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Visible Flirting Signals From Males and Females


Wesleycox has studied body language and likes to share his knowledge with other people.

Men and women flirt by sending both conscious and subconscious signals to each other.

Men and women flirt by sending both conscious and subconscious signals to each other.

What Is Flirting?

Flirting is when someone purposefully sends sexual signals to someone they are interested in. In this article, we shall examine two types of cues in dating: female signals to males and male signals to females. As it is all I am familiar with, I can only discuss heterosexual flirting techniques; otherwise, I would be doing you an injustice if I told you something incorrect.


1. A transient, casual love affair

2. A brief encounter.”

— Daniel Webster

It's a Woman's World

Women initiate up to 90% of all social meetings. When a man walks up to a woman, it is usually at her request. This is not a verbal request, mind you—it is a nonverbal cue via body language that the man happened to notice. Women tend to use a lot of subtle clues to entice you, but you have to be sure you understand what she is saying with her body.

The infamous pickup line is not intended to impress women, but rather to break the ice and start a conversation. I would recommend that you use a good one, such as:

  • “Hi, can I get you a drink?”
  • “I don’t mean to be too forward, but I saw you from across the room and wanted to meet you.”

Whatever line you choose, be sure to use it with confidence. Women can tell if you are nervous or unsure of yourself. However, make sure you aren’t overconfident, as that is a definite turn off as well.

Maintaining eye contact is one of the techniques men and women use to gauge the other person's interest.

Maintaining eye contact is one of the techniques men and women use to gauge the other person's interest.

How to Flirt

Courtship is a five-step process that everyone goes through when meeting an attractive person.

Eye Contact

This should be self-explanatory, but surprisingly it is not. A woman will look across the room to find a man she might be interested in. Once he notices, she will hold his gaze for three to seven seconds and turn away. The man will watch patiently to see if she does it again. On average, this process has to be repeated three times to gauge interest.


In this stage, she delivers a couple of fleeting smiles intended to give the man the green light to make his approach. However, sometimes this stage is ineffective and makes the woman feel like the man is not interested.


Preening is the act of enhancing or making someone notice your assets. For a woman, it can be as simple as sitting up straighter to emphasize her breasts or crossing her legs or ankles to show off her legs. If she is standing, she may tilt her hips and head to expose her neck. She may play with her hair for a couple of seconds or lick her lips. She might straighten her clothes or jewelry. A man might stand up straighter, puff out his chest, or suck in his gut. He also might straighten his clothes or hook his thumbs into his belt. Both males and females point their bodies toward each other.


This is where the infamous pickup line comes in. “Haven’t I seen you here before?” is a lame and overused line—use one that is unique to you, new, or timeless.


Touch is pretty much what seals the deal. Whenever a woman or man initiates a light touch, accidental or otherwise, it means that the person is ready to move forward. Without touch, it is hard to tell what is happening.

A second or third touch can be used to ensure that the person is comfortable with the level of intimacy. Men, if she attempts to adjust your clothes, that means she is interested. Although touching is a necessary stage in the flirtation process, be careful. While these signals often indicate flirting, they are by no means a guarantee that the other person is into you.

Signs Women Give to Men

Females use several gestures to show a man that she is available.

The Head Toss and Hair Flick

She tosses her hair over her shoulder to expose her face. This signals that she cares about how she looks to a man. It also gives her a chance to expose her armpit, which is the epicenter of her pheromone production. Pheromones are scents that act as an attractant.

Wet Lips

When a girl becomes a woman, her face stays pretty much the same. However, her lips will puff out a bit to illustrate her femininity, and when she is sexually aroused, her lips will fill with blood and become enlarged. That is why lipstick was developed; in fact, lip coloring was used by Egyptians 4,000 years ago. A woman’s lips are sometimes thought to naturally mimic specific parts of her body.


Self-touching is self-explanatory. Our brains have a way of making our bodies act out what we desire. Women have more sensitivity to touch than men do; when a woman touches or sensually strokes her thighs, neck, or throat, she is sending a signal to the guy that if he does it right, he may get to touch her in the same way. It is also a method women use to imagine what it would feel like if the guy were touching her.

