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Chapter 15


Try flirting without using body language. Go on, give it a go. Surprise! It can't be done. You simply can't convey romantic interest without the body getting into the act. To play a really successful game of flirtation your body must speak what your mouth won't say.

If you're feeling good about yourself the way you focus your eyes, position your mouth, and maneuver your shoulders, hips, and hands send out signals that say, 'Check me out! I think you're hot!' After you get your target's attention you shift gears to hold onto his or her interest and move the attraction to another level. Finally, having captured and conquered the unsuspecting, or equally interested party, your body moves into a new mode of behaving that demonstrates comfort, ease, and familiarity. Observe how long-term lovers anticipate one another's actions by the way they move in synch with their partners.

How you use your body exposes how ready you are for a bit of romance, how attractive you feel, and how interested you are. Some courtship signals are deliberate, others are unconscious. In this section we delve into the wild, oft times confusing world of flirtation and courtship behavior.

Woman Checking Guys Muscles
Do these guys make the cut, are they studly enough for her?

Woman Paddleboarding
Men, notably if they are athletic themselves, are impressed by a woman who talks about her time surfing, playing tennis, or climbing mountains.

Attracting Someone's Attention

According to pioneering psychology and non-verbal communications researcher Dr. Albert Scheflen, immediate physiological changes occur when people enter into the same space as a member of the opposite sex. Watch a person in the company of someone he or she finds at least remotely attractive and see what happens. Bodily muscle tone in the torso, arms, leg, and face tighten up as a person via evolutionary instincts prepares for a possible sexual encounter. The walking gait becomes more limber and bouncy as we endeavor to appear vigorous, healthy, and youthful and convey our suitability as mates, and perhaps replace the ravages of time or too many late nights.

Men stand taller, thrust up their chins, expand their chests, and pull in their stomachs making them look like the king of the jungle. Women tilt their heads, flick their hair, and expose their wrists and necks, demonstrating vulnerability and submissiveness. Your eyes dilate if you find another person attractive. It happens automatically, and you can do nothing to stop it. If things go to plan, the recipient of your gaze unconsciously responds in a similar way and the excitement begins.

When you're rating someone's attractiveness and in turn are being rated, messages that convey interest, keenness, and compatibility are constantly being relayed. No matter how old, fit, or capable people are, they're all checking each other out.

The ideal place to observe these changes is on a beach when a man and a woman approach each other from a distance. The changes take place when they are close enough to meet each other's gaze and will continue until after they have passed each other, at which time their original posture returns.

Body language is a fundamental part of courtship because it reveals how available, attractive, ready, enthusiastic, sexy or desperate we are. While some courtship signals are studied and deliberate, others, such as those just mentioned, are completely unconscious. It is still unclear how we learn these signals but research now shows that many may be inborn.

Why Women Lead In This Dance

Research by behavior zoologists and behavioral scientists reveals that male and female animals use a series of intricate courtship gestures, some obvious and others more nuanced, and that most of this is done subconsciously. In the animal world, courtship behavior in each species follows specific and pre-determined patterns. With several species of bird, the male struts around the female giving a vocal display, puffing up his feathers and performing many intricate body movements to gain her attention, while the female appears to display little or no interest.

This ritual is similar to that performed by humans when courtship begins. Human flirtation involves sequences of gestures and expressions not unlike the courtship dances of birds and other animals.

The essence of the matter is that if a person wants to attract the opposite sex they do so by emphasizing sexual differences; playing down or hiding these differences serves to discourage the opposite sex.

Ask men who usually makes the first move in the mating game and they will almost always say that men do, except ... research studies suggest the opposite to be the reality. Women usually make the first move: Research shows that 90 per cent of the time women initiate the first move in the mating game. Women send out a series of subtle eye, body and facial signals to the man she's targeting. If she's good at it the man thinks that he's taking the lead although in fact he's just dancing to her tune.

If a woman is to succeed in the ritual she has to count on the man to decode the signals she sends out. She must then respond to the signs he sends back in a way that gives him the green light to move to the next stage. For a man to succeed in this game he has to be able to read the signals correctly.

There are men who will approach women in a club or bar without being sent the green light. While some of these men are regularly successful with finding partners using these techniques - looking like and having the style of Ryan Gosling would help - their overall statistical success rate is low because they weren't invited first.

