Relationships

What Are Your Random Turn-Ons?

Hawkins New York

While we wait for votes to be counted, let’s talk about something fun/distracting: What are your random turn-ons? Here are six of mine…

Beards. (Alex is never allowed to shave his, although he did look cute without one.)

Smile crinkles.

Hoodie. Any hoodie will do.

Strong hugs. Especially when they last a few extra seconds.

Finding So I Married an Axe Murderer funny.

Political engagement!

Caroline‘s are “reading things printed on actual paper” and “being kind to dogs, particularly if they are not too proud to talk in ‘silly dog voice.'” And Kim‘s are “shirts with sleeves rolled over the forearm” and “making the perfect French press.”

What about yours? Please share below, we’d love to hear…

P.S. The secret to a happy marriage, and do you care about height when dating?

(Photo by Jasmine Dowling for Hawkins New York.)

  1. Kate says...

    My partner in his reading glasses. It melts me EVERY. DAMN. TIME.

  2. Being gazed directly in the eyes when I’m talking about something that really matters. Makes me swoon every time. That being said, observing them when they speak about something that lights them up fail-proof.
    But also veins on manly hands and being folded into a soft and generous hug. Ahhh *gooey eyes*

  3. Aneli says...

    Late to the party but I am loving this!! My sweetheart was in hospitality before becoming a Marine, and it really shows. I still stare at him in awe. He’s physically commanding in any space but immediately disarms everyone with sincere small talk and self-effacing jokes. He injects your name into conversation in a warm and non-condescending way and treats strangers like neighbors he’s known for ages. He also rocks henleys and rolls up his dress shirt sleeves. Glasses, the manly slope of his shoulders, the forearms, the classic watch: YES. And when he stirs his tea? Just stop

  4. Emma says...

    For some reason, being told I smell good always gets my blood going. Random. Works whether it’s my partner or not.

  5. Christine says...

    The other day my husband slightly raised his voice at our two year old (which is not at all typical for him) because he was frustrated with her yelling at him. He immediately went over and sat next to her and apologized for raising his voice at her and said “how about this… let’s both work on not yelling together”. I just stood there going about my task and listening to their interaction but it truly melted my heart seeing him apologize to her in that way.

  6. Ellen says...

    -colored eye liner
    -brightly colored tights
    -excitedly telling stories of her adventures with friends <3

  7. ML says...

    I’ve read every comment and haven’t seen one thing I would add. I wasn’t dating – but was very attracted to – a guy many years ago. We had stopped by a grocery store and I was leaning over looking at produce and he walked up quietly and kissed the back of my neck. I have never since felt that level of swoon. I still think about that and it’s been over 20 years. : )

  8. Sarah says...

    Wow I love a good voice. Really gets me.
    And I love a streak of gray!! Or salt and pepper or all gray. So sweet.

  9. Rachel says...

    I’m sure there were other things before, but now my husband dominates my thoughts on this!

    Really listens (he got me glassblowing lessons for our first Christmas when I mentioned over a dinner once that I’d always wanted to try it)
    Smart/logical/methodical but cries during things like ‘My Octopus Teacher’
    Strong forearms and amazing hands with long artistic fingers (swoon)
    Reader
    Easy confidence and cuddliness in a henley and bulky shawl collar cardigan sweater
    Gentleness with animals, especially his rescue cats
    Tenacity and confidence to accomplish things he’s interested in: running a marathon, fixing up a car, building computers, learning to cook
    Consequently: amazing cook
    Feminist and politically engaged
    Calm and mellow with a sexy deep voice
    Drives a stick shift

  10. Chloe says...

    I always swoon when my partner shuffles the cards before we play a game!

  11. julie says...

    When he’s really happy, my husband looks to the ground, closes his eyes, briefly sighs, and slowly smiles until his dimples show. It looks like his abundance of joy overtakes him and makes him shy. I don’t know what it is but I’ve been melting over those moments for 16 years.

  12. Beth says...

    Being a feminist. Understanding that even though we are in a partnership that to me having financial independence from him is also important and that the lack of that the lack of that causes me anxiety.
    He likes to joke that every woman should have a relationship bug out bag that includes understanding their own finances and financial independence. I also joke that I have a financial plan for if he dies suddenly. Being able to talk about these things without judgment makes it sexy.
    Also having an old school hairy chest doesn’t hurt for the sex factor.

  13. KA says...

    A man who lets a woman shine not because it’s polite, but because he loves her light. (Huge crush on Doug Emhoff rn).

    • Amanda says...

      Ka, this is so beautiful! “…because he loves her light.” Damn!

    • Three snaps and a bow of the head in agreement. Yessss!

    • Anna says...

      YES. I my first movie came out last month and since we couldn’t really do a premier because of covid, my husband put together a private socially distanced screening and made a really big deal of it. Later that weekend I said to him, “I hope this doesn’t sound conceited, but I’m proud of you for being proud of me. ” His support means everything to me.

    • NJ says...

      A man who lets a woman shine because he understands that whether or not he loves her light, it’s hers to shine and not his to stifle is the basic, but LOVING her light and enjoying the shine is the big turn on :)
      Also, Anna, congratulations on your first movie! Where can we stream/ download it? Would love to support another CoJ friend :)

  14. Stacey says...

    Patagonia down jackets on a guy!

    • Ags says...

      soooooo true! <3

  15. StephO says...

    The occasional long, slow kiss on my forehead
    Pulling my undies out of my butt before we fall asleep at night :)
    His throaty laugh
    Getting me Kleenex when I cry watching a show (as he chuckles)
    His calm and soothing tone of voice
    His pure masculinity…swoon

  16. Jade says...

    Backwards-facing baseball caps <3

  17. Joanna Schoff says...

    Musical – play guitar and sing.

    Wanderer with no destination.

    Spontaneous.

  18. Alice L. says...

    Beards, intimate eye contact, and nice forearms that gives great hugs

  19. Kate says...

    When hair curls up on the back of a man’s collared shirt.
    A man in a military uniform or a fisherman knit turtleneck sweater.
    A foreign accent.
    A hint of Lagerfeld men’s cologne.
    A great hugger.

