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I Don’t Fancy You At All. Honest.
Also at communication stage, there may well be tics and displacement activity displayed in body language where there is an attraction between two people. For example, we could really want to hold a person’s hand, but instead we may remove some fluff from our clothes as we are afraid that we will be rejected if we dare to attempt to hold a person’s hand. Another example is when women often touch their hair, or flick it back. Men may scratch their cheek, or check their tie. These are alternative actions to the ones they really want to take!
One who tilts their head to one side when communicating verbally is showing interest, and often attraction – we actually tilt our head to one side before we kiss. Also with the head tilt, this exposes some of the neck which can appear alluring in women. The head tilt gives an appealing and helpless look, and is a display of trust in a man that the woman is willing to display a powerless part of her body. She is showing that she is vulnerable, and indeed available, to the male.
Another signal of interest in another (and not only where there is sexual attraction) is nodding. We actually tend to nod more than we are consciously aware and by doing so, we are encouraging the other person, although timing is important to nodding – too soon could mean that one is interrupting the other indicating a desire to end the communication in an attempt to speed up and conclude what the other is saying.
Upturned palms are a dead giveaway. This action is submissive and show openness and honesty. We use open palms to make a connection to another person when we wave to them. But when a woman shows a man her palms of her hands and insides of wrists when there is sexual attraction, this is an invitation to a man to caress her – wrists are an erogenous zone and can be very sensual.
Physical space is important too. Distance between two people is a signal as to how comfortable we are with one another. This may also depend on personality, however if we are attracted to someone, then we will generally be more comfortable with being physically closer to them. Changing the distance between two people can also increase or decrease dominance. Where there is sexual attraction between a male and female this change can be quite effortless as there is a pendulum of contact between the two.
Leaning forward shows interest and liking – you are sharing space with the other person and want to be close to them. This is a useful tool for women to use to display their breasts, and no doubt appealing to the male recipient observer where there is sexual attraction! This is a typical action to emphasise gender.
Other Telltale Signs of Sexual Attraction
Other examples of flirting body language include the eyebrow flash and the coy smile, the latter being particularly telling. The eyebrow flash can be used to draw attention or acknowledge another person. It can also be used to show agreement with another. But be careful of the eyebrow flash as it can also be used to display disapproval, particularly if only one eyebrow is raised. (I actually got quite a telling off from an ex-boss for displaying a raised eyebrow on what was apparently too many occasions around the boardroom table. My argument was (with a much further raised eyebrow and quite defiantly), ‘I have not done anything wrong!’ when in fact I knew perfectly well I had displayed my disapproval at certain topics that had been discussed and this is how I had displayed it in body language!)
The coy smile can be an important one to note. It can be a hint of a smile that gives a snippet of things to come – the ‘I’ve only just begun with you’ smile, or it could be teamed with the ‘knowing’ eye contact look. This can be a strong signal to send out or receive, the one which says, ‘Oh yes, I’ve got my eye on you, I like what I see, I want what I see and I am definitely going to get it!’.
Both sexes may be dominant and submissive, (I have touched upon this above in terms of physical space) which leads to the playful back and forth of flirtation.
One indication of attraction on a male’s behalf to a female is that they may look dominant and strut! It can be seen, on occasions, that a man who wants to impress will parade around like a peacock, straightening his posture, sticking out his chest and breathing in – like the V-shaped Adonis on the beach a la Daniel Craig trunks scene in Casino Royale. (Of course, the peacock does not have to be on a beach scene and it can be displayed anywhere, my thought pattern diverted!) Another indication of attraction or wanting to appear attractive is crotch display, which is when a man puts his hands on his hips or in particular, his hands hanging from his pockets – this naturally points to the genitals and emphasises gender. It is quite possible that he will not realise he is doing it but he is most definitely sending out the clear signal of ‘look at what I have to offer, it’s available’. This can be seen a lot in social scenarios, for instance bars.
The differences between where men and women look at the other is also apparent. Men tend to look generally from the eyes to the hips in a woman they find attractive, often lingering on the breasts or upper torso. On the contrary, women tend to look at an attractive male all the way up and down from head to toe (and sometimes back up again)!