WE ALL KNOW WHAT WE LIKE, AND EVERY MAN KNOWS THAT HE’D like more of it. But the simple fact is seduction can be a tricky mistress, especially if you’re not in tune with her visual cues. Whether it be a glimpse of her stocking as she slips into the car or the curve of her calf in a pair of towering heels as she steps out of it, understanding why the most basic of a woman’s arousing adornments are so alluring is the key to making them work for you. With the help of a little sexual science and feminine expertise, Men’s Health tugged gently at the zips of the four most powerful male turn-ons to uncover the mental and physical forces they exert and what is happening in a woman’s head when she wields them. The fog that surrounds getting the horn has been officially cleared. The following pages will tell you how psychological persuasion, expert selection and masterful manhandling will grant you what you want, as and when you want it. Which, we assume, is pretty much all the time…

Bra + Knickers

From the femininity of frilly knickers to a tantalising glimpse of G-string, making her the Victoria’s Secret sort is all in her mind

Being face to lace isn’t exciting because of what is happening before your eyes, it’s because of the build up. Cumulative hours of imagining the object of your immediate affections makes seeing how that two-set hugs her curves all the more scintillating. “You will have imagined exactly how a woman will look in her underwear before you actually see her in it,” says relationship psychologist Dr Gayle Brewer. The question is, how do you reserve your seat for a second showing, and make sure those private views run and run? Compliments will make her more comfortable in “something more comfortable”. But each honest nicety will do more than make her less body-conscious. It will tuck her and her frillies into your psychological pocket.

“When you pay her a compliment she processes it cognitively as conversational language,” says social psychologist Arthur Cassidy. “It is then interpreted into emotional content, motivating her to enter into ‘compliance behaviour’ and making her more compelled to please you.” Should her VIP viewings feature a supporting cast of push-up bras, do not despair. In fact, accepting the ruse for what it is will grant you a healthy, plump reward. As the (H)erzigova + (W)onderbra = DD equation proves, the most arousing aspect of a breast is its pertness. Even if that means you’re having the woollen jumper of enhanced cleavage pulled over your eyes.

“Cleavage references youth, so it is her way of affirming that this is a youthful breast,” says cognitive behavioural therapist Dr George Fieldman. “Pertness is indicative of fertility, which you are subconsciously programmed to seek out in a sexual partner.” Making that sweet deception of youth even juicier means going back to basics with your taste in tissuepapered presents. Take that timeless Wonderbra advert – yes a certain Czech supermodel helped, but the colour of the bra she was so keen on admiring is as psychologically mesmerising as the wonders that were filling it.

According to research at Belfast Metropolitan College, if you’re a professional man you’re more likely to be stimulated by the refinement of a black bra over the brashness of red. Simple shades of white and peach also proved more effective. So, presenting her with a box of subtly shaded delicates will provide you with more pleasure. Then telling her how much you genuinely enjoy her wearing them will make her more willing to do so. Everyone’s happy. But especially you.

SHAPE FITTERS
Buying lingerie is a dangerous game, so use this guide for smiles all round

A recent survey of 2 000 men* found that although 70 percent know their partner’s bra size, over a quarter of them buy the wrong shape. Here’s how purchasing for her body shape will foolproof the fit and guarantee a good night ahead.

BRAS

Bust size Not there (A) Style Bralet Why? A soft-cup offers no real support, so suits a sylph-like frame and not much bust.

Bust size Small (B-C) Style Push-up Why? Flattering if she has a smaller frame and needs a little hand to accentuate her cleavage.

Bust size Medium (C) Style Balcony Why? Ideal if she doesn’t need help to achieve supercleavage but requires some support.

Bust size Large (D+) Style Moulded plunge Why? Gives a sexy shape and contour to a larger bust without the additional and unnecessary lift.

KNICKERS

Body shape Slim Style String Why? She has to be confident with her body to look good in string knickers, so these are suited to a slender, toned girl.

