help me be sexy
December 30, 2012 10:12 AM   Subscribe

How do I be seductive?

I'm a female who has never made a physical move on a guy (age: early 30's). I tend to act reserved and stiff when nervous.

So, I have this situation I'd like advice on:

A guy I have been friends with for more than 2 years (we used to be co-workers) is moving back into town tomorrow (was on an extended work leave) and just broke up with his girlfriend. (they had been having problems for awhile).

There's always been a lot of sexual tension between us, I like him a lot, and he seems to be attracted to me. Well, he asked what I was doing for new year's and I invited him out with some friends for dinner. He asked, "what are the plans after dinner? I need to tell my roommate when I will get home because I don't have keys to my new apartment yet" (lol)

So, I just told him he could stay at my place. (which is what I had wanted anyhow).

Um, so, my question? I am really shy, and he isn't particularly shy, but he is several years younger than me (and is not really an alpha-type guy). My concern is that neither of us will make a move. I've never been in a situation like this, honestly.

Can you guys give me some tips on:
-how to relax ( I'm planning to have some wine)
-how to flirt
how to make him comfortable
-how not be awkward
-if there is anything I should keep in mind considering he just ended a relationship (i asked him how he felt, he said "sad and relieved"

note: it doesn't have to be full-on sex, I am fine with moving slowly.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (23 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
-if there is anything I should keep in mind considering he just ended a relationship (i asked him how he felt, he said "sad and relieved"

More often than not, a guy is not going to want to just jump back into a relationship. Sometimes, the guy will have to have sex with a variety of people to see what's out there or make up for "lost time." Sometimes he is just not ready to get his emotions involved with anyone, but still wants sex. Sometimes, he wants confirmation that he is still attractive and can get sex out there. Anyway, there are a lot of ways it can go, but it's relatively unlikely that this will be the start of a relationship between the two of you. If all you want from him is sex and you would be really, really okay if you didn't hear from him after this, just be aware of it.
posted by cairdeas at 10:29 AM on December 30, 2012 [4 favorites]

Relaxing: engaging conversation and laughter are my favourite ways of dispelling this kind of tension. Share something you can both have a good chuckle at.

Flirting: This is a tricky one as it is highly dependant on what the person being flirted with tends to pick up on. Try suggestive comments, throw in some eyebrows, and if they don't work, physical contact like sitting closer, touching arm/leg. A good old tickle fight/poke war could work as well. However, if you're not getting any response, you have to be prepared to either come right out and ask, or go without. Don't ask, don't get after all.

Not being awkward: In my experience, not possible. Instead you have to learn to overcome the awkwardness. Be honest about you want, and be okay with the possibility that he might not want the same thing. This goes for your last question as well.

Everything cairdeas said is also correct and you should keep it in mind; don't go into this thinking about the possibility of a relationship - he's highly unlikely to be ready for emotional bonding at this point. If you just want to have a bit of fun, go for it, but be sensitive and understanding if you find he's not in the right place for that either.

Oh, and I really wish people wouldn't perpetuate that alpha/beta bullcrap. It's absolutely zero guide to a person's worth in a relationship, or performance in bed.
posted by fearnothing at 10:36 AM on December 30, 2012 [7 favorites]

Kiss him. Done.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:36 AM on December 30, 2012 [7 favorites]

Bypassing the question of whether the timing is good for making a move (though I tend to agree with cairdeas's assessment) here's what I would do in this situation: Plan to arrive at your place several hours before bedtime. Serve wine or other drinks, but don't get sloppy. Plan to sit around talking, drinking, watching a movie, watching the ball drop, whatever. Sit on a loveseat or couch leaving enough room for him without the presumption of physical intimacy. If he picks a separate piece of furniture, that's probably your answer. If he sits next to you, turn toward him and make eye contact while talking. At some point you can rearrange yourself so that there's some degree of physical contact: head on shoulder, knee against thigh, something that would gently push your normal boundaries with him. This kind of thing is a signal that you're open to more, and he should be playing along and stepping it up if that's what he wants. If at bedtime things are still unclear, you could say, "Well, we can blow up the air mattress for you, or you're welcome to sleep with me."
posted by ecsh at 10:41 AM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think seductiveness on a certain level is just learning how to not look nervous and shy when in the company of someone you find attractive. I say fake it until you make it.

Watch how fast you speak and make an effort to avoid letting your voice get too loud or high pitched. Most people talk fast and their voices get higher if they are overly excited or nervous.