  20. Meghan says...

    Oh man, is it weird that now I have a crush on all your spouses and lovers? The way everyone described their people just made me fall for each and everyone of them. What a lucky bunch we are.

    • Molly says...

      Agreed!! :) xo

  21. Tara says...

    Smelling good
    A bright smile
    A nice fitting suit
    Clean sneakers
    A beard nicely cut
    Confidence
    Curly long lashes
    Wearing sweat pants 😍🍆
    Friendly

    • Emily Crowder says...

      Yes to sweatpants. Sweatpants on everyone!

  22. Amy says...

    Guys who are prematurely grey, crazy smart, and wear glasses.
    Make me laugh, make me breakfast.

  23. Em says...

    a beautiful chin dimple.

  24. Simone Brett says...

    CLAVICLES. That is all.

    • Elina says...

      YES!!!

  25. Confidence, eye contact, and FOREARMS

    • Kerry says...

      YES, whole-heartedly agree with these three. Eye contact paired with confidence is [swoon] plus forearms. And if you throw in the shoulders, forget it.

  26. Danie says...

    a peek of ankle from some rolled up jeans!

  27. Amy says...

    During today’s video chat, my boyfriend lifted up his shirt sleeve to show off his seasonal flu shot. I swooned. Biceps and responsibility!!

  28. Ginger says...

    1. Beefy man thighs. See: Matthew Macfadyen, Idris Elba.
    2. Extended eye contact.
    3. Capability in something specialized and hands-on, like woodwork, cooking, artistic endeavors, etc.
    4. Tallish dark haired women with slightly long faces. See: Cobie Smulders, Sandra Oh.
    5. Gentleness with children and animals.
    6. Red/reddish hair on men or women. Especially redheaded men with blonde beards, or dark haired men with red beards, or strawberry blonde women.
    7. Freckles. No matter what skin tone, freckles add something so special and compelling.
    8. Deep voices. See: Cillian Murphy, Katie Gavin of MUNA.
    9. Ability to dance/move the body joyfully. See: Loïc Nottet, Ingrid Silva.
    10. Decisiveness.

  29. The voice!!!! Such a sucker for a voice.The sound and confidence in speaking. At work if a stranger/co-worker walks into office/meeting with complete confidence and speaks, with a DJ type deep sounding voice!!! I go weak, can just feel my heart soften and beat harder at the same time! Even if I hear that person in every monday morning meeting. Looks dont come into any of the above at all!!!
    Thus, my BIGGEST turn-off is meeting a gorgeous handsome stranger, who cant cant open his mouth to speak confidently (especially if it is a squeaky voice!)
    This was the clincher in falling in love with my boyfriend (long term partner now). First time I met him (mutual friends party) we connected immediately, him talking about his resent passionate photography project (him being a professional photograper and I ironically had just finished a photography course) the he went away a week after that. I would listen to the voice message on his phone (pre. Cell phones) over and over!! Even made my girlfriends listen! Note I was 35, but it was a complete 1st love experience!!! Constant butteflies.
    The ultimate cherry on the top was him phoning the minute he got back, (10 days later) swoon. Saying he didnt have a girlfriend and could we make a date for friday that week. Immediatly those butterflies went CRAZY in my tummy!!! As if they had consumed loads amounts of sugar, caffiene and drugs ALL at once!!!!
    Oops, this turned into love story instead of just a comment! But after all, its unique as it was “love a first sentence”

    • Ps. For him, meeting me that 1st time, his words “this minute he saw me, he saw a huge radiating smile, seeing that same radiating joy in my big brown eye’s and my Very sexy arse in my jeans!”
      Yip! You always know if you got a keeper ;-)

  30. S says...

    One more: in our blissful early weeks he slept over in my bed. Before dawn the trash truck rolled up under my window, blaring and clanging. He laid his hands gently over my ears so the noise wouldn’t wake me. It did! But I pretended to be asleep and gave him my whole heart at that moment.

    • Jocelyn says...

      This is the sweetest thing :’) It made my day!! Thank you for sharing <3

    • Julie says...

      That’s astonishingly beautiful!

  31. S says...

    Chest hair. The forearms, the rolled sleeves. Being really listened to: eye contact and thoughtful questions. Skillful parallel parking. When he gets a little stern. Deep voice. Strong hands. When he’s absorbed in work that inspires him. When he looks at me like I’m a perfect chicken parm.

  32. Beth says...

    Came back to these comments to see if any of the rolled-sleeve lovers are watching Steve Kornacki this week! Anyone?

  33. H says...

    this makes me so happy!
    i lucked out online 6 weeks ago and have had a brief little love affair all before i move away. he lives 45 minutes away from the mountains, so he took me to a glacier on a date. a glacier!
    he also eats cleanly, wears bamboo t-shirts, does chores, does renovations and manly car stuff, has freckles on his temples, and has the loveliest hardwood floors i’ve seen in ages!

  34. Rachel says...

    “Chartthrob” Steve Kornacki!
    Smart is sexy!

    • Amy says...

      Yes! Love this – and add glasses to being sexy on that smart guy!

  35. Courtney says...

    Echoing all the previous forearm comments …

    Good driver
    Not afraid to be goofy
    The right amount of stubble
    A great smile
    Those pullover sweaters with the zip-up neck?
    A cute butt in jeans
    Strong enough to pick me up at key moments
    Touching/brushing my back when we’re in public

  36. Hanna says...

    Chest hair!!

  37. Amanda says...

    A very specific recent scenario that caught me off-guard:
    I went on a first date the other day where I brought us each a slice of cake to eat in the park. I wasn’t 100% sure how I was feeling about things, but was having a pleasant enough time, and then he unironically stuck out his tongue, and slowly licked the frosting off of his fork!!!!! I fully stopped what I was saying and stared, and realized very suddenly that I knew EXACTLY how I felt about this man.
    Turns out the slow-mo scenes in rom-coms are uh.. sometimes based off of real life events!

  38. CN from CA says...

    When a guy makes eye contact during conversation; when he crosses his arms (rolled sleeves – of course!) and leans against a wall when chatting with me; describes something humbly without mansplaining; is passionate about something and follows that passion; calm and collected; gets along with anyone; courageous yet polite; nice butt. Yum.

