Body Language & Attraction
This week, we’re exploring body language – the eyes, smile, posture and energy that attracts you to other! It’s a combination of biology and psychology, with body scent, hormones, chemicals – and even our gene sequence – coming in to play.
But first... Are pheromones legit?
Pheromones are a body’s chemical release that elicits a response in other organisms, usually with sexual benefit. They’re a big deal in the animal kingdom – but their efficacy in humans is debated. Sure, a female silk moth can secrete a chemical that attracts mates over 10km away – but us? Some people aren’t even born with the glands receptive to them.
Instead, scientists believe that attraction is based on a suite of chemicals called the ‘histocompatability complex’ (MHC). MHC are a set of immune system genes that give us our unique ‘odorprint’ (think fingerprint but for smell). The more varied a set of MHC genes are, the more attracted we are to that other, with one study showing people prefer the musk of sweaty T-shirts worn by those with the most different MHC gene sequence (Larsen et al., 2017). In this case, opposites quite literally attract.
And now? Some body language cues to try...
Make eye contact.
Our eyes may as well be a sexual organ for all they make us feel. A slow gaze, prolonged eye contact, smize (smile with those eyes), wink or glance up and down can do wonders for a lil’ flirty attachment and connection.
Turn your body towards them.
Facing someone shows you’re attentive, open and interested. Active listening, engaging conversation and genuine interest should go hand-in-hand.
Not to be confused with being ‘proper’ or a series of power stances (though if that’s your thing, do you). The way you hold your body can not only support you in feeling more confident, but can also cue that you’re into them. Bring your awareness to the posture/shape that makes you feel most comfortable – and do that.
Bridge the gap, lean in and get closer to them.
Note: physical touch can be enticing AF but give the other some space to think. Connection and closeness are possible without breathing down someone’s neck (unless you’re both into that).
Subtle or playful touch can be incredibly fun and flirty – that zing you feel when you touch someone you're into is the stuff of melting dreams. Try a gentle knee-graze, hand stroke or hover over the lower back. The anticipation of touch can also be as good – try having bodies/hands close but not touching.
Note on all of the above
These cues are only hot if everyone involved is into it. Sensitivity to other is paramount – take a sense check, be receptive to verbal and non-verbal cues on how they’re responding and make sure they’re as into it as you are. Always always treat your partner/date and their boundaries with the utmost respect.