How’s this for improving your odds? Women in nightclubs are 50 percent more likely to accept a dance invitation if it’s paired with gentle contact, according to a study by the University of Bretagne-

Sud in France. “Discreet touching signals the fi rst stages of the mating ritual,” says Judi James, author of Sex Signals, Decode Them and Send Them. “Done correctly, this powerful process will lead –eventually – to sex.”

“If a woman ‘accepts’ your touch, her response will be to touch back,” says James. “This can occur after a long delay, so don’t lose heart. But if she touches the area you touched immediately, it could mean she’s trying to delete it, rather than savour the memory.” Same goes for violent slaps to your face. Here’s how to avoid them.

Back On Track

“Closing in on your prey in a busy bar is easy,” says sex expert Tracey Cox. “Lightly rest your hand on her lower back as you pass, as if you’re trying to avoid knocking her. She’ll turn around. If she looks pleased, step back slightly. If she’s keen, she’ll subconsciously slide in to close the gap. It’s a surprisingly effective psychological trick.” If she recoils, look on the bright side: you’ll get to the bar quicker.

Armed And Ready

“Steertouching can be sexy, so long as it’s not done in a controlling or overpowering way,” says Jo King, founder of the London School of Striptease. “Lightly touching her elbow to guide her as you walk together, such as steering her out of the way of a low table or traffi c can make you seem protective and caring.”

All Ears

The back of her ear, to be precise: it’s an erogenous zone. “It’s hugely sensitive and less diffi cult to touch than you would think,” says Cox. “Jewellery is the easy way in here – admire her earrings. Then you can accidentally brush your fingers behind her ears at the same time. The trick – as with all these touches – is to be soft and gentle. A soft touch makes you a superb seducer, a rough one just makes you look rough and awkward.”

Face Facts

“Our faces are a highly intimate zone, so wait until you’re convinced she’s interested. At the right time, touching here is incredibly effective,” says Cox. “The ‘you’ve-got-an-eyelash-onyour- cheek’ line is corny, but it works,” says King. “If you’re unsure how she will feel about you pawing her face, try brushing a piece of imaginary lint of her shoulder and see how she responds.” Just don’t pretend it’s dandruff.

Hand It To Her

“Touching someone’s hand is both an innocent and intimate thing to do, so it works well in fl irting,” says King. Try leaning across to touch the back of her hand to emphasise a point.” According to James, we could actually learn a lesson from our distant simian cousins here, too: “Female great apes signal submission by sticking their palm out towards the most powerful male in their group. Lightly take her hand – to look at a ring, or compliment her slender fingers, say – and you’ve instantly created a submissive/dominant relationship.” Unless you find yourself looking at a wedding ring that is.