  39. Sonia says...

    A man with nice ankles 🤷🏻‍♀️

  40. Maureen says...

    Strong arms, a hug that ends in a squeeze that is just a little uncomfortable for a brief second, a chaste kiss on the cheek that you know could lead to more, eye contact.

  41. Lizzie says...

    hahahahaha. AMEN.

  42. Regina says...

    I find it deeply attractive when people wear old-school wristwatches, as opposed to digital or an Apple watch. It’s so classic and timeless. And deeply sexy to me for some reason!

    • Simone Brett says...

      My husband wears one, and I love asking hm for the time because he flips his forearm out (SWOON)!

  43. Mimi says...

    Anyone else just never in the mood? I want to be! The one thing that works for me these days – my husband connecting with our child. When those two are in their own little world together all the stress washes away and I am good to go. Oh, and his quarantine hair! I don’t want him to ever cut his hair. When he flips his hair away from his face it’s like, “OMG! I’m married to Keanu!”

  44. Melz says...

    I love a dish towel draped across shoulder & a diaper peeking out of back jean pocket…. & tall!

  45. Lucy says...

    Tall and slim
    Big nose
    Sexy voice
    Erudition

  46. jdp says...

    omg the shirt thing, with the sleeves, and the forearms. i have honestly gone up a degree just thinking about it. i might actually miss dressy button-down shirts for that reason.

  47. Kylee says...

    Broad shoulders, tall, dark hair / blue eyes, makes me laugh, … just described my husband who I’ve been with for 20 years. Looks like the attraction is still going strong! ;)

  48. jalisa vanchianni says...

    love taco breath! oh i know it’s weird, but i just love that meat smell! hmm, men not afriad to fart in public, an unshaven taint, large knees! moles in uncommon places, arabs, pencils! corn.

    • G says...

      Wow. These, my favorite.

    • Anna says...

      An unshaven taint? Is taint-shaving even a thing?? Jalisa, your choices are the weirdest and funniest on here. I mean that in a nice way! Meat smells, farting, arabs, pencils, corn?

    • Hanna says...

      I’m sitting alone in my living room, CACKLING, with actual tears of laughter running down my face. I feel like this was posted as a joke…either way, thank you for making my evening!

  49. Julia says...

    You know it’s been a long 2020 when you’re reading all of these and you’re like “Sure! Yeah! I’ll take one of each!”

    I MISS BEING TOUCHED.

    • Lance Heartstrong says...

      Beaming a bouquet of touches for you …

  50. Mara says...

    The biggest and most long-standing turn-on is a man who can sing well. This has been a turn-on since I was 12 years old and seeing Cats with my parents. Rum Tum Tugger just DID it for me, my did sparks fly. Then a short while later the school bad-boy started coming to my bus stop and we developed an unlikely friendship… and I nearly died when I showed up to the end-of-year school musical, Oliver, and who was cast as Oliver but this guy! He had a beautiful, trained singing voice and I fell HARD for him. I still get butterflies when I think of him…

    In second place is a man who can dance confidently, and/or doesn’t care how he appears to others. Almost no men can pull this off. My [now] husband won major points with me when he tossed aside his seersucker blazer at a wedding and incorporated his suspenders into his dance.

  51. Lo says...

    I honestly thought I was unique in my turn ons, but I’ve had a ton of fun reading through everyone’s and finding similarities!
    -a man in a button down with the sleeves rolled up KILLS ME every time
    -a man holding a baby or carrying a toddler (embarrassingly gendered, but true)
    -When a man puts his hand on my knee….chills
    -a good long hug! to die for

  52. M says...

    Is anyone else curious about what comments men would have about turn ons??

    • Liz says...

      VERY curious!

      And also . . . do they know about the power of a good long hug, a rolled-up sleeve, and vacuuming?

    • David says...

      Man here:
      -Turned on by women who don’t clutch pearls when talking about sex, admit to using a vibrator and maybe watching some porn.
      -women who don’t assume that it has to be the man to kill the spider, carry the heavy suitcase, fill up the car with gas.
      -women who wear old rock band t-shirts
      -women who want weed instead of roses
      -women who don’t assume men have to always pay when going on a date
      -women who don’t expect a prince charming to save them
      -women who wear musky perfume
      -women who wear black eyeliner

    • jane says...

      @ David
      Lovely to hear a man’s perspective, truely, except for this part ; )

      “-women who don’t assume that it has to be the man to kill the spider, carry the heavy suitcase, fill up the car with gas.”

      We make and birth The Humans, David. Not to mention earning less per dollar than men in general. That means the above is a fair assumption of duties in my book. I say this with love.

      Also. I am 5’2″ and 100lbs. The day my ex-boyfriend threw a giant tantrum, saying, “he didn’t want to be my sherpa”, when I needed help carrying a heavy box, he killed any respect I had for him as well as our relationship. I mean, men are physically stronger for a reason. To protect the reproductive facilities of women. Our sensitivities to things like spiders are partially what allow us to protect our capacity to nurture and care for our families. And gas fumes are toxic to reproductive organs. I am not sexist but some things are really vital forms of service to humanity that men should willingly perform without complaint as women perform the act of birthing. Likely contemporary couples negotiate these according to preference but they are cliche’s for basically valid reasons.

      PS: you don’t have to kill spiders – you can catch and release as I’ve learned to do. Here’s how: reserve an upside down clean clear plastic deli cup set aside for that purpose alonge, and a firm postcard or mailer. As ever be slow and gentle in your movements to minimize the bug freaking out. Carefully cover said bug with cup then g.e.n.t.l.y slide the card under the cup so you don’t hurt it and carry it outside.

    • Lais says...

      YES! Joanna, can Alex arrange a follow up with his male readers? haha
      I feel like they should be informed of the rolled up sleeve thing.

  53. Anna says...

    Honestly, I think this is the thread we all didn’t know we needed while we wait out the election! CoJ readers have such great taste. Mine are – being soppily kind to cats / children; bare suntanned feet with visible flipflop lines; clean, thick but disheveled hair (has to be clean but too much grooming is a definite turn-off); and the big one, getting absorbed reading literary fiction! Oh, and well-shaped thumbs!

