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How to Seduce a Lover

A practical guide to body language and seduction. Here's how to apply the principles.

We should not hunt our mates, but rather lure them. After all, a mate is prey to be captured alive. Love Signals, a book by anthropologist David Givens, is 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 water hole, waiting for the wolf to pounce.

When PT asked volunteers to try out some of Givens' courting techniques, the results were mixed. One strategy called "object-dropping" was judged to be "awkward," "idiotic" and "downright humiliating." However, most of our volunteers reported that explaining the strategies made for scintillating conversation.

Here's how to apply the various principles, why they work, and the results reported by our volunteers:

Build Familiarity

  • Walk within arm's reach of your target on your way to the bathroom, the kitchen, the keg or the bar. Repeat several times.
  • Studies prove that we like things simply because we've seen them before.
  • "I felt pretty silly walking back and forth across the bar, and the only guy who looked was the creep checking everybody out."

Draw Attention to Yourself

  • When you are near your prey, drop something—a napkin, a glove, a watch. Bend down and pick it up.
  • We notice moving objects, even when we can see them only out of the corners of our eyes.
  • "It was pretty awkward, bending over in front of a table of strangers, but some of the guys turned their heads 180 degrees."

Show Interest

  • Lift one shoulder and cock your head to the side.
  • Anthropologists call this the "cute response." For both sexes it says, "I'm interested." It also says, "I'm adorable."
  • "I do this whenever I want something and it works great."

Be Vulnerable

  • Wear an open shirt, and touch your neck and collarbone.
  • A neck-touch is as appealing to men as it is to women. You are literally pointing out a weak spot.
  • "I touch my neck instinctively when I let my guard down."

Follow Your Partner

  • If he scratches his head, you scratch your head. If he does the funky chicken, you do the funky chicken.
  • Isopraxism, moving in unison, is based on a deep-seated instinct to copy the actions of those we find attractive.
  • "I had lunch with a friend and copied what he did. After lunch, he asked if we should be more than just friends."