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Body Language For Lovers
Anthropologist David Givens has provided a practical guide to the body language of seduction.
The key for both men and women, he says, is to appear harmless and vulnerable. Be the deer by the watering hole, waiting for the wolf to pounce.
Whatever you do, you don’t want to appear guarded. Crossing your arms over your chest and lowering your head are signs of defensiveness that will keep potential mates at a distance. Shirts buttoned all the way to the top, and, even worse, turtlenecks keep away the cold, but they also keep away lovers.
The way you dress should be appetizing. Black may be chic, but wearing vibrant, natural colors -- cherry red, forest green, lemon yellow -- will make you seem ripe for the picking.
Once you’ve attracted a mate, what you say isn’t so important. Ninety-nine percent of courting is nonverbal.
Research on opening lines has shown that with the proper body language, “Hello” works most of the time for men and all of the time for women. What’s more important is to communicate openness and interest with your whole body. Here are a few ideas:
How to do it: Walk within arm’s reach of your target on your way to the bathroom, the kitchen or the bar. Repeat several times.
Why it works: Studies prove that we like things simply because we’ve seen them before.
How to do it: Use open-palmed gestures as you talk.
Why it works: Because palms-open exposes the tender part of your hand. Palms-up gestures are a universal sign of friendliness and availability. Palms-down gestures say stay away.
Display Your Interest:
How to do it: Lift one shoulder and turn your head to the side.
Why it works: Anthropologists call this the “cute response.” For both sexes it says, “I’m interested.” It also says, “I’m adorable.”
How to do it: Wear an open shirt, and touch your neck and collarbone.
Why it works: A neck-touch is as appealing to men as it is to women. You are literally pointing out a weak spot.
Follow Your Partner:
How to do it: If he scratches his head, you scratch your head. If he does the funky chicken, you do the funky chicken.
Why it works: Isopraxism, the technical term for moving in unison, is based on a deep-seated instinct to copy the actions of those we find attractive.
Draw Attention to Yourself:
How to do it: When you are near your prey, drop something -- a napkin, a glove or a watch. Bend down and pick it up.
Why it works: We notice moving objects, even when we can see them only out of the corners of our eyes. Also, you are more vulnerable when you bend over.
Our closest animal relative, the bonobo chimpanzee, practices the object-dropping technique in courtship. After a male bonobo notices a female, he will pass by her and climb up the closest tree. From a comfortable height, he will drop twigs around her body, almost hitting her. After a while, the female may become sufficiently charmed to climb up the tree and present her hindquarters to her new mate.
By Jennifer Drapkin
Special for eDiets