  54. Tucker says...

    Rolling up sleeves to help with dishes or other cleaning but especially dishes after a meal with a lot of them. Being a good driver. Being a “good man in a storm” or calm in a crisis. I’m not so I love seeing it. Treating friends well. Being able to read a map or survival type skills like starting a fire.

  55. Anna says...

    I agree with all the above and it makes me feel incredibly lucky to have my bearded hoodie-wearing husband who is obsessed with dogs, keeps a stack of books on his nightstand for bedtime reading, and makes lattes for me every morning <3

  56. Corrie says...

    A man that’s comfortable with other men. I don’t mean someone who bros out, but someone who treats their male friends the way we treat our girlfriends. Not being afraid to touch them, to be gentle with them, to show their pleasure at having them around. It hit me during quarantine how little we see men being together (how many times did you see Rachel with her head in Monica’s lap in Friends? How often did you even see Chandler and Ross hug? When did you last see two guys sharing a double bed platonically?), and the lack of toxic masculinity when I see that is such a turn on.

    • Stella says...

      Yes! I love this. Male friendship is intimate too! <3

    • Bethany Howson-Jan says...

      I agree with this. I read somewhere (maybe on here?) that Dev and Arnold’s relationship in Master of None is one of the few platonic male relationships we’ve seen on TV that isn’t about one upmanship, snark, or bro-ing out. Instead they’re…just nice to each other.

    • Em says...

      Yes.

      Over the summer I took a road trip with the man I was seeing. As copilot I managed the directions on his phone, and helped to send out texts to his friends (guys) to coordinate. I didn’t mean to snoop, but of course incidentally I did see past messages they’d sent to one another. I learned that E signed off those conversations with “I love you.” That really made my heart swell.

  57. Laurel says...

    Phoebe Waller-Bridge nailed it when she figured out why women were going mental over the priest from Fleabag—Nothing is more attractive than a man who listens to you and is fully engaged in what you’re saying. Amen.

    • Erin says...

      This! So much this. My lover listens and tries to understand. He is also kind and thoughtful and smart and cares about the world. And willing to learn more!

      Random turn ons list:
      -a strong wrist
      -shapely calves (for soccer!)
      -cute butt
      – collared shirt, shorts and boat shoes
      – the casual confidence of the hs jock / class president
      – a man who can sing or play an instrument (or both! Hi josh radnor!)
      – guys who are good at whatever they enjoy doing
      – men in suits

    • Amy says...

      Hot Priest. Forever and ever, amen.

  58. Nina says...

    His voice on the phone. That he’ll lie on the sofa admiring me doing something handy like putting up a lamp and not at all feel he needs to do it to prove his masculinity. His legs in shorts. That he is super ticklish. Bringing me cheese rather than chocolate.

  59. karen says...

    I made a random mental list while I was in the shower one day, after a break up, of what I needed in a partner. Someone who liked to walk, someone who liked to sing, someone who could hold their own at a party without me being worried about them. In our early days of dating, as we were walking down the street after seeing a film, my husband started dancing and singing as a car sped by blaring Stevie Wonder. Something from Songs in the Key of Life. I was hooked.

  60. Tina Crisas says...

    The first time i saw my now husband in his police uniform, i was pretty speechless!!!! Swooonnnnnn. And the fact that he’s also such a handyman with incredibly strong arms. Protective of his family, too. Love.

  61. H says...

    My man with a mustache! It gives me this period-piece, Civil War soldier, saucy vibe. Please reference “The Consecration” by George Cochran Lambdin. THIS IS THE MOOD! My now husband grew out his mustache to propose to me and it was my favorite part.

    • The Other H says...

      YES! The mustache!

  62. Erin G. says...

    These comments!!! What a fun read.

    And about our shared love for shirt sleeves rolled up over forearms: My favorite professor in college always wore a suit (button down white shirt, tie, and brown tweed blazer with leather patches on the elbows!). Each day when he arrived in class, he would carefully hang his blazer on the back of his chair, loosen his tie a bit, unbutton the top button of his shirt, and then unbutton each sleeve cuff and carefully roll them up to his elbow. HOLLLLLLLY MOLY. Still think about it regularly after 20 plus years.

    • M. says...

      I just had to fan my face just from imagining that professor. LORD.

    • Mouse says...

      Basically the male version of a striptease…..YES.

  63. Lauren E. says...

    The dog thing! We just got a puppy and watching my husband talk quiet baby talk to the dog just freaking melted me.

  64. Dana says...

    Driving a stick shift, a rolled up button down over strong, tanned forearms, yes I’m basic

    • Hilary says...

      Stick shift! Yes!!

    • Capucine says...

      Left handed water men.

      But, stick shift skills! A guy who cannot drive stick is an instant lust killer. If I had been Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, I never would’ve gone inside, no matter how rich. I don’t know why that is, but boy it IS. I can still feel the scales falling from my eyes when this one hot guy couldn’t drive the car we ended up with after a party one night, so us three girls rolled our eyes and flipped a coin over which of us would do it and I never called him again. I guess I don’t like the caregiver kind of attraction? (As an aside, learn to drive stick, ladies! Never wasted.)

  65. polyana says...

    political engagement, yes! this past weekend i was incredibly turned on watching my partner give a passionate speech to a friend of his who was challenging our support for biden. him talking about how it’s a matter of human rights and civil liberties…

    we are NOT American and do not live in the United States, by the way. but my part of my family is, so it felt even better to know how much he cares about my family’s well being.

    #swoon.

  66. Agnes says...

    This is so fun 😊 I haven’t thought about this at ALL ;) but I’d say blonde, tall, square jaw, big hands, solid (not skinny), full heads of thick hair, strong (can heave things, like me, over his shoulder), looking cute and bashful when a camera comes along, secret talents like drawing, knows how to do guy things like fix cars and electronics and all the boring stuff I could learn how to do but DON’T WANT TO, a guy who drives on icy roads and in the dark so I can sleep in the car, holding hands, taking charge of the relationship so I don’t have to (moving us forward with intention), good with money, responsible with finances, respectful of people, likes dogs, not reactionary to anything but has his own mind, smart, men in uniform (I turn into a simpering idiot when I get stopped by police, maybe that’s the reason I haven’t had a speeding ticket since the 90’s?). Also, the chance to be a simpering idiot around attractive men is enjoyable hahaha.

