Relationships

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. Shay says...

    Ohh a well-timed wink gets me every damn time!

    • wow, good one! from the right guy it’s definitely butterflies in the stomach rather than stomach turning

  2. Freckled shoulders and rolled up sleeves!

  3. I love when my husband wears his glasses. He gets self conscious about them but I think he looks so cute. My own personal Buddy Holly. Also scruff. I love the facial scruff. =)

  4. Your new guy sounds like a keeper, Caroline :) And I’m with you on the vein thing…ever since I was little it was something I noticed.
    I love my husband’s half-smile. I don’t actually see it that often, because it’s amazingly hidden by his short beard. Which is the sole reason I’m always begging him to shave, and get giddy when he does.

  5. A says...

    I love it when my husband gets really into a book and doesn’t hear me if I try to start a conversation. He has this way of folding back the cover that I just can’t get enough of.

    But the biggest turn on is when he makes bread. The kneading! Swoon.

  6. Katy says...

    Men who are tall. And men with tan, slightly hairy arms who wear diving watches.

    • Laura C says...

      Amen on height! IF the guy is tall, he’s got me!
      And men who drive. Oh girls, tell me that I’m not alone! I find soooo hot watching a man driving a car while I’m sitting next.
      xoxo

  7. Linda says...

    Exposed forearms and good taste in shoes. Tall, skinny, nerdy guys in glasses (my husband in a nutshell) really do it for me. But making me laugh every single day is the best. And he’s quiet, so no one else has a clue how hilarious he is.

  8. Nicky says...

    slightly wonky teeth
    a lisp or speech impediment
    scars
    an accent
    I find little “imperfections” humanizing and interesting.

  9. Victoria says...

    All of the following (which my current partner possesses, lucky me!):
    1.) Fitted black sweaters
    2.) Beanies
    3.) Both wit and sarcasm
    4.) Nice bum
    5.) Clean (even if not so straight) smile
    6.) Pure and honest laughter — along with those laugh lines.
    UGH, this post is getting me all hot and bothered ;)

  10. ashley b says...

    boys with beards, blonde hair, kind, blue eyes and glasses. together. #stilllooking

  11. Colleen says...

    I’m not into lumbersexuals in any way, but a good-looking man who knows his way around an axe gets me going.

  12. manuela odell says...

    I melt when my guy gets excited about something. He’s a tall adult male with a beard yet when he gets excited the little boy comes out AND I MELT. love guys with passion!

  13. clare says...

    ginger beards and pens/pencils kept behind a man’s ear

  14. Omg this is so embarrassing, but I have a thing for dudes with hearing aides. (Not like old men or anything, just younger guys.) For whatever reason I just find them adorable. Luckily (or not?) I married a man who has a bit of a hearing issue, so I’m constantly asking when he’s going to get some. (He claims my “thing” is basically a way weirder version of girls who are into dudes who wear glasses, which I guess is kind of true!)

    • Haha, this is so sweet and funny. Love it.

  15. Anna says...

    Tall, deep voice, great lingering hugs, & most importantly **FUNNY**

  16. Liv says...

    My husband has a smile that goes all the way to his eyes. I call them smile crinkles or happy eyes- and when he laughs those crinkles show up and I fall in love all over again.

    • “A smile that goes all the way to his eyes”- so sweet :)

  17. meghan says...

    carhartt pants! mountain climbers. strong hands. and a good smell. no smell in particular. just the smell that makes you do a double-take when you walk by.

  18. samantha says...

    I like a strong forearm, especially below a turned up shirtsleeve, and men who are not afraid of children. And I love it when my boyfriend wears jewel tones, it’s like it turns his handsomeness up a notch.

  19. Dani Bennett says...

    my husband and I are high school sweethearts and every now and then his breath will smell like it did when we were younger. I always tell him “you taste like high school” and it gives me butterflies.

    Random ones though- glasses, men in scrubs, chest hair, manly hands maybe with some grease or dirt or paint on them, nice socks peeking out from their jeans when they sit.

    Such a random and fun topic!

    • Frances says...

      Haha. At totally random – and rare – times, my hubby will smell like a baby. Very milky and sweet. It is so funny and dear. And totally not able to be replicated on demand, sadly.

    • Emily says...

      Something similar happens with my husband… I can always tell the *INSTANT* that he has decided to try to have sex. We’ll be kissing and suddenly he’ll taste completely different! It’s like hormones flood his salivary glands.

