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?

     

    Add Comment
    20 Answer(s)

      My reactions:

      I like the concept, and also wonder if it needs some further development.  Maybe there are more triggers, and/or maybe they could be defined differently or expanded.

      Desire: Multiple sources I have read have defined “responsive desire” as a woman needing a man to make her feel hot and desirable by his raw display of passion in order to really get turned on.  It’s something I identify with.  It’s why the book “Sex Worth Having” and the website “HighTMarriage” really resonate with me.   It’s why the idea of a bit of dominance appeals to me.  It’s why I tend to go for the bad boys and find the nice guys a little boring. ETA:  this turn-on trigger also means that a soft, weak initiation is a huge turn-OFF.

      So here, it’s only one of 5 or 6 different “languages” and I can see that being valid.  This one might get written about more as missing for a woman, since many people lose that display of passion as the relationship grows more comfortable, and men in particular sometimes worry about coming on too strong.

      Men can also desire this from women, and I see this expressed frequently.  Men are more likely to have more of the “instinctual biological norms” so I wonder if it would be easier for more men than women to supply this trigger.  Since I am much lower in the “instinctual biological norms” I cannot authentically provide this without receiving it first.  Hypothetically, I can fake it to get things started or to bless my spouse, and then enjoy the positive feedback loop and have it become authentic as things progress, but if that was the norm it would cease to work for me.  Catch-22?  Both partners need the other one to provide the initial spark?  Would it be enough for a man to start things off based on his own instinctual, biological norms as long as her passion kicked in and she was able to reciprocate?  What do you guys think?

      Mental:  It seems like emotional would also be involved with this, and for some might  be the primary component with mental being secondary.  Or perhaps emotional connection needs to be introduced a 7th trigger.  Emotional connection is extremely important to me in the context of sex, and it makes sex much more enjoyable and meaningful, but for me it does not actually turn me on, so I wouldn’t call this one of my turn-on triggers.

      Environmental: I don’t relate to this, but it makes sense that it would be true for others.

      Cat and Mouse:  I can relate to this too.  Desire is more like intense, raw passion, and this is more like simmering and flirting.  Both can really get me going, if there is a solid base of attraction and connection in the relationship.

      Transactional: Wow, my knee-jerk reaction is that this looks like prostitution to me.  But when I reflect on it, there is a difference.  Prostitutes don’t necessarily get turned on, it’s ONLY a transaction.  Maybe it’s about feeling loved, like if your love language is acts of service – when your spouse offers to do something for you that they know you would appreciate, it helps you feel loved and helps you want to express that sexually.  I don’t know.  This one seems the most foreign to me, like “Gifts” is a foreign love language to me.

      Visual: Not high up on my own list, but understand that it is extremely important particularly for many men.

      On the floor Answered on November 20, 2019.
      Add Comment

        Just reading your original post, and you asking identifying with any of these triggers…. the one I thought I might identify with most, is “Cat and Mouse”, but I really had no clue…. I also had to go outside of my marriage and think of how I am in other relationships as well (not sexually, but in general.)  I did go and take the quiz, and it came out “Cat and Mouse”.

         

        ETA:  One of the things that I have always enjoyed is taking my husband by surprise.  I like the “shock value” I can cause.   If he expects it or asks for it, it is not near as thrilling.   It may be one reason him just “showing up naked” has bothered me.  It takes away a thrill and there’s no “chase” it’s just an expectation on his part.  

        Under the stars Answered on November 20, 2019.

        Tying it into an “answer” I have yet to write up on the “magnet” thread: does your DH seem to enjoy being surprised (positively) by you?

        on November 20, 2019.

        Of course…. he enjoys anything sexual 🙂

        on November 20, 2019.

        Grr, let me be more specific. Does he enjoy it more than “expected” sex?

        on November 20, 2019.

        I’m not sure about that….  and I may be missing the meaning of your question and what you are looking for.

