Saturday, April 11, 2009

Flirting at the Intersection of Smart and Sexy

A friend of mine recently sent me an article from CNN that explained why women found men who were funny attractive. Part of it, the article explained, was that "Over the course of history, women actively look for signs that their man is intelligent, and…the ability to actively judge the situation and pull off a joke and make [one] laugh is an intelligent feat" ("Why Funny Guys Get The Babes," retrieved from on April 11, 2009). I have to say…I agreed with that. Killer blue eyes and dark hair take my breath away, but a man who is smart? Yeah. Now THAT is hot!

I set forth this morning to find an article that was similar, that explained why men would be more attracted to women who were also smart. So I googled it, yahooed it, and generally researched it into the ground. And the results? Women are just as guilty as men of making the two concepts independent of each other. And while I worship my inner dork—the one who researches flirting online instead of in person, who thinks her "grammar ninja" t-shirt is hysterically funny—I took offense that sexy and smart are still being presented as mutually exclusive. Why can't smart be hot for women, too? So, I enlisted the help of a few friends to compile a list of ideas for those of us who want to flirt and be sexy while embracing our Geek Goddess.

1. Make eyeglasses your friend. Embrace their necessity, as squinting to read something is rarely sexy. Have a conversation with a hottie where you tilt your head down just a bit and look over the glasses, flashing your gorgeous eyes at him. Take your glasses off and touch your fingers on your face near your eyes (this will get him to focus on how lovely they are!), then slowly put them back on. Or, take them off to think. And while you are thinking, tap the earpiece on your lips (which will make him pay attention to how much he'd like to kiss them).

2. Use that book in your hand to your advantage. If it's a popular title or a really interesting read, you've opened yourself up to a conversation about it, as long as you look up once in a while to smile. Or better yet, take the initiative and start the conversation yourself.

3. Work the piece of jewelry with an intriguing story behind it. A bold, funky piece of jewelry draws a lot of attention. For example, last spring I went to a jewelry making class and learned to make cuts in the focal stone, which turned out really cool. When I wear it, people usually notice it and sometimes start talking to me about it, and I already have a great story because I made it. And if you have no story, don’t forget the art of letting your fingers run over your necklace or brush against your neckline while you are talking to your hottie. It's called autoerotic touching, and according to the experts, it works quite well. Own it.

4. Ponytails CAN be sexy. They can be swept softly back, worn with heavy bangs, or adorned with cute pins or barrettes and actually look kinda pretty (and can remain a functioning staple for smart chicks). I'm guessing the old hair toss flirt trick still can work with a ponytail. And most certainly, we can still preen with a ponytail, which is a classic type of flirting that says, "Hey, here I am…making myself look gorgeous…notice me!" Brush a rogue strand of hair off your face or smooth your hair back.

5. Be confident. I know LOTS of women who are both smart and sexy…only they don't know how amazing they are. One of the sexiest things we can ever wear is an air of confidence, of assurance that we know who we are. Straighten those shoulders and look the world in the eye. Know that you are witty enough to make them laugh and keep them engaged.

Finally, try to remember that most men like smart women. While a great rack or legs that go on for miles might initially attract them, the really great guys want someone who can hold a conversation, who can keep things interesting, and who can use their wit and humor. It just never hurts to throw a bit of flirting in now and then.

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