    • Catherine says...

      Whoa, that’s inspirational. Thanks for sharing!

  67. Sheila says...

    I love the comments on hands, because that’s a particular weakness I share.

    My wife has the most INCREDIBLE hands. They’re slightly masculine but with a feminine smoothness (wow, I never realized that description also fits my “type”). On our second date, before we’d even kissed, she and I sat on the floor under the window in my new apartment (I’d moved across the country 5 weeks earlier and my only furniture was a bed) and held hands. Eventually we started touching one another’s palms, caressing the back of the hands and even our wrists. There was such a sensual charge in the movements, and we kept at it for more than an hour while talking. When she left my apartment I finally plucked up the courage to give her the softest kiss ever. Now whenever she and I think about that memory we call it “hand f*cking” — sounds dirtier than we intend, but god it was so sexy.

    • Dawn says...

      YES on the complete and utter sensuality of hands. I fell head-over-heels for a man who softly brushed my the inside of my hands for hours after dinner. When we got up, I literally could hardly stand my legs were so weak. I married him 3 years later!

  68. liz says...

    Thanks Caroline and Kim. Your turn ons are mine.

  69. Claudia Baskerville says...

    A British accent. A man bun (I know, I know…). Well tailored, slim trousers and/or a well tailored suit.

  70. Amy says...

    I am also a fan of forearms and rolled shirtsleeves, but did you all see the guy on CNN doing math on live TV yesterday? With the black t-shirt? And the biceps? Works for me…

    • Darina says...

      Simple- arms and just the right amount of arm hair, broad back, basic white tee with jeans that fit just right on the butt, and anytime my manly husband is doing something girly for our 4yr old daughter like when he tried so hard to put her in tights as a baby or does her hair, I don’t even care that it looks awful.

  71. Rebecca says...

    A tooth gap, a shy laugh, being a good cook (even if he can only cook a few things really well), doing the laundry

  72. Maclean Nash says...

    Oohhhh love this, thank you all for making me smile and finally unclench my jaw this week!

    -Confidence dancing! (for me, that’s all a “good” dancer is).
    -A good driver!
    -Adventurous foodie!
    -A great bum and back!
    -Laugh lines!
    -Seeing him be so great with our nephews!
    -Loving his feminine side and not holding back the tears during Queer Eye.

  73. Riana says...

    On our first date, my (now) husband told me he could play the glockenspiel and casually referenced Noam Chomsky. On our third date, we went to see an indie film in German. He whispered into my ear the English translation even though it was subtitled. I told this to my sister a few weeks later and she rolled her eyes so hard at my swooning.

    • Lucy says...

      I would marry your man!

  74. Hilary says...

    The muscle that runs right above his hips. Watching people laughing with him across a room. Hearing a story about his life that I’ve never heard before. Watching him single handedly rescue someone off the top of a mountain while kindly cracking sweet jokes with his semi-conscious rescue-ee the whole time (yes, that really happened, and I knew I’d marry him). Feeling his hands around me when I’m not expecting it. Watching him gaze adoringly at our children. Seeing his pile of 17,000 half-read books in various piles around the house.

    • Capucine says...

      Rescuing. Sigh…

      I live in a community that was in flames a couple weeks ago in California, and early one morning on a walk along the river under the smoke, I came around the corner and…there were row upon row of tents housing the two thousand firemen who came to work the fires, a tent city of rescuers that arose overnight. It is a cliché but never the less…stopped coherent thought for a beat there. I turned around and slipped away to leave them to it, but that was a whole lot of the right stuff in one place!

  75. sanjay says...

    Standing up for me; knowing he’s on MY team and has my back.

  76. jane says...

    Kindness, generosity of spirit and gentlemanly behavior are my greatest turn-ons. Dry humor and wit. An interest in plants especially if they know the Latin nomenclature, HOT. Self-care. Not going to lie: wealth.

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      That ‘wealth’ made me laugh so hard. I love your honesty.

  77. Tiffani says...

    Broad shoulders. Chest hair. The way his eyes always look backlit like a stained glass window. The way his skin flushes all pink while he sleeps. How excited he is to play with and take care of the cats (they’re mine originally, but we all just moved in with him). How he shyly asks if he can come along when I go for hikes with my daughter because he misses the three of us doing things together (she moved in with her dad right at the beginning of the pandemic and hasn’t been able to quarantine so we haven’t seen her very much). The way that he always makes the decision that is kindest and most ethical because that’s just who he is.

  78. M says...

    Ooh what a perfect question for these anxious times!

    A few specific ones:
    -watching my husband give a speech or toast in public with no preparation that is somehow engaging and perfect every time (how?!)
    -him expertly planning ALL of the day to day details of any vacation or trip down to exact hiking trail routes so all I have to do is show up and follow his lead
    -seeing him light up when creating and teaching the perfect lesson to his high school English students

    his dark hair and ocean blue eyes help too :)

  79. Barbara says...

    i love seeing my husband laughing with friends – his warmth, his magnetism – he always draws people to him, is so easily friendly. i fall in love with him over and over again.

  80. LD says...

    Luckily, my husband fulfills a lot of these for me

    – the peek of a tattoo under a short sleeve shirt
    – well-groomed beards
    – quiet confidence
    – always plays with babies & dogs
    – can fix anything around the house (i saw my husband doing some masonry with his dad this summer and even after 11 years together, i almost fell over)

  81. Meg says...

    Beards (husband has an epic one); quiet competence at anything, from kneading sourdough to fixing mechanical stuff on my car; short, neatly trimmed or manicured fingernails and toenails.

  82. Amy says...

    Glasses, dimples, facial scruff (not quite a full-on beard), sweaters, woodworking, musical talent, a man who READS (swoooon). Also neck kisses are the best. And general competence.