      Unfortunately for him, this means I always know exactly when to dampen things if he’s getting his hopes up at an inopportune moment.

    • So strange! My husband’s breath sometimes has this amazing iron-y smell that seems to come and go at random and I looove it. I just want to stop everything and breathe him in.

  20. Dimples and long, thick eyelashes. There’s something so boyish about that combination… my husband checks both boxes.

    I am smiling so much reading all the great comments on this one. It makes you realize there really is someone for everyone out there. What a great post!

  21. A well-dressed guy, of course, but not stiff, but effortlessly. I looove groomed beards, a little bit of a bear belly but not too huge and the faint smell of cologne mixed with man smell.

  22. Katie says...

    Love this post, both the concept and the writing, especially the last little bit.

    Being good with kids!

  23. Cathy says...

    Just have to say I totally had that same Simba doll (and crush!).

  24. Kristen says...

    I love when the cuff of a pant is the perfect length to hit the shoe just right…

  25. Bananas says...

    Hands, British accent, super skinny (lean), nice oxfords.

  26. B says...

    oh yes strong wide shoulders in a tight henley shirt. Backwards baseball hats, twinkling eyes with laugh lines, facial hair (but not too much), the just woke up look, ice hockey players, a guy in a swat uniform, clean straight teeth and def that man smell that’s not stinky but not trying to hard – yuummm

  27. Tiffany says...

    Crooked or gap-toothed smiles! Swoooon.

  28. Nat says...

    If we’re talking sexual appeal then it’s hands down gotta be glasses. It’s weird but it will make almost anyone attractive to me.
    My husband had glasses when we first started dating, then he had eye laser surgery. He will wear non-prescription ones when we role play though ;)

  29. Lauren E. says...

    Also, seeing my guy out in public unexpectedly. Once when we first started dating I ran into him in the street and five years later he still brings it up. “You were wearing that blue dress…” And just last night I realized I was walking right behind him coming off the subway from work and we stopped right there on the street to hug each other. Such a weirdly incredible feeling.

    • Emily says...

      I know what you mean! A few times I’ve been out and about, not expecting to run into my husband, and I’ll suddenly realize the handsome guy down the street is *mine*.

      Best. Feeling. Ever.

  30. Men who love podcasts make my heart flutter. The weirder the podcast the better. It shows he’s intellectually curious and a good listener and tech savvy. All swoon worthy qualities, really.

    • I should introduce you to my husband (snort)

    • Sadie says...

      And mine. He is OBSESSED with podcasts, and on topics that are totally unrelated to anything I would have identified as his interests! (Economic debate shows? What???) Ha ha. I love it.

  31. Being from the South, I have a turn on for men that seem like “good ole boys.” I like men who are kind, focused, show up, gentlemenly without it seeming unauthentic, and also have a natural knowledge and penchant for outdoorsy/rugged things.

    Also, I love white button downs, prominent adams apples, and pea-coats on men.

  32. Lyss says...

    Push-ups. Even when its a really old guy at the gym (or a far too young guy), even if it’s just one or two, men doing push-ups turns me into an ogling animal.

    • At the health fair at my old workplace, they would have a push up contest each year. You def see your coworkers in a new light after that…

  33. Michelle Avitia says...

    What an interesting question!
    Here are mine below (in not particular order)

    + Sleepy tousled hair in the morning.
    + Well-fitted dark denim jeans.
    + Happy, smiling wrinkles that hug the eyes.
    + Thoughtful gestures, like: turning on the electric blanket during a chilly night before I’ve gotten into bed, or having lunch ready and packed for me to take to work in the morning.

  34. Lizzie says...

    Tattoos, I don’t know why.

    • L says...

      Yes. My husband’s runs the length of his spine. Love it. And am eagerly awaiting more. A sleeve, I hope. Mee-ow.

  35. Jessica says...

    Hands!!! Hands down.
    Also, a man who orders something for the whole table without consulting everyone first. Like right when the waitress gets there…”we’d like the calamari and caprese for everyone to share.” HOT!!!

  36. Kristina says...

    I love guys who read and – a little more random – who don’t have perfectly straight teeth. Also, I get weak in the knees when a smart man isn’t afraid to be silly and goofy.

  37. Lauren E. says...

    Oh why hello new man in your life! He sounds kinda great.