Interpreting The Code

Men find it difficult to interpret the more subtle cues in women's body language and research shows that men tend to mistake friendliness and smiling for sexual interest. This is because men see the world in more sexual terms than women. Men have a far greater amount of testosterone than women do. This hormone is a key determinant defining sexual characteristics and behavior that causes men to prioritize sex in their world view.

When they meet a possible partner, women send out subtle, but often deceptive, courting signals to see whether he's worth pursuing. Women tend to bombard men with courting rituals in the first minutes of meeting them. Men may misinterpret these signals and make clumsy passes. Consequently with some men, when a lady says 'no' she means maybe; when she says 'maybe' she means 'yes' ... and the opportunities for that misinterpretation turning into trouble expand. By sending ambiguous signals in the early stages, women can manipulate men into showing their hand. This is also a reason why many women have trouble attracting men. Men being less perceptive in the interpretation of social signals become confused and won't make an approach.

The Attraction Process

As with other animals, human courtship follows a predictable five-step sequence that we all go through when we meet an attractive person.

Stage 1. Eye contact: She looks across the room and spots a man she fancies. She waits till he notices her then holds his gaze for about five seconds and then turns away. He now keeps watching her to see if she does it again. A woman needs to deliver this gaze, on average, three times before the average man realizes what's happening. This gaze process can be repeated several times and is the start of the flirting process.

Stage 2. Smiling: She delivers one or more fleeting smiles. This is a quick half smile that is intended to give a prospective man the green light to make an approach. Unfortunately, many men are not responsive to these signals, leaving the woman feeling that he's not interested in her.

Stage 3. Preening: She sits up straight to emphasize her breasts and crosses her legs or ankles to show them to best advantage or, if she's standing, she tilts her hips and tilts her head sideways towards one shoulder, exposing her bare neck. She plays with her hair for up to six seconds - suggesting she is grooming herself for her man. She may lick her lips, flick her hair and straighten her clothing and jewellery. He'll respond with gestures such as standing up straight, pulling his stomach in, expanding his chest, adjusting his clothing, touching his hair and tucking his thumbs into his belt. They both point their feet or entire bodies towards each other.

Stage 4. Talk: He approaches and attempts to make small talk, using cliches such as, 'Haven't I seen you somewhere before?' and other well-worn lines that are purely intended to break the ice.

Stage 5. Touch: She looks for an opportunity to initiate a light touch on the arm, either 'accidental' or otherwise. A hand touch indicates a higher level of intimacy than a touch on the arm. Each level of touch is then repeated to check that the person is happy with this level of intimacy and to let them know that the first touch was not accidental. Lightly brushing or touching the shoulder of a man is done to give the impression that the woman cares about his health and appearance. Shaking hands is a quick way to move to the touch stage.

These first five stages of courtship may seem minor or even incidental but they are critical to starting any new relationship and are the stages that most people, especially men, find difficult. This chapter will examine the signals that are most likely to be sent by men and women - and Alex - during these stages.

Common Signals Women Use To Flirt

Women use most of the same basic preening gestures as men, including touching the hair, smoothing the clothing, one or both hands on hips, foot and body pointing towards the man, extended intimate gaze and increasing eye contact. Some women will also adopt the thumbs-in-belt gesture, which, although it's a male assertion gesture, is used more subtly: usually only one thumb is tucked into a belt or protrudes from a handbag or pocket.

Women become more sexually active in the middle of their menstrual cycle, when they are most likely to conceive. It's during this time that they are more likely to wear shorter dresses and higher heels, to walk, talk, dance and act more provocatively and to use the signals we are about to discuss. What follows is a list of the 13 most common courtship gestures and signals used by women everywhere to show a man that she could be available.

1. Flipping Back Their Hair

When a woman sees a man she finds attractive she unconsciously tosses her head or runs her fingers through her hair. Whether her hair is long or short the gesture is a subtle way of showing that she cares about her appearance and is making an effort to look appealing. An added benefit of this movement is that it exposes her soft underarm, a highly sensual part of a woman's body that most men find irresistible, while also allowing the 'sex perfume' known as pheromone to waft by to her target man.

