Once upon a time, in 16th century Prague, if a man laid a finger on a woman before they were formally betrothed, the maiden’s father was entitled to sever the suitor’s arm from his shoulder with a cutlass…
This isn’t true, but the point is, making the first move has always carried some risk. Still does. So we’ve compiled a list of techniques and data – some scientifically proven, some wacky but worth a try – to inspire a woman’s passions and get her to strike the first . . . touch. Read it and reap.
#1 Champagne Supernova
In a 1994 study conducted for the cosmetics firm Revlon, 1,007 adults world-wide were interviewed about sensuous stimuli. Thirty-four percent said champagne is the most sensuous food, and 29 percent named strawberries.
#2 I Touch Myself
"Touch yourself in a place that she would want to be touched," says clinical psychologist J. Kurianska, Ph.D. "You’re suggesting you want to touch her. Soon you’ll find her touching herself in those places, and the synchronicity creates a type of mirror, a subconscious connection. So a guy might stroke himself from his ear down to his neck – purposefully but not too obviously."
#3 Classical Seduction
Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata [for violin and piano] was notorious for its erotic impact on sensitive ladies. The German psychologist Wilhelm Stekel personally observed, "When I was a student, I used to play the Kreutzer Sonata with a very passionate woman . . . this sonata had a particularly strong effect on her. After reading Tolstoy’s novel (of the same name – it’s the story of a man who murders his wife out of jealousy for a semiprofessional violinist, who plays the sonata with her one evening) we again played the Kreutzer Sonata, and after the third movement she was like a bacchante."
#4 Sgt. Pepper’s
A lot of spices, such as cayenne pepper and hot peppers, are called vasodilators – they open up the blood vessels, which is what happens at the beginning of sexual response, according to the book Love Potions: A Guide to Aphrodisiacs and Sexual Pleasures. Blood flows into the vagina and creates lubrication. The body’s reaction to hot peppers mimics sexual arousal. This is the basis for the aphrodesiac Spanish Fly, but topical application is not sexy, just painful.
#5 Whisper Sweet Nothings
The most romantic book of poetry is Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, according to Lit Magazine. Neruda was an overweight, balding middle-age man who was greeted at airports by crowds of women screaming like Beatles fans. If you can’t bring yourself to read it aloud, at least buy her the book.
#6 The Man in Black
Dress head to toe in black, says the Institute for Color Research, women are turned on by this power color. They report that MIB (men in black) look ‘hot,’ very powerful and appear immediately sensual. And no, they didn’t conduct this research in East Berlin. They surveyed 90 women in three classes at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the US.
#7 Pay Her Lip Service
Let your eyes wander while a woman is speaking. Scan a woman’s face and return the gaze to her lips – always to the lips. It gives the person at the other end of the gaze the subconscious feeling that she is being appraised and flattered – that she’s being thought of as being kissed. This can elicit a very physical and arousing response. Sloppy seducers feel they have to give women a Rasputin-like eye lock, but women find that threatening.
#8 Walk the Walk
"A man can display status and class through his carriage – an open, relaxed posture with his head back while gesturing in a relaxed manner," says Helen Fisher, author of Anatomy of Love and The First Sex. "Walking with that ancient human stride – your body naturally falling forward, your head held high – gives an air of happiness, health and self-confidence. Walking with a short, cropped step conveys anxiety. A swagger actually conveys a lack of self-confidence."
#9 Keep It On the Down Low
"The key to sounding sexier is to reduce or remove tension in the voice," Philipp Panni, a persuasive-communication consultant, advises in Sex Appeal. "Tension repels – particularly a person close to you. So warm up your voice by lowering it in volume and dropping the tone and pitch to make it sound less strident." This also forces women to move closer to hear you.
#10 Straighten Up
"You may want to reach out to the woman, but at first don’t touch her, just touch her things," advises psychologist Kuriansky, senior research scientist for 10 years at Columbia Medical Center, New York City. "At dinner, reach over from time to time and casually rearrange her glass or straighten her silverware. At a bar, move her stool away from others who are loudly talking. If her bag is about to tip off the table, move it closer in so it won’t fall. You’re taking care of her, moving into her space but not violating it."
#11 Get Back to the Garden
Lying in the grass or walking olongn the river will turn a woman on by "getting her out of her head and into a more body-oriented realm. Walk in the mud or stick your feet into a stream. Shoes really get in the way, so try to find a reason to get them off. She’ll become more aware of nature and of physical sensations – smells become richer, colors more vivid."
#12 Cook Up a Storm
We’ve got two words of advice for you: from scratch. A survey conducted by Swiss psychiatrist Willy Pasini found that 93 percent of women were attracted to men who knew how to prepare food. "For millions of years, men came on with the meat," says Helen Fisher, anthropologist and author of The First Sex."And they probably cooked it, too." So women are as predisposed to falling for a guy who can whip up some biscuits as they are for a guy who’ll have a basket of them delivered from a swanky bakery.
#13 It Tames the Savage Beast
For your musical edification (and for the sake of your sex life), the chick editors at Think Magazine have compiled this list of 12 albums that we all agree "get us in our girly parts," a phrase that repulsed the poor cubicle mate of the woman who came up with it. Nevertheless, may we suggest you stock up on these do-me discs:
* Radiohead The Bends (Capitol) * Liz Phair Whitechocolatespaceegg (Capitol) * Jeff Buckley Grace (Sony) * Crowded House Recurring Dream: The Very Best Of Crowded House (Capitol) * Freedy Johnston This Perfect World (Elektra) * Al Green Greatest Hits (DCC Compact Classics) * Lloyd Cole Lloyd Cole (Capitol) * Heather Nova Oyster (Sony) * Van Morrison Astral Weeks (Warner Bros.) * Echo and the Bunnymen What Are You Going To Do With Your Life? (Sire) * Brian Ferry/Roxy Music Street Life: 20 Greatest Hits (Warner Bros.) * Garbage Version 2.0 (Universal)
#14 Foot Fetish
"Women write a guy off fast if the shoes are wrong," says Valerie Steele, curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and author of Fetish: Fashion, Sex, & Power.
"But the shoes don’t have to be extremely up-to-date. Power is a proven aphrodisiac, so choose shoes that are expensive as opposed to cheap, polished as opposed to scuffed."
Reported by Lu Chekowsky, Sara P. Nolan, Matt Ross, David Itzkoff, Adrienne Day and John Jergusona