Love Languages Are Cool, But Do You Know Your Lust Language?
Experts explain what may or may not turn you on based on your preferred method of intimacy.
You’re probably familiar with the five love languages: physical touch, gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, and acts of service. But do you know your lust language? While love languages help us interpret how we express and receive love, lust languages help us understand our preferred style of intimacy and by extension, our turn-ons and turn-offs.
According to intimacy wellness brand and sex toy retailer Delicto, arousal is not limited to just physical pleasure — rather, it “happens in both the body and mind.” Your lust language can provide insight into what excites you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The four lust languages are romantic, harmonious, connected, and primal.
The more you know about yourself sexually, the better you’ll be able to vocalize what does and doesn’t turn you on to others, Suzannah Weiss, resident sexologist for erotic pleasure platform FrolicMe, tells HelloGiggles. “Learning about your lust language may also help you feel more confident in yourself sexually,” she explains. “Knowing that there are other people who get turned on just like you can give you the courage to express your desires and preferences.”
Reflect on your past sexual experiences. What are the best sexual encounters you’ve had? What made them the best? Do they have anything in common? Conversely, Weiss also suggests asking yourself the opposite. What are some experiences that didn’t leave you fully satisfied? What was missing?
We tapped sex experts to learn more about each lust language and its corresponding turn-ons and turn-offs. Additionally, we asked how to introduce lust languages in the bedroom without it being awkward. After all, how else is your partner going to help you reach the big O if they don’t know your preferred style of intimacy?
If you get more hot and bothered over a candlelit dinner than a sensual massage, then your lust language may be romantic. According to Delicto, romantics enjoy being wined and dined and setting the mood is of the utmost importance as it showcases a level of effort that makes people feel wooed, wanted, and appreciated.
According to MAN*festing author and relationship expert Jaime Bronstein, LCS, the best way to a romantic’s heart is by going out of your way to be creative and thoughtful. “Someone with a romantic lust language just wants to feel special and valued,” she explains. Mood setting is a big turn on for romantics so put the phones away and consider adding candles, sexy music, dim lighting, and rose petals into the mix.
Turn-offs typically include drunk and messy behavior as well as forgoing romance (and foreplay) and going straight to sex. For romantics, mood is emotional and sensory foreplay — so use it to your advantage!
Dubbed “the sexy sibling of the acts of service love language” by Delicto, harmonious is all about — you guessed it! — living in supportive harmony with your partner. A harmonious person is big on teamwork and evenly distributed responsibilities. Similarly, the harmonious type may find it arousing when their partner pulls more weight during busy times.
For example, you’re stuck at work but come home to a homemade meal and clean kitchen, or you’re rushing to get the kids ready for school and your partner handles drop-off so you aren’t late for work.
Remember, Weiss cautions, someone whose lust language is harmonious may have a tougher time getting into sexy mode and pushing thoughts about work or other daily tasks aside. So rather than remind them of their to-do list (big turn-off!), ask if there are any tasks you can combat as a team or how you can help offload some of their stress.
Closely tied to the “words of affirmation” love language, the connected type finds arousal and comfort in their partner’s vulnerability, both during and outside of sex. This lust language aches for a strong emotional connection. “It’s not just about the physical connection. Someone whose lust language is connected wants to know their partner’s mind and heart are present as well,” Weiss explains.
Verbal appreciation is a big turn on for those who identify as a connector. Under this lust language, foreplay takes on a more expressive approach as the person yearns to hear how much you love and value them. In this scenario, “show, don’t tell” goes a long way. If a connected person gets whiff that you aren’t present or have become distracted mid-conversation, there’s a strong chance they’ll have a harder time getting to a place of sexual desire.
Do you have a sex bucket list? Are you into kinks, fetishes, and threesomes? If so, you may identify with the primal lust language. According to Bronstein, the primal type’s preferred method of intimacy is adventure-driven, sexual activities or anything that allows you and your partner to be as physically close together as possible (like cuddling or hugging).
It isn’t uncommon for emotional and mental connections to take a backseat in the primal-verse, where physical connection is top priority. Delicto points out that skin-to-skin contact is also a huge must, AKA primal people are always down for a naked massage and donning their birthday suits to bed. A relationship fueled by occasional sex and a poor physical connection are major turn-offs for this lust language.
How do I talk about lust languages with my partner without it being awkward?
Talking about your and your partner’s sex life can be a turn-on within itself, but it can also be kind of awkward — especially if sex is one of those topics you tend to sweep under the rug. However, speaking openly about your and your partner’s lust languages can help reignite your sex life.
In this case, Bronstein says the key is to say how you are feeling versus placing blame. She suggests something like: “I’m feeling frustrated with our sex life and I think a conversation about lust languages could benefit us. Are you open to it? I want to learn more about what you like, and I’d like to share the same with you.”
For a more casual approach, suggest taking turns reading aloud each lust languages’ definition and turn-ons and -offs before trying to guess each other’s language. This makes it seem like a fun game rather than a heavy conversation about your arousal styles. Then you can slyly transition it into a chat about how you can incorporate each of your languages into the bedroom.
Remember that, similar to your love language, your lust language can change over time. As you learn more about your likes and dislikes in the bedroom, your preferred method of intimacy may change as might your partners.