The Limp Wrist

The limp wrist is the most feminine thing a woman can do. It is a definite attention-getter, and it is very attractive to men because it is a submission signal. It lets the man know that he can be dominant.

Fondling a Cylindrical Object

Fondling a cylindrical object can only mean one thing. This unconscious action shows what is on her mind, and it is suggestive of things that may yet come to pass. Continuously taking a ring off and putting it back on falls under this pattern.

Exposed Wrists

Women who expose their wrists may do so to indicate submission. Because it is so delicate, the wrist is thought to be one of the most erotic parts of a woman’s body. That is part of the reason why perfume is placed on the wrists—it allows a woman to show her wrists.

Looking Over Her Shoulder

In a sideways glance over her raised shoulder, a woman may hold a man’s gaze until he notices—then she might quickly look away. It gives the feeling of peeping and being peeped at. It’s very seductive.

A woman might give a flirtatious glance over her shoulder if she is interested.

A woman might give a flirtatious glance over her shoulder if she is interested.

Rolling Her Hips

Women naturally have wider hips than men, and their hips typically sway when they walk, which highlights their pelvic region. Because men can’t do this, it is a powerful signal for men.

Pelvic Tilt

Women who are in excellent health and that are the most capable of bearing children have a waist-to-hip ratio of 70%. That means her waist is 70% the size of her hips. This ratio is what gives her an hourglass figure, which is the most seductive figure for men. When the ratio exceeds 80%, the man starts to lose interest, and at 100% he completely loses interest. A man will still be attentive if the ratio falls below 70%, but 70% is the perfect ratio for reproductive success. A woman who highlights this will generally tilt her pelvis while she is standing.

Purse Proximity

A woman’s purse is an extension of her and is considered to be extremely personal. When she places her bag next to a man, it becomes a strong signal of intimacy. If she finds the man particularly attractive, she may fondle it. She may ask him to pass it over to her or even ask him to retrieve something from it for her.

Pointing the Knee

Again, the body shows what the mind is thinking of. If she is pointing any part of her body toward you, she is interested. Pointing the knee conveys this message and also allows her to slightly expose her thighs.

Dangling Her Shoe

When she dangles her shoe, she is relaxed with you. Sometimes a woman will thrust her foot into and out of her shoe. This act is unsettling for many men, even without us knowing it.

The Leg Twine

Sitting with her legs twined together is an appealing sitting position. When one leg is pressed firmly against the other, it creates the appearance of high muscle tone, which is a signal for sexual readiness. Crossing and uncrossing the legs and gently stroking her thighs also indicate a desire to be touched.

As you may notice, there are a lot of signals that women send to men during courtship. Men, being such simple creatures, can easily become lost or confused in the process.

When men talk about themselves, it's a sign that they are interested.

When men talk about themselves, it's a sign that they are interested.

Signs Men Give to Women

Male courtship signals all revolve around a show of power, wealth, or status. Unfortunately for women, you don’t get too much from us. Trying to make a move on an uninterested woman is like trying to catch a fish with a club instead of with a lure.

I heard a story the other day that reminded me of this very fact. A friend of mine took his fiancée to the dance club to have a good time. Another man immediately stepped up to her and took her onto the dance floor, thinking he could win her away from my friend. This is a standard attempt at a display of power; the guy had no idea that she wasn't available. As you can see, he was fishing with a club instead of with a lure. Once the fight was over, they left the club, never to return.

Here are the male signals sent to women. Unfortunately, there are only three.


Men think that talking to a woman at length about himself can open a woman’s mind to him. This is why a man will speak at length at the beginning of the relationship, and it's why he stops talking after the initial stages of the relationship. After that, he will stick to speaking about facts, information, and problem-solving.

The Crotch

Our toolbox is pretty much empty when it comes to flirting. We automatically assume that by displaying or emphasizing our crotch it will attract your attention. Whether it be wearing clothes to highlight it or putting our hands near it, it is all about showing you that we are male and this is what we’re working with. A lot of times we will make adjustments to our package to create the illusion of size, like we are saying, "Look, I’m making another adjustment. Can you imagine how huge it must be if I can’t keep it where I need it?" Size is everything, right?

