Eye movements and other female signals

“Coyness” by I. Eibl-Eibesfeldt, the “Bali girl”:

(See also my post on female proceptive behaviour here.)

The “language of the eyes is discussed at Chateau Heartiste here and also here. From the former post:

“The rules of eye contact are simple. After catching her eye:

If she looks down: She’s instantly attracted but shy.

If she looks to the side: She’s not instantly attracted.”

Yes, I think that is probably correct. If a woman meets your gaze for a few seconds and then looks down (and maybe blushes), that is a good sign. I believe this is a primitive submissive and coy female response. (Men, try this experiment. If you have a wife or girlfriend who respects you, try staring into her eyes for a bit longer than usual. Chances are, she will look down.)


Another blogger, whose name I forget, pointed out this well-nigh perfect (albeit acted) example (see how she drops her eyes not once, but twice, and notice his final, satisfied smile):

As for looking to the side, that seems to be something a woman does when she knows you are not (at that time) “on the same wavelength”. It is perhaps like an ocular version of shaking the head.

I originally construed the eyeroll the female singer does in this song (which is about romantic problems) as cute, but I am not so sure now. In context, it might be seen as an example of “looking to the side” to signal a lack of compatibility. In any case, there is a lot about eye movements in that song, both in the words and the images.

On a rather different kind of female sexual signal, I came across this on “why men love butts” recently and put it in a comment here on my old post on high heels and their psychology.

These topics are actually incredibly complicated. For example, see all the possible explanations as to why high heels work their magic. In the end, I concluded that it was probably basically that they enhance the normal curves of the female leg and provide what behaviourists call a “supernormal stimulus“. But there are also lots of other theories, including that they help the woman mimic lordosis (the tail-up sexual posture found in many female mammals).

Likewise, the article on why men love “butts” relates this to signalling about the female childbearing curve of the spine. Well, maybe. But there are plenty of other theories, including the purely functional suggestion that the fatty female buttocks provide a natural cushion during sexual intercourse in the “missionary position” (which, despite its name, is actually the commonest position used by humans everywhere.)

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dash Riprock on October 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Julian, wonder if this behavior is instinctual or learned? And if the latter will it disappear in our “you go girl” culture. Hope not. It’s a lovely thing to see.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on October 9, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      I think it is largely instinctive, and that seems to be the general view. These things are largely unconscious actions.

      However they can be enhanced. There was a prominent woman blogger not long ago, who once posted a list of things for wives to do to “keep the flame alive”. One, strangely perhaps, was never to look your husband in the eyes for more than a brief moment. (This is similar to the batting of eyelids that women do sometimes. My wife used to do it when we were younger. It is often used when gently pleading or wheedling with a man. It is hard to resist.)

      I only ever got the full response from a girl, a nurse, who had a crush on me when I was in hospital many years ago. As I was leaving, I held her eyes for a few moments because I also found her interesting. She dropped her eyes and blushed. Rare and lovely.

      Modern women still play eye games. If I have time, I will find a photograph of the female Deputy Prime Minister of Australia gazing adoringly at the male Prime Minister (she had just helped dispose of the previous man). It was hilariously primal and primate.

      This is not the one I had in mind, but it gives you some idea:



  2. I’ve noticed for a LONG time that all of these discrete and small ‘signals’ that females use, are also so subtle that females can also deny using them when it pleases them to do so. It is the rare one who verbally expresses her interest.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on October 9, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      Oh yes. And you can get them wrong, which can be a real problem.

      And sometimes girls will indicate interest to make their real boyfriends jealous. That is a dangerous situation.

      I haven’t had much experience, but I do know that it is a good sign if a girl you barely know asks you about your family; touches your coat; and so on. Some of it is non-verbal, but some is also verbal. But, yes, women are mostly pretty indirect.

      I am really too old for this stuff, but I did have one woman “come onto me” a few years ago. She got talking to me at an event and wouldn’t go for half an hour, despite my telling her that my wife worked in a nearby building and so on. I am pretty sure she was more than casually interested. She looked OK and she would have been cute once, but I am not the adulterous type and besides, most women are pretty dull and they are all built the same where it matters.

      I guess men are more obvious. My wife is not that young, but there is one bloke who has a crush on her. It is obvious. He has a wife, but maybe he likes the curvier type.


  3. […] « Eye movements and other female signals […]


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