Hair PreeningAmrpit Display
Preening the hair and letting pheromones in the armpit work their magic

2. Pouting And Wetting Your Lips

Full lips are seen as a female characteristic and are considered full of sexual promise. When a woman pouts, the size of the lips increase, as does the man's interest.

The facial bone structure of men and women is vastly different. During the teen years, as testosterone increases in men, their facial features become stronger, larger, and more pronounced. This strengthening of features provides incremental protection in the event of conflict with enemies or animals.

Women's facial features change only slightly with increases in the hormone estrogen. Due to more subcutaneous fat, their faces seem full and childlike, particularly their lips. Larger, thicker lips therefore become a signal of femininity because of their contrast in size to male lips. Women seeking advantage have collagen injected into their lips to overstate this sexual difference and thereby make themselves more appealing to men. Pouting simply increases the lip display. A woman's facial lips are proportionately the same thickness as her outer genital lips, what scientists have labeled 'self-mimicry' as it symbolizes the female genital region.

Marilyn Monroe's Lips
Femme fatales instinctively know to make their mouth and lips appear wet naturally or through cosmetics, suggesting sexual potential.

When a woman becomes sexually aroused her lips, breasts and genitals become larger and redder as they fill with blood. The use of lipstick is an Egyptian invention that is four thousand years old and is intended to mimic facially the reddened genitals of the sexually aroused female. This explains why, in experiments using photos of women wearing various lipstick colors, men consistently find the bright reds the most attractive and sensual.

3. Touching Yourself

Women have a much larger number of nerve sensors than men, making them more sensitive to touching sensations. Women leisurely stroke their necks, throats, and thighs signalling to a man that if he plays his cards right she just may let him caress her in a similar way. By touching herself a woman can fantasize about how it would feel if the man she desires were the very same doing the touching.

Touching yourself draws attention to that part of your body and gets another person thinking about what it would feel like to be the person touching you. Often you're not aware that you're touching or stroking yourself. The gesture is an unconscious action in response to your interest in the other person. Women who are aware of the effect this behavior elicits become adept at performing self-touching actions to call attention to themselves.

Marilyn Monroe
Sensual poses in visual media often depict women touching themselves

4. The Limp Wrist

Walking or sitting while holding a bent wrist is a submission signal used exclusively by women and gay men. In a similar way, a bird feigns a damaged wing to distract prey away from its nest. In other words, it's a great attention getter. It's very attractive to men because it makes them feel as if they can dominate. In business situations, however, a bent wrist seriously detracts from a woman's credibility and others will fail to take her seriously, although some men will probably ask her for a date.

Marilyn Monroe
Birds will feign an injured wing to get attention; women use a bent wrist

5. Fondling a Cylindrical Object

Fondling cigarettes, a finger, the stem of a wine glass, a dangling earring or any phallic-shaped object is an unconscious indication of what may be in the mind. Taking a ring off and on the finger can also be a mental representation of having sex. When a woman does these things, a man is likely to symbolically try to possess her by fondling her cigarette lighter, car keys or any personal item she has nearby.

Woman Fondling a Glass
The stem of the wine glass suggesting things that may yet come

6. Exposing Your Wrists

The underside of the wrist is considered to be one of the most erotic places on a woman's body. The skin there is highly delicate. A woman showing her interest and availability reveals her wrists at increasing frequency as her interest in another person grows. The palms are also usually made visible to the man while she's speaking. Women smoking cigarettes will hold her palm up beside her shoulder to serve the purpose of exposing her wrists to a person of interest. Gay men wishing to mimic a feminine appearance will use the same technique.

Woman Exposing Wrists
Exposing the soft under side of the wrists is a powerful attraction signal

7. Repositioning The Head

7A. Sideways Glance Over Raised Shoulder

Looking over a bare shoulder mimics female breasts. A woman can hold a the man's gaze with slightly lowered eyelids just long enough for him to take notice and then look away, creating the excitement of chasing elusive prey.

Raised Shoulder
Raising the shoulder highlights a woman's roundness and curves
7B. Tilting Her Head

A head tilted to the side gives an appealing and helpless look. By exposing the neck, a vulnerable part of the body, tilting the head is an ideal courtship signal because it implies that the woman trusts the man so much she is prepared to display a defenseless part of her body to him. The origins of this position can be traced to infancy. A baby rests its head on the parents' shoulders when being comforted. A tilted head is a stylized version of the infant's gesture and unconsciously sends out an appeal for protection. Without knowing why, men feel a sudden surge of compassion, probably because the woman looks so vulnerable and helpless when she adopts this pose.