  83. zozo says...

    ohh.. and a well-kept home :)

  84. zozo says...

    kindness, sincerity, an interest in arts (can be any art), soft strong hands, untucked good quality shirt, a very small belly peeking under a t-shirt (instead of abs)

  85. Kristin M says...

    BEARDS but in in combination with knit sweater (swoon)
    when he is correcting the position of his glasses while reading the paper on Sunday morning
    and for some weird reasons his calves in denim shorts

  86. D.Morgendorffer says...

    This seems like a good time to ask a question of the world’s most famous So I Married fan. What does Charlie actually do for a living? There’s no way he could just support himself with his Beat poet breakup poems, definitely not with Bay Area rent prices in the 90s (not as bad as now, but still…). This question has haunted me for decades. Charlie’s dad and Harriet are butchers, though Charlie’s dad is now retired. His best friend is a cop. The amazing Vickie is a former prison guard turned tour guide. Why can’t we know how Charlie pays the rent? Is there some clue that I have missed in the zillion times I’ve watched this movie to find the answer?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha you’re so right! he can’t just be a beat poet. I never really analyzed it. Maybe that’s a good excuse to watch it for the millionth time.

    • Alison says...

      What movie???

  87. Amanda says...

    I have some very specific ones to add. Remember when JFK Jr. injured his foot and was hobbling around on crutches all over NYC? Weee ooo weee oooo BABE ALERT. Also someone who is proud to be with you and looks at you with complete rapture in public or in a group setting and you only see this expression of love and wonder later in a photo a friend took of the two of you. There must be a German or Japanese word for this.

    • Amy says...

      I love the last line!

    • barbara says...

      wholeheartedly agree to there needing to be a word for this! my husband was playing my instagram photographer one day at the gym, and another friend caught his look of sheer pride in my progress/confidence and sent it to me later. THAT is love!

  88. Kelly says...

    My fiancé has THE PERFECT nose . I swoon when he speaks french. His calves when he’s bike riding and his calves well, when he’s not bike riding. His forearms!!! And his big ol’ handyman hands. When he wears a baseball cap. When he cooks super yummy dinners and is really proud of his creations. His back when he’s rolled on his side in bed. When he scratches my neck/plays with my hair subtly when we’re with our friends or family.

  89. Maureen says...

    Cooking for me. I hate to cook but I love good home cooked food. My husband decided to learn to be a very good cook early in our cohabitation after experiencing a few of my meals. I have told him I’ll never leave him as long as he keeps cooking. We’ve had a few droughts where he wasn’t cooking much and my overall marital satisfaction went WAY down. Perhaps unfair but it is our truth! A perfect plate of cacio e pepe is indeed the key to my heart.

  90. Garrett says...

    I kid you not: To me, finding “So I Married an Axe Murderer” funny is a requirement!!! My fiancé actually bought a copy on DVD so we could watch it together, and she loves it (phew)!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      WHEW!!!!

    • Sid says...

      I completely endorse this relationship requirement :)

      It also reminds me of the song “She Don’t Like Firefly” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-yHSaP0Dyg – Loving Firefly being another requirement as far as I’m concerned

  91. Jen says...

    Joe Biden in his aviator sunglasses!

    • Amanda says...

      Honestly? Yeah! So unexpected, too.

    • Lisa Z says...

      Oh yeah! And he’s 78! So cool though…

  92. nora says...

    watching him deliberate produce in the grocery store, in his studio in underwear, being slightly embarrassed in a rare moment of non-composure, folding laundry with precision, backing into parking spots

  93. Pam says...

    I always laugh thinking about Maya in Pen15 being turned on by sand dunes! It’s just so sweet and innocent, such a 13-year-old girl thing to think!

  94. celeste says...

    Old Spice deodorant, agree with the eye crinkles, and cleaning the house. Why don’t 100% of men know if they cleaned the house, they’d get nailed 100% of the time?

    • b says...

      For me it wouldn’t even be the whole house, just the bathroom. I will do every other chore under the sun to get out of cleaning the bathroom.

    • jane says...

      @B: men cleaning the bathroom is a basic requirement for me – they are free to hire a pro if they don’t want to do it but I will not clean a bathroom used regularly by a man. Highly recommend adopting that boundary!

    • Christina says...

      @Jane. Why? Seriously wondering. My husband and I always clean our bathroom together. He vacuums and mops the floor, I do the rest.

    • Angela says...

      Probably the same thing I told my 5 year old, when he said other boys stand up to pee. “You can stand to pee, when you clean the bathrooms. ” Men standing up to urinate, while women clean the home is the biggest f×$& off in the world to me. No thank you very much!

  95. Katie says...

    My girlfriend will occasionally just be like “oh yeah I’ll take care of it” and I swoon. She’s also great with animals and has such a soft low voice and heart just squeezes.

  96. Kristina says...

    “Getting really hyped up when talking about something they like” – YES! :)

  97. Mel says...

    My husband has the best laugh. I could spend a lifetime just trying to make him laugh.

  98. Kristina says...

    My boyfriend is self-conscious about his slightly crooked teeth that show up behind his dimples when he laughs but I love them and think it’s HOT! I have always loved that in men.
    Also: floppy slightly messy hair, being a lefty (in hands and politics), turning into a kid when playing with kids, kissing cats on the top of their heads, long firm hugs, political interest and knowledge, seriousness in the right moments when he’s usually the jokey type, asking me about my Mom who he never got to meet before she passed away and listening to the same stories I tell over and over, always and forever replying “that sounds so sweet, I wish I could have met her”. Thanks for the lovely question and distraction! Hang in there friends, we got this!!

    • Angela says...

      Haha… my husband can play anything with strings. When we were dating I used to ask if he’d play my banjo!

    • Angela says...

      Holy shit…I thought I’d replied to the bass player comment. 🤦‍♀️

  99. Karen Lee says...

    Definatly strong forearms,lantern jaw and nice tanned feet in sandals. If you can make me laugh and can cook,you are a turn on.

    • ACS says...

      Wait, what’s a lantern jaw? I just tried googling it but still don’t get it. I love jaws so I really want to know what this means!

  100. Lauren says...

    Beards.
    Dress shirts rolled up over the elbow.
    Really good hugs

  101. GF says...

    Ladies in flannel
    Bad puns
    Being nice to animals AND animals trusting them (if my weird anxious cat likes you, I like you)
    Getting really hyped up when talking about something they like
    Reading glasses
    Tattoos

  102. KC says...

    Falsetto, a la Miike Snow or Brendon Urie. Just thinking about it makes me blush 🙈

    • Amanda says...

