Thursday

Talk Me into Bed

Dropping just a few simple phrases will make you stand out from the crowd and make her want to take you someplace quiet where you can talk.

Don’t compliment her on her sexual features at least not until she unveils them.

You know who gets a woman into bed on the first date? A guy who says all the right things. But what exactly are those things? And why isn’t I drive a Beemer on the list?

The fact is, a man who can subtly trigger our mating instinct by revealing himself to be the kind of guy we’d like to mate with is a man who’s just greatly enhanced his chances of waltzing us into the sack. And bragging about your job or your ride isn’t the way to do it. That’s too bold and self-aggrandizing. No, what will really melt her heart (and her panties) are words and phrases that strike her on an almost Darwinian level.

Don’t take it from me. Geoffrey Miller, a cognitive psychologist and the author of The Mating Mind, says there is evolutionary evidence of why we fall for the sappy crap you guys dole out. Like how we melt when you say you love cats. Heck, you don’t even have to love them; just saying you don’t mind them can promote you from putz to prospect in a matter of seconds. Tell a girl that you like warm, fuzzy, ear-nuzzling creatures and she’ll translate that into the fact that you are a warm, fuzzy, ear-nuzzling creature. And after you’ve moved on to the sordid tale of the time you and your buddies streaked through a state fair wearing nothing but socks on your johnsons, she’ll still be imagining you, her, and a fur ball doing some heavy petting in a Downy-soft bed.

Courtship is how women size men up in a sexual-selection process, the same way our ancestors did, says Miller. They want to find one who displays the traits they’re looking for in a mate. Try putting some of these phrases on display during your next date and she’ll be purring all the way back to your place.

‘I cried like a baby.’
These five words say worlds about you symbolically: not only that you’ve used your tear ducts on at least one occasion, but that you’re comfortable enough with your masculinity to gush forth with such a fountain of feelings. Miller believes that you earn extra points if your tears are emotional (from watching The Champ) rather than pain-related (from getting the crap beat out of you in college). Women want to see that you have the emotional capability to sympathize, which is crucial in relationships, says Miller. Especially if it’s for someone you’re not even related to, like a fictional character in a movie. Never mind that if you dump us like yesterday’s pork fat, we’ll tell everyone that you are a big baby.

‘You’ve got the most gorgeous eyes/beautiful collarbone/ amazing laugh.’
Rather than telling the woman you’re with that she looks great, compliment something unique about her. This, by the way, works best when expressed in a revelatory tone, as in, Wow, I hadn’t really noticed until the light hit your face in that certain way or until I saw you smile from across the room. Steer clear of features that get Hooters girls hired, like her breasts, butt, legs, and lips (or at least save those compliments for later, when she’s stripping down and wants you to notice all of her 2,000 sexy parts).

Complimenting a woman on her primarily sexual features is a powerful way of saying you’re not in it for the long term, explains Miller. And while you may not be in it for the long term, I’d suggest you keep that to yourself for the short term.

‘Some jackass was trying to start a fight with me.’
While every woman has had a fantasy about two men fighting to the death over her, in the real world of supermarkets and sports bars, we don’t like men who fight. A hundred thousand years ago, our ancestors wanted men who could maintain peace to keep their children out of danger, says Miller. This is the same way dominant male chimpanzees act: like policemen who break up fights rather than start them. So don’t think you’re impressing us with your tough-guy speeches. We’d much rather hug the big hairy ape who can calm those ready-to-rumble types down.

‘It was for charity.’
It’s no big deal, you tell us. You don’t feed the homeless in soup kitchens or run the bingo game at the nursing home or anything like that. But, yeah, you did run a 5K for cancer last month. And that new painting in your apartment? Well sure, you bought it at an Art for AIDS auction. Women don’t want to date telethon hosts, but we’d love to hear that every so often you do something that benefits a greater good, however inadvertently. Our species evolved to be incredibly altruistic because our ancestors were into mates who displayed traits of sympathy and kindness toward others, says Miller. What woman doesn’t want a man who spends time on things that don’t somehow serve to make him money, earn him more leisure time, or get him into a girl’s pants? Well, not directly, anyway.

‘I’m going home tomorrow to help my mom install her new computer.’
Can’t go for lunch on Saturday? Oh. Can’t go because you promised your mom you’d drive her to IKEA and then assemble her new three-tier portable bookshelf? Oh! It warms a woman’s heart to hear that a guy is happy to spend time with his family. Getting along with one’s family is key in the sexual-selection process, says Miller. Think about it: You can’t choose your family. And because our family members are often not people we would have chosen as our friends if we weren’t related, being close with his family indicates that a man can adapt socially to other people he can’t choose like his in-laws. Not to mention that we’re thinking if all goes well, we might be spending time with your family, too.

‘I like to cook.’
I have a domestic fantasy: A handsome man, shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows, is in my kitchen, washing my dishes. That’s it. The plain sight of a man in the kitchen with a purpose. And if cooking is that purpose, all the better.

You don’t even have to be good at it. If you’re whistling while you pour pancake batter into the shape of silver dollars, women don’t care that you can’t make crepes: Dating you would bring us that much closer to living out one of those scenes in a J. Crew catalog, where barefoot men in log cabins crack eggs into cast-iron frying pans. Culturally, this implies that a man doesn’t allocate traditional gender roles he’s not going to come home from work and ask, ‘Where’s my dinner?’ Miller explains. Women find it attractive that a man will share home responsibilities. Which reminds me of the fantasy I have in which a man is folding my laundry.

‘I’m taking vacation next week.’
You’ll do whatever it takes to get ahead in your job, you love jetting around the world for business meetings, and you plan on being a CEO by 35. Sounds great to a PalmPilot. Women want men who love their jobs, but trust me when I tell you that no woman wants a workaholic. So if you tell her you work to live rather than live to work she’ll sigh with more relief than a metope on the Parthenon. When a woman selects a mate, she ideally looks for a man she can raise a family with, and she wants to know that he’ll be there for it, too, says Miller, who suggests talking to her about the vacations you want to take. Talking about time off, he says, is a good sign that you take time off. Plus, talk about the warm sand and the tropical breezes you’re looking forward to and she’ll wonder if you might not want a travel companion.

‘I was taking care of my niece the other day’
Drip drip drip Not just the sound of David Schwimmer being himself but also the sound of a woman’s heart melting at the thought of a man tying a two-year-old’s sneakers. When our ancestors chose sexual companions, they were also choosing fathers for their children, says Miller. It’s still crucial for women to anticipate how interested a man is in childcare, should she ever make a baby with him. While most guys would rather do a shot of Similac than bring up the subject of children, you should know that mentioning your soft spot for kids will just about bust our biological clocks. Throw in the fact that you think little girls are sweeter than boys and we’ll be grinning like the cat that ate the canary.

And we know how much you like cats, right?

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