Back in the day, flirting was associated with bad-girl behaviors and was thought to be the true indicator of cheap and tawdry sex. I’m not talking about the stereotypical gum-snapping, giggling, hair-flipping behavior either. That should remain firmly entrenched in the hallways of junior high schools.

Flirting is actually considered so scientifically noteworthy that our friends in the clinical research department have narrowed down its fundamental purpose; to get a mate. It all begins on a subconscious level, and there are over 52 basic moves women use as often as 70 or 80 times an hour. Women who were high signal flirters attracted four times as many men than the “low-signalers” did.

It begins with a smile, which evolves into a pout, followed by the eyebrow flash, and finally eye contact. What amazes me is how many people are oblivious to the pupil dilation that happens when someone naturally finds someone else attractive. This dilation allows more light to filter in so you can focus more clearly on your paramour. Once a woman engages in eye contact she’ll begin rotating her head, viewing the object of her affection from all angles. The rest is automatic, and some women actually mimic bird behavior by exposing their necks while laughing at something.

If you think I’m kidding, watch a group of women mingling at a bar and notice how many of them will stroke the front of their necks or play with their jewelry. Other behaviors include caressing any object on the table like the rim of a wine glass, cigarette lighter, pepper mill, cucumber…just kidding. After several minutes of the stroking, they’ll move into something more obvious like playing with their hair, smoothing their clothes, or the favorite skirt hike. Some are more brazen and run a lemon slice or a cherry across their lips. This enables women to expose their tongues (another borrowed trick from the animal kingdom) which most of my male friends go crazy over.

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Crowded rooms are a great way to establish innocent body contact with a stranger. The most effective behavior is to linger in close contact before moving on. Most men will guide their way through a crowd by gently nudging the small of a woman’s back, while most women will navigate a room by brushing into a man’s forearm. So what’s the point of all this? It’s all good! Don’t stop making subtle contact with your partner just because you’ve been together for three years or more. Women, in particular, need to improve their flirting techniques because most men love this kind of attention. Let’s face it, they’re worth fussing over, so snap out of your funk and start batting those eyelashes. We love it!

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