    I am 100% on board with sounding authoritative at work. My fiance made a short film once and I went to the set and heard him directing everyone and being super professional and it was the ultimate turn-on. That, and chest hair. Love, love, love me some chest hair.

  38. In general: a beard. GEEZ I love facial hair
    On my boyfriend specifically: he smiles this way where his eyes scrunch and he kinda tucks in his chin and he has a tight-lipped smile that makes dimples on his chees. Or when he’s sleeping–he has beautiful eyelashes!

  39. As someone who lives in a bilingual city (Montreal), someone always gets extra points with me when they are fluent in both French and English. It makes me feel like I can say exactly what I mean, instead of having to translate a word or expression in either language.

    Another “turn-on” I have is being called “Mami”. I’m half Cuban, and in Cuba (as well as many other countries) “Mami” is used as a general term of endearment. You even use it with kids; I call little boys “papi” and little girls “mami”. I think it’s such a sweet word and I love hearing people use it, and especially use it while talking to me.

    Also: broad shoulders, large scars, that V shape that guys have between their hips, small septum piercings on girls, people who will happily eat anything you put in front of them (as opposed to picky eaters), people reading on the metro/subway, men who smell like cedarwood. (Etc, etc, etc.)

    • Kara says...

      Totally! I’m from Miami, so I call my 5 year old “Mami”. But we live in Portland now, so I’m pretty much the only one who does this. Also, sometimes it’s Mamita. No one gets it at all…..

  40. Amy says...

    My boyfriend’s expressive eyebrows!

  41. J. King says...

    I love this! Always curious for the guy perspective (no husband/boyfriend around to provide it). Maybe an idea for a follow up post? *fingers crossed*

    1) TWINKLY eyes, someone said laugh lines around the eyes and I almost lost it.
    2) Black t-shirts, always get a swoon from me…
    3) Confident stride
    4) Nice hands!
    5) A good singing voice …mmmm it’s like butter
    6) Good haircuts, any variety really, just “nice” hair

  42. Lisa says...

    Oh my GOD I have so many! People who smile with their eyes (yes, laughing wrinkles OMG), men with freckles, guys wearing long sleeved shirts or sweaters that they roll up and show their underarms (GASP!), guys reading books I like, men with dogs, when they wear suspenders, handy men that would build that new porch instead of hire someone to do it, BIG AND STRONG HANDS, and my all time turn on is when they smell nice.. You can be average looking but smell nice and I WILL get inappropriate thoughts, be so sure. And I absolutely melt if he kisses my forehead, thats like the ultimate way to say I love you without using words.

    • Freckles! Wholeheartedly agree!

  43. I do felt that way about Bradley Cooper. He got so much hotter to me when I found out that he spoke French and studied in Aix-en-Provence, France the year before me. Le swoon.

  44. Heather says...

    I used to have Baby Simba and Baby Nala stuffed animals – There were magnets in their noses so they “kissed” !!! i. was. ob. sessed.

    I’m a sucker for silver foxes. And inner forearm tattoos. And guys who aren’t afraid to dance like fools.

  45. awww how sweet! mine is their laugh – a nice, hearty laugh!

  46. Eileen says...

    Duuuuuude. I wasn’t a b cooper super fan or anything, I mean sure he’s hot but now… Dam.

  47. A backwards baseball cap. I don’t know why, it’s just hot in a laid back sort of way, which is the best kind of hot.

  48. Claire says...

    New man in your life…eek!

  49. Mae says...

    I think this is one of my favorite blog posts. It’s just so sweet to read through everyone’s list and think of all the love out there :) Sometimes it’s easy to think that there are only negative things going on in the world. I love to be reminded that it’s all really about the love at home. Also, with toddlers running around here all day…I needed a good pinch to remind me of some of the little things that make me love my husband.

  50. Anna says...

    Glasses. Ever since I read Forever by Judy Blune. He took his glasses off to kiss her.

  51. Elbow patches. Dimples. Weekend scruff and, in contrast, a clean shaven baby face. When he stands with his hands in his pockets.

    Also, I love, love, love the voice Caroline brings to Cup of Jo :)

  52. mary says...

    when men roll up their shirtsleeves. hawt. also any man reading a book.

  53. autumn says...

    I’ve always found left-handedness to be a random turn-on. No clue why though. Maybe because I’m not and never will be.

    • Lisa says...

