOON.”

  20. Seeing my husband in his work role as a really respected, highly authoritative boss. Love that.

  21. Julia says...

    On men with scars- I spent my high school summers going through our local Starbucks drive through, because the hot guy working the window had a jagged scar going down one side of his face. At the end of the summer my dad said, “You worked all summer, where did all your money go??” And all I could say was, “Starbucks…”

  22. Love these comments! I hope all of us ladies go home and tell our loved ones these things. Think about how happy it would make you to hear them. :)

    My hands down favorite turn on is when we are getting ready for bed and I walk in to him brushing his teeth with no shirt on and partially unbuttoned jeans. Always gets me.
    A few more:
    -well fitting jeans
    -an unexpected compliment he makes about you when you are with a group of people
    -the look he gives you when you come out of a room dressed up. He will always tell me I am beautiful, but the look in his eyes is what really counts. :)

  23. veins running through the hand and forearm…wow you too?? i’ve never met anyone else who’s felt the same way!

  24. Amanda Phillips says...

    I love the “overhearing someone on the phone” thing! It feels strangely intimate to hear one side of it and my brain goes all fuzzy. Some evolutionary corner gets excited that my mate can function in the tribe; it feels so silly yet I am always encouraging my boyfriend to take calls when I am around!

  25. Carly says...

    I love reading all these comments! Definitely agree with the parallel parking concentration, especially when they turn around and put one arm over the passenger’s seat, but also driving with one arm.
    Hoodies. Every time my bf puts on his high school lifeguard hoodie from 10 years ago, it turns me on, but I don’t discriminate. Any hoodie will do the trick.
    You know when you’re at a bar and you see guys hold the bent straw off to the side of their cocktail glass. Yeah that…

  26. Really love your style of writing, Caroline! And what a great post :) I’m a nerd when it comes to random facts, so hearing someone point out a fun fact always makes me smile and take notice.

  27. “read it to me” either online or if i’m commenting on a book/paragraph, are the sexiest of words spoken to me ;-)

    • Sarah says...


  28. In the past, I have had a weird thing for intentionally bald heads. I can’t really explain it.

    in other news, Caroline has a special guy… yay!

  29. A voice that is deeper. Also, the ability to chop wood. Apparently growing up in the mountains left me with a slight lumberjack complex. It is an odd think to think about but I met a lot of guys in city that were so urban that it was hard to imagine them adapting to a more rural situation and that was incredibly disconcerting to me. I like a guy who is a little bit city and a little bit woodsy.

    To this day one of my favorite shirts my husband wears is a black , long sleeve waffle tee, and a button up plaid flannel shirt. I love my husbands voice and the way he laughs. He on the other hand, loves it when I wear a black dress and when I have my hair over one shoulder.

  30. Simone says...

    I love big strong hands
    Seeing the underline of a singlet underneath a business shirt, or even better a tattoo on a suited man!
    I’m a bit older now, but if I was younger I’d have a thing for a hipster and his beard!

    My husband has the best legs! He cooks up a storm, secretly loves babies and makes me and others laugh… He also has the above listed turn on’s ??

  31. cece says...

    Being in the car with my husband when he performs a particularly tricky bit of reverse parallel parking – all calm manly concentration. I practically climb into his lap as soon as the engine’s turned off.

  32. june2 says...

    Sophisticated AND friendly. Nothing worse than a snob, they’re a dime a dozen, but a worldly, successful, educated man who is still somehow kind and friendly? Marriage Material. Mmmm : )

    • Yes!!

  33. tunie says...

    Really nice, cleanly groomed hands on a man are for some reason really attractive to me. It’s seems like some sort of mark of character or to signify something deeper, I don’t know.

    • Rebecca says...

      Oh yes, I noticed my husband’s neatly clipped and clean nails (and beautifully pressed shirt) the night I met him. Delicious!

  34. Carly says...

    Yes to the strong hands! My husband’s hands were one of the first things I noticed about him. I told him they looked like real man hands. I even like the one fingernail that always has a crack in it from an injury playing backyard football. :)

  35. Caz says...

    I get turned on by a guy who:
    * loves dogs
    * is respectful to old people
    * knows how to iron
    * has nice forearms

  36. Twyla says...

    Thick forearms and hands – hairy is better
    Smile lines – makes a man instantly sexier
    Watching my hubby fold my panties out of the dryer – kills me every time.