Be conscious of how you hold your body and how quickly you move. Try to avoid fidgeting and making jerky movements. Also happens when you're nervous.

Make direct eye contact when you talk.

If you find the conversation has slowed down, let it be. Don't rush to fill up empty space.

In terms of crossing the physical line, I'd say start by ensuring you have casual contact very early on in the date. Touch his shoulder when you laugh, take his arm when you walk something that feels casual and natural but not too obvious. Make sure you don't let a state of physical distance linger for a long time at the beginning because it will make it that much harder to breach it later. If you haven't made casual physical contact and your hours into the date, you will both be totally uncomfortable later. Once at your place, sometimes you can breach the divide by putting your head on his shoulder or lap while on the couch, or putting your legs over his legs while sitting - something that isn't a move and *could* be perceived as casual and friendly but brings you guys closer. Putting the TV or a movie on could help too if you're really nervous. Snuggling while watching something might make you both feel a little less self-aware.
posted by amycup at 10:44 AM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

Think of it like bluffing, except you eventually want the other person to call your bluff.
posted by ead at 11:19 AM on December 30, 2012 [9 favorites]

It's hard to follow a set of directions for what to do to "be relaxed" if you aren't actually relaxed. You can't force yourself to feel a certain way. For me personally, I'd plan on being nervous and feeling awkward and maybe plan on awkwardly telling him I liked him. Sometimes when you expect to feel the feelings you will probably feel, you get pleasantly surprised that it isn't as bad as you thought. It's not bad to feel nervous and if you have sexual tension between you, who knows, maybe that will heighten it.

Other than that, for general relaxation, it is helpful to get a good night's sleep, engage in mindfulness and maybe go into the bathroom and take some slow deep breaths.
posted by mermily at 11:24 AM on December 30, 2012

You've already done it! You're single adults who have plans to sleep in the same place for New Years. Come on! Just sit a little closer to him than you normally would and from that vantage point make eye contact with him a little longer than you normally would. Seriously, that'll do it.

This is coming from the world's most clueless dude and even the world's most clueless dude considers this a slam dunk.
posted by cmoj at 11:28 AM on December 30, 2012 [18 favorites]

At midnight, kiss him. And not a peck.
posted by dry white toast at 11:31 AM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Well, the lucky thing about your situation is that it's going to be New Year's Eve, and kissing is built into the evening's plans. So you can go in for a kiss at midnight without it being really weird.

The only thing is that people tend to read a lot into the whole midnight kiss trope. So on the one hand, you get a free pass to try to kiss him without awkwardness and with full plausible deniability. On the other hand, you are Kissing (for the First Time?) at Midnight on New Years, OMG.

Do with that minefield what you will.
posted by Sara C. at 11:55 AM on December 30, 2012

If you can find ways to touch him that are not-creepy but also not-really-platonic, and then watch and see how he responds to the touch, you'll be OK. My favorite was to sit on the couch, kind of close, and then let your leg fall to touch his. If he pulls away or crosses his legs, then just lay off, he's not into it. If he leaves his leg EXACTLY THERE, he might be into it but he might also be terrified; you can then move to offering him a backrub or something. If he presses his leg into yours or puts his hand on your leg, you can pretty much proceed directly to makeouts.

Caveat: I haven't had to flirt with anyone in . . . a number. . . of years. Rules may have changed.
posted by KathrynT at 11:57 AM on December 30, 2012 [7 favorites]

No, the "casual yet intentional touching" thing is still a thing. You need to make it deliberate, though. And, yes, the "let it continue to happen" response is good.
posted by Sara C. at 12:03 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Well, when I was in a similar situation the woman made a move on me by knocking on my door and saying "do you want to have sex?" It got her the results she wanted, but YMMV.
posted by Ragged Richard at 1:14 PM on December 30, 2012

You're getting a wiiiide variety of answers here and some of them are the opposite of seductive. (Tickle fight? Is he eight?)

I think your best bet is to remember that dude does not accept an invitation to "stay at your place" if he isn't into you. Again, not unless he's eight.

He's into you. Don't worry about awkwardness, he's into you. Have some wine, keep the conversation light, sit next to him on the couch, don't try to be constantly talking. Silence + smile + proximity + wine = kissing time.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:43 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

When everyone's spirits are high and the external situation is right (by which I mean you're as alone as you want to be) and he's comfortable but his attention's on you, not, e.g. his phone or TV, get up for some fabricated reason (refill), keep his attention the whole time, come back, and sit on his lap and get your arm around his neck.

