A Therapist Highlights 3 Sexual Turn-Offs For Women

Want to satisfy your wife or partner? Start by not doing these three things.

By Jourdan Travers, LCSW | March 30, 2023

Women are sexualized and objectified in pop culture and media ruthlessly. What they desire and find attractive gets much less air time.

Fortunately, we can look to new insights from relationship science to distill facts and research about female desire in our society today.

Here are three must-know facts about the nature of female desire, as suggested by new psychological research.

#1. The burden of unshared house chores

Typically, the woman of the house carries most of the load of household responsibilities in a married or long-term romantic relationship. When the man pitches in, the act is usually (and inaccurately) labeled as 'help' or 'support.'

An unfair division of household labor can pose romantic problems. For instance, a recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that women who did a larger proportion of the household labor relative to their partners felt lower sexual desire for their partners as they considered it to be unfair and, as result, perceived their partners to be dependent on them.

To balance the scales and restore the woman's sexual desire, researchers Emily Harris and Sari Van Anders suggest the following tips for men:

  1. Initiate conversation. Most women take on this additional labor without an explicit conversation about it. To truly see a change in your relationship, you need to open up dialogue around dividing chores equitably. This could be as simple as saying to your partner, "Hey, I notice you've been doing a lot of work around the house. Is there anything I can take off your plate?"
  2. Take action. Taking responsibility in the house is a lifestyle change that, when executed correctly, will improve more than just your sex life. To reap the benefits, one needs to stop perceiving women as the de facto project managers of the home and take charge without being asked to do so.

#2. The same old broken sexual record

Gendered sexual scripts – i.e., society's version of what intimacy should look like – are one of the biggest roadblocks on the path to female pleasure. Put simply, the way we go about navigating sexual scenarios is obsolete. The most common sexual scripts uphold male pleasure and paint the female orgasm as secondary and complicated.

A study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy explains that simply educating yourself about female pleasure is not enough. One has to make the effort of going 'off-script' – asking your partner about their likes and dislikes to ensure a fulfilling sex life.

Instead of selfishly reusing the same gendered script as a crutch the next time you're in bed with your partner, let them take the lead. Being deliberate about sex, even if it seems new and awkward, makes for a far more authentic and exciting experience than playing it safe, doing only what you know, or putting your needs first.

#3. Replaced by pornography

Pornography can be extremely addictive for the human brain, and this addiction can have spillover effects on your relationship. The hedonic spike that you derive from consuming porn may chip away at your sex drive and your attraction toward your partner.

Not only does most pornography set unrealistic standards for what sex looks and sounds like, it also panders to the male gaze, largely ignoring the female perspective.

However, villainizing pornography is not the solution. In fact, shared porn consumption can actually help you turn this problem into a solution, according to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology. Psychologist Taylor Kohut, the lead author of the paper, explains that "using pornography together with a partner can encourage sexual communication and sexual experimentation, which can help people learn about each other's sexual likes and dislikes, and may bring people closer together as a couple."

In other words, it's healthier for your relationship to use pornography as a shared supplement rather than an escape.


Sexual desire is complex and dynamic. Assuming that you understand what your partner wants always might lead you to disappointment. On the other hand, really listening to your partner and making an effort to fulfill their desires produces positive effects that extend beyond your sex life.