      Haha oh my god, Im the same! I have dated 3 (!) left handed men and its always like “oh, youre left handed? it all makes sense now”..

  54. Rosie says...

    – a good rugged henley long-sleeve t on a man with broad shoulders
    -kind eyes
    -warm (not sweaty!) hands
    -being polite/friendly/kind to strangers like the check-out person at the grocery store

    • Rosie says...

      oh and being above 6’2″ – any tall guy I look at twice no matter their looks

    • Yes, that reminds me of the You’ve Got Mail scene, where Tom Hanks goes “Oh, Rosa, that is such a beautiful name. ” to the cashier and butters her up to let Meg Ryan use her credit card. Swoon! So funny and charming.

  55. Susan says...

    Without sounding inappropriately invested in/involved in your life ;), as a devoted reader and fan of the site, I’m really delighted to hear that you have such a smart new person in your life. I wish you lots of happiness!

  56. Nicki says...

    Oh, so many things! Button-down shirts is the biggest one. YUM. Then comes: Sweaters. Beautiful biceps in perfectly-fitted t-shirts. Winks. That look in a guy’s eye when they are explaining something they are passionate about even if you don’t have the first clue about it. Opening the passenger-side car door. (Not just any door, you see…) When they act kindly around children/dogs. And lastly: a nice, round butt.

  57. Laugh wrinkles around the eyes! A distinctive nose. Blonde eyelashes. A good vocabulary.

  58. VPO says...

    My list: (I) good, strong hugs; (2) a five o’clock shadow; (3) V-neck t-shirts that show just a bit of chest hair; (4) faint whiff of cologne; (5) comfortable cooking and with directions; (6) stick-shift driving; (7) making a group laugh with a good joke and (8) loves his mom

  59. Christie says...

    Laugh lines around the eyes. :)

  60. Julia says...

    Eyes that have a hint of sparkle/glimmer, sweaters with collared shirts underneath in the winter time, and a freshly showered and dressed for work man kissing me goodbye while I’m still sleeping in the morning.

    • Bethany Susan says...

      Agreed! I always wish I could pull him back into bed with me in his nice, clean smelling work attire.

  61. Patricia says...

    501’s! My husband kills me all the time!

  62. Tara says...

    Can I tell you that “scars” on the infographic made me feel so much better? I have been feeling so guilty about the big scar on my 3yo’s forehead from when he fell this summer and had to get stitches! But maybe when he is older, someone will find it attractive…?

    • Julie says...

      I was relieved and surprised to see that, too! But because I do find scars very charming. :)

  63. Trish says...

    Perfect grammar that doesn’t sound forced!!

  64. Glasses! Short-sightedness FTW <3

  65. Boat shoes with no socks!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man, soooooo hawt! (Glad to know I am not the only one with that weird fetish!) lol

  66. Mae says...

    -a man in a well-fitted black suit/tux…whew….
    -Yes! To loafers with no socks!
    -when my husband smiles at me and has this sparkle in his eyes.
    -Nice hands

  67. Kate says...

    Forearms! Also, when my husband says my name. We usually call each other silly nicknames or “sweets” or “honey.” So when he calls me Kate it makes me swoony. :)

    • Julie says...

      Ditto for both of these! Whenever my husband refers to me in conversation and says my name, the sound is always surprising. And delightful. :)

    • rachel says...

      isn’t that funny? same here for the name thing. it’s so rare to hear it from my hubby!

    • Rebekah says...

      Me too with the name!

  68. Emilie says...

    Bold eyebrows, turtleneck sweaters, and what my friends and I used to call “there hair” – hair without any defined style that makes a guy look like he could be from any era. Yowza!

  69. Emily says...

    Broad, square shoulders were the first thing I ever recognized as a turn-on, back when I was a pre-teen. My husband’s can distract me even when I’m angry.

    Also:
    – sweaters
    – waffle henleys
    – when he explains complicated chemistry concepts from his work
    – watching him notice a cute kid (just started happening a year or two ago, and we’re still a year or two away from trying for our own)
    – watching him from across a room at a party — another example of that “seeing a secret side” phenomenon

    He’s not really a guy’s guy (PhD chemist, loves playing Minecraft, doesn’t care about sports) and I’m not into guy’s guys anyway, but… it totally turns me on to watch him grill or do push-ups.

