When you're into someone and ready to take things to the next level, you might think about sending some signals. And while more obvious moves like saying straight-out that you want to have sex or turn them on might be, in some ways, simpler and more to the point, there's something to be said for the very subtle gestures proven to help get someone in the mood. Yes, the chance that these much subtler gestures will be overlooked might be slightly higher than if you go for something more obvious, but the less overt gestures can get the job done just as well.
Being a little bit nervous in a new relationship or if you haven't been intimate in awhile is totally normal and understandable and in these cases in particular, subtle gestures might make you feel more at ease. But even if you're not shy about your intentions or feel the slightest of butterflies in your stomach, sometimes a subtler gesture feels a little more romantic and like it fits the situation a little bit better than something so obvious and, well, not quite as romantic (if still effective).
"If you want to take your relationship to the next level try and make that clear," Bethany Ricciardi, a sex educator at TooTimid, tells Romper in an email. "But always remember it is about the gestures you make and how you act that usually end up counting, not just what you say."
1. Rub Their Back
A gentle, almost absentminded back rub can be both subtle and effective when it comes to getting someone in the mood. "[C]aressing the back is a psychological, as well as a physical turn on," Jenna Ponaman, CPC, ELI-MP, a relationship coach and expert, tells Romper in an email exchange. "The feeling of a light trace up the spine is instantly tension releasing — in fact it may tickle for some. It’s a teasing signal to the body, leaving it to want more...something more tense, more hands on, waiting to be taken over. The slight caress of the back trigger a primal response, if you will. Being taunted with while at the same time relaxing and moving into that feel good state."
2. Pay Them Compliments
Compliments maybe aren't your typical go-to when it comes to the art of seduction (or maybe they are), but they probably should be a part of it. "Let the person you’re into know it," Ricciardi says. "Share how attracted you are to them; the more attractive they feel the more they’ll want to have sex with you!"
3. Mirror Them
"Mirroring the person’s attitude and energy level, as well as key movements, is a way to draw closer and signal the desire for a connection," Maryann Karinch, an author or co-author of multiple books on body language, including one on dating, tells Romper in an email exchange. "Mirroring is effective because it’s a nonverbal signal that there is a desire to bond." If they're upbeat and you respond in a way that's also upbeat, they'll pick up on that.
4. Sit Close To Them
Cuddling up after a long day may or may not lead to anything else, but it definitely can strengthen your bond. "[N]aturally, when you cuddle you release oxytocin, which makes you feel good and feel stress free," Carla Romo, a dating and relationship coach, tells Romper by email. "If your partner has had a stressful week it can be a great idea to spend time cuddling. When you are less stressed this allows you to be more relaxed to get in the mood with your partner." So while you might sit close to your partner on the couch just to feel close to them, it can also be an effective way to get them in the mood.
5. Make Eye Contact
If you're trying to get someone in the mood, where you're standing and how much attention you're paying them both make a difference. "[M]ake sure you are in the closest intimacy zone, but leave a little space so [they] can observe the sexy signals you will be sending," Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, a licensed psychotherapist and body language expert, tells Romper in an email exchange. Coleman says that making — and maintaining — eye contact can definitely help clue them in to the fact that you're interested and get them in the mood as well.
6. Don't Close Yourself Off
When you're trying to seduce someone or get them in the mood, you might not think that your posture and the way you're standing matters all that much, but it actually can have a real effect. "If the front of your body is exposed to the other person — that is, arms are not crossed in front of you, you are not angled away from the person, and your legs are even slightly apart — your body language is displayed great trust in the other person," Karinch says. Standing with a more open posture is subtle, but it just might help.
7. Cup Their Face
"It shows how much they care for and adore you," Ponaman says. "For a woman, our arousal can be very much tied into our emotional appeal." That means that showing how much you care for them beyond just your level of physical attraction might help if you're hoping to get them in the mood.
"This would be an instant turn-on for most," she adds.
8. Tilt Your Head
Head tilts in and of themselves might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to a gesture designed to turn someone on, but it might be more effective than you think.
"[Gestures like head tilting, eye contact, and more] are effective because they are universal signs of sexual interest that get the person’s focus where you want it and send a signal that would be hard for them to misunderstand or ignore," Coleman says. "This is sure to help get their pulse revving and their juices flowing."
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