Rejection is no fun. Asking someone out, only to be shot down in flames, can be a major blow to the ego. That’s where body language can help. A large percentage of human communication is based on body language – gestures and movements that can signal our thoughts and feelings even more accurately than words. The challenge is determining which of these signals indicate sexual attraction.
Female body language is loaded with sexual cues and women are much more aware of courtship signals than men are. According to The Definitive Book of Body Language, by Allen and Barbara Pease, “Women initiate up to 90 percent of flirtatious encounters, but it is done so subtly that most men think they are taking the lead.”
So let’s get your observational skills honed up. Here are the ten most common body-language clues that a woman gives out if she’s interested in taking it further with you.
Preening and the head/hair toss
Both men and women preen. Preening is any motion that emphasizes attractiveness and is sort of a pseudo tidying-up of oneself. She will smooth her hair, sit or stand straighter to emphasize her breasts or adjust her clothing. This self-grooming says; “I want to look attractive for you,” while highlighting areas of sexual interest by tilting her hips if she’s standing, licking her lips, crossing her legs and flicking her hair.The hair flick is often the first display a woman will use around a man she is interested in. She flicks her head back to toss her hair over her shoulder. Women with short hair do this as well. Raising an arm to smooth, twirl or play with her hair are variations. This allows her to bring attention to her breasts, as well as expose her armpit which releases more pheromones into the air.
The old saying that the eyes are the “windows to the soul” has a lot of merit. Most eye contact is restricted to brief looks. Prolonged eye contact can signal strong emotions and great interest in a subject – attraction or anger. If a woman purposely maintains eye contact with you for what seems a bit too long, looks away and down, and then looks back at you, then she could be signaling her interest. Repeatedly looking at you is another positive sign.Another look of female interest is the side-ways glance. There are different variations of this glance. Often done with the head tipped down and slightly raised eyebrows, the eyes peep out to the side in what is both a shy and flirty way. The look can be playful, accompanied with a smile, or with an intense, knowing smolder.
Also, be on the lookout for dilated pupils. This is an unconscious body cue that signals attraction. Keep in mind though, that light conditions will affect pupil size as well. I personally think that this signal is difficult to detect– because so much can affect pupil size. Another unconscious tell-tale is blinking. People tend to blink more when attracted.
Self-touching and touch
Our minds tend to get our bodies to act out what we desire. If a woman is slowly stroking herself on her neck, thigh or other body part, she may be reacting to her unconscious wish that you were touching her there. She also may find an excuse to touch you. She may remove a bit of lint from your shirt, brush your arm, or straighten your collar for example. She may also “accidentally” touch you with her arm, shoulder, hand, leg (if sitting down) or brush past you. It’s not unusual for a woman to signal her interest by what seems to be an accidental touch.
Wet lips and a mouth that is pouting and slightly open, may indicate her interest. The lips above are mimicry of the lips below and she may call attention to them by biting them gently, licking her lips, putting on lipstick, using a straw, or eating very slowly with great enjoyment. In my experience, women know exactly what effect this may have on a man when done slowly and with intent.
Stroking an object
Stroking an object – particularly a phallic object – may be sexual thought escaping through her fingers. Running her finger around the top of her glass, or the stem of a wineglass, a cigarette, a long earring, the neck of a bottle or even pulling a ring off-and-on a finger can all symbolize sexual thoughts.
Limp wrist and exposed wrists
A woman holding her wrist limply is a submission signal. Men unconsciously interpret it as such and it will cause them to feel dominant. When I first read about this signal, I didn’t believe it. Then I caught myself doing it! Another thing a woman will do is expose her wrists more as her interest grows. The skin on the inner wrist is very delicate and has long been considered an erotic area. Flashing her palm is also part of the gesture.
Swaying hips are a very powerful sex signal. Women’s hips are shaped differently than men’s, and so move and roll in a way that highlights the pelvic area. When a woman is attracted, she will often slightly exaggerate her hip roll when walking by a man. She may do this knowingly or unknowingly. Men are drawn to this movement, as it calls attention to her pelvic area and her butt.
You may find this surprising, but a woman may dangle a shoe from her foot while her legs are crossed when she is attracted. She may also, while standing or sitting with her foot on the floor, move her foot in and out of her shoe in an approximation of phallic penetration. Men may not even realize why they feel unsettled when a woman is doing this.
Women will twine their legs together in order to call attention to them. It helps give legs the appearance of muscle tone. Other leg signals are crossing and uncrossing legs, pointing a knee or a foot towards the object of her desire, or slowly stroking her thigh.
We all like to have our personal space, but a good indication of interest on her part is if she moves in closer to you and enters your zone. We all want to get closer to those we desire, and this could indicate interest on her part. However, be careful about entering her personal space prematurely. A woman may feel threatened by a man entering her personal space before she’s ready. If she leans forward a lot, moves closer, or reaches out to touch you while conversing, she’s most likely interested.
Also worth a quick mention are as follows:
- Her body angle (how much she faces you)
- Tilting her head (shows interest in what you are saying)
- Her interest in learning everything she can about you
- She just happens to find reasons to walk or be by you
- Neck exposure. Tipping her head down or to the side exposes the erotic area of her neck. This is also a submissive gesture.
While body language is a great way to determine attraction, keep in mind that there are a host of things that can change the meaning of a particular cue. Also realize that everyone is a bit different. So while one woman may be very interested, she may be too shy or too nervous to show you. And another woman may show all the signs, but just naturally be very outgoing and enjoy the fun of flirting – sort of “action without intent.” Be careful not to mistake friendliness and playfulness as attraction.
On the other hand, if she displays actions such as looking away from you a lot while you are speaking, gazing off into the distance, leaning away from you, crossing her arms, not smiling or not giving genuine smiles, then chances are you would be better to try your luck elsewhere.
The best advice I can give you is to look for clusters of signals – three or more – and take everything in context. One signal on its own is not a good indication of interest.