by Eve Marx
getty imagesYour body speaks a language all its own. Without realizing it, how you sit, what you do with your hands, your legs, even your basic posture reveals volumes about you, namely what you're feeling, what you might be thinking and, most importantly, if that guy sitting across from you is getting to you.
The thing about body language is you want to be completely in control of it. You want to be aware of what messages you're sending and avoid telegraphing certain information you're not ready to give away. Dumb as they may seem sometimes, men are not exactly knuckleheads when it comes to interpreting a woman's body language. Any reasonably perceptive and intuitive guy you're flirting with is reading many things about you simply by studying your movements.
You can utilize your body language to your own advantage by transmitting only the messages you want him to receive, which gives you the upper hand. Body language has a lot in common with cell phone text messaging. It's shorthand information, meaning it's quick, direct and gets to the point.
Body Language Basics
Without even thinking about it, women almost always give physical tips that convey their level of interest in a man. The most common body language gestures that reveal at least minimal interest are hair twirling, hair tossing and leg crossing. When a woman tosses her hair, it comes across as a nervous gesture. What it tells the man is, he's making her a bit nervous. And to his mind, if she's nervous, she must be interested!
On the other hand, hair tossing, like leg crossing, is also a preening gesture. It's a way of calling attention or showing off a gorgeous, glossy mane (very sexy) or a terrific pair of gams (ditto, also very sexy!). But there are many other elemental gestures and basic postures that send a strong message to another person, all of which can be used to good effect.
Let's get started describing and interpreting them!
Usually the first way two people connect is through looking into each other's eyes. Before either of you speaks a single word, the eyes have already telegraphed messages. Messages can range from frank curiosity to cool assessment to shy interest. When you look deeply into a guy's eyes, you're telling him you think he's the most fascinating person in the room. In fact, if you keep your eyes locked on his, what you're saying is that as far as you're concerned, he's the only person in the room!
Full frontal eye contact can be risky, however. It can seem too bold and brazen to those men who are put off by such direct behavior by women. But if you're not the bashful maiden type, frankly gaze. In a way, it's a form of natural selection. A guy who is freaked out by your open gaze is probably not a guy for you.
When a woman crosses her arms over her chest, it can be interpreted in a number of ways by a guy. It can telegraph the message that she's a vulnerable female creature, an innocent little lamb who feels the need to protect herself from the Big Bad Wolf!
But arm crossing is also a way of telling a guy that you don't like him at all and that your fondest wish at the moment is that he'll go away.
Crossing your arms over your chest is also a sneaky way of drawing attention to your breasts. It's a primitive gesture of sexual anticipation laced with sexual anxiety, which a man might correctly read as the woman's acknowledgment of the basic Me Tarzan, You Jane chemistry happening between them.
Leaning Toward Him
The most common form of this is leaning forward when you're sitting across from him. This gesture shows interest and acceptance. In short, it means you just think he's the funniest, cutest, most fascinating creature put on the face of this earth.
But keep your poker face, player-girl! If you go overboard with the lean, you're giving away your whole hand. You want to keep him guessing at least a little bit, right?
If you catch yourself practically falling into his lap, take a deep breath, sit back in your seat and rest your hands in your lap for a few minutes ‑- at least until you cool off.
If you find yourself leaning away from him, you're either telling him you hate his guts or you're working overtime to not let him know you're all hot and bothered for him.
Leg crossing can be interpreted as a nervous or provocative gesture. Lots of people unconsciously cross and uncross their legs when they're anxious. If you're doing this, the man will correctly intuit that he's somehow "getting" to you. In other words, it's a dead giveaway to the guy that he's unsettled you and his energy has thrown off your equilibrium. On the other hand, if you're deliberately crossing your legs to show off your sexy gams, or deliberately pointing your top leg in his direction, it means you like him a lot. If you can't stop crossing your legs and you're virtually twitching in your seat, again this is an unconscious gesture that clearly tells a man that he's really getting to you. You probably don't want to give him that much power. If he knows you're burning hot for him, he has the upper hand ‑- and you don't want that. If something about him has really got you squirming, get up, take a walk or go home and take a cold shower.
Toying with your hair is a sure sign of nervousness. If you find yourself doing this, take a moment to ask yourself why this guy is making you nervous. Is it because he's too handsome? Too incredibly clever? Is it because you can't get your mind out of the gutter imagining what he would be like in bed? Save your agitation for later ‑- like when you finally fall asleep and have a red-hot dream about him!
Hair twirling can also be a playful gesture. Women with long hair tend to play with their hair. Hair is sexy and twirling and tossing it draws a man's eye to it. But beware: Many guys say it really bugs them when women keep playing with their hair. Talk about sending the wrong message! What some women think is sexy is a major turnoff to some guys.
This is purely physiological. Forget what they say about "drooling" over a hot guy. When we're aroused and excited, our mouths get dry. If you find yourself licking your lips a lot in the company of a new man, it means that something about him is really getting to you. Watch out!
Lip licking clearly conveys the message that you're interested in a man. It is a very sexy, and overt, type of body language ‑- that is, if it is done correctly. What we are talking about here is a slow, sultry swipe along your lips with the tip of your tongue. Just remember to use this one with caution. Your Flirt Object will probably think you are telling him you want to take him to bed. And maybe you do! If that's the case and you're both equally interested, by all means, lick your lips. It's another way of saying, "Let's go back to your place right now." In other words, it's an action-getter.
Omigod, this is the mother of all body language signals! Flared nostrils are an irrefutable sign of sexual arousal. If you're talking to a man and his nostrils are flaring, you can bet your booty he's achin' for you. And, um, it works vice versa. If your nostrils are flaring, your nipples are probably hard, too. If you're flirting with a guy and you've both got the nostril thing going, look out. You might have to rent a hotel room!
Do you think these body language clues are true of you? For more love and dating tips see iVillage.com!