Wearing a Tie to the Side

When a guy is wearing a tie off-center or has a piece of lint on his shoulder, it is either a test or he is just messy. The test is that, if she is interested, a woman will fix his appearance. It is a true test of interest, as a woman who is not interested won’t bother with fixing it for him.

Women Have the Power

Women have an arsenal of tools to attract the attention of a man that she's interested in. On the other hand, men will just have something about their clothes messed up, will talk at length, or will adjust themselves to try to attract a woman. I wonder why women have all the power in the game of attraction.


Pease, A., & Pease, B. (2004). The Definitive Book of Body Language. NY, NY: Bantam.


Timmy Thompson on October 12, 2014:

Total bollocks.

wesleycox on July 15, 2014:


In my culture it doesn't mean anything.

utkarsh on July 10, 2014:

Hi does bending the knee while standing on a leg count as an explicit signal? Thx

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on May 16, 2012:

That's great to hear kaushal. Thanks for reading.

kaushal paliwal on May 16, 2012:

I am very thank ful to this site because I got my true love from this tips thanks once again !!!!!!

kaushal paliwal on May 16, 2012:

I am very thank ful to this site because I got my true love from this tips thanks once again !!!!!!

James on February 19, 2012:

This is a great read.

Gj McArthur on January 22, 2012:

Be interesting and smile a lot !

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on January 16, 2012:

Glen: I can't say or even begin to say, that all women do these or that they do them all the time. I can't even say that when these actions happen that it means the girl doing it means they want you. However, sometimes some of these may or could possibly mean she is interested in more conversation sometimes. I guess we'll never truly know what a woman is thinking.

Glen on January 16, 2012:

I agree with the first critique. Some of these are not entirely correct.

For example, I used to sit next to this girl in one of my classes at college (last year) and she would do several of these things around me. Leg crossing, shoe dangling, On one occasion she even borrowed a pen and then proceeded to casually fondle it or run her fingers along it (like she's stroking it).

She seemed like she might be flirting, so I asked her out for a date and she declined. I found out later that not only was she not interested in me, but that she wasn't even interested in guys.

So I hate to say it, but your article has a few flaws.

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on January 07, 2012:

Well, alone it means nothing, but if a girl is giving you the eyes and flicking her tounge she might be interested in a conversation with you.

Geroge Wilson on January 07, 2012:

I as as aman seen many unknown girls/women came across

at work palce and on shopping mall they all of a sudden

flash their tounge like a snack while seeing a stranger.

This happens with me with many times whereas didn't think of them just corssing they way.

What sign is this flashing tounge on unknown man

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on December 15, 2011:

King Tutt: Good point, perhaps a little misguided by the scorn of lost love but funny nonetheless.

KING TUTT on December 15, 2011:


Stephdiva from New york on November 02, 2011:

Iiits still on the home page.Or go to my page I t shud be there

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on November 02, 2011:

Stephdiva, perhaps I could if I knew where to go, unfortunately there is no link therefore I know not where to go.

Stephdiva from New york on November 02, 2011:

Great info.Can u read my post & give ur thoughts.tks

rosariosblog from Adelaide, Australia on October 20, 2011:

Interesting & informative. Clear & straightforward style of writing which makes great reading.

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on August 07, 2011:

Yes it does appear that way, I guess its because women are more complicated than men. Who really knows.

emdi on August 07, 2011:

It seems like women give lot more signals than men :-)

Nirav Dave from Rajkot on February 16, 2011:

Good one..

This will help to find some flirting women....

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on May 21, 2010:

Thank you greenatheart, I also highly recommend the book I mentioned in this article as it has so much body language cues in it that it is a great tool for life. Thank you for reading.

greenatheart from Orange County, CA on May 21, 2010:

There are some things on this hub I noticed about flirting that I have already knew, but there's so much more you pointed out about flirting that i didn't! I'm going to keep these in mind, so I could be on a look out for a prey ;). Im kidding. But I enjoyed your hub. Very observant!