Womans Head Tilted
Tilting her head implies trust
7C. Showing Your Neck

A woman uses two ways to expose her neck to make herself look appealing. In one she raises her chin slightly; in the other she turns her head so the man can get a clear view of her neck. Either way, by showing her soft skin on a vulnerable part of her body, she makes herself look helpless and sexy.

Womans Exposing Neck
Exposing her neck also demonstrates trust
7D. Dipping The Head

One way a woman can make her eyes seem bigger, and herself seem smaller, is to lower her head when she's looking up at her lover. The result is that she looks vulnerable and in need of protection. Women also lower their heads when they're flirting with a man because it's a sign of submission.

Woman Dipping Face
Dipping her head suggests a submissive attitude

8. Rolling Hips

Women have wider hips than men and have a wider pelvic gap between the legs to enable childbearing. When a woman walks she has an accentuated roll which highlights her pelvic region. Men do not walk like this, so women's rolling gait serves as a sexual potent signal by it's very difference. Marilyn Monroe reportedly cut off a small piece of the heel of one shoe in a number of pairs so that the rolling of her hips became more exaggerated. This anatomical structure also explains why few women are good runners because their wider hips make their legs splay out to the side when they run.

Rolling of the hips is one of the subtle female courtship gestures that has been used for centuries in advertising to sell goods and services. Women who see these advertisements have the desire to be like the model depicted, which results in an increased awareness of the product being promoted.

Woman's Walk
Women's rolling gait with swiveling hips highlight their sexual differences

9. The Pelvic Tilt

Medical evidence shows that the highest rate for successfully bearing children is with those women having a waist-to-hips ratio of 70% (i.e. her waist is 70% the size of her hips). This metaphorically is known as an hourglass figure. Throughout recorded history this is the body ratio that has proved the most dramatic male attention-grabber. Men begin to lose interest as that waist-to-hips ratio deviates too much higher or lower from that optimum. He loses very substantial interest when her ratio reaches 100% (too close to a man's ratio) but still maintains a level of interest even when it drops below 70%. 70% still remains the perfect ratio for reproductive success. One way a woman highlights this ratio is simply tilting her pelvis when she stands. Professor Devendra Singh, an evolutionary psychologist, studied the physical attractiveness of Miss America beauty contestants and Playboy centerfolds over a period of 50 years and found that the hips-to-waist ratio that holds the greatest appeal for men is between 67% and 80%.

Pelvic Tilt
Tilting the pelvis while standing highlights a woman's ability to bear children successfully.

Elizabeth Hurley
Elizabeth Hurley with many signals that men love - long hair, neck display, 70% hips-to-waist ratio, pouting, bedroom eyes, protruding breasts, tilted pelvis, and self-touching suggesting, what is possible for those that are proactive

Professor Singh conducted a test using images of women who were underweight, overweight and of average weight and showed them to groups of men who were asked to rate them in terms of their attractiveness. Women of average weight with a hips-to-waist ratio of around 70% were found to be the most alluring. In the overweight and underweight groups, the women with the narrowest waist got the vote. The experiment's remarkable finding was that men gave the 70% hips-to-waist ratio the highest rating even when the woman's weight was quite heavy. This means a woman can be physically larger but will still turn male heads if she has this ratio.

10. Putting Your Handbag In Close Proximity

A woman's handbag is her personal domain. Even most married men live in terror of entering this most forbidden territory. Because a woman treats her handbag as if it were a personal extension of her body, it becomes a strong signal of sexual intimacy when she places her bag close to a man.

If a woman finds a man attractive she may deliberately stroke and caress her bag in an inviting manner, tantalizing and teasing her male admirer.

A woman who places her handbag close enough to a man for him to see or touch it is sending out signals that she's attracted to him. She can ask him to pass the handbag or to even retrieve something from it as a greater sign of connection and trust. If she keeps her bag away from him, she's creating an emotional distance.

Womans Handbag
Placing her handbag close to a man is a sign of acceptance

11. The Knee Point

One leg is tucked under the other and points to the person she finds the most interesting. This is a relaxed position, which also takes the formality out of a conversation and gives the opportunity for a fleeting exposure of the thighs.

