• Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

Do you remember how to flirt? Expert reveals a guide to seduction

Dec 15, 2021

How good are YOUR seduction skills? Tracey Cox shares the ultimate his and hers guide to flirting in any situation – from a work Zoom call to a night out (and her tips are guaranteed to lead to a festive romp!)

  • British sexpert Tracey Cox shares her successful flirting tips for any situation
  • Says you should bite your lip if you want them to think of you sexually 
  • Includes how to flirt with your eyes at work if a colleague has taken your fancy

Remember flirting? Getting someone’s attention with some witty banter? Seducing with a sultry glance, flung over a shoulder? Making eye contact with a stranger on the tube and feeling sparks fly?

If you seriously can’t remember the last time you did any of the above, join the club: we’ve ALL forgotten how to flirt.

Remove the usual social interaction and even the most confident person feels out of practise…and nervous.

Have we still got it? Is chatting someone up like riding a bike? Are people as open to being approached as they used to be?

The good news is, while some things have changed, our thirst for connection has never been higher.

Here’s some practical tips on how to get YOUR flirting mojo back in four classic seduction situations.

Sexpert Tracey Cox shares her universal guide for flirting well in any situation and getting results (stock image)


Used to be, you’d be able to flirt across desks or in the coffee room. In these WFH times (yawn), it’s all online and on camera.

If it’s a work thing…

Look great – but like you haven’t tried at all: Too dressed up looks obvious and desperate – especially if the most effort everyone else has made is to choose a top without food stains. Instead, aim for something you know flatters your best waist-up body part. A top or jacket that shows off muscular shoulders, a bra that shows off your breasts (without showing cleavage), rings to showcase long, elegant fingers. Keep makeup subtle and use the Zoom beauty filter (set midway not full). Use ring lighting