Male Courtship Gestures

Like most animal species, the human male displays preening behaviour as the female approaches. In addition to the automatic physiological reactions already mentioned, he will reach for his throat and straighten his tie. If he is not wearing a tie, he may smooth his collar or brush imaginary dust from his shoulder and rearrange cufflinks, shirt, coat and other clothing. He may also preen himself by smoothing his hair.

The most aggressive sexual display he can make towards the female is the aggressive thumbs-in-belt gesture that highlights his genital region (see Figure 103). He may also turn his body towards her and point his foot at her. He uses the intimate gaze (Figure 111) and holds her gaze for a split second longer than normal. If he is really keen his pupils will be dilated. He often stands with his hands on hips (Figure 98) to accentuate his physical size and show his readiness to be involved with the female. When seated or leaning against a wall, he may also spread his legs to give a crotch display.

When it comes to courtship rituals, most men are about as effective as someone standing in a river trying to catch fish by hitting them on the head with a big stick. Women, as we shall see, have more lures and fishing skills to land their fish than any male could ever hope to acquire.

Crotch Display
Figure 11$ Mate preening gr.ttun*
Figure 119 Body Language
Figure 119 f?t)tirisii^p- duster used to siiJ ./liars

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