Lots of us think that we’re great at attracting the opposite sex, but are we? We might be doing it all wrong, or we might even be doing the right thing for all the wrong reasons.
To boot, we are only drawing on a sample size of ONE person (ourselves), or an echo chamber of friends that might not necessarily know better. This all means that we’re largely operating in the dark when it comes to matters of sparking and engineering attraction.
SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE! Probably because sex is an incredible motivator, a metric ton of research has been conducted on attraction and sex appeal.
Here are three proven ways to scientifically be more attractive to the opposite (or same) sex.
Break The Touch Barrier
This one sounds a bit like common sense, but there are a few interesting distinctions behind it. Breaking the touch barrier is the number one way to prevent the friend zone because friends just don’t touch beyond a certain threshold. When you stay within that threshold, you don’t allow or force others to see you in a different, sexual manner.
Research has shown three types of touching that effect how you should flirt: friendly, plausible deniability, and nuclear touching.
Many of us try to convey flirting through purely friendly touching, which is the type of touching you might do with a coworker in the form of handshakes and slaps on the back. That’s very ineffective because it’s too subtle – you’re sending zero message.
Plausible deniability touching is when the other person isn’t sure if your touching was intentional, or was to convey a message. A great example is when you buckle someone’s seat belt for them because you do cross a couple of touch boundaries, but there is a plausible purpose for it. So why did you do it?
Nuclear touching is very direct and there is no subtlety to it. The best type of touching to spark attraction? A combination of plausible deniability and nuclear touching – run hot and cold, hello and goodbye.
Studies have variously pegged the amount of non-verbal communication we use to be anywhere from 55%-93%. Either way, it’s the majority of the message we send, and it turns out there are sexually attractive types of body language, but it’s not what you think it would be.
Studies have shown that attractive body language is a mixture of available + fertile. Available being that you appear open, receptive, and like there would be a chance of success if someone was to approach you. Attraction is opportunistic in this instance.
Fertile is another matter, as fertile body language looks very different for both genders. To get a quick idea, imagine the difference between male and female ancient Greek statues. One is all curves, and the other is all hard angles. Different aspects of the physiques are emphasized – for a modern example, just think of the different way that men and women pose for pictures and you’ll see the different types of fertile body language you should embody to be more attractive.
Make Them Chase
The chase is basically a game of cat and mouse. We’ve all done it, whether we want to admit it or not. There’s an instinctual reason we don’t call or text back immediately, and sometimes we hold back our affections because we don’t want to feel powerless and like the ball is completely out of our court, waiting for a response.
Does the chase work? You bet it does. It has roots in classical conditioning, where studies found that intermittent rewards were far more motivating than consistent rewards. Sounds like how we manipulate our perceived availability in modern dating, no?
The only thing is – you have to strike the right balance of perceived availability. If you’re too tough to chase, people will lose interest and give up. If you’re too easy to chase, people will lose interest and grow bored. The right balance of chasing makes people view you as someone that is in high demand, yet still attainable for them. THAT’S why the chase is characterized by hot and cold, here and there, yes and no behavior – we’re always trying to strike that balance, whether we realize it or not.
For more on being psychologically and subconsciously attractive in a way that is scientifically proven, check out:
The Science of Attraction: Flirting, Sex, and How to Engineer Chemistry and Love.