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Two lovers share a meal

An understanding of the fundamental principles of seduction is, as you might imagine, of paramount importance in the game of amour.

While you might make your own judgement about the extent to which you choose to portray yourself as an expert seducer, any pretence to erotic aptitude must be grounded on a solid grasp of how to scale the foothills of seduction to reach the summit of the mound of Venus, or how to tackle the mighty heights of Priapus (another classical reference involving the Greek god of health and fertility, who from all accounts, sported something of a whopper).

Flirting

The art of flirting requires an intangible quality called charm, which comes naturally to some and tends to elude others. But rest assured that it can nonetheless be acquired (to greater or lesser degree). There is one simple rule: make the object of your attention feel that there is nobody else at that moment whose company you would prefer to share. Make it clear that you are interested in him / her as a person, and that a distinct possibility exists that you might even admire his/ her mind. Ask questions, and express profound interest in the answers. It is the basis of all flirting.

Handled by a gifted bluffer, the art of flirting conveys (by the subtle deployment of gesture and glance) the following messages:

a) I find you exceedingly attractive.
b) If things were different, I’m sure we could make the most wonderful love together (in a lovely hotel, no complications, plenty of champagne, etc.)
c) But since neither of us is free…
d) Please accept my admiration instead.
e) Repeat a)

Depending on what happens next, a flirtation might develop into a full-blown seduction by turning a compliment into a proposition. For example, “Well, we’ve established that we find each other unbelievably attractive. So let’s see each other again.” Or: “Any chance of losing your wife/husband/insignificant other for an hour or so?” Note, however, that unless you’re wearing a medallion, these questions are never actually asked. They are hinted at, and much use is made of eyes and innuendo.

Studies have shown that up to 80% of communication between two people who are sexually interested in each other is non-verbal. After a few years of marriage, this figure can rise to 100%, whether sex is on the menu or not.

The key word to remember when trekking in the foothills of flirtatiousness is ‘humour’. This is particularly true if you are a male seducer. Research has shown that men, when asked what they think women find attractive in a potential partner place physical looks far too high up the list, and forget that for most women the ability to make them laugh is a key component in seduction.

Apart from demonstrating a sense of humour when flirting, there are some physical things to be aware of:

Lower your voice. The idea is that your target will lean closer towards you and that proximity will make the whole encounter more sexually charged. Remember not to deploy this particular technique after any dish with a high garlic or smoked fish content.

Mirror their body movements. This is an acknowledged way of showing that you’re attracted to someone. Mirroring promising signs such as leg crossing and uncrossing, chin in hand and head tilted, tracing a finger across the lips, are all good ways of expressing your interest.

Brush their hand. Take every opportunity to make contact when passing a glass of wine or goblet of mead (if that’s how you choose to live your life). Let your fingers rest momentarily on theirs. If they refrain from pulling away, it means they are welcoming your attention. If they flinch or slap your face, you’ve got a long, long way to go.

Body language

Study your targets closely. Their attraction to you can be signified by a variety of movements, many of them completely subconscious.

When a man finds a woman attractive, the signals can include:

Standing with their hands on their hips. But if you’re looking for a sign, be careful to ensure that ‘hips’ are in the plural. If he stands with one hand on his one hip only, he’s likely to you, or indeed anyone else, sexually attractive.

The ‘cowboy stance’. The man stands with his thumbs hooked underneath his belt, turns to face you and pushes a foot forward. Of course, whether you opt to pursue an interest in a man who chooses to adopt the opening position of a line dance is up to you.

When a woman finds a man attractive, the signals can include:

Flicking her head to shake out her hair, or touching her hair. Though she might have nits.

Looking through lowered eyelids. Well, it worked for Diana.

Letting her mouth open slightly, gently running her tongue along her teeth. Ladies, if you’re intending to use this move, be careful to keep it subtle. Otherwise you’re in danger of involuntarily dribbling.

Common to both sexes:

Changes to the eyes. When talking to someone who attracts you, your tear glands become more active and your eyes glaze over. There is also a tendency for your pupils to dilate, which some experts think is the body’s way of seeing as much of the person attracting it as possible. You are literally getting an eyeful. Note, however, that glazed eyes by themselves may indicate the use of opiates or just that he or she’s about to fall asleep.

If you think you can handle more tantalising words about the art of love-making, you need The Bluffer’s Guide to Sex.

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