If a picture’s worth a thousand words, the right posture is worth at least that many cheesy pickup lines.
The way you stand, sit, gesture, and emote sends wordless signals to the women in your vicinity. Make sure you’re sending the right signals with these research-backed tips.
Whether you’re sitting or standing, research from Ohio State University shows you’ll feel more confident and appear more attractive to women if your back is straight and your head is up (as opposed to slouched). More research shows good posture—imagine Superman with his fists on his waist, head up and shoulders back—improves your self-esteem. Again, this will make you more appealing to women.
HOLD HER GAZE
Several studies have shown girls are most attracted to guys who hold their gaze for a “moderate” amount of time. Assuming you can catch her eye at all, don’t immediately break contact, the research suggests. While you don’t want to freak her out with a Charlie Manson cult-leader leer, keeping your eyes locked onto hers for a full second or two can significantly up your sexiness—especially if paired with a friendly smile, the research shows.
TAKE UP SPACE…
Spreading your legs and resting your arms on nearby chairs or objects conveys dominance, which women find hot, finds a study from the University of Westminster in the UK. Unlike crossing your legs and arms—postures that telegraph introversion or submissiveness—opening yourself up also signals a sexy lack of vulnerability, the study authors say.
… AND INVADE EVERYONE ELSE’S
Putting your hands on your buddies, whether to squeeze a shoulder or pat a back, signals to female onlookers that you’re not afraid to intrude into other men’s personal space, research shows. Big gestures convey the same message. Like an alpha male marking his territory, violating your pal’s perimeter is a sign that you’re a dominant dude—something women find attractive, the researchers say. More study shows touching a woman casually—maybe a light hand on her arm as you offer her a compliment—supercharges her sexual attraction.
TRY NOT TO SMILE (MUCH)
While an occasional smile—especially when you first lock eyes with her—suggests to a woman that you’re interested and trustworthy, lots of grinning and laughing is a big turn-off, concludes a study in the journal Emotion. A permagrin—especially if you’re in the company of other dudes—makes you seem nervous or subservient, neither of which is a turn-on. The Emotion study found that women judged smiling to be the least-sexy facial expression.
DON’T BE A BOBBLEHEAD
If you’re at a bar with buddies, lots of nodding is a non-verbal gesture that announces you’re one of the group’s betas. Imagine how you’d act surrounded by all your bosses or supervisors—laughing at all their jokes and nodding in agreement. That’s exactly the way you shouldn’t act if you’re trying to catch a woman’s eye, research shows.
KNOCK THAT FIRST KISS OUT OF THE PARK
Assuming you get all the above gestures right, you’re headed for a critical moment: the first kiss. A study from the University of Albany shows a bad initial smooch is a deal-breaker for most women. The same study found there to be three important elements of a winning first kiss: fresh breath, little-to-no tongue, and assertiveness. So pop a mint or a shot of peppermint Schnapps, take her face in your hands, and kiss her like you have a pair.