    Sometimes we’ll be making out and my way of letting him know I want to get things going is to demand that he drop and “give me twenty” push-ups. I highly recommend it ;)

    • Emily says...

      also holy crap that Bradley Cooper speaking French video… *fanning myself*

  70. Savannah says...

    Old Spice – pure sport scent

  71. Guys who make silly faces at kids who are goofing around on the subway, in restaurants, etc.

  72. Savannah says...

    Old Spice – Pure Sport scent.

  73. Mariah says...

    Guys that drive stick shift really well…gah! Love it! :P

  74. Cara 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.

    Love this.

    For me: tucked-in shirts, owning/driving a small, practical, non-flashy pickup.

  75. Glasses, beards, something I refer to as “t-shirt arms” (the way a well-fitted t-shirt hugs the bicep), big hands, and masculine guys who are kind to small animals.

  76. When I was in high school, my friends and I would go to the same local pizza place in our small Midwestern town every Friday night. At the time, we all wore preppy clothes like it was a religion and one could literally be ostracized for a hint of punk, grunge, etc… Anyway, one night we walked into the pizza place and behind the counter, spinning the dough was this twenty-something skinny man, with shoulder length long hair pulled back in a barrette. I could not take my eyes off him and from then on I would get butterflies whenever I saw a man wearing hair accessories. Ha! Image my delight when man-buns started popping up on every corner. I’m basically living in a fantasy world. :)

  77. Danielle says...

    Your boyfriend’s comments = perfect. When I’m with someone, I like watching the guy I’m dating interacting with other people (mostly if he doesn’t know I’m watching) – my friends, my family, random strangers on the street. It shows how he is when he’s not around you, and that’s he’s kind even when you’re not paying attention.

  78. Gah. Snape! Major heart eyes. :)
    Also, I swoon for men in pink dress shirts.

  79. Ali says...

    For me it’s a classic – cologne. I go bananas when men wear cologne.

    Also, men who are nerdy but funny – a la Ben Wyatt from Parks and Rec.

  80. Sara says...

    Aviator sunglasses à la Top Gun.

  81. Awads says...

    Nothing is sexier (to me) than a man who can fix/build things. This becomes even more of a truth when you own a home together. Trust me. Things will break. Even if/when money is no object, you do NOT want to call in a professional every time. It’s exhausting and annoying. (I know. I know. We should be beyond wanting to be taken care of. But i can’t help it. When my man installs a new electric outlet, i’m gonna swoon!)

    • Rebekah says...

      I love being taken care of by my man :) It doesn’t make me feel “less than,” just loved… because he’s not patronizing, he’s kind and genuine.

      And yep, watching my husband roll up his flannel sleeves and use those big, strong hands to fix something is seriously hot.

  82. CML says...

    I agree with so many things said here! I would add: a great sense of direction. So random, but I really enjoy a guy who can use his instincts when getting around a city. When visiting my sister in a new-to-me city a few years ago, her old boyfriend had no idea how to tell me how to get downtown or get to a grocery store, despite the fact that he’d been to both areas many times. Oddly enough, I found that to be a huge turn off!

    • Lindsay says...

      YES! Nothing’s worse than when a guy has to pull out a GPS in an area he should be familiar with.

  83. Samantha Riedford says...

    I love that my boyfriend is always super nice to people at stores and restaurants. Even if he’s in a bad mood he’s never ever rude to people (which I can’t always say about myself…).

    • Same!

  84. Michaela says...

    Your conversation with your boyfriend sounds so sweet. It reminds me of a moment between my husband and I last week while we ate breakfast at a cafe. I noticed him watching me and smirking, and when I asked him what was going on, he proceeded to perform a spot-on impression of the way I was eating my biscuit with jam—picking it apart, dipping little pieces in the jam, rubbing the crumbs off my fingers. I was in stitches! It was just so sweet and funny to realize how closely he’s observed my mannerisms and how well he knows me.

    My random turn-ons usually involve those little moments where I realize my husband does something in a particular way. The look of concentration he gets while working on the car, the way he combs his car. So endearing.

  85. Madie says...

    Perfect round calves like apples, men carrying small children on their shoulders, and MacGyver-like abilities, such as being able to open a bottle cap with just about anything. Hey, I just described my husband! :) Lucky me.

  86. eg says...

    You know that scene in Reality Bites where Ethan Hawke wordlessly takes the bag off of Winona Ryder’s shoulder and puts it on his own? Basically, that.

