Body Language Part 5 - Attraction

Posted by: Jo Banks

Date: 01-01-0001

More information on the difference between male and female body language when it comes to attracting the opposite sex...


I know I've already covered this topic in another post 'Body Language Part 4 - Male/Female Attraction', however, as it's such a hot topic, I've decided to cover it further.

The body language of attraction is so fascinating to watch - and most of us don't even realise we're doing any thing any differently when we come across someone we find attractive. 

So why exactly do we flirt?

  1. We put on offer what others are looking for, for men they are looking for attractiveness and appearance, women look for strength, wealth and stability
  2. We emphasise the qualities we want others to see
  3. We flirt to show that we are available (even if we aren’t!)


Flirty body language:

Women - Blow kisses, flick hair, tilt their heads, looking over their shoulder (which mimics a sexual action), self touching the areas they want to show off

Men - Tend to hardly move, which indicates machismo

The difference in processing what we see is also very different between men and women:

Women - Will see see a man and fantasise an entire back story about him based on that split second view eg they have a beard, so they are the homely type or they are dressed smartly so they must have a good job.

Men - Will instantly notice a woman's appearance only skimming the surface, concentratin gon the woman's looks and deciding immediatley whether they find her attractive and whether they are partner material ... there's no back story concoction here!

 In less than a blink of an eye we decide if we find someone attractive, it's a totally unconscious process and we are programmed that way as a defence mechanism so that we can tell who is a friend or foe.  Once we make up our minds in that split second, it’s often very difficult to change our view. 

Women generally mark good looking men down until they’ve got to know them and that’s the fundamental difference between men and women.  If a man does not fancy a woman on first view, it’s very rare that they will change their mind, however, because of the ‘back story’ a women will get to know a man before she truly decides whether she fancies him or not.  An interesting point to note is that a really attractive woman who doesn’t know how to flirt hasn’t a hope in hell’s chance against a plain girl who does.

So how do we beat the competition when attracting a mate?  We show off what the other half want to see:

What Men Want - Good skin, shiny hair, good body, youth and health – when a woman plays with her hair displays youth and energy and I hate to say it but good foundation is essential for that youthful glow.  Wearing heels gives the impression of long, shapely legs adding height and pushing the pelvis forward

What Women Want - Confidence, strength, sex appeal – broad shoulders, narrow waists and muscles are all signs of high levels of testosterone = high sex drive, dominance and health.  Interestingly, tests have shown that when women are ovulating, they go for stronger characteristics.  When they’re not, they tend to go for slightly more effeminate looks.  Brad Pitt and George Clooney have the best of both which equals maximum sexual advertising.

Getting Ready to Go Out...

Getting ready to go out is quite a significant ritual for both men and women...

As men are much more driven by how a woman looks, if a woman is looking for a prospective partner, she should play up her good points, expose her best areas and cover up what’s not so great.  Women don’t like competition and therefore are much more bothered about wearing the same outfit as their friend than a man would be.  They will also consciously or subconsciously steer a friend clear of an outfit that they feel threatened by.  So when you ask a friend, “Does my bum look good in this” they may not always be telling you the truth!

For men, rather than the preening that a woman does, it’s much more about getting in the right frame of mind because self confidence is in a man is really important to a woman.  A man’s perceived power comes from how self assured they seem and men like to establish a pecking order amongst their friends.  They don’t need as much time to create the look that women are looking for, however, they do like to sculpt their hair (if they have it) which is largely down to advertising ie ‘look at me, I have a full head of hair!’


Meeting potential partners:

We tend to use a lot of appeasement gestures such as nodding when chatting to someone we find attractive, it demonstrates that we are agreeable and friendly.  Women smile more and ask more questions which flatters the man and makes them think that she’s interested even if she’s not.  Men can do the same but it’s not always genuine, it’s a deliberate play designed to win favour.

Men tend to hunt in packs and tend to be completely in sync, even when they drink.  Flirtatious women use exaggerated body language and self touch to bring attention to the parts of their body that they want to highlight.  Preening draws attention to the woman and displaying her neck shows that they are defenceless.

In summary, we make our decisions as to whether we fancy someone in under a second of seeing them, men tend to go purely on what they see and women create a back story based on the looks.  Even though we like to think that we are far more enlightened than this, unfortunately, our evolutionary hard wiring hasn’t quite caught up with our 21st Century ‘equality thinking’!

Top tips:

  1. It’s all about sexual advertising – display what the other half is looking for
  2. Men are visually orientated and only need to see various parts of a woman’s anatomy – they want youthful looks, glossy hair and silky skin.
  3. You have to flirt – showing clear signals that you’re interested and available
  4. Women want men to look commanding, they’re after strength, confidence, security and wealth

... if you have it flaunt it!


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