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on May 14, 2010:

Soumyasrajan: Thank you for reading this hub and enjoying the topic of it. I don't really know if we can generalize a statement like that because I've seen complete ends of the spectrum in both sexes. Again thanks for visiting.

soumyasrajan from Mumbai India and often in USA on May 14, 2010:

A very good article weseleycox. Very straight forward and matter of fact sentiments. I particularly like the main theme, woman are much more powerful in this sweet game than man. No doubt about it. Let me also add that I find that by and large woman are much more practical about life than man are. For example they balance out professional life with their love life or family life quite well, while man are mostly lost in only one of these.

But as realflirt says, it is true that a lot of these technicalities may not mean much specially when you do not want to listen to any thing else but your heart.

Some times women loose a lot also by doing just that (also men do, but perhaps less than women, it may be interesting to find out ratio of difference in these attitudes). At such times technicalities in your article, if they remember, may help.

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on May 11, 2010:

Ritazruby: This is true, and this is why men are usually slow in picking up the real signals, because when a woman looks at a man, he'll sit there and watch her to see if she does it again. Usually after the third time is when he'll move in. Thanks for your imput, and thanks for reading.

ritazruby on May 11, 2010:

i still think a girl can unconsciously send all this signals. she might not be thinking of anything in particular and a deperate guy might just misunderstand.

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on May 10, 2010:

Thank you masona for reading and commenting, these signals are often overlooked because we aren't sure if it means what we think it means, that's why women have to do something an average of three times for us to understand.

masona1 on May 09, 2010:

I think that this is pretty damn straight on. The fixing of the clothes is a total classic that I think a lot of guys miss, I know I have before. Great Article

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on May 06, 2010:

Hey Ralwus, how've you been? You're right the ole tounge sticking out at you is very seductive and inviting. Thank you for reading.

ralwus on May 06, 2010:

I never wear ties. The sure fire signal to me is when she sticks her tongue out at me.

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on May 05, 2010:

The cat and mouse game of flirting has never had any rival, it is the best game to play. Thanks for commenting and reading.

James Ranka from Port Neches on May 04, 2010:

Forget every one of these signals. If a woman is interested in me, I will know it immediately. A smile, wink or if she is really interested, she will make a move toward me with a creative opening line. It's happened so often, I can't count. BTW, women in Southern California are VERY transparent. These beautiful women will let me know in a heartbeat that they are interested. Southern girls expect the male to pursue. It's all a crazy game, but can you think of a better one?

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on May 04, 2010:

Thank you Dame I am always pleased to receive your comments. That is also a good point 30 seconds is all you need. Thank you for reading.

Dame Scribe from Canada on May 04, 2010:

Hi WC, another great work and touch of humor too, lol. I think we should include that '30 seconds to make a impression', too, :) Great job!

wesleycox (author) from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 on May 03, 2010:

I appreciate you comments real flirt, but I think you may misunderstand the meaning of this article. I should have made it more clear and I am sorry for the misunderstanding. Again thanks for commenting and setting it straight.

real flirt on May 03, 2010:

I respectfully disagree with quite a few of these. :)

The fact of the matter is, if someone is flirting with you - you WILL know it! If you don't know it, well the other person isn't THAT into you. There is such a thing as obsessing and over thinking these types of behaviors.

If I am out somewhere, I occasionally do all of these things and not because I am flirting. If a guy is weird or strange, I might look at him a few times and our eyes may meet for more then a few seconds - doesn't mean I like him. Also, "the crotch" signal is highly disturbing and I HATE it when men do that, even a man I am interested in. It is just way too much. (And, I should add, I am by no means a prude)

Many of these could happen without the female being interested. i.e. licking lips - this could be done for many reasons; chapped, dry lips? flavored lip balm? Also, fondling a cyclindrical object? I do this all the time to pens and pencils and am not thinking about giving someone a handjob. Guess I'll have to make an effort to stop fiddling with my writing instruments in case an over-analyzing man is looking! ;)