Aussies’ Greatest Turn-Ons
on Sep 27, 2022
Good personal hygiene, humour, and honesty are among Australia’s biggest turn-ons, our survey finds.
From eye contact to a great sense of humour, we can all think of little things our partners do that drive us wild, both in and out of the bedroom. But everyone’s into something different, and what tickles one person’s fancy might not be a turn-on for someone else.
With this in mind, we surveyed Australians across the nation to uncover the things that get Aussies all fired up while dating, as well as their biggest turn-offs, to make it that much easier for everyone to embark on the journey to finding their perfect match.
Good personal hygiene, humour and honesty are Australia’s greatest turn-ons
It seems as though spending an extra 5 minutes in the shower could be the difference between getting ghosted or landing yourself a second date, as 41% of Australians agree good personal hygiene was their greatest turn-on.
A great sense of humour goes a long way in wooing a potential partner in Australia, and showing off your funny side could have them laughing all the way to the bedroom, as over a third (41%) of Aussies agreed this was one of their greatest turn-ons. But that’s not to say you’ve got to launch a stand-up comedy career to secure a date. Being truthful with our partners (35%) and showing we have good manners (26%) is enough to get a lot of us hot under the collar.
Though our preferences in turn-ons vary across age groups, something both 18-24-year-olds and over 55s agree on is the importance of open-mindedness in the bedroom, whether that be trying new positions or experimenting with sex toys, as this ranked in the top ten greatest turn-ons for both age groups.
The opposite of a turn-on - the ‘ick’
Now we've looked at Aussie’s greatest turn-ons, it was only right that we asked the nation about the things most likely to turn them off. The term the ‘ick’ has taken the dating scene by storm in the last few years, so we set out to uncover the greatest ‘icks’ in Australia.
But firstly, what is the ‘ick’? Sexologist Cam Fraser describes exactly what this dating phenomenon entails:
“When it comes to sex and relationships, the ‘ick’ is something that we personally consider to be a turn-off. It may also be used to describe something that we feel uncomfortable with or disgusted by.
“Even if we use a different name for it, that cringey feeling is something we’re all familiar with - and it can be really hard to overlook an ‘ick’ once you’ve seen it.”
Poor personal hygiene, bad breath and drug-taking are Australia's biggest ‘icks’
Since good personal hygiene was found to be the biggest turn-on for Australians, it’s no surprise that poor personal hygiene (42%) is the country’s most common ‘ick’. This goes to show that self-care is key, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by our partners.
Whether you’ve had a garlic-filled dinner or are suffering from coffee breath, you may be at risk of giving your date the ‘ick’, as over a third (36%) of Aussies agree bad breath was one of their greatest turn-offs.
Those looking to find their perfect match may also want to kick any of their bad habits, as drinking too much alcohol (22%), smoking (24%) and doing drugs (34%) all placed in the top 10 rankings.
Why do we get the ‘ick’?
In every relationship, there are bound to be things our partners do that get on our nerves, but these are usually innocent little quirks that we’re able to look past relatively easily. But an ‘ick’, on the other hand, is so much more than this.
Cam explains the psychological reasons behind the instant turn-off known as ‘the ick’:
“While there are some things which are near universal ‘icks’, like the smell of rotting garbage or other similar things which elicit a visceral feeling of disgust, we can get the ‘ick’ for a variety of different reasons. Some of these reasons stem from previous positive or negative experiences, societal messages, personal preferences, and legitimately unsavoury or distasteful behaviour from the person we’re getting the ‘ick’ from.”
Is it possible to come back from the ‘ick’?
For a lot of people, the ‘ick’ is a completely justified reason for splitting up with someone. In fact, just under 40% of us have had a relationship end because of the dreaded ‘ick’.
But does it always mean the relationship is doomed from there on out? Cam comments:
“In terms of coming back from the ‘ick’, it really depends on what the ‘ick’ is. For example, if you’ve got the ‘ick’ with regards to a person’s mannerisms because you had a relationship with someone who shared the same mannerisms and that relationship ended badly, it is definitely possible to do some work on letting go of that experience.
Why is it important to communicate what turns us on to our partners?
Communicating your bedroom desires with your partner is a sure-fire way to spice things up in the bedroom. After all, honesty is Australia’s third most common turn-on.
Despite this, our survey found that there are several aspects of their desires that Australians feel uncomfortable talking about. Over two-fifths (43%) feel uncomfortable discussing kinks whether that be bondage or exploring anal, and a further 39% are uncomfortable talking about using sex toys from strap-ons to dildos in the bedroom. When it comes to communicating sexual fantasies, things don’t get much easier, with 37% of Aussies also finding this difficult.
Cam explains why it’s important to be open with your partner about your desires:
“Your desires are a really personal part of yourself, and sharing this can be a little scary, especially if we carry some shame around our turn-ons and sexual fantasies. However, being open with your partner about these things can deepen your intimacy together and invite them to share their own desires.
“When you’ve got two (or more) people openly sharing their desires with each other, it then creates an opportunity for each person to be fully satisfied and have their needs fully met from their sexual experiences.”
So whether it's airing something your partner is doing that turns you off, or having an open conversation about the use of sex toys in the bedroom, it seems that communication is the key to ensuring all parties are satisfied both inside and outside of the bedroom.
The data used in this research is from a survey which took place in August 2022 of 1,003 Australian adults over the age of 18 who have previously had sex.