Monday, September 6, 2010

Rules of Attraction

I was recently at a friend's moving-away party, which was definitely more of a sausage-fest than an equal-opportunity kegger. Probably not surprisingly, this is exactly the way I usually like my parties-- heavy on the dudes, light on the other women. As I teared up while hugging my friend good-bye for probably the millionth time at 3 AM, I explained it to the girl behind him who was getting a kick out of my theatrics. "If one of my girls moves away, fine-- we'll talk, and hey, I'll see her later. But losing one of my boys is like losing a member of my family." Not having them around anymore is like a gaping hole in my life. Local anaesthesia just doesn't cut it.

But enough of the Kleenex-laden emotional bullshit. On with the stuff about sex. As a budding so-called "sexual anthropologist," the other nice thing about dude-parties is that they give you a chance to watch men in action as they try to pick chicks up-- sometimes, you being the bird, and sometimes, other women. Here are a few of the fail-proof tricks of the trade to keep an eagle-eye out for the next time you find yourself wondering if a guy's hitting on you, or if he's just seizing in your general direction:

- Male or female, if you're interested in someone, you turn your body in toward them. Women tend to point with their chests, because hey, that's where we have distracting goodies located, while men tend to point with their pelvises for the same reason. Elvis totally understood this rule.

- Take this one with caution: A man who'd feeling you (or who'd like to be feeling you up later,) will invade your personal space like nobody's business. Consider it a basic test-run to see if you have chemistry together. There are some people that I can't stand in the same room as, let alone next to, without feeling like there are sparks jumping off of my skin. Conversely, there are dead fish whose company I would feel more warmly about snuggling up to than some other people. You just can't fake attraction and chemistry. So if you're you're sharing the same airspace, take a moment to consider how you feel, because chances are, he's doing the same. HOWEVER. Drunk people also invade personal space because they don't know any better. As for drunk people who are attracted to you, just throw your hands up and assume both.

- Combining these last two hints, if you're worried that he's about to start dry-humping your leg because every time you breath out, you're smooshed together in a way that is not PG-13 and is basically sex while both of you are still wearing your jeans, it's either really packed in there and he'd rather touch you than the 250 pound dude with an "I Hate Mom" tattoo across his forehead who's behind him, or yes, he's hitting on you. If his belt-buckle is getting personal, he'd like to be, too.

- Everyone's favorite topic is themselves. If he's asking you 48 questions about yourself, he's trying to prove that he's really interested in YOU, not talking all about HIM. Though I'm sure he wouldn't object if you started asking him things about himself. It's called "good conversation," and most not totally socially-inept people find it very flattering.

- So your conversation has ended, and you've turned away to mingle with other people. You notice he's stayed put close by, and is alternately casually chatting with other people, or just, um...hanging. This one's sneaky: Now that you've moved on from him, he's watching to judge if you were really into him too, or if you were treating him the same way you treat everyone else. Women do this all the time, too. (Generality ahead, but backed with evidence as we notice when you do it, but I'm pretty sure you don't notice when we do it:) We just tend to be better at disguising what we're doing so it doesn't freak you the fuck out. Pouring a drink? Checking our phone? Talking in low voices with a friend? No, we're really not. Those are all things we could do with our brainstem unattached. We're really listening in and making furtive glances in your general direction to keep tabs on you, while being as least creepy as possible. (I just royally broke Girl Code in divulging that and probably just shot myself in the foot, but bahhh. It's a random Monday in the Writing Center, and I'm bored.) No one likes looking up to see someone boring holes into them with their eyes from across the room. Unless you find that sort of thing hot, which it can be, unless you look like Jack Nicholson in "Wolf."


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