Let’s talk about “Turn On Triggers”

    I recently read The Game of Desire by Shan Boodram.  This is not a recommendation; it is a secular book with secular values, written for single women navigating the dating scene.  After sifting out the chaff, there was one concept that I found intriguing:  “Turn On Triggers.”  It is kind of the sexual equivalent of Chapman’s Love Languages and subsequent Apology Languages.

    (ETA, this is not a book about Turn-On Triggers, it is a book for single women about dating.  This was only one concept of many in the preliminary section about understanding yourself and what you want and need before you date, so you have a better understanding of what you’re looking for and therefore a better chance at success..  Being a book about dating, there is still a lot of other discussion about being seductive, although not as much in the context of an established relationship.)

    p. 38-39 Turn-on triggers is a method I developed to help people understand what, beyond instinctual biological norms, gets them hot and bothered. I’ve used this method in my counseling to help some understand why they lack desire in their loving relationships….Knowing your and your partner’s turn-on triggers can lift the veil of fog when it comes to finding and maintaining an intimate mood.

    Desire: skip the filters, you need to be told directly that you’re desired.
    Mental: if you’re not connected mentally first, physical is hardly an option.
    Environmental: You need the mood to be set before you set it off in the bedroom.
    Cat and mouse: You enjoy the chase as much as the experience.
    Transactional: There needs to be something more than the physical act to entice you.

    There is a quiz on her website thegameofdesire.com that includes 6, not 5, triggers – (there is the addition of visual, when your S.O. looks hot) and also helps to flesh out the concepts, but there is a photo of a woman’s butt in a thong so I won’t post a link.  The quiz highlighted for me that our triggers also influence our turn-offs, (i.e. maybe your turn-on trigger is visual and your spouse comes on to you unkempt in ratty clothes)

    Do you identify with one or more of these triggers?  What are your reactions to and thoughts about this concept?

     

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      @ShadowSpirit, since you are so well studied up on this, or others if you have ideas or thoughts, I can see how this is kind of at play in my life… but when I think about if I had to give my husband ideas on how to incorporate these “triggers”, I am going blank on ideas. ( Which I just had the thought that if I have to “tell him” what to do, it might take away from the effect?)

      Also, is there somewhere other than the book that gives a little more explanation around each of these?

      Under the stars Answered on November 20, 2019.
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        Thanks ShadowSpirit, but I was actually, talking about the “cat and mouse” and how to advise my husband.

        Under the stars Answered on November 20, 2019.

        I actually took so long typing that I hadn’t seen your more recent comment.  I wasn’t responding to your situation, I was just trying to expand the concept of “Desire” to show that it doesn’t have to be verbal, even though, as you noticed, the quiz made it seem that way.

        on November 20, 2019.

        Oh! LOL!

        on November 20, 2019.
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          @ShadowSpirit, since you are so well studied up on this, or others if you have ideas or thoughts, I can see how this is kind of at play in my life… but when I think about if I had to give my husband ideas on how to incorporate these “triggers”, I am going blank on ideas. ( Which I just had the thought that if I have to “tell him” what to do, it might take away from the effect?)

          Also, is there somewhere other than the book that gives a little more explanation around each of these?

          If you had to practically script it for him, I agree that could negate the effect.  And since there can be individual variation within the same trigger, like I prefer actions of desire instead of verbally expressed desire, I am guessing you would have to narrow down exactly what Cat and Mouse means to you.  Does it mean incorporating more of a long-game of seduction?  Playing hard to get, teasing it out of you, instead of being so available?  Something else?

          I wonder if there are other men who might be able to coach him for you.  On the old MMSL forum, there were private, gender-segregated forums for the very purpose of learning to up your game without spilling the secrets.  Because after all, a little mystery goes a long way for Cat and Mouse!

          This was my first exposure to the concept, and as it’s something she developed herself, I have not seen it mentioned elsewhere.  I just found a youtube video where she explains it in more detail.  Readers remember, it’s a secular resource.  Images and language.  Use your own judgment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvezQ5B5os4 

           

          On the floor Answered on November 20, 2019.

          Thanks for the link!  I did kind of have an ‘a-ha’ moment in it.  Just as they say a person will often show love in their love language, I saw now why my husband is constantly telling me he wants me, he desires me, what he likes about me, how I make him feel, what he wants to do to me, etc, etc.

          I could see me in her description of “cat and mouse”, but it didn’t clear much up. Oh well.

          But, it seems like him showing his turn on trigger is actually a turn off trigger to me.  Him being too available takes away the chase, that tension, the fun.  How to balance that….that’s where I am lost.

          on November 20, 2019.
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            @Elevation re: I took the test and I am not surprised that mine is desire.  If my wife knew that she could have me wrapped around her finger by desiring me…oh well…

            Who is more interested in sex, you or your wife?  Who is less likely to be turned on?  (I am sincerely asking, not challenging.  I seem to recall you saying that it can go either way)  If it is your wife, it might be more important to know  her  turn-on trigger.  If you can get her more consistently turned on, she might be more interested in turning you on as well.

            Have you ever told her what it would mean to you emotionally to hear her express desire verbally, without any hint of criticism about the current situation?

             

            On the floor Answered on November 20, 2019.

            I was thinking of @Elevations answer and this one.