  87. Lauren says...

    JTT forevaaaaa. I fell for my now-husband because he was the guy who always ran to hold the door for a woman with a stroller/older person carrying groceries/etc. And just didn’t miss a beat – was back to walking down the street with me like nothing even happened in a second… Swoon.

  88. Mallory says...

    I like when my husband speaks with authority about money, investing. I’m not the best saver and he’s on the thrifty (ahem, cheap) side, but when I hear him talk about investing money, returns, and how much he wants to have when we retire, I swoon. It’s so weird because the day to day money talk drives me nuts. I think it has to do with his vision for us for the future, and that he’s thinking about us that way.

  89. Eliza says...

    I have nothing to add other than that I totally love this post. :-)

  90. Emily says...

    Forearms always get me. Strong. With the veins popping out as much as possible.
    And winking.
    And I melt when my guy calls me “doll” (weird, right?).
    May I just say, Caroline: your sense of humour shines through your writing so nicely, I always giggle when I read your pieces. Thank you!

    • Bethany Susan says...

      Agreed!

  91. We approve of you, New Man!

    • Bethany Susan says...

      Also agreed!

  92. Toby says...

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

    This gave me a good laugh :) Maybe your new friend can give my boyfriend some tips!

  93. Jackie says...

    I love a man with a very distinctive nose. Think Oscar Isaac. Bonus points if it looks like it’s been broken in the past.

  94. Suzanne says...

    Strong hands and forearms, especially when revealed by rolled-up shirt sleeves! I don’t know what it is about rolled-up sleeves that’s so sexy, but it is.

  95. Suse says...

    The guy who doesn’t squash bugs, instead he picks them up and takes them outside.

    • That is the cutest! I agree!

  96. Ahh I love all of these! And so happy to hear about this special wonderful new man in your life – he sounds like he smartly says all of the right things indeed :)

  97. Angelica says...

    Use of the word ‘banal’ in conversation, good sideburns, and when my husband explains mathematical theories to me.

  98. Jeanine says...

    Winking. And wearing a watch.

  99. Grey hair and the ability to start a fire and swing an ax. Fortunately my fiancé gets 2/3. The grey hair will come soon enough. :)

  100. Dominique says...

    Beards. Definitely beards. My husband has had one for most of our 8 years together. It weirds me out now when he shaves it. And when I see men I know who have recently grown a beard, I find them significantly more attractive. Also, men who are willing to have an intellectual/philosophical conversation with me.

    • Jody says...

      I second beards. Bonus points for men I know who were rocking them before the whole lumbersexual movement.

  101. Heather says...

    I had a guy call me drunk late one night threatening to do this or that. He had somehow managed to get my cell phone number via my office. After I spoke with him for a minute and politely asked him to quit calling, my husband took over. He was so powerful! My normally meek and mild-mannered man suddenly became this loud, authoritative no-nonsense powerful guy who demanded that the caller leave his wife alone. It totally turned me on.

  102. when guys have a deep voice and talk slowly, or when they take a minute to think before talking. I’m always rushing a mile a minute and it’s striking when they seem confident and not in a hurry.

    (and your description of the Him is so f. scott and perfect!)

    • Love when they take a moment to consider before speaking! So considerate.

  103. Katie says...

    A backwards fitted baseball cap. They were the thing when I was a young teen, and Justin Timberlake had one on in practically every photo and documentary during the *NSYNC era. The turn on has stuck with me, even though it’s not so much a thing anymore.

    • Iriska says...

      really? I find, a lot of guys wear baseball caps backwards. And yeah, it can be cute :)

  104. Suzanne says...

    Oooooh!! A new man in your life?! Do tell do tell!!

    My random turn-ons include unnecessary chivalry (opening a door, for example), nicely manicured nails, a man who knows how to cook well, and someone with a big… bookshelf. (*wink*)

    • I want to know more about him too, Caroline! How did y’all meet?

  105. Mary says...

    So glad Caroline found a new friend. He sounds like a gem =)

    And Caroline, write more for us! I love the voice that shines through in your posts and I just feel like we would be friends.

  106. Dana says...

    My best friend and I loved JTT’s hands! They were so tan and in between his fingers were so pale. We are 31 now and still, when in the sun, keep our fingers close together to try to emulate those beautiful hands.

  107. My husband in his pajamas with bare feet

  108. Amy says...

    Hair! I lovvvve a hairy guy. I like heat hair, neck hair, even back hair. It the best when his chest hair grows up and connects with the neck hair and, of course, the beard.