Woman Pointing Knee at Someone of Interest
Pointing her knee at the most interesting person

12. Dangling A Shoe

If a woman is sitting with a man and dangles a shoe off the end of her foot she's sending out the message that she's relaxed and comfortable in his company. In addition, the foot acts like a phallus as it thrusts itself in and out of her shoe. Many men become unsettled by this gesture and they don't know why.

If you want to test a woman's comfort level as she swings her dangling shoe off her pedicured toes, say or do something that unsettles her or makes her anxious and observe how quickly that shoe goes back on her foot.

Shoe Fondle
The shoe gives a clue

13. Entwining Your Legs

Men consistently rank the leg twine as the most appealing sitting position a woman can take. Women consciously use this gesture to draw attention to their legs. When one leg is pressed up against the other it gives the appearance of highly toned muscles, which is the position the body takes just before engaging in sex.

Women who want to entice a man and demonstrate their own interest slowly cross and uncross their legs and gently stroke their thighs as an indication of their desire to be caressed.

Leg Twine
Men's most favored sitting position in women

Other leg signals used by women include crossing and uncrossing the legs slowly in front of the man and gently stroking the thighs with her hand, indicating a desire to be touched.

Courting Signals
See how many courting signals and gestures you can detect?

How Beautiful People Miss Out

Most people are tempted to believe that physical appearance is the key to attracting a potential partner, but this is largely an idea promoted by television, films and the media. Extremely attractive people are rare, and are erroneously promoted as the standard to which we should all aspire, but studies show that most of us are skeptical about beautiful people. The studies found that we prefer to find mates who are roughly as attractive as we are, which means they are more likely to stay and not look for a better offer. This preference appears to be inborn, as babies show a preference for looking at average faces rather than at beautiful ones.

What Men Look At in Women's Bodies

Research is clear in summarizing which body parts men and women look at on each other - men's brains are wired to be attracted to women who show the most healthy reproductive ability and sexual availability. When it comes to body shape, both men and women prefer someone with an athletic body shape. To men, this signals high levels of health and a woman's ability to successfully reproduce his genes.

Evidence shows that men are more attracted to women with a child-like face - large eyes, small noses, full lips and cheeks - because these signals evoke paternal, protective feelings in most men. This is why most advertising for cosmetic surgery places so much emphasis on these features. Women, conversely, prefer men with adult faces that show the ability to defend - strong jaws, larger brows and strong nose.

The good news is that a woman doesn't need to be naturally beautiful to attract a man - beauty certainly gives her an initial edge over competitors - she mainly needs to be able to display the signs that she could be available. This is why some women who are not particularly physically attractive always seem to have plenty of suitors. Overall, a man is more attracted to a woman by the signs of her availability than by her physical attractiveness, and you can learn and practice availability signals. Some women are appalled at the idea of modern men being initially attracted to a woman based on her appearance and availability instead of wanting her for her ability to nurture, communicate, be a domestic goddess or play the piano. They see discussions on this subject as degrading to modern women.

But almost every study into attraction conducted over the last 60 years reached the same conclusions as the painters, poets and writers over the past 6000 years - a woman's appearance and body and what she can do with it is more attractive to men than her intelligence or assets, even in the politically correct twenty-first century. The twenty-first-century man wants the same immediate things in a woman as his forefathers did at first sight, but, he has different criteria for a long-term partner.

The reality is that you need to attract a man first before he can find out about all your inner virtues. When you go fishing you bait the hook with what the fish likes, not with what you like. Have you ever tasted a worm? You might be repulsed by the thought but, for a fish, it's his favorite dish.

What Body Part Does The Guy Focus On?

When it comes to a man's favorite female body part, men are universally split into three fairly even groups - boobs, butts and legs.

In this section, we analyze only the physical characteristics of the female body and why each part has such an impact on the male senses. A woman's body has evolved as a permanent, portable sexual signalling system which is purpose-built to attract male attention for reproduction and butts, breasts and legs play the most significant part in this process. This may not be politically correct, but it is biologically correct.

1. Butts

Men find rounded, peach-shaped buttocks the most attractive. Female human buttocks differ from other primates in that other primate females display enlarged, protruding buttocks only when they are ready for mating. Human females display enlarged buttocks permanently and are almost always sexually available to males. This is because one of the main purposes of regular human sexual activity is to encourage long-term pair-bonding for the successful rearing of children.