  37. L says...

    Big hands, beards, a man who plays any acoustic string instrument as a banjo, fiddle or a upright bass, a sly smile, faded tattoos

  38. oooo i love this topic! how fun! yay! there are so many things that turn me on about my husband but one big thing is when we hug and i just take in how much taller he is than me. i like my men bigger than me! big muscly men, you know what i’m sayin? ;) and when he holds me close that like that, i just feel so protected and loved and secure. i feel home. it’s one the best feelings in the world. and if it’s cold outside, it makes it even better because his hug keep me warm!!
    xoxo lauren

  39. Whitney Ortega says...

    “Everything I like is very specific to you,” he said, because he is smart.
    “Like what?” I asked.
    “I like to watch you read,” he said, because he is special.

    This may be my favorite thing I read this week. Haha!

    Also my weird turn on is when I can see the exact amount of forearm that is visible in 3/4 shirts or with shirt sleeves rolled up. Also when he is discussing science type subjects with all the confidence and knowledge in the world!!!

  40. Cinthya says...

    Laughter lines.
    Musicians, e.g., those who play instruments. I play the violin, and someone who plays and really feels the music, can get me any time.
    I’m insanely attracted to intelligence, but intelligence without kindness is a turnoff. And boring.
    Food. Men who make food. Men who grow food. Men who give food.
    People who defy stereotypes.
    Good manners.

    Oh, the list can go on and on…

  41. Jaclyn says...

    Congrats on finding someone you think is special! ?? My weird turn on is… rosy cheeks. Gets me every time.

  42. abigail says...

    -men who take their tshirts off from the back rather than pulling up from the bottom front
    -and as noted by another commenter the way men flip their hair when swimming

    my guy specific:
    -the way he gently but hilariously points out when I’m being ridiculous/overreacting
    -the way he leans
    -he’s a bartender, and i love sitting at his bar and watching him interact with strangers

  43. Leah says...

    Defined, nice wrists and receding hairlines.

  44. Jeanette says...

    -strong hands and forearms
    -confidence in awkward or tense situations
    -a great voice (speaking or singing)

  45. Charlotte says...

    My husband found his first gray hair recently, and I was very ok with it!

  46. An arched eyebrow. It’s just cocky enough to make you wonder…

  47. I love the ones that say “overhearing him on a work call” and “seeing the man lair”. I love seeing my husband do what he’s good at: fixing computer problems, helping people and being kind to the idiot who’s forgotten their password 12 times that week.
    Also, he taking flying lessons so when we go on airplanes, I always ask him if he could land the plane if the pilot like, died, or something. And he can!

  48. Kylie says...

    Love this post! For as long as I can remember, I have been attracted to straight teeth with a square-shaped bite and prominent eye teeth that sit out in front a little – and this was long before Twilight days!

  49. Whitney says...

    When I was first dating my now husband, I remember telling my mom that he had perfectly shaped knees. When he sits, his dress pants fall perfectly over his bony, square knees. So random!

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Haha, I love that!

  50. JTT! ahh this photo still gives me butterflies

    Okay, this is a bit weird but an ex boyfriend used to wear one his grandma’s old tshirts. So sentimental and stinkin’ cute !

  51. Maeve says...

    I once went on a first date with a guy I’d met on a dating app solely because he used a semicolon… twice. And properly. TURN ON.

  52. Katy says...

    A guy who can make you laugh. Not just a “great sense of humor.” To watch him in action, making others laugh, is amazing and quite the turn on. And he’s extremely smart, too, so the combo is the best. He’s done some pretty amazing speeches at weddings, and I get to just sit back and know I get that comedy every day. Also, watching him with our sons, is so sweet. I spied on him last night (via the monitor), and he was stealing smooches, and was so expressive reading “Chicka, Chicka Boom, Boom” to our toddler. “And, loooook, who’s coming…it’s L-M-N-O-P!!”. That’s the best.

  53. Monica says...

    My sister had the same stuffed simba and we still repeat the things he said, applying it to nowadays situations… its a very silly private joke we have! Ours was in spanish…
    I loved the “i like to watch you reading”!