Body shape Short Style Thong Why? The thong still displays a lot of her legs, making the distance between her heel and hip appear longer.

Body shape Curvy Style Bikini Why? Doesn’t give full coverage but it’s not exactly non-existent and will make her bum appear more perky.

Body shape Leggy Style Hipster/boy-leg Why? Perfect for taller girls to give their legs better proportion. Sexy without being overtly revealing.

Short Skirts

There’s something about a girl in a miniskirt, and that something is the element of “what’s going on under there”? We present you with the best ways to find out…

With summer on the way, the splendour of the short skirt is one of the season’s visual joys, the tiny swathe of material inversely proportionate to the amount of giddy satisfaction it generates. And while it may cajole into voice a million hard-hatted wolf whistles, it’s your way with words that will get you the reward you’re after. Considering how much of her sexual story a miniskirt tells, it’s not surprising that your imagination runs buck-wild, eager to skip the subplots and head straight for the giveaway last page. “Quite simply, you are attracted to the thought that she is wearing nothing else underneath, and the possibility, at least in your mind, of the brief sexual encounter a short skirt might refer to,” says Brewer. “By choosing to reveal so much of her lower body, she is drawing attention to her physical appearance and raising her physicality as a topic of sexual conversation.”

The route to a higher-hemmed better half is not pointing out how good she looks with acres of leg granted freedom. Instead you should be complimenting her on everything else she’s wearing. It’s a surprising diversionary tactic. She’s expecting you to focus on her flesh, but by breaking 10 000 years of predictable male behaviour, you immediately become a new and intriguing sexual proposition, one she is hooked on. “The key to this conversation is to praise as many other elements of her outfit as you can,” says Cassidy. While picking out and admiring fashion specifics such as colour and material may be harder than ogling the more apparent issue of her thighs, calves and ankles, persevering with the subtle details will be more rewarding in the end. “Paying close attention to how she has put her outfit together will make her feel positive about you in relation to other aspects of your relationship – she will take it as affirmation that she has chosen well in choosing you, as well as her wardrobe.” The result is more guaranteed than you’d think.

“In social exchange theory we trade rewards when we’re in a relationship,” says Cassidy. By providing her with a compliment on her fashion sense – supposedly with no further motive – she will unknowingly respond with a direct reward. Which, considering how little she is wearing, is a good deal indeed.

High Heels

It’s not the shoe – it’s what heels do to her body and personality that has her running through your mind

Whether you see them striding confidently across the boardroom, slinking through a bar or dangling suggestively, high heels’ association with the bedroom stems not from the “sex kitten” image they conjure or the “strut” they bestow upon the wearer. It’s their psychologically transformative quality. So, while you should probably keep your advances to yourself in the boardroom (or at least wait for the meeting to finish), it means that a woman strutting atop 10cm stiletto heels is already feeling like sex on legs. In fact, she is sex on legs, expensively scaffolded to dizzying new heights of power, confidence
and seduction.

For her, the beauty of heels is rooted in a subconscious impulse to present herself to you as a viable biological match. “Her height is a significant factor in sexual coupling because it affects symmetry, a vital biological marker of attraction,” says Cassidy. For you, it is the split personality inherent in the vertiginous shoe – commanding dominatrix invisibly spliced with a touch of damsel in “I can barely walk in these things” distress – that makes them a legendary icon of male lusting. “They require a woman to be very strong, statuesque and confident, but also very dainty in the way she holds herself and moves around,” says Brewer. Which,it’s fair to say, is the ideal combination. Getting her to kick up her heels in the bedroom means putting your foot down.

“Women are attracted to guys who know what they want and how to ask for it, but don’t desire men to be dominant in a way that is physically controlling and therefore stifling,” says Cassidy. “The sort of dominance that is most exciting to her is constructive, best conveyed through language rather than actions.” So while whispering to her that you want her to leave her heels on tonight will work, throwing her a pair of clear perspex platforms and telling her to put them on probably won’t.