      Omg I didn’t even know I loved this, but I do!

    • Rebecca says...

      Oh same

    • Kate says...

      Oh my word i laughed so hard! His wife is right about the sexy sweater thing too. Haha

  103. Caro says...

    Humor, kindness to strangers, liking cats, strong muscular thighs in bicycle trousers, being tall and strong so I feel protected in case a wolve or lion shows up… ;-)

  104. elly bates says...

    In college I went to a student jazz concert and I was shocked at how hardcore I was feeling the upright bass player. Watching his fingers move… ooooh boy.

  105. Melinda says...

    When my man wears jeans – he prefers khakis, but hot dang the man looks good in jeans. When he is being silly with our daughter. His strong calves and big hands. When he dances in the grocery store aisles with me!

  106. Rose says...

    Hmmm the smell of fresh cut wood, and my husbands sweat. My husband used to work as a lumberjack and the way he smells after doing that kind of work is always sexy to me.

  107. Mouse says...

    Men in skirts. Utilikilt for the win!

    • Deb in Oklahoma says...

      Um…yes, please.

      And a man holding a baby.

      So a man in a kilt, holding a baby, would make me stop breathing. Yeah.

    • Sharon in Scotland says...

      I used to see an older gentleman in the Outer Hebrides, out and about in a well worn kilt, arran jumper, long socks and brogues………gorgeous.
      Also, basically Sam Elliot, his hair, forearms, twinkle in his eye and that voice…….oh my!

    • Abbiemirand says...

      I wasn’t into the kilt thing until I saw
      Mark Bonnar in a kilt in the show Catastrophe. That with his scottish accent… Yes PLEASE.

  108. Heidi says...

    My husband:
    Strong hands doing something delicate like folding underwear or tying our child’s shoe. The smell of the collar of a white undershirt and the warm chest underneath. His laugh when something really cracks him up.

  109. Kali says...

    Men with blue eyes that can speak multiple languages and vote Democrat. An accent of any kind.

  110. Lorelai says...

    I can’t believe no one mentioned a bald head! I love a good bald head – especially paired with nice eyes! Other random turn ons – a good sex scene in a book, locking eyes across a crowded room, glasses, fireplace, and the smell of garlic sauteeing in olive oil!

    • K says...

      no offense to bald heads, but I saw enough purposeful bald heads on aging aggressive Republican Florida surfers in our former beach town to forever turn me off to them. I’m sure there are nice bald men out there, but the ones who wear polarized sunglasses and a mean grimace are a sure-fire panty drier.

    • Nectar says...

      a bald head, glasses and a beard… yes yes yes

  111. steph says...

    Nice teeth, long fingers, full lips, laughing is great but chuckles are my hot spot, kindness.

  112. Mouse says...

    Kindness and connection to animals; my husband’s attention to animals makes me love him even more. I like to say he calms all tense and anxious creatures, including me. HUMOR. Hands and arms that MAKE things.

  113. Polly says...

    The back view of my husband – walking behind him at the grocery store and getting a glimpse of his height and big broad shoulders, perfect posture (military), and trim waist does it for me every time. And watching him switch out a complicated light fixture or hang a 70 pound mirror (so nonchalant -where do you want it, love?) makes me swoon. He laughs but hot damn when he gets the tools out I’m ready to get it on!

  114. Ana says...

    A deep, raspy voice, with a kind of hum that comes from the back of the throat.
    It’s a personal pitfall my brain can’t help setting for myself, creating extremely embarrassing moments, thoughts and crushes.

  115. a.n. says...

    the fact that my husband of 10 years doesn’t bat an eye when i present him with that year’s family costume and the ridiculous thing he’s going to have to wear, despite the fact that i know *hates* doing it. he cheerfully dresses up our 5 year old and 1 year old and poses for our photo and smiles and wears whatever stupid outfit i have dreamed up for him, because he knows i love it!

    super broad, strong shoulders.

    when he’s talking to another guy and has both his hands in his pockets and a casual smile – oh, hellooooo there.

  116. Jody says...

    His hand on the back of your chair as he turns around to reverse the car…… I’m dead!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg YES!!!

  117. Em says...

    – “I took care of that”
    – Holding hands/squeezing your hand before he lets go
    – Patience with kids
    – Eye contact and a genuine smile (makes me weak in the knees every time)
    -That almost-kissing-but-not-quite-kissing-yet closeness
    – Beard stubble against the crook of my neck (goosebumps!)
    – Remembering a random little thing you like
    – Warm hugs that last

  118. Ileana says...

    – Dark hair and beard.
    – Large, strong build.
    – Sleeves rolled over the forearms.
    – Cologne (but not too much).
    – Pressed, tailored pants.
    – Can play an instrument.

    I just described my husband, or a very well groomed musical lumberjack.

  119. Morgan says...

    Smiling/waving at babies in the street, when he brings me home a treat from the store (my favorite chocolate bar, or cookies), when he squeezes my leg while we’re driving. Honestly any physical interaction where sex is clearly not on the table (because the baby is awake or we are in public).

  120. Emma van Straaten says...

    Rolled up sleeves/forearms FOREVER. I think this is a universal opinion.
    Frowning in concentration.
    When my husband winks at me I still feel soooo shy.
    A blue/black stubbled jaw even after they’ve just shaved.
    Deep lines either side of mouth (à la Tobias Menzies or Damien Lewis).
    Also, round glasses.

  121. Aileen Johnston says...

    Nice hands! I used to fancy Robbie Williams and then I realise he bit his nails and went off him completely.
    Being able to cook (I can’t)
    Accepting of people from all walks of life and different religions
    Someone who can have a proper argument about things that matter.

  122. elif says...

    duffle coats, forearms, playing an instrument, doing magic tricks

  123. Jesse Fulcher says...

    My friends and I host a movie club once a week (think book club). We take turns choosing a movie and the week it was my turn a friend brought his housemate along. We do a short presentation about why we choose the movie and every-time I shared an insight about the movie this guy just kept on saying “That’s fascinating!” . By the 4th “fascinating” I was planning our wedding haha!