  54. Rachel says...

    Reading through the comments – so MANY ring true for me. There are still a couple that do it for me that I didn’t see:
    -A guy who can rock a white belt. To me it says he’s a risk taker, attentive to detail and is slightly into fashion.
    -The man bun.
    -Dudes who are outdoorsy, but not into hunting/fishing (I’m a vegetarian, so that’s a big turn off) – think mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing.

  55. Emma says...

    Jeans and a black t-shirt do it for me, and kindness toward children and animals. When my fiance gets a little drunk his hair gets extra swoopy in the front and I love it.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Yes! I second all of these things. :)

  56. Last night my boyfriend and I were out with friends. The waiter took my order first, skipped over my boyfriend, and then left without taking his order. We couldn’t really tell if he meant to be rude or was just flustered and made a mistake, but instead of just stewing about it, my boyfriend got up, found the waiter, and asked him why he did that. For a second I had a half-annoyed “just let it go” feeling, but then I decided it was a total turn on because he just freaking took care of business. He does that in all sorts of situations and it pretty much always turns me to putty. I don’t even think he knows that.

  57. I love a guy with an amazing vocabulary. And I love excellent writers… :)

  58. Strong hands with veins, beards, and quirky intelligence. Whew! :)

  59. Maria says...

    The look of a man’s arm when wearing rolled up sleeves.
    And a man driving a Land Rover.

  60. Allison says...

    absolutely love this post, i love when people notice the little things!

    -waffle henleys w/ slouchy corduroys in the winter
    -loafers with no socks & chino shorts in the summer
    -smiling from the corner of his mouth
    -leaving a generous tip when we go out to eat
    -tall black athletic socks with nike frees
    -as much as i hate to admit it, a nice car is a turn on (think, black jeeps)
    -a man who drinks coffee
    -a man who brings me coffee
    -come to think of it … coffee turns me on …

    with all that said,

    like caroline mentioned, my bf has noticed/shared some pretty sweet things about me that are “turn-ons” for him too ..
    -the way i don’t breathe when i’m intensely watching something like The Jinx or Bloodline
    -wearing his college lacrosse shirts to bed
    -when i get really giddy when i see puppies in the park & immediately identify their breed. “looook at the king charles cavalier!”
    -the freckles that come out on my nose in the summertime
    -strappy heels with nicely pedicured feet (oh god, now that i’m typing that, does my boyfriend have a foot fetish?!?!)

    cheers to unconventional hot-ness!

  61. Shannon says...

    The “I like to watch you read” comment nearly made me swoon! Very observant and special!

  62. Gillian says...

    Guys wearing those cross-body messenger bags. No idea why.

  63. Maggie says...

    Left-handed men. I can’t resist!!

  64. KB says...

    Forearm tattoos, gentle and playful with kids, manly gnarled hands

  65. SL says...

    My sister and I were laughing so hard when she said -“Let me guess – your’s is people who post political or religious posts on Facebook that are in line with your beliefs? ;-) ”
    Haha I totally swooned over a fellow who did just that. So, I guess my random turn on is guys who stand up for what they believe in (in a respectful, charitable way).

  66. Mary H says...

    Owns a dog, preferably a retriever or lab

  67. Amy says...

    What really captured me with my now husband, was this:
    One day we were making sandwiches for lunch, and I watched him arrange his lettuce and his tomato JUST SO, so that each bite had the perfect ratio. He takes this detailed kind of care in everything he does-but not to an extent that it is obsessive. He takes that kind of care of folding the laundry (which he does-bless him!) with me, in his relationships. I love it! It was (and is) a major turn on!

  68. Sadie says...

    You know when a certain type of guy takes you through his place, and some part of his house–often the garage– is basically a laboratory, bordering on a lair? Where he brews beer or custom-builds computers or builds bikes or some other highly involved hobby? That’s mine. Once I’ve been to the lair, I’m hooked.

    My husband is a biologist, and occasionally I drop in at the lab where he’s innoculating a huge rack of like 144 test tubes with this little wire wand thingy, sterilizing it with a bunsen burner between each tube, wearing goggles and gloves, but not– and this is important– a white coat. WHY is that so sexy?! I don’t know!!!