Beyonce Knowles
Female humans are the only primates with permanently enlarged buttocks

Humans are the only primates that mate face-to-face - in other primate species, the males approach females from the rear and use her swollen red buttocks as a signal that she's ready for mating. And therein lies the key to men's attraction to women's butts - they always give the impression that she's available for him. Women's buttocks also have two other purposes: they store fat for breastfeeding and act as an emergency food storage in lean times, similar to a camel's hump.

Wearing designer jeans has also become popular because they highlight the buttocks and give them a firm, rounded look. High-heeled shoes make the wearer arch her back, push out her buttocks, and make her wiggle when she walks, which invariably draws male attention. Marilyn Monroe reputedly chopped three-quarters of an inch (2cm) off the heel of her left shoe to emphasize her wiggle. The females of several species of beetle also wiggle their rears in front of potential mates to attract attention.

2. The Breasts

Most of the world has developed an obsession with breasts in recent years and cleavage and cosmetic breast enhancement is now a multi-billion dollar business. This is remarkable considering that human breasts are little more than enlarged sweat glands.

Most of the breast consists of fat tissue. This gives them their rounded shape and most of this tissue is not involved in milk production.

Salma Hayek

Overall, breasts serve one clear purpose - sexual signalling. Breasts mimic a woman's rear view - a relic from the days when humans walked on all fours. If a monkey or chimp walked towards you on two legs you'd be unable to tell whether it was male or female. Humans walk upright on two legs and enlarged female breasts evolved as a mimic of the female rear. Tests conducted with pictures of butt cracks and breast cleavage convincingly show that most men are unable to differentiate one crack from the other.

Low-cut dresses and push-up bras emphasize this signal by creating cleavage. Fortunately, nearly all sex research surveys show that men love breasts in most shapes and sizes - it's the cleavage that stimulates men the most. It doesn't matter whether a woman's breasts are the size of a small lemon or look like watermelons - most men are keenly interested in them all and love a cleavage. A woman who is attracted to a man is likely to lean forward and bring her arms closer to her body, which presses her breasts together and makes a cleavage.

Mona Lisa 1Mona Lisa Makeover In US
Mona Lisa before and after a makeover in the US

Men's favorite breasts are those of a woman at her sexual and reproductive peak - in her late teens and early twenties. These are typical of the breasts seen in men's magazines, on erotic dancers, and in advertisements that trade on sex appeal.

3. The Seduction of Long Legs

There is a biological reason why men love women's long legs. When a girl reaches puberty, her legs undergo rapid lengthening as hormones flood her body and change her into a woman. Her extra long legs become a powerful non-verbal signal telling males she is sexually maturing and is now capable of childbearing. This is why long legs have always been associated with potent female sexuality.

Tyra Banks
Supermodels and film stars often have disproportionate bodies that have retained their pubescent long legs

Men love high heels on a woman because it gives her the illusion of having fertile-looking legs. High heels enhance a woman's sexual shape by lengthening her legs, arching her back, forcing her buttocks to protrude, making her feet appear smaller and thrusting her pelvis forward. This is why the shoe with the highest heel - the stiletto - with its bondage straps, is by far the most efficient sex aide on the market.

High heels lengthen a woman's legs, make her buttocks sway and her breasts protrude.

Most men also prefer a woman with shapely, thicker legs over those with thinner, spindly legs, because additional fat in the legs highlights the sex difference between male and female legs and is an indicator of better lactation. Men like women's legs to look athletic but will be likely turned off if she looks like she could win bodybuilding competition.

Media stars such as Rihanna have turned female attraction signals into substantial multi-million dollar businesses

When Someone Is 'Hot'

The core temperature for the human body is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit but the skin temperature varies depending on our emotional state. People who are described as 'cold', 'aloof', or 'stand-offish' are usually also physically cooler people because their blood is drawn into the leg and arm muscles for the 'fight or flight' response created by tension. So when you call someone a 'cold fish' you are correct on both the emotional and physical levels. Conversely, when one person is attracted to another, their blood rises to the surface of the skin, making them warmer. This is why lovers who are in the 'heat of passion', give a 'warm embrace', have 'steamy encounters' and can be 'hot stuff. In many women, this increase in body temperature can be seen as their chests will become flushed or covered in red blotches and their cheeks also flush.