He'll get the message-- your physical presence is going to ignite is limbic system. Give him a kiss, and he'll probably reciprocate even if he's working up to any kind of "You've got the wrong idea" speech. Break the kiss, let him put his drink down or get his glasses off (or yours) or whatever and get back to it. If he gets evasive, don't take it personally-- you've ambushed him. More likely he'll just be surprised or startled and then into the moment, and he can worry the issues later. If he's inert during this -- that's probably a bad sign and stopping to ask would be the thing to do.

Also, there's a difference between "not into you" and "not ready," though the symptoms may be similar. If he's not back up on the dating horse, as it were, you're letting him know... well, I don't want to carry that metaphor any further, but you're ready when he is.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:32 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

fingersandtoes - I have to object to that on the basis of an event precisely one year ago a friend of mine who knows I've had a crush on her for a very long time came to stay over new years'. She wasn't into me, or at least, not enough to accept the offer of even just a makeout. Awkward much? Yes. We're still good friends though.
posted by fearnothing at 2:37 PM on December 30, 2012

He wants to stay at your place, that should instill some confidence. So take that, confidence is sexy.

Wear what you feel best in
Sit close to him
Think in your head what you want from him

let the chemistry work for you
I can feel the magic from here
posted by ibakecake at 4:37 PM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Kissing him, as others have suggested, is indeed a clear seductive message, but if he's not ready for that, it might make him uncomfortable. So alternatively you could cock your head coyly and ask him in a near whisper voice if he'd like to sleep in your bed. If he says yes, THEN kiss him.
posted by Dansaman at 8:33 PM on December 30, 2012

Yeah, forget the tickle-fighty type things.

-how to relax ( I'm planning to have some wine)
When you get back to your place, put on some music you like - mellow but not overtly romantic (think bluesy or something, not '100 Best Love Songs', you get the idea). Have your place looking clean and fresh but not staged. Put clean sheets on the bed. Light a good-quality scented candle in your home for about half an hour before you go out. Shave/wax, use a body scrub, wear simple but nice underwear, moisturize with a lightly-scented lotion. Wear something you've worn before and feel great in. Don't go over the top and stress out about it but just make sure you look and feel your best. (In similar situations, this does wonders for my confidence.) And yes, have a couple of glasses of wine, but stay in control.

-how to flirt
I kind of disagree with the 'casually touch him and see how he reacts' advice that gets trotted out, but YMMV. Personally, I cannot pull that off without it seeming deliberate (or without me feeling as if it's seeming deliberate, and then I feel self-conscious). Just be relaxed, friendly, open and confident - you're on your own home turf! Sit on the sofa with him, but invite *him* to touch *you* by having open body language (face him, leave your limbs relaxed and open, smile, laugh, lean in towards him). Maybe get changed into something more comfortable when you get home, like soft leggings and a silky t-shirt (think loose, tactile fabrics and casually sexy, not 'Hello Kitty' pyjamas).

how to make him comfortable
Cover all the basics as soon as he walks in: offer him a drink of water, show him where to put his coat/bags, show him where the amenities are, tell him to make himself at home, etc. (I like to be very 'my home is your home' with guests, YMMV). Then offer him something stronger to drink, put on some music (see above), set out some light snacks and/or drinks, then just chill out with him. Make him comfortable by acting comfortable yourself.

-how not be awkward
Don't make this a loaded 'thing' in your mind. You quite literally have nothing to lose. If you get together, great; if you don't, you've enjoyed an evening with a cool person. And repeat again: be confident. You're entertaining a guest in *your* home. There's no reason to feel awkward. And as a side benefit: confidence, as we know, is sexy.

-if there is anything I should keep in mind considering he just ended a relationship (i asked him how he felt, he said "sad and relieved"
Keep in mind that if nothing ends up happening, it's not about you. He's in a transitional place. Consider tonight as an opportunity to open yourself up to someone you're interested in. If he doesn't take the bait, it likely has absolutely nothing to do with anything you did or didn't do. You really do hold all the cards here - relax and have fun!

Good luck!
posted by Salamander at 9:07 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Have fun and be just a little touchier than usual at dinner. It will make flirting back with you less intimidating for him later in the night.
posted by jander03 at 9:49 AM on December 31, 2012

flirting: Eye contact, smiling, compliments, light touching.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:19 PM on December 31, 2012

wonder how that one turned out :)
posted by helion at 1:47 AM on January 2, 2013

yeah, what happened? Do tell.
posted by staggering termagant at 4:09 PM on January 4, 2013

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