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Rules of Attraction


When a female emperor penguin is ready to mate, she approaches the male and lies flat on the ground waiting for him to impregnate her. If only getting laid were so easy for you. Unfortunately, the female human’s desire to hump is usually shrouded in mystery. Even when we do display affection, you’re faced with the difficult task of deciphering whether it means “I like you, let’s get
naked” or “I like you, let’s get sushi with your friend with the scruffy beard.”

But figuring out whether she’s into you isn’t actually that tough—if you know what signs to look for. To help you crack the code, we talked to women who were willing to divulge their biggest tells. All you have to do is pay attention.

Tell #1: She Brushes You Off
Plain and simple, a woman’s touch is a good sign. “If women are already connecting with you on the verbal level, a way to show that we want to connect more deeply comes from a touch,” says JamYe Waxman, sex educator and host of the DVD 101 Positions for Lovers. So if she rests her hand on your forearm mid-conversation, she likes you. If she brushes her knee against yours, she likes you. If she grabs your balls, she really likes you. Short of her being pushed into you by a fleeing purse snatcher, in fact, there’s no such thing as a “bad touch.” But there is subtle contact that you may need an even keener eye to catch.

Britney,* 22, used just such a stroke of genius during a dinner party, when she was swooning over the guy sitting next to her. “We were deep in conversation, and I reached over and brushed a crumb off his shirt,” she says. “Actually, there was nothing there, but I wanted to initiate physical contact without being awkward. Once we crossed the touch barrier, it was on—he thumbed the hem of my skirt, then we detoured to the coatroom.”

Tell #2: She Expands Her Mind
Not through psychedelic drug use but by giving in to the power of your suggestions. If you tell her your favorite restaurant serves delicious pig’s feet and bone marrow, and she says, “When can we go?” she wants you to know she’s game for whatever you have in mind. That enthusiasm and openness likely carry into other areas of life as well. “On our second date, my now-husband asked meif I’d ever go skydiving,” says 33-year-old Tori. “I was terrified but said yes because I was so into him. We went a few weeks later, and it was totally exhilarating. We were on such
a high that when we got back to his place we had crazy, every-room-in-the-house sex. That was our first hookup, too!”

Tell #3: She Gets Technical
When a girl sweats you, sometimes the writing’s on your wall. “I met this awesome guy at a party, and the first thing I did was friend him on Facebook,” says Erica, 26. “Then I waited a couple of days and crafted a posting that was equal parts flirty, funny, and aloof. It gave an air of ‘I’m into you, but I’m not a stalker,’ and opened the door to conversation, which led to a date and a very hot off-line make-out session.”

Beyond Facebook, any online communication with a lady—be it e-mails, IM chats, or tweets—can be used to gauge how willing she is to drop her drawers for you. Immediate replies, extra exclamation points, flirty tones, and any mention of her enormous appetite for sex are all good signs. Another indicator? When she barrages you with questions. “I had a serious crush on a work client, whom I had to e-mail often,” says 30-year-old Daisy. “To get him to see me less professionally, I would pepper in innocuous personal questions, asking about his weekend or what he had for lunch. As we corresponded, the questions got more and more personal until
it morphed into something very filthy. My efforts paid off when a ‘work’ dinner led to a very un-businesslike gropefest.”

Tell #4: She Gets Motherly
This may sound creepy, but girls who mom you likely want to bang you. We’re not talking about wiping jam off your face with spit. Rather, if she turns into a domestic goddess around you—offers to sew a loose shirt button, brings you a dish of homemade mac and cheese—take note. “From the beginning, men were hunters and women gatherers; men were out, women took care of things at home,” says Waxman. “These are stereotypes and not always true, but if our mothers brought comfort to our fathers through nurturing, we do the same thing instinctively.” It’s a method that worked for Ellen, 33, who lured her hot neighbor into her lair with…a washing machine. “I’d always run into him when he was en route to the Laundromat,” she says. “I was friendly with him, so I told him he was welcome to use my machine. He took me up on the offer, and I’d help sort his stuff whenever he came over. Soon I started mixing in my panties with his boxers, which led to some flirtatious folding sessions. Finally, he got the hint, and we got down and dirty on a pile of fresh duds.”

Tell #5: She’s nasty
Sometimes conversation with a lady who’s hot for you isn’t so agreeable. Watch out for the girl who gently mocks your outfit or criticizes your taste in TV. After all, teasing is an essential part of foreplay. Even if things take a nastier turn and she’s downright argumentative, she may just
be trying to show off her smarts or get under your skin. “A heated debate is a way to engage with a man and get his attention,” says Waxman. Tracey, 29, a bleeding-heart liberal, took this tack while talking politics with a buff, square-jawed Republican. “In a normal situation, I might change the subject,” she says. “But I put up my verbal dukes to prove I was up for a challenge—and it worked. We took our fight into the bedroom and hate-fucked for five months. We thought we were James Carville and Mary Matalin.”

Tell #6: She Fakes It
Imitation can be the sincerest form of fuckability. Meaning, if you notice that a gal pal has suddenly picked up your hobbies, she may be doing so just for the opportunity to be around you more often. Even more telling is a willingness to indulge you in something she’s openly not interested in. If she watches patiently as you enter hour two of combat in Halo 3, she wants to bone. Ditto if she hangs on every word you utter about the new financial data analysis systems at work.

Melinda, 23, sucked up her blasé attitude toward sports and watched hours upon hours of hockey with a housemate she wanted to pounce. “I didn’t care about the games. I just wanted to hang out with him,” she says. “After half a season—that’s four freaking months—he finally got the drift, because I never cheered for any of the teams or really gave a shit who won. I think that gave him the courage to make a move during a boring zero-zero showdown between the Dallas someones and the Chicago something elses.” See? She may never get what you’re into, but as long as she gets you, she’s happy.

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