…and don’t even know it! Read the research on attraction–then put it to work.
When You Lock Eyes and Smile
The head-smackingly simple flirting fact I passed on to Violet that day: According to researchers at Scotland’s University of Aberdeen Face Research Lab, when you smile genuinely and lock eyes with a guy, he finds your face markedly more attractive than if you look at him without smiling. Minutes after I imparted this wisdom, I watched Violet spot a cute guy, make I-dare-you-to-look-away eye contact and flash him a fearless grin. The man practically walked backward out the door, then lingered at the window, fiddling with his cell phone, all the while stealing glances at my friend. “It worked!” Violet crowed.
When You Use Girly Body Language
In a now classic 1985 study, psychologist Monica Moore, Ph.D., of Webster University in St. Louis, showed that a successful seductress will send her desired guy more than 35 “courtship signals,” including hair-flipping, back-arching and lip-licking. (See Eliza Skinner’s experiment with some of these tactics, right.) Whether or not they were good-looking, the women in Moore’s study who turned on their body language were approached by an average of four men, while nonflirters, even gorgeous ones, weren’t approached by any at all.
Something to celebrate: real proof that guys don’t wish we all looked like runway models. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin showed men—from twentysomethings to octogenarians—several line drawings of female body types. When they were asked to pick the most attractive, their across-the-board first choice was (sorry to annoy all you naturally waif-y types!) the curvy, medium-weight figure.