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Guide to Leg Body Language

Understanding body language can equate to learning a foreign language. When trying to translate, look below the hem.

More than half of communication is delivered through body language, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re all speaking the same language. The way you cross your legs, tilt your head, or even blink can give off a message that you may or may not be intending to give. Ever heard the phrase, "Women are from Venus, men are from mars?" Women and men are rarely on the same page, so it should come as no surprise to any of us that body language can be as tough to interpret as any other foreign language. Think she’s being coy? She’s probably just bored. Ladies, think you’re being confident? Surprise! You’re actually a frigid bitch! How do we level the playing field when men and women look at the world so differently? You tell both sides of the story. Men and women take note, we can all learn a little something about non-verbal communication and what exactly it is that we are saying.

Below is an updated excerpt from a May 1977 Dude magazine article originally titled "Gabby Gams.” 

Trouble Or Sexily Aggressive?

What He Thinks: Watch out for this one. She's aggressive, domineering, uncomfortably masculine—and a tease. This ankle-over-knee position is a common one assumed by men, but not ladies. At the same time, she seems to be saying, "Here it is, come and get it if you dare." Don't bother—she's trouble.

What She Really Means: While the ankle-over-knee position is commonly assumed by men, it doesn’t make this gal any less desirable. Yes, you should watch out; she’s aggressive and domineering, but who said that’s a bad thing. This woman knows who she is. Confidence is sexy, and this woman is full of it. Who’s your daddy? Probably this bad-ass babe. 

Shy Or Flirting On Her Own Terms?

What He Thinks: This girl would like to invite you in, but she’s still a bit reticent about the idea, thus the hands in the crotch and the fingers locked protectively over the chair seat. She'll take a bit of persuasion, but with tact she will open up and be most receptive to your advances.

What She Really Means: Yes, she is literally protecting her crotch from you. How did you guess? I don't know guys, if she’s sitting with her legs open, leaning forward as depicted here, I think I can say with some certainty that she’s inviting you in. Make no mistake though, it’s on her terms. Or, ya know, maybe she’s just trying to get some air in there. Function over fashion, who are we to say? Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Weak Ankles Or Bored As Hell?

What He Thinks: The feet turned inward means that she's either shy, or has weak ankles. Don’t invite her ice skating. Actually, she’s probably quite nice once you get to know her. Despite the slight spread of the legs, there's still a lady-like air about her; she's probably a lot of fun after a drink.

What She Really Means: Weak ankles? Is this guy for real? I bet those ankles wouldn’t feel so weak when they are aimed precisely at your nether regions. I hate to break this to you fellas but if you find yourself in the presence of a lady seated in this manner, she’s bored. You’ve droned on at the bar for the past 30 minutes about how you "killed it" in Fantasy Football this week and at this point she is more interested in the bottom of her glass than you. Women are pretty much conscious of their bodies at all time. If she drooped into this ultra casual stance, best move on to the next one because believe me, she already has. That, or she’s had one to many and can’t sit up straight. Play it safe and assume that if she can’t form words, especially ones like, I don’t know, "No," it definitely means no.

Business Woman Or Analyzing Your Every Move?

What He Thinks: Here’s a no-nonsense, lay it on the line type—either a business woman or the vice-president of a construction company. It will take quite a bit of ego to hold your own with her, but something about her says that if you can keep your wits about you, she’ll probably warm up to you.

What She Really Means: It’s true, this woman means business. That doesn’t necessarily make her a business woman, it makes her an authority in the conversation at hand. This girl will control the conversation and keep you on your toes. It’s strong, without being abrasive. You are being weighed, measured, and will continue to be until you can prove otherwise. So why bother, right? It doesn’t mean she’s any less inclined to go home with you, it just means she’s smart about it and is making you work a little. And she’ll probably talk shit to you the whole time, and who doesn’t love that?

Slovenly Or Keeping It Casual?

What He Thinks: This one's either a sloven or she’s just so tired she could care less. If she’s a pizza waitress in a busy drive-in, it’s probably the latter. Either one, she has a don’t give a damn attitude and you’ll probably find her about as exciting as bread pudding. Pass this one by, boys.

What She Really Means: Ok, I have to agree slightly here. Girl, close your legs you’re wearing a skirt! But really, this girl probably doesn’t give a damn. If you’re in jeans or sweats, fuck it right? Own that shit! You worked your ass of all day and you’re tired! If you’re in a group gathering, hanging around watching the tube, this is entirely acceptable. If you have a fuck buddy or a “Netflix and Chill” regular, she might eventually make her way into this stance. Realistically, this position isn’t attractive for men or women. It’s sloppy. So yes, she’s not trying to impress you. But who the hell cares? We tend to mirror what’s presented to us. You’re probably not trying to impress her either. Nothing wrong with keeping it casual sometimes. 

Immature Or Sloppily Sexy

What He Thinks: A cute, girlish pose most often assumed by cheerleaders or perennial debutantes. She's probably giggly, silly, not too bright, and frustratingly immature. But if that's your type, go ahead and talk to her. You'll probably end up bored stiff but that’s better than nothing, right?

What She Really Means: Is it just me or is this totally off? What kind of cheerleader stands like this? This is how I used to stand when we were sneaking cigs and booze from my parent’s cabinet and ended up at the park, hiding behind the Porta-Potty’s after curfew, attempting to look cool. Ok, so maybe it is a little immature. This is also the “I’m too drunk to stand up straight, but I’m still sexy” stance. I don’t know if you’ll end up bored, but you’ll probably end up in some kind of trouble.

Indiscreet Or Awkward?

What He Thinks: If she’s leaning over a filing cabinet, this pose is quite innocent, but in any other circumstances, it’s first come, first served with this rather indiscreet lassie. But be warned, it will take a lot of staying power to impress her; she’s been around and knows how to get her way.

What She Really Means: Is this what men think is sexy? Have I been doing it wrong the whole time? This “lassie” isn’t indiscreet, she’s awkward. That or she has some sort of spinal issue. Maybe this is appealing to men because it’s obviously submissive, but that doesn’t mean she’s easy. Yes, women are literally swooning so hard over you that their knees actually have caved in. Of course, that’s the most obvious answer! 

Flighty Or In Flight?

What He Thinks: She’s always in motion, which means that she’s a bit flighty and not very stable, so don’t expect any long-lasting relationship, that is if you can catch her in the first place. She’s the type who’s busy even when she's standing still. She also might just be fleeing your charms.

What She Really Means: She’s running away. She is quite literally, running away from you. ABORT MISSION. She’s either not interested or she has ADHD and physically cannot stand still around you or anyone for that matter. I’m going to go with the former. 

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