    • Amy says...

      Heat hair should read chest hair :)

  109. Jennifer says...

    Glasses and hidden tattoos!!

    • Hidden tattoos! Tasteful ones :)

  110. Kellyn says...

    The number-one prerequisite for me to be attracted to someone is whether or not I can learn from them. My gentleman friend does that in spades for me. I adore listening and watching him explain things to me. There are also moments where I can see him, out of the corner of my eye, watching me fondly. I often don’t look at him when he does this; I just enjoy the blurry vision of his dark eyes on me while I’m reading, talking to someone, drinking, driving with him in the passenger seat.

  111. tyler says...

    chest. hair. and when my husband does something to take care of me, like pulling a splinter out of my hand. really when he takes charge in any way, since he’s normally very passive.

  112. Asia says...

    Grey t-shirts, and also button down with the sleeves rolled up and a forearm tattoo peeking out.

  113. I like seeing my hubby read!! It is very attractive♥♥

    summerdaisy.net

  114. – When I see him work from home and he’s just in the zone.
    – His eyeglasses.
    – Pressed shirts
    – Rolled up sleeves
    – A really nice pair of oxfords/ chukka boots <3

  115. When they are cold and their cheeks turn red and they are in a thick sweater and hopefully a toque too. :)

    And your obsession with JTT is parallel to mine but with Leo DiCaprio as Jack in Titanic. I still believe that was my first experience with what I hoped loved would feel like… At age five. Ha. It’s been a standard ever since.

  116. Klara says...

    The use of correct grammar and spelling. And extra points for having an old-fashioned cell phone, like myself :o)

  117. Rina says...

    This is the most random turn-on ever, but I find all the left-handed men strangely attractive. A guy might look like nothing much, and then he starts writing with his left hand, and I suddenly find myself drawn to him. No idea why, though.

    • mosey says...

      Ditto!

    • Yeah!

  118. I know it’s a cliché, but deep, sensitive eyes. And this might sound weird, but a guy my family loves. When I see my husband teaching my father how to download a new software or when he jokes around with my sisters, I always think, ‘Yeah. That’s what I love about you.’

  119. Patricia says...

    I love when people have a gap between their two front teeth or when teeth are just slightly crooked or overlapping (not full-on snaggles). In college, I was always attracted to guys who had casts on their arms. Weird I know, but maybe it suggested that they were active and adventurous?

  120. Plain. White. Boxers. It’s so weird, but I love them. They’re so simple and sexy and old school.

    Close runners up: bowties (but only if worn well), navy suits (same), and the smell of Scotch.

  121. Lucy S says...

    Hands, strong and gentle with no fur on the knuckles but a sprinkle on the wrist.

    A strong jawline, cf Heath Ledger. Still not over it.

  122. 1–A man in dark jeans and a soft long sleeve T-shirt; I LOVE a man in a long sleeve tee.

    2–Great lips with straight white teeth. Swoon.

    • Becca says...

      I was just telling my husband last night that I loved him in his long sleeved tee!

  123. lindsay says...

    i do most of the cooking in our house, but i love watching my husband when he cooks. he’s very precise and he gets very intense, usually with a kitchen towel tossed over his shoulder, sometimes even wearing an apron. i love it!

  124. Tamsin says...

    Dark skin… I always have to force myself not to stare! And a deep laugh. And seriousness, someone talking very seriously to me like what they are saying is of the gravest importance.

  125. Ros says...

    “I like to watch you read” = awwwwwwww.

    Random turn-ons: men who wear dress shirts with the sleeves rolled up (something about the wrist and forearm, I dunno, it just works). Long hair on men. Good hipbones on men. Curves on women. General competence and getting-things-done. Affection towards animals and small children. Down-to-earth knowledge. Also, inexplicably, long curly dark hair, on men or women.

    • Rachel S says...

      Totally agree about the rolled up sleeves!

  126. I love guys that read actual books and wear fun socks. And I like a guy that crosses his legs “like a lady,” instead of taking up lots of unnecessary space. Haha.

    • Suzy says...

      Crossing legs is such a funny one to me. It used to be an automatic no for me when guys did that. Haha

    • Emily says...

      Ha, my husband crosses his legs like that! I had never seen anyone of my generation do it before I met him at 19. It struck me as being sort of European and sophisticated, like he was totally comfortable in his own skin and not interested in being macho.

