How to Flirt Like They Do on the Discovery Channel

April 5, 2009

Not a Subtle Approach  Not a Subtle Approach

I don’t think young women know how to flirt anymore. OK, they know how to FLIRT!!!!! They know how to bag a cute guy for a night by hitting him hard where it counts (his ego). Yes, you can certainly get your message across by hitting someone over the head with a mallet. But then you lose the key to really, really good sex: ANTICIPATION.

Just think, only 200 years ago, the glimpse of an ankle could give a guy an erection (I like to picture Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in that predicament, sigh). Now an aggressive lap dance may be required. Prescriptions for young men in search of Viagra are skyrocketing as libidos wilt in the presence of women who don’t act like porn stars.

We keep upping the ante, but we’re running out of enticements. Every orifice has been fully explored. Subtlety is a thing of the past. It’s a wonder there are any relationships at all. It’s a wonder anyone gives a shit. It proves the power of the human spirit that we continue to seek connection with others, even though we often do it ass backwards. Despite the fact that we start out with no-holds-barred sex as strangers, occasionally we are able to develop a friendship and a meaningful relationship. It’s not pretty, and it’s certainly not romantic, but the desire for intimacy is powerful. Despite our best efforts to muck it up, we find love sometimes.

I don’t want you to think I’m a raving lunatic ranting about the good old days, so here’s some persuasive information from Jena Pincott’s book: Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? Bodies, Behavior and Brains–The Science Behind Sex, Love & Attraction.

Psychologist Monica Moore of Webster University, who studies body language and sexual signals, suggests that actions may be more important than looks when getting guys to approach you. Attraction is influenced not only by looks but by how much you engage the other person. Even if you are stunning, your beauty is enhanced only when you look at others directly and send the right signals.

  • Women who displayed more than 35 signals an hour were approached by an average of four men, while those with less flirtatious body language often weren’t approached at all.
  • Unattractive women with expressive body language were approached more often than attractive women who did not signal.
  • Men only responded enthusiastically to women whose body language clearly indicated interest.


I am not talking about coy games and bimbo behavior. In fact, I am talking about eliminating artifice altogether. I am talking about letting nature take over. You were born with the intuition and instincts to signal sexual interest. You really don’t need to wield a weapon to get what you want. Here is what the research shows about how women instinctively signal interest with their body language:


  • The most important signal a person can send to communicate sexual interest is a smile and a direct gaze. 
  • When you smile, the amygdala in his brain picks up on the emotional signal as a friendly cue.
  • A smile is a social signal that tells a man you’ve singled him out.

Eye Contact

  • The first glance is a 5-10 second scan of the room, during which women may raise their chins, hold in their stomachs and arch their backs.
  • Next is the short darting glance, targeted at a specific man and repeated several times.
  • Finally, the fixed glance, a direct glance lasting longer than three seconds. Smiling during the fixed glance often seals the deal.

Head and Neck Signals

  • Head toss with hair flip. The hair toss may be a serious shake, or you may pet or caress your own hair.
  • Touching the neck while inclining it, signaling vulnerability and arousal.
  • Lip lick with eye contact.
  • Adopting a pouty lower lip. Bright full lips signal youth and high estrogen levels. Glistening inflamed lips also suggest the vagina. (Don’t say ew.)

Playful Behavior

  • Lots of laughter.
  • Nodding.
  • Subconscious flexing of arms and elbows.
  • Teasing, including pinching, tickling, sticking your tongue out, sitting in his lap, dancing alone in time with the music.
  • Dropping voice, requiring him to lean in to hear.
  • Touching his knee or thigh.
  • Pressing up against him “accidentally.”

So try doing it like they do on the Discovery Channel. Create some anticipation. You’ll have better sex, and you may even find love.


Jones, B. C., Debruine, L. M., Little, A. C. (2006). Integrating gaze direction and expression in preference for attractive faces. Psychol Sci, 17(7), 588-91.

Moore, M. M. (1985). Nonverbal courtship patterns in women: Context and Consequences. Ethol Sociobiol, 6, 236-46.