Relationship expert Lillian Glass reveals the subtle clues that your guy is looking for lovin’ (shocker: sometimes he’s not!).
How do you know when your man is in the mood? First thought: His eyes are open, and he has a pulse. After all, he is a guy, and they are always in the mood, right? Wrong. Men may think about sex 24/7 (studies report that men have sexual thoughts anywhere from every eight seconds to once or twice per hour), but that doesn't mean he's ready to rip your clothes off on the spot.
And when you're married, the signals might not be as obvious as when you were dating, says Lillian Glass, Ph.D., author of The Body Language Advantage (Fair Winds Press, 2012). "Men aren't as 'on their toes' after you've been together for a while, but there are things that happen automatically -- reflexive responses from his autonomic nervous system -- that tell you if he's feeling amorous," says Glass.
He's staring you down. The eyes are more than a window to his soul -- they tell you what's happening south of the border, too. Glass says raised eyebrows, dilated pupils and a more intense or lingering stare are all signs that he's ready to go.
He flares his nostrils. Picture a bull in a ring facing down a matador: head down, breathing heavily, nostrils pulsing. Your man's movements won't be quite as exaggerated, obviously, but the root cause is the same. When he's excited, his heart beats fasters, his breathing grows more labored and his nose tends to flare wider to accommodate the change in his breathing pattern, says Glass. A study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine also linked the nerves in a guy's nose to erectile tissue -- a sign that your scent gets him aroused. He might scratch or touch his nose in response.
His voice is softer and deeper. The muscles that control his vocal cords tighten up when he's turned on, says Glass. "His voice may get softer and breathier, even a little creaky." A study in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior found that men (and women!) use a lower-pitch voice and showed a higher level of arousal when speaking to an attractive member of the opposite sex.
He licks his lips. If you notice him licking his lips while you're talking, it's a sign that his mouth is drying out -- one of the reflexive side effects of all of the heavy breathing he's doing, says Glass. (See: flared nostrils.) "It's an autonomic response, which means something is happening in his brain that triggers a physiologic response," Glass says. "When he's stimulated, he can't control these small gestures. They're automatic."
He starts fidgeting. Whether he's squeezing or rolling a glass in his hands or picking a piece of lint from your sweater, these fidgeting gestures can be a way for him to release excess energy, says Glass. His brain is saying, 'I'd like to put my hands all over her, but we're not there yet.' Fiddling with objects or any type of exaggerated, toying movement redirects that energy into a different kind of physical outburst, like turning a release valve to let off a little steam.
He shows his "tell." There are general, physical changes that can happen when a man is turned on, but every guy is different. Like the subtle tics or gestures that give away a poker player, men have their own unique "tells" when they're in the mood. "The better you know a person, the easier it is to catch those out-of-the-ordinary visual and auditory cues," Glass says.
You know your husband's baseline -- those routine behaviors and gestures he exhibits when he's relaxed. To pinpoint his sex tells, keep and eye and ear out for the unusual, when he diverges from his baseline. Maybe he runs his hands through his hair, or uses exaggerated hand gestures when he's telling you a story. Maybe his face gets slightly flushed, or he puts his hands in his pockets, or he pulls at his shirt where it covers his belly. These could be completely ordinary, typical moves (he turns red easily or he always has his hands in his pockets), or his body could be telling you what's on his mind.
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