In Case You Missed It
Boulderganic Fall 2009
Student Guide 2009
Boulder Weekly Sweet 16 Anniversary
Summer Scene 2009
Best of Boulder 2009
Annual Manual 2009
Newspaper of the Future
Kids Camp Guide 2009
Wedding Marketplace 09
Student Guide 2008
Best of Boulder 2008
Annual Manual 2008
Join Our Mailing List
|July 3-9, 2008
No time for love, Dr. Jones
A local professor takes a tour through Boulder’s sex scene
by Erica Grossman
It’s like playing tennis,” says Dr. Stan Jones as we walk down Pearl Street. “The more times you hit the ball in a certain spot, the more your body becomes accustomed to doing it automatically.”
Jones, a professor of communications at CU and co-author of the newly released guide Seven Days to Sex Appeal (Andrews McMeel, $18.99), believes that sexy body language is something that can be learned by anyone looking to attract a partner. You just have to practice.
Seven Days to Sex Appeal, co-written with Jones by former student Eva Margolies, is a brightly illustrated guide to the subtle nuances of body language. Through the narrative of a character named Sally, Seven Days explores an easy, step-by-step process for increasing your public reception and sex appeal. Subtitled How to Be Sexier Without Surgery, Weight Loss, or Cleavage, the book covers everything from posture to glances to sitting, all gestures that emit what Jones refers to as “gender signals” (traits like confidence and approachability that attract potential mates). In other words, it’s not about piling on the makeup or having the perfect body; it’s about how you exhibit yourself to the public.
Jones, an international expert on body language, researched the book with Margolies by studying interpersonal behavior at singles bars. They worked with strangers and clients to analyze human interactions beyond verbal communication. They researched hand gestures, eye contact, touching — you name it, they noted it.
To put the theories of Seven Days to the test, I invited Jones to go “people watching” on a Friday night in Boulder.
We began at The Foundry. On their rooftop patio, we saw a man chatting up a woman at the bar. Jones noted right away that she wasn’t interested. She wasn’t returning the signals, he said. She averted her eyes, refused to turn her body toward him when speaking. We were on the edge of our seats, analyzing and waiting for something to happen.
“It’s like bird watching,” Jones noted. “You have to be patient.”
And sure enough, the woman departed, leaving her wooer to turn and joke with his friends about the rejection.
Only a few feet away, two men were chatting with another woman — and the interactions were completely different. The woman exhibited signs that Jones referred to as “adapters”: She flipped her hair back, adjusted her bra and preened. These are the kinds of things she might do in front of a mirror while getting ready, subtle signals that she wants to appear attractive to an onlooker. In response, one man began hooking his thumbs into his pockets, a move that forced his elbows out to the side in an effort to take up space, which is considered to be a masculine gender signal. All signs were pointing in the right direction, but we had other observations yet to make.
Leaving these three to continue their mingling, we trekked over to the underground lair of Catacombs, a watering hole beneath the Hotel Boulderado. A view from the bar showed several scenarios: a group of loud girls dancing, a woman sitting alone at a table and, behind her, a man sitting alone at a table. The solitary woman crossed her arms, played with her cell phone and made the mistake of not looking around or opening her posture. The result was that she sat alone for the duration of our visit.
“Overcoming the fear of rejection is one of the most important and difficult things for people to work on,” said Jones. “This is done mainly with the eyes. We tell people that it’s just practice. You don’t have to succeed this time or every time. Just work on it, and you’ll get there.”
The man sitting behind her, however, looked more eager. Jones noted that he got up and moved around, smiled at strangers and scanned the room for potential mates. And sure enough, by the time we left, he was in a conversation with another individual.
But the most fascinating characters at Catacombs were the group of young women. They were wild, attractive, obviously intoxicated and dancing erotically with one another. While this might sound like a situation well suited for sexual attention, it turned out to have the opposite effect. No one was approaching any of these women.
Why? Body signals. Jones took notice of the fact that these ladies were all obviously close friends. They shared an intimate and very female space with one another that involved dancing, hugging and talking, forming an almost impenetrable circle. Once their exaggerated body language and playful aggression was pointed out, it became obvious: Someone would be a fool to approach one of these ladies.
As we walked out of Catacombs, Jones noted that sexual attraction wasn’t nearly as mysterious as humans made it appear.
“People tend to be better receivers than senders,” Jones said of these subtle forces. “They can recognize it in others, but don’t necessarily know how to portray it themselves.”
Like anything else, it all comes down to practice, practice, practice.
On the Bill:
Dr. Stan Jones will sign Seven Days to Sex Appeal at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 11, at Barnes & Noble, 2915 Pearl St., Boulder,
back to top