            I am wondering if there is a similar dynamic at play in their relationship as there is in mine. He said something like, “If my wife knew that she could have me wrapped around her finger by desiring me.”… maybe she does know that, maybe she actually has it, and it’s a “turn off” for her.

            on November 21, 2019.
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              @DoveGrey and others, I agree that the quiz has its issues.  It also seems to me like this is a great core concept that could use some further development. For instance,

              @Tracker:   and all the responsive desire lingo on this site that seems contrary to a trigger, a turn on, and a prompt ravishing am I wrong. .. I am thinking that responsive desire is still a very female thing, but there are many different types of responsive desire.  Or, you could say that there is one kind of responsive desire, but very different things to which we respond.  Shan specifies that these triggers are “beyond instinctual biological norms.”  I believe those instinctual biological norms are the equivalent to “spontaneous desire.”  Most men have much more spontaneous desire than most women, and many women need to respond to one of these triggers in order for their desire to ignite.  (I am thinking that the majority of men have the advantage of having both kinds of desire.)  I can say that when I was younger, I experienced spontaneous desire during 1 or 2 days of my cycle, and the rest of the time there was no desire without a trigger.*

              I have seen Paul Byerly and others define responsive desire as when a woman gets turned on through the act of sex; she is not turned on before becoming intimate, but the act itself ignites her desire.  What if we expand Shan’s concept to include the act of sex itself as a trigger?  What if we expand the definition of responsive desire that Paul quoted, to show that the act of sex is only one of many different triggers that a responsive desire woman might relate to?

              @All In:  Interesting quiz…I’m a little surprised by my result though…MENTAL….In the long run, I don’t think mental is way off for me…I have come to learn over time that if DW isn’t into being intimate, it’s a waste of time…

              Interesting.  My take on the mental trigger, was when we find intellectual engagement on a topic outside the bedroom to be a sexual turn-on for us.  For instance, one man once told me that he finds an intense theological debate with a woman to be arousing.  For some people, intellectual stimulation can lead to other kinds of stimulation.  You took the same trigger, and took away something completely different and yet still completely valid.  Of course, if Mental was one’s trigger even outside the realm of sex, and their spouse checked out mentally during sex, that would surely be a HUGE turn-off.  (It usually is for anyone, but would be especially so for someone with a Mental trigger.)  Do you find non-sexual intellectual engagement to be a sexual turn-on?

              *I don’t understand this and can’t fully explain it, but I find that for myself, there is a difference between desire and being horny.   I used to MB quite regularly, but 1-2 days every cycle I would spontaneously desire sexual activity with my husband.

              I edited the OP to include the following.  Repeating it here for those who might not see the edit:

              (ETA, this is not a book about Turn-On Triggers, it is a book for single women about dating.  This was only one concept of many in the preliminary section about understanding yourself and what you want and need before you date, so you have a better understanding of what you’re looking for and therefore a better chance at success..  Being a book about dating, there is still a lot of other discussion about being seductive, although not as much in the context of an established relationship.)

               

               

              On the floor Answered on November 21, 2019.
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                I took the quiz and it said Desire.  And that makes sense a bit.

                I figure if I had to rank them:

                Desire – I want to know she wants me.
                Cat and Mouse – The teasing, the build-up.
                (followed closely by) Visual – To me, this is the bridge of cat and mouse and desire.

                 

                Queen bed Answered on November 21, 2019.
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                  Quoting the OP “Mental: if you’re not connected mentally first, physical is hardly an option.

                  Initially yes, I was just thinking how a husband and wife are “clicking”, then they are connected mentally. But I also see the other aspect you bring up…unfortunately, it’s a negative “trigger” in and of itself…but for the sake of this post, I’d like to bring it up. I was once waaaay too interested in another woman, and the attraction to her was exactly what you stated above. The conversations we’d have intellectually (non-sexual) is was attracted us to each other, and what sadly cause us to end up in an adulterous relationship for 2 and a half years…We could quite literally talk for hours about stuff.

                  Unfortunately, my wife and I don’t have that. Not that she isn’t intelligent…but the same level of intellectual conversations just don’t happen; it’s just not in her make-up.

                  On the floor Answered on November 21, 2019.
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                    Mine was desire, and it was no surprise.  I am practically begging at this point for DH to talk to me during sex and express his desire and attraction to me while we are having sex.  That said, we had so many years of me gatekeeping and him feeling so shut down that I know this is part of the healing and growing for him to get to this place.  I have my own places I’m pushing through to heal and come to something different.

                    Queen bed Answered on November 21, 2019.
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                      Mine is desire, no surprises for me there. It’s interesting to correlate the concept to love languages, and that how I experience or want a turn-on is how I seek to turn on Wifey.

                      California King Answered on November 22, 2019.
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                        I didn’t take the quiz because I’m just not up for that many (even little) decisions at this time. Using a broad stroke, I think I respond best to being ardently desired, expressed through some cat-and-mouse, although it needs to be the persistent, inexorable kind of cat like a tiger, and it all needs to spring from a mental and emotional connection.

                        My favorite scenario is when DH and I are spending time together really exploring something intellectually/creatively (dissecting a work of fiction or plotting a new one, or theorizing about ghosts, supernatural phenomena, and the nature of time as an artificial construct)…(for example) when I notice he is looking at and touching me more and more and I am feeling all soft and squishy inside then I pretend to resist while he seduces me into allowing him to have his way with me. Although, having written that, it occurs to me that I could also demonstrate to him just how sexy he is to me when he is explaining physics concepts to me by demonstrating my understanding of friction and momentum.

                        Under the stars Answered on November 23, 2019.
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