        I know he likes to feel wanted and desired, I’m not sure it matters what scenario that comes in.  Part of this is more about outside the ‘expected’ times, that’s what makes it a surprise.  I don’t know what he appreciates more, being flashed while he’s standing on a ladder outside of our (2nd story) window, or me suddenly moving down while laying in bed.  I would say he appreciates actions that can give him immediate “attention” rather than the tease of things to come. … but I also know what scenario is more seared in his memory and he has mentioned more often.

        on November 20, 2019.
        Add Comment

          I just cornered my husband 🙂 and made him take it…. his was “Desire”. …. which seems to be more about direct talk, and “dirty talk”.  I know I am one who struggles with verbalizing things, especially if I feel it’s repetitive.   I would guess that there are other areas that would be high….but I wonder if area that one is lacking (such as this verbal area versus visually) makes the area lacking rise to the top????

           

          Under the stars Answered on November 20, 2019.
          Add Comment

            I’ll rank the triggers for me/us.  High to Low.

            1. Mental – my emotional connection to Mrs. Oldbear and her to me is a perpetual turn-on.

            2. Desire – yes, this is a two-way street for us. I can trigger her by being desirable (acts of service turn her on – being busy around the house on projects). She turns me on by flashing and flirting which takes us to . . .

            3. Visual – just this morning, Mrs. Oldbear gave me a wonderful view of her body in the shower. I sprang to life!

            . . . and

            4. Cat and Mouse – sexual innuendos can build us up for each other.

            5.  Transactional – this would be a ‘quickie’ for me.

            6. Environmental – bring a romantic, a candlelight dinner across from my elegant, sexy lady is a turn-on.

             

            On the floor Answered on November 20, 2019.
            Add Comment

              I took the quiz and my result was Mental. It mentioned intelligence as being the major turn-on, which is spot on. However, the quiz was difficult, as I felt some of the questions had 3-4 (out of 6) answers that I would give equal weight to. And one question that I didn’t agree with any of the answers.

              I like the concept. And FYI, you can choose to ‘skip this step’ at the end, where they ask for your email address. The result still comes up afterwards.

              Fell out of ... Answered on November 20, 2019.

              I didn’t understand what the last question (I think) was getting at… it seemed like they left out a key piece of what you were looking for in the answer.

              We “skipped” the step as well.

              on November 20, 2019.
              Add Comment

                @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.
                Add Comment

                  @Seeking Change re:  “Desire”. …. which seems to be more about direct talk, and “dirty talk”.  I know I am one who struggles with verbalizing things, especially if I feel it’s repetitive.

                  For me, I relate to the Desire trigger, but in a non-verbal way.  I don’t relate to dirty talk at all.

                  It stirs me sexually when sexual energy is conveyed through action and behavior, such as when a guy can’t take his eyes off me,  when he goes in for a passionate kiss and starts some frottage, or when he can’t keep his hands off me.  (But NOT in the groping way, when a guy shows no sexual energy toward me and starts grabbing a boob or a crotch out of mere horniness when there’s no chemistry going on.  That is a huge turn OFF!)  Stephen Snyder (Love Worth Making) describes the lack of sexual energy from the male being a common problem in female desire.

                  In other words, the desire trigger for me is similar to what Paul Byerly was talking about in this post: https://thexycode.com/2017/04/14/want-some-ravished-sex-youre-not-alone/  which also indicates that it is a very common turn-on trigger for women.  

                  “What was really interesting is how being ravished changed women sexually. Forty-five percent said it made them want sex more, and 41% said it caused them to enjoy sex more. Forty-four percent said it made them see themselves as more sexual, and 48% said it made them see their husband as more sexual. Fewer than 5% of women expressed any negative effect from being ravished.

                  A majority of the women said they wanted to be ravished or ravished again. Fifty-four percent said “Yes, please!” and another 18% were willing to try. However, men were less given to wanting to try it. Forty percent said they would love to try it, and 17% said they were willing. Nearly a quarter were concerned about how their wife would take it.”

                  On the floor Answered on November 20, 2019.
                  Add Comment

                    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.

                    On the floor Answered on November 20, 2019.
                    Add Comment

                      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.
                      Add Comment

                        @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.
                        Add Comment

                        Your Answer

                        By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.