Male Courtship Signals and Gestures

Male displays involve the show of power, wealth and status. If you are a woman, you will probably be disappointed with our summary of male courtship signals. Compared to those of women, there are not too many. While a woman will dress sensually, wear make-up and use a wide range of courtship gestures, men rev their car engines, brag about how much they earn and challenge other men. When it comes to courtship rituals, most men are as effective as someone standing in a river trying to catch fish by hitting them on the head with a big stick. Women have more lures and fishing skills to land their fish than any male could ever hope to acquire.

In this section we will cover the most common male body language signals you are likely to see, much of which is focused around his genitals. Men are generally not good at sending or receiving the signals used in the mating game and, as we mentioned earlier, women not only control the game and make the rules, they own the scoreboard. Most of the time, men simply react to signals they see.

Some magazines try to convince readers that men's courtship skills are improving because of the increase in the numbers of men who are paying more attention to their appearance. Men now have facials, do their nails and toenails, tint their hair, straighten and whiten their teeth, use hair conditioner and facial creams. Most of this behavior is men simply becoming more vain - not in men's ability to read women's courtship signals and adapt to maximize his opportunities.

An American survey found the three words women would most like to hear from their male partner were not 'I love you'. They were 'you've lost weight'

As with most male animals, the human male displays preening behavior as a potential partner arrives on the scene. In addition to the automatic physiological reactions already mentioned, he will straighten his tie, smooth his collar, brush imaginary dust from his shoulder and touch his cufflinks or watch, and rearrange his shirt, coat and other clothing.

Tie Preening
Male tie-preening gesture

Why Men Talk to Women at the Beginning of a Relationship

Many men understand that talking at length to a woman about the personal intimate details of his or her life wins points and can open her mind - and more - to him. At the beginning of a new relationship a man will often use the talking strategy but after the honeymoon period he's likely to go back to his stereotypical behavior of not talking - sticking only to facts, information and solutions to problems when he does talk.

The Male Genitals Obsession

The most direct sexual display a man can make towards a woman is the aggressive thumbs-in-belt gesture that highlights his genitals. He may also turn his body towards her and point his foot at her, use an intimate gaze and hold her gaze for longer than usual. When he is seated or leaning against a wall, he may also spread his legs to display his pelvis.

In troops of baboons, and with several other primates, males display their dominance by using a penis display. By spreading their legs to give others a full view of the size of their wedding tackle and giving it the occasional adjustment from time to time, they can constantly assert and reassert their dominant status. This same display is used by human males to assert their manhood, though it is more subtle than the baboons, mainly because of the hefty prison sentence the baboon display would carry.

The fifteenth century saw the introduction of the not-so-subtle codpiece, which purported to display the size of a man's masculinity and therefore his social status. In the twenty-first century, New Guinea natives still employ penis displays, while Western men can achieve the same effect with tight-fitting pants, small-size Speedo swimming trunks or dangling a large bunch of keys or the long end of a belt in front of his genitals.

Mens Underwear

These hanging objects give a man the opportunity to reach down from time to time for any necessary adjustments. Most women cannot imagine being in a public place and reaching down to scratch their genitals and are amazed that men will do this nonchalantly and with regularity. It is the same message for all male primates, they just use different approaches.

Michael Jackson Dancing
The grabbing of genitals while dancing is one of the less subtle forms of pelvic display.

The Pelvic Adjustment

The most common form of public male sexual display is the pelvic adjustment. "Women everywhere complain that they will be talking with a man and suddenly, for no apparent reason, he will begin adjusting or handling his genitals. The inference is that his genitalia are so large and cumbersome that they need constant attention to prevent the cut-off of blood circulation.

Watch any group of young males together, especially where manly attitudes are encouraged, such as on sporting teams, and you will see random continuing adjustment of guys' genitals as each male unconsciously tries to assert his masculinity in front of the others. Women are horrified when a man then proceeds to get her a drink using the same hand he just used for his adjustments and he then greets people with a handshake.

Wearing a Tie to One Side

If you are a man and you want to find out which women like you, wear a neatly pressed suit and tie, but wear the tie slightly off to one side and put a little lint on one shoulder. Any women who find you attractive can't resist brushing the lint off and straightening your tie so that you look just right.