  69. Janine says...

    Men who wear glasses, show kindness/goofiness to children, clean fingernails, willingness to sing and dance even if they are terrible at both. GREAT advice from my mother: don’t marry a man who won’t dance if you like dancing, otherwise you will be sad at every occassion you attend where people are dancing.

  70. erica says...

    I love a good tan on my husband! Also, the way he looks when he’s been working long hours in the yard – sweaty, covered in dirt, old hiking boots.

    The funny thing about my husband is he grew up in Southern California when Jonathan Taylor Thomas was in his prime…and on his soccer team! I love to hear him tell stories about how they would check into a hotel for a tournament and girls would find out JTT was staying in their hotel and they would chase them around the hotel trying to find out what room he was in.

  71. Eddie says...

    Oh Caroline! He sounds smart and special indeed, and so he should be.
    My random turn ons defy expectations; all my friends spent years expecting me to tumble into the arms of a tall, skinny hipster type with thick glasses and an obsession with coffee. They were all thrilled but stunned when I fell madly for a short, hairy jazz man! Specific turn ons include the fact that he didn’t tell me I was pretty (no physical compliments at all) for over 2 MONTHS right at the start. Turns out I’d much rather he thought I was “intreaguing” anyway.
    My sister is literally weak at the knees for the-back-of-a-dude’s-thighs when-toned-and-seen-through-perfectly-fitted-suit-trousers. Putting the “random” into “random turn ons” since we could flirt.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      That’s a great story! And your sister’s favorite attribute is amazing. Thank you for sharing xo

  72. Meggles says...

    Caroline, it sounds like you have a real winner there. I know things are still relatively new, but I’m rooting for this relationship!

    A recent turn-on with my husband is all the authoritative positions he’s gained at work in the past couple years. When he takes a work call at home and I overhear him manage work projects…ooh. The fact that he jas government clearance just adds to the excitement. Also, I’m an arts/humanities person (my degree is in piano), and he’s a scientist/engineer. When he is just being himself by talking about science-y things to our kids, or organizing his spreadsheets (for real!), I love it. I love a man with a good spreadsheet. I’m not that organized, so I’m glad someone in my life is!

  73. Meghan says...

    Baseball caps…and when my boyfriend comes off the court from playing tennis. His outfit looks so adorably coordinated, and he turns his cap around backwards while he drinks water, I just find it strangely cute.

  74. Prudence says...

    excellent grammar, tall men and crisp white shirts! – of all of these tall men make me stupid and most of the to my disadvantage :( :(

  75. Anna says...

    When their eyes lit up when looking at you.
    Bone structure- jaw line, hip bones. When you cuddle and torso is more like a safe wall, not a pillow (but not overtoned).
    And these seem to be so popular here (I guess for a reason ;))- pressed shirts and rolled up sleeves, manners and taking charge (but letting you do so, too).

  76. caitlin says...

    Ummm… Zip ties? anyone else? no sexual context needed, just zipping them and not being able to undo them. one zip at a time…. ok i’ll stop

  77. Molly says...

    Sounds like your guy is a keeper.

  78. Estella says...

    I am a huge sucker for nice hands in a guy and a nice deep voice. But also, (this may sound strange) a nice neck/head shape/back of head. Really catches my eye!

  79. height (a tall man immediately stikes my attention).
    a reader.

  80. I love this, I find when someone is very passionate about something really attractive. Or when my boyfriend is tired and puts his pjs and glasses on with ruffled hair and a crumpled t shirt, that’s definitely my favourite look! Alice xx

  81. Like many people, hands are important for me. I’m a music and into musicians so I love it when they’re on the slimmer side with long fingers.
    ANY time people touch my neck or that area…I got really pissed at a few guy friends who accidentally triggered that.
    THE BLUES. I wish it wasn’t so, but it’s easily the sexiest genre ever. And double bassists are the sexiest musicians.
    Laugh lines and crow’s feet…I go for older men and I just LOVE them. I love the way men’s faces get craggier and more defined…weird I know.
    MOST OF ALL – certain voices, usually deeper, earthier or smokier ones just slay me.

  82. Bethany Susan says...

    I love this post, and had a blast reading all of the comments!

    Here are some of mine:
    -Guys (and girls) who read books
    -Strong forearms
    -Muscular thighs
    -A faint smell of alcohol on the breath
    -Big, broad grins (with crinkled eyes for sure!)
    -Well tailored clothing
    -Strong, expressive eyebrows (think Mr. Big)
    -The way my husband shimmies his wedding ring back up his finger with the other fingers when it slips
    -Excellent grammar and spelling (and texting in complete sentences)
    -Survival skills (I would be the first to die in the apocalypse)
    -What is it with those long sleeve Henleys? Ugh, so hot!
    -When my husband calls me by our last name
    -When he moves to walk on the street side of the sidewalk
    -When he gets up in the middle of the night to check because there was a noise

    • Carly says...

      Yes to moving to the side closest to the street when walking!

  83. Jacyra says...

    Good dancer, beard, big hands.

  84. Julia says...

    A single person reading a novel in public, not glancing the phone even once.

    Little My-boots.


  85. Lucy says...

    – Really solid, strong hugs.
    – Watching my academic man do physical labour, gardening without a shirt etc.
    – Saying anything in Spanish
    – that just woken up, sleepy eyes look

  86. Kash says...

    Oh my gosh, the authoritative phone call one is REAL. I’m so into it! And I didn’t think I would be!

    Also, when guys are friendly to bus drivers/cashiers/when they make nice jokes to the server at the restaurant/when they make friendly conversation with the guy selling us coffee. that really does it for me!

    and five-o-clock shadows, mhmm yes please

  87. a cowlick, with its accompanying little-boy swirl-tuft of hair.
    a helpless giggle like don orsillo’s.
    the ability to waggle one eyebrow.
    oh, and goalkeeping. not a sly euphemism; goalkeepers are really hot. (tim howard and iker casillas, call me.)

  88. Steph B says...

    JTT! Yes. Swoon. After reading the book about the Japanese method of throwing out everything you own, and then doing just that, I was lying in bed and thought no I just cannot part with my Lion King sweater circa 1995. I dug through bags to save it. JTT forever!!!

  89. Estella says...

    I loved reading the comments! I have a thing for nice hands. Some visible veins running along those hands are nice too. I also appreciate a nice neck and head shape (strange I know).

  90. I was going to say cooking, or driving, or organized or being well-groomed (in a mindful way, not a excessively vain way) and I realized, I just think it’s really hot when a man is really good at something.

  91. Mandy says...

    Watching him read a map. Going to trivia night and he knows all the answers. A strong nose.

  92. Jennifer Dinga says...

    Blonde beards
    Sweater vests
    Ability to dive
    Wearing a wedding ring…..I would never cheat on my husband/sleep with a married man but if a gentleman catches my eye AND he’s got a ring on he becomes even yummier!

  93. Sara says...

    My wonderful boyfriend is the most kind and generous person I’ve ever met, whenever he offers to help my mother with something or gathers things to donate for someone/anyone in need my heart swells up like that scene in the Grinch and I just have to smooch him.

    I also knew a cad in college from WV who mastered the hand on the small of your back, “Hey, darlin,” side smile combo. Cheeky and irresistible.

  94. Grace says...

    Defined biceps and shy smiles. Killer combo for me personally. I also dig speaking a second language and watching them work. And having them suggest a book they think I’d be into. Luckily, my boyfriend fits this description to a tee ;-)

  95. I’m 47 so my random turn ons now are sometimes the same as when I was 27 – but sometimes different.

    * A British accent.
    * A handsome man wearing cheaters while he reads something on his cell phone.
    * Someone who remembers small but not insignificant facts about me – like how I prefer white over red wine.
    * A man in a suit and tie.
    * Daniel Craig. (Which makes sense, if you think about it.)
    * An appreciation for all kinds of music.

    • Lynn says...

      Hi Lara, We are the same age, and a suit and tie make me melt too : )

    • Leah says...

      Daniel Craig – yes.

  96. Alice says...

    Love this post Joanna! (:

    For me, puppy eyes with wrinkles when smiling. Always get me.

  97. Margie says...

    My husband told me he was watching me from the window repotting plants on the deck today. He said he knew I was happy because I was humming a song, but I was not smiling. His sensitivity to my well-being was a turn-on. We are married 35 years.

    • Julie says...

      This is so beautiful!

    • Allison says...

      this is simply beautiful.

  98. Lisa says...

    It was so fun reading these comments!

    I must add:

    Men who can swim well,
    Polish shoes,
    And wear a pair of well-fitting jeans!

  99. My husband is not very outdoorsy, but when he puts on hiking boots and a polar fleece I find it really attractive. I also like to watch him cook, when he doesn’t know I’m watching. And men that sing. That is a definite turn on.

  100. Amber says...

    Tattoos + body modification (not too extreme though). Don’t know what it is about that but I feel like a magnet being pulled. Beards!!!! Nerds (really into something and knows a lot about it). Loves books and podcasts. Gentle and Genuine smile and personality.

  101. My husband LOVES my grandmother. He regularly refers to her beauty and when he heard that she fell down the other day he got visibly upset. Its a huge turn on to me that he loves someone in my family that I also cherish immensely.

    • Shirley says...

      I was just turned on reading that!!

    • Zoe says...

      I completely agree with that one! My husband and granny are besties. Sometimes they just hang out on their own, watching sports and drinking beer. And he always rushes to help her with anything. I love that he wants to do that.

    • Debbie says...

      That is so special! What a great guy x

  102. S says...

    I dig a man in glasses. Once I was at a museum with a guy I was dating and I couldn’t read the plaques because I didn’t have my glasses with me. He offered me his which I found to be the most endearing thing and a complete turn on.

    • Angela says...

      I second that! Glasses are so incredibly sexy! Swoon…

  103. Jess says...

    I swoon over really men who have a lot of physical prowess.
    When I first started going out with my now fiancé we went skiing, and he went first on a really steep pitch a bunch of people were standing on. He looked absolutely incredible skiing it, and I turned to the group and said “I am going to have all of that guy’s babies.”
    Also big rough hands and a nice cadence when they speak. So manly.

  104. sarah says...

    Muscular calves, particularly clean shaven ones, beards, dimples and being sweet with children (especially if you aren’t related to them)

    • Jennifer Dinga says...

      Me too! I intentionally let my husband go up the stairs before me so I can swoon over his flexing calves as we walk upstairs.

  105. Gayle says...

    Eyes. The day I met my husband a group of us were going hiking. He was driving and I sat in the back on the passenger side. I got to admire those beautiful eyes in his review mirror all the way there, and back ( I made sure to sit in the same seat!) and he couldn’t see me watching.

  106. Satah says...

    Defined biceps

    Broad shoulders

    That moment when you catch him being an amazing father.


  107. I seriously have loved reading all of these comments. They’ve made my day.

    I have a HUGE thing for hands. If any of you are like me, watch the music video Reptilia by The Strokes…

    There’s also just the fact that when you have a special bond with someone, sometimes this person has certain mannerisms that you love but can’t always easily describe. That’s my favorite.

  108. Erin says...

    Oh, so random… When we were first dating, my husband worked for a minor league baseball team. I LOVED to watch him pull the tarp on the field in the pouring rain. I would literally stand out there with my umbrella – everyone thought I was nuts. But it was so hot…

  109. ceciel says...

    Bwhahhahaha! Nice Dylan McKay shot. Caroline: you sound smitten. And so does he. :) xoxoxo

  110. KSullivan says...

    Oh, such a great post & question! Thank you!

    -an unexpected & deft physical skill – like a really good catch or flipping an omelet, or, when Costner one-arm switch hits at the cages in ‘Bull Durham’.
    -the way guys flick their hair when swimming
    -masculine handwriting, the more chicken-scratchy or ALL CAPS the better
    -strong hands with long & lean fingers
    -muscular calves
    -the quietest guy in the room/party/event/game
    -crabby curmudgeon-y, kind of unkempt guys who you just know ADORE their wives/teams/hobbies of a billion years. (See: Danny Castellano with his gingerbread houses.)
    -the phrases “I have a plan.” and, “Come here.”

    • Lucy says...

      Hahaha love that you referenced Danny Castellano, that episode is SO good.

    • Bethany Susan says...

      So true with the phrases! And the hair flick- I would never have thought to say that, but it’s so hot, you’re right!

    • A thousand times yes to Bull Durham!

    • UGH, those last two phrases….IRRESISTIBLE.

  111. Alice says...

    a long stride: the way a man walks can floor me in a moment.
    laughter lines definitely
    good manners
    broad shoulders and slim hips

    my man in particular – has a subtle tattoo that occasionally shows when his sleeve rides up his bicep. Love that.
    all 6’4 of him holding our tiny newborn baby was unexpectedly swoonsome.

    • Bethany Susan says...

      Swoonsome is an awesome word.

  112. Angela says...

    Finding out that my husband plays the piano was a pretty swoon-worthy moment for me. And now, when something just really gets him and he genuinely laughs. That makes him sound like he’s not a happy person… He is, but you know, there is a difference between an appreciative snort when something is funny and a full-on belly laugh. :)

  113. Anita says...

    I love a man in a vest.
    Also there’s something about an old school white singlet under a business shirt.
    Meanwhile, I know a man who definitely had a thing for women with lisps…

    • Jess says...

      Haha! I have a slight lisp I’m so insecure about and my fiancé tells me he thinks it’s the cutest thing in the whole world.
      I always get so sheepish when he does, I feel like he’s teasing me!
      I just thought it was funny to hear another boy liked it

    • rachel says...

      omg the under the business shirt shirt! YES!!!

  114. Daisy says...

    I get turned on by guys who:
    – have a great sense of humor
    – have an opinion about music
    – have a topic they are passionate about (Ever hear a guy talk about folds in origami?)
    – wear a watch

  115. a hand on the small of my back. never knew it was a spine-tingler until a date did that as we walked up to a juke box on our first date. ever since then, i’m a stone-cold sucker for it.

  116. Megan says...

    Caroline, you write wonderfully. And my favorite thing is the right sounding voice. My husband was born in England, grew up in South Carolina and lived in Ireland for 14 years. His voice is soft and interesting, he calls me darlin’, and he sounds like no one else. The first time we talked on the phone I was a goner. :)

  117. Hillary says...

    Knife skills in the kitchen

    Distinctive noses

    Glasses. They just kill me.

    Whenever a man builds or fixes something. Hot. hot. hot.

    When they need their hands so they put something unexpected in a back pocket of their jeans (like a paperback or a tool).

    Word-nerds: clever puns, solve crosswords, alliteration, etc.

    Handwriting (verb), especially if they are concentrating and look serious.

    Being goofy or affectionate around dogs

    • KSullivan says...

      Yes to all of these, Hillary! Nailed it.

    • Jen says...

      Yep to all!

  118. A man who can dance. We should ALL be teaching our sons to dance….to me it’s such an easy way to ensure they will be popular throughout all stages of life!

    • Bethany Susan says...

      Agreed! Or at least the ability to get out on the dance floor (or dance at random anywhere) and have fun unselfconsciously!

  119. One extra button unbuttoned to show the chest hair
    My husband’s reading glasses
    The hands -fixing anything
    Slicked back hair
    V-neck sweaters
    A sly glance

  120. James says...

    “Turn-on’s” can go a lot of different directions. But I’ll keep it in PG bounds.

    Business woman who slips her pantyhosed feet out of her shoes, and works shoeless (pedicure required).

    An intense stimulating intellectual conversation.

    A flirty glance from across a crowded room.

    Sweet Whispers in a crowded room.

    Focus. Sometimes my wife can be so driven, just efficient and getting things done… She’s an artist at heart so that changing of gears raises my eyebrows :)

    Watching her love on a niece or nephew and imagining her loving on our future children.

    Seeing her handle a difficult personality with class, grace and sincerity.

    Feisty competitiveness over board games.

    Her bra-less, t-shirt wearing personality.

    Catching her dancing to a favorite song.

    • Wendy says...

      Nice :-)

  121. Regina says...

    It’s so attractive, when a man knows how to play piano really well.
    I remember particularly when I was young, how that young man i knew played Rachmaninov and was so immersed in it… I couldn’t think straight no more.

  122. Shoes!! A well taken care of shoe says a lot. My husband’s signature brown wingtips always make me think “damn my man is hot!” Haha!

    Along the same lines, I like men who commit to a signature style. It’s a sign of maturity which I find appealing. A classic man…

    A man who could dance!

    A passion whether they’re really into music, books or soccer.

    The best for last a man/person who has Depth & substance. I am not into a flighty/all fun kinda man.