The Science of Seduction: 11 Facts You Didn't Know About Flirting
If your flirting skills are lacking, it's time to step it up. Now. This is, of course, if you're looking to procure a mate. (And you are, aren't you? Isn't everyone?) Well, the thing about flirting, in that whole finding a boyfriend or girlfriend department, is that it works.
Studies show that not only does flirting help in the dating department, but flirting and being able to do it well are far more effective than your excessive good looks. After conducting research regarding flirting techniques in places where people go looking for love, psychologist Dr. Monica Moore found that "it's not the most physically appealing people who get approached, but the ones who signal their availability and confidence through basic flirting techniques like eye contact and smiles." Easy peasy, right?
Here are some other interesting facts about flirting that you probably didn't know, but probably should:
#1. There are five types of flirting.
You may have thought that a subtle arm touch or a wink might be the extent of flirting, but you're wrong. According to the University of Kansas, there are actually five types of flirting: traditional, physical, sincere, playful and polite. While 25 percent of flirting falls into the playful category, 30 percent is intended to sincerely lure a mate into our web of desire.
#2. Eye contact can make you more attractive.
Once you get that whole smiling thing down, go in for some eye contact. Not only is it a major signal that you’re interested, but eye contact can go as far as making someone even more attracted to you than they would have been. Studies have found that a "mutual unbroken gaze for two minutes with a stranger" leads to "increased feelings of passionate love."
#3. Touching is a definite must.
While men need to play it cool when it comes to this one (do you really want to get smacked, fellas?), if women lay it on thick, aka "go nuclear," it will really reel in the dates. There are three levels of touching: friendly (ie. shoulder push or tap), plausible deniability (ie. touching around the shoulder or waist, or on the forearm), and, as we mentioned, "nuclear," which is the face touch. When you can, without being creepy, go nuclear. Is everyone taking notes?
#4. Playing hard to get really does work.
Yep, it's true, and the studies can back it up. Making yourself appear to be a "scarce resource worth having" while maintaining your interest is the ticket. People want what they can't have.
#5. For men, age isn't a factor.
When it comes to a playful night out with the ladies and flirting just for fun, 83 percent of guys say they don't care how old (or young) you might be. When it comes to a good time, age doesn't weigh too heavily for dudes.
#6. How you talk is a huge indicator.
As we already learned, men don't do so great when it comes to turning on the sexy voice, but women have all the advantages in that category. Along with being able to successfully manipulate our voices, if we're interested, we tend to talk "smoothly and quickly." If we're meh on the situation, our speech ends up being "hesitantly and awkwardly" pushed out of our mouths. Yikes.
#7. So is how you hold your head.
Ladies, scientists at the University of Newcastle in Australia have found that you're "most alluring" when you angle your head forward, so you're forced to look ever-so slightly upward. This creates a more feminine look, and we know how guys dig that. Men, in order to look more masculine and, therefore, more attractive to women, you're going to tilt your head back and look a bit down your nose. Don't go overboard and cross your eyes, but, well, you'll feel what's right for you.
#8. The power of red is a real thing.
Whether you choose red lips or a red dress, the color red — also the color of power and confidence — will bring all eyes to you. The "red dress effect" not only helps in attention-getting, but also makes women appear "more open to sexual advances" — this may or may not be what you want, but it is something to consider before going out on the prowl.
#9. Being direct scores high on the success scale.
While women prefer boring opening lines that lack pizazz, men want women who are direct. There is nothing sexier than knowing what you want, of course. However, both men and women agree that "cute/flippant" pickup lines are just awful.
#10. It's good for you!
Weird, right? But those who get their flirt on and do so regularly are walking around with higher white blood-cell counts, which means they're really, really healthy.
#11. It's illegal in some places.
Of course, both of these are outdated laws, but they were too laughable not to include. To engage in "lascivious banter" in Little Rock, Arkansas, could lead to 30 days in jail, and in New York City, men can be fined $25 every time they "gaze suggestively" at a woman. Can you imagine what that fine would do to the endless catcalling and suggestive gazing that goes on in NYC in the spring and summer? The Time Warner workers out there in their vans just might keep their mouths shut!