Tune in to the right signals during a dinner date and you might satisfy more than your respective appetites. "Romantic meals allow for powerful courtship exchanges," says Dr Heather T. Remoff, author of Sexual Choice. "Women drop vital clues during a meal – read them right and dessert could be at her place."
She Sits With Her Back to the Action
If she snags the seat facing the wall, odds are she's there to focus on you. So give her something to look at. "Women are far more skilled at interpreting body language," says Dr David Givens, author of Love Signals. Display confidence and masculinity with open palms or steepled fingers, a "showcase of mastery and thoughtfulness", says Givens. If she chooses to face the room instead, watch her eyes: is she easily distracted?
She Dries You Off
If you spill a drink, loudly drop a fork or fumble the bread, watch her reaction. "If she turns away embarrassed, or does nothing at all, she's suppressing her maternal instincts for a reason: she has no connection to you," says Givens. But if she lends a helping hand, there could be chemistry. Letting her help will strengthen feelings of attachment.
She Tastes Your Meal
Offer her a bite of your entrée. If she takes the fork from you and brushes the food onto her plate, hit the brakes, Casanova. "When you offer her a bite, look her in the eyes and move the fork slowly towards her mouth," says Dr Sandor Gardos, a sex therapist and the founder of mypleasure.com. That way she can refuse gracefully if she's not ready to be fed. Bonus points: she offers you a bite back.
She Uses Praise in the Conversation
Women appreciate kudos, but on a first date keep compliments confined to her jewellery or clothes. "She spent plenty of time making those choices, so she'll appreciate your attention to detail," says Givens. If she starts telling a story about the earrings or, even better, returns the compliment, it shows she values your opinion. A half-hearted "thank you" may be a brush-off.
She Grills You
Throw out a totally random question – about Maoist rebels or her high-school formal – and see where it leads. "If she finds a way to work it back to you, that's a great sign," says Gardos. Women approach dates as fact-finding missions, so thoughtfully answer any personal questions beyond the obligatory, and reciprocate with inquiries of your own.
She Gushes Over the Chocolate Volcano
Does she snack stoically on her dessert, or does she close her eyes and moan softly, savouring the velvety texture? "This means she appreciates the sensual, hedonistic side of life," says Gardos. "She's just had an orgasm on her tongue," agrees Laura Corn, author of 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex. "Piggyback off that."