Off Center Tie
Wearing the tie slightly off-center gives interested women the opportunity to straighten it

Men's Bodies - What Turns Women On the Most Surveys show that women continually express a preference for men with deeper, smoother voices because deep tones are directly linked to testosterone levels. The change in voice tone is noticeable in boys because, when they reach puberty, their bodies flood with male hormones as they begin to change into men and their voices 'crack' virtually overnight. When a man is around a woman he fancies he's likely to start speaking in deeper tones to highlight his masculinity while a responsive woman is likely to start talking in higher pitched tones to contrast her femaleness. Since the feminist movement began in the 1960s, women have taken on male job roles and tasks that require the production of testosterone, the hormone that drives us to achieve and that has been described as the 'success hormone'. Research now shows that in countries such as the US, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand where feminism has been more influential, women's voices have become deeper because women have become more assertive and authoritative. Hopefully, the hairy chest won't follow.

Is She a Chest, Legs or Butt Woman?

Women's sexual responses to men are triggered visually by certain aspects of the male body. When it comes to a woman's favorite male body parts, women are also universally split into three groups - legs, butts and chests/arms with butts taking 40% of the votes for first prize. In this section, we will be analyzing only the physical characteristics of the male body and why each part has such an impact on the female senses.

Overall, women also look for athletic body shape, broad shoulders, muscular chest and arms and a tight butt. Even in the twenty-first century, surveys overwhelmingly show women still want a man who looks as if he can chase down and wrestle animals, fight off invaders, and carry heavy things.

1. Broad Shoulders, Chest and Muscular Arms

The upper torso of the hunting male is wide and tapers to narrow hips, whereas a woman's body is narrower at the shoulders and widens at the hips. Men evolved these features to allow them to lug heavy weapons over long distances and carry home their kills.

Flexing Muscles
Women tend to have an affinity for men with V-shaped upper bodies and "cut" abdominals

The male chest developed to house large lungs enabling more effective distribution of oxygen and allowing him to breathe more efficiently when running and chasing. In past generations, the bigger his chest, the more respect and power a man commanded, and this is still the case with most surviving primitive tribes.

Women are attracted to a well-defined male upper body, but most dislike the 'muscle man' bodybuilder look; a woman feels he is likely to be more interested in his own beauty than in hers.

2. The Small, Tight Butt

A small, compact butt is the favorite of women everywhere but few understand its magnetic attraction. The secret is that a tight, muscular rear is necessary to make the strong forward thrusting motion needed for successful sperm transfer during sex. A man with a fat or flabby derrière has difficulty with this forward movement and has a tendency to throw his entire body weight into the thrust. For women, this isn't ideal, as the man's weight can be uncomfortable on her and make it difficult to breathe. By contrast, the small, tight rear promises a greater chance of doing an effective job.

Man's Backside
Many web sites enable women to rate men's butts

3. Narrow Hips and Muscular Legs

Men's legs are attractive to women only insofar as they are symbols of masculine power and endurance. The powerful, angular legs of the human male are the longest of all primates and his narrow hips allow him to run swiftly over long distances to chase and hunt. Women's wide hips cause many women to have difficulty running, as their lower legs and feet often flay out to the side to balance body weight. Leading US neuropsychology professor Dr Devendra Singh discovered that women find male hips with a 90% waist-to-hips ratio the most appealing.


The world is in the grip of a singles epidemic. In all Western countries, marriage rates have been headed down and are half the rate of a few decades ago. In the United States 20% of adults have never married and the age at which people first get married has been climbing consistently year after year.

The fact that many men and women are initially attracted based on physical appearance may be disheartening however on the plus side, everyone has the chance to improve their appearance and make a choice to enhance their attractiveness to the pool of people they would seek. Other avenues have evolved to assist in the romantic hunt; online dating and social media apps, matchmaking services, and speed-dating events have markedly expanded in all developed countries. A market research firm gauged the annual revenue for these services within the United States at $3-4 billion dollars in 2017. Men tend to be more challenged than women in meeting the opposite sex, consequently classes that teach social engagement technique (e.g. flirting) will on balance have more men attending than women.

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Westside Toastmasters is located in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, California