Body language is a fascinating subject and a writer can do a lot with their characters in this respect. I’ve read a few books on the subject, and I always enjoy the TV program Lie To Me, which uses body language as a focal point for the show.
The Definitive Book of Body Language by Barbara Pease has a section on the things men and women first notice about prospective partners.
When men look at a woman they’re generally attracted to certain parts of the anatomy—the butt, breasts or legs. And believe it or not, this attraction is all tied up with reproduction.
So here’s the low down on each choice:
Butts – men find rounded, peach-shaped buttocks the most attractive. Female primates display their buttocks when they’re ready to mate. It shows they are receptive and available. Human females display their butts all the time, and this gives males the impression she’s available. Women also store fat in their buttocks for breastfeeding and as an emergency food storage in lean times. Note to self – remember this when complaining about current butt size!
Breasts—they serve as a sexual signal. Men are attracted to cleavage.
Legs—long legs are a non-verbal signal telling males that a woman is sexually mature and capable of childbearing. Men like women who wear high-heels because it gives the illusion of fertile looking legs.
When we women look at male body parts a sexual response is triggered in us too. Here’s the low down from the feminine prospective:
We like chests—a wide chest tapering to narrow hips allows a man to lug heavy weapons for long distances and to carry home their kills. Always handy, I think!
We like small, tight butts—a tight, muscular butt is necessary to make a strong forward thrust that’s needed for sperm transfer during sex. A man with a flabby butt has problems with this and tends to throw his entire body into the thrust, which isn’t comfortable for his partner.
We also like hips and muscular legs. They’re symbols of masculine power and endurance. Long, muscular legs allow a man to run swiftly, chase and hunt. Ladies like a man who can provide for them.
Interesting stuff, isn’t it? I tend to check out a man’s butt—don’t tell hubby. I had no idea I was thinking about forward thrusting. Really! No idea at all…
If you’re looking at a person of the opposite sex, which part do you check out first?