  124. Hannah says...

    While most of these are nice, it was my husband’s kindness and his 100% interest and engagement in my then four year old, that did it for me.
    The man had no real experience with kids but from the first day he met her, became an expert in speaking “four year old” and knowing about all the things that are key in her world.

    Years later, he’ll still offer to watch Frozen for the bazillionth time because it makes her happy, and that is what makes my heart beat fast.

  125. Hannah says...

    Yes to beards! Also: arms! Not just forearms, but also upper arms, especially when they are lightly stretched when the hands are put behind their head. They don’t even have to be super toned.

    I also second the hoodies and will add long-sleeved shirts and henley shirst, especially with the sleeves bunched up a bit. There’s a reason why my Christmas gifts to my husband always include some clothes, too. ;)

  126. Nigerian Girl says...

    A fit bod in a plain white T-shirt.

    • Robin says...

      No pants?

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      Hahahahahahahahahaha. Blue jeans.

  127. Kelly says...

    When you share a laugh with someone and they wink at you
    When you hug someone and you smell cologne on their neck
    Holding eye contact makes me swoon
    When your date is sitting beside you at a dinner party and squeezes your hand or knee while they are telling an engaging story
    A guy who will get on the floor to play with kids
    Carrying groceries from the car in one trip
    And I’m pretty sure I’m the first in the comments to mention strong forearms.

  128. Kim says...

    Starting dinner without being asked.
    Folding the laundry.
    Splitting wood for our stove with an axe.
    Cuddling our dogs.
    Surprising me with a trip to the beach on date nights.
    Cutting and moving sod for my new garden beds.
    Telling me to buy the sweater I want because I should treat myself more often.

  129. Danielle Alcock says...

    Oh my this thread really made my heart squeeze!

    This weekend my new boyfriend and I went on our first “weekend away” together, and on our last morning, he woke up early, got dressed, and gave me the sweetest, most gentle, lingering kiss on my forehead while I pretended to “sleep”, and then slipped out to pick up coffees for us. Something about that one, sweet, “I should be gentle so I don’t wake her up, this kiss is more for me” moment is still on my mind days later.

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      This is so sweet.

  130. Aly says...

    Men in grey sweatpants. There’s a reason it’s a meme. OMG.

  131. Tshego B says...

    Calves Joanna. It’s always strong, muscular calves. *howls*

  132. Amber says...

    A hint of collarbone visible under a woman’s collar. Also, women with dimples. Ooof. Swoon.

  133. Cynthia Miller says...

    Bringing me figs from the garden still warm from the sun
    Making coffee and bringing me a cup (or sending my 8-y-old to carry it carefully).
    Doing the dishes!
    Listening to what I am actually saying.

  134. laura says...

    100% agree with the shirts rolled over forearms, hoodies and political engagement. My others are watch-wearing, scorpios and being able to talk to anyone

  135. Roxana says...

    I love these comments!

    My husband is super chill. Sometimes annoyingly so. He’s not very emotive. Sometimes he’s also just a stubborn ass. He admits this. I’m a “strike while the iron is hot” kind of gal and he can be a real putz. He’s slow to react to things from every day mundane things to figuring out whether we should refinance. And if we’re arguing or debating, it takes him ten years to come up with a response. BUT, when it really matters, he’s that person who leaps into action. The one you want around when shit goes down. Without thinking he fires up and is on the move. Anything from breaking-up a fight between our neighbors (quite literally) to scooping-up our precious first born son in his arms as he passed away. . . he held him and told him we loved him while I laid there too stunned to move. He is a hero in every sense of the word. His kids know this and run to the door when he comes home every night.

    Plus, he looks hot in his new reading glasses, has a great head of wavy redish-grey hair, a nice defined jaw line, treats everyone with grace and respect, can legit start a fire with wet wood, and he plays the acoustic guitar with perfect forearms. I got lucky ;).

    • Jen says...

      Roxana, what sweet words for your husband. Thank you for sharing this honest and beautiful glimpse into your relationship. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

    • Abbiemirand says...

      Oh Roxana, your words stopped me in my tracks. How beautiful.

  136. M says...

    The smell of hermes cologne
    A mens suit
    Being touchee gently like on the ears or neck
    A smile with the eyes
    Being hugged from behind
    Seeing my husband w our babies (its mom porn)
    Long hair that falls in his face

  137. Robin says...

    Rugged trucks are pretty sexy, when a rugged man steps out. Particularly 3/4 ton F-350 with a flat deck. Particularly if a faller steps out of it, wearing chainsaw pants and a plaid shirt, sleeves rolled up and covered in sawdust, smelling like the forest. Oh and eye crinkles too.

  138. Kirsten says...

    Oooh this is a fun one!

    – I swoon for women with drop fades or shorter undercuts. Bonus points if they’re in a well cut suit,a tshirt/henley combo, or a muscle tee
    – Persistent 5 o’clock shadow, but not a beard. Also thick eyelashes on anyone.
    – Being able to cook!
    – slightly calloused hands with short fingernails

  139. Julie says...

    The sound of my husband unloading the dishwasher

    • Yassss.

  140. Jaia says...

    Irish accents, the smell of sawdust, the ability to play the acoustic guitar, and wandering together in foreign cities.

  141. Rosie says...

    Women with long, tan legs wearing white sneakers and gym shorts kill me. I don’t care whether they’re skinny or curvy, but long tan legs are so hot. I’m also a sucker for a top knot held in place by a pen or whenever my wife bites her lip because she is concentrating.

  142. Michaela says...

    When someone goes out of their way to smile at you or say hello, it just gives me that little flutter! I fully had a tiny crush on a dude at work and realized after awhile it was purely because he always smiled at me and said hello in the hallways even though we didn’t ever work together or cross paths regularly. It’s not just the being noticed, it’s knowing he must do that for everyone!

  143. Gray says...

    Confident but compassionate and not taking himself too seriously. I’m probably in the minority, but bald guys have grown on me over the years. Especially when they stop hanging on to the little hair they have and give it a number 2 buzz.

  144. Len says...

    my partner’s corny sense of humour
    my partner wearing work out clothes
    my partner being a soft butch just by standing
    my partner embracing me from behind
    my partner putting her had on my waist