If the thought of flirting with a guy fills you with dread, you'll be pleased to hear that a few subtle techniques can be just as effective as over the top seduction. In fact, the more subtle the technique, the better, psychology professor Robert Francoeur, Ph.D. tells Cosmopolitan. Keep it gentle and suggestive, and let his imagination do the rest. The key is to act as if you're confident and in control, without coming across as aggressive.
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Master the art of flirting with your eyes - a really subtle but effective way of letting a guy know you're interested in him. Glance at him from across a crowded room, hold his gaze for at least four seconds, then look away. Look back at him; if he's still looking at you, your flirting has worked. During conversation, maintain good eye contact, but break it to briefly glance at his mouth. This is a subtle hint that kissing is on your mind. Don't do this too often, warns Cosmopolitan. The key here is subtlety, not sexual aggression.
Step into a guy's personal space: the area 18 inches around his body, according to flirtation consultant Judy Dutton in "How the Science of Sex Can Make You a Better Lover." The subtle alternative to touching his arm or knee during conversation is to move briefly into his intimate space, for example by leaning toward his ear to make yourself heard in a noisy room, or to place your drink behind him on the bar. If he moves closer to you after you've stepped back, he's being receptive to your subtle flirting.
Go for very brief, subtle touches that he won't be expecting, if you do want to make actual physical contact. Let your little finger brush his as he passes you a drink, or "accidentally" touch his foot with your under the table. The sexiest touches are often the most unexpected, says clinical psychologist Dennis Sugrue, Ph.D.
Smile, with your eyes and your mouth. A symmetrical smile that makes creases around your eyes and mouth gives the impression of smiling with your entire face, says body language expert Judi James. Poke your tongue a fraction through your teeth to send him a subtle signal of sexual approval. Laugh at his jokes, raising your chin slightly to display the length of your neck.