      In the 8 years since I’ve noticed others noticing, and it always makes me feel this strange sense of pride. So funny to know that someone else likes it too!

  127. Jenny says...

    A man who knows how to dance – any style as long as he’s mostly coordinated. ;)

  128. Kiley says...

    Waffle knit henley shirts and a pouty lower lip!

    • Steph says...

      I was just going to write waffle knit henley shirts!! AND, scars.

  129. Ally says...

    Inner-forearm tattoos, having a large vocabulary, worn out jeans, being good at Jeopardy, ability to fix or build something.

    • Aimee says...

      Yes! I like when you can see the shape of their wallet worn out in their back pocket.

  130. J.D says...

    *swoon* … All I can say is that I cannot wait to read your book Caroline!

  131. Colleen says...

    Yay for new man in your life! I like men who can cook, as someone who does mostcooking and shopping. If Hubs fires up the grill in the summer. And when Hubs sits with our daughter at the piano, since he took lessons and I did not. Bradley Cooper in Burnt would be smoking hot.

  132. I love a distinctive nose, and when my husband explains physics to me. Turns me to mush every. Single. Time.

    Also, amen on the authoritative work calls! *swoon*

  133. my husband has a light tremor and sometimes his hands will flinch. the first time i noticed was during our 4th or 5th date and he was making dinner. he was prepping the salad, i watched him cut a red bell pepper oh so very carefully, not in a timid way, with purpose and with thoughtfulness. and i knew that when i put my heart in his hand he would be just as precious with it. that turned me on.

    • Bethany Susan says...

      Wow! Well said! I swooned on your behalf.

  134. A deep voice. Extra points for a contagious laugh and a coy smile. Think Alan Rickman and Benedict Cumberbatch. Who would have thought that Snape could be sexy?

    • Katie says...

      Colonel Brandon in Sense & Sensibility: mega swoon.

  135. Dana says...

    Wingtip shoes!

  136. MK says...

    Guys with glasses! Also, beards. I convinced my husband to grow one and I loved it, but he ended up getting tired of it.

  137. Kellie P. says...

    My husband likes seeing me read, too. We got in a big fight once because I went all out with a lingerie ensemble and he wasn’t that into it. Crying, I asked him what the hell was wrong with him. He said he finds me sexiest when I am in my element, reading.
    I feel the same. I absolutely love looking outside and seeing him chopping wood or gardening. He is in his element out there and it’s pretty hot!
    Random turn-ons beat obvious ones any day!

  138. Ooooo good topic! Eyeglasses have always done it for me!

  139. SK says...

    This is so weird to type… but because Cup of Jo is my FAVORITE blog and I feel attached to you guys….. I am SO EXCITED for you and the new man in your life! Love it!!!! Enjoy the fun, new stage! (From someone who is planning her wedding and sometimes goes crazy and has to remember that I am choosing this!!! Eeeek- need de-stressing wedding planning tips ASAP!)

  140. Andrea 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.

    Goosebumps.

    • Amy says...

      And if she were reading “Goosebumps” … even hotter.

  141. A plain white T-shirt. I’m convinced every guy worth looking at looks his best in a round neck white T-shirt. No suits for me, thanks!

  142. Shawn says...

    Keep the man who says he likes to watch you read – that is a man who will truly love you (and probably already does). My husband says the same thing and he is the best man in the world.

  143. Sam says...

    My husband likes to watch me while I’m watching TV. I don’t know that it’s a turn-on but he gets enjoyment out of how my facial expressions relate to whatever it is that I’m watching.

  144. Jennifer says...

    Where did you meet this new person, Caroline?? I am turning thur tee next week, and I am freaking out so bad that I can’t even say it or type it! I think we are similarly aged, and I have no idea where to meet people besides work and randos at bars!

    • Jenn says...

      Also, to keep it relevant, my random turn on is when a guy is excited to explain something to you, instead of exasperated that he has to.

  145. Angela says...

    Hairy forearms!

  146. I agree with an authoritative tone on a work call!

    Also, a guy’s voice. I can’t describe a specific characteristic, but I know when I like it… weird, I know!

  147. Sweaters pushed up to reveal a man’s forearms.

    Or really just sweaters in general.

    • Mary says...

      The best. The sweaters, the arms, long sleeves in general on a man.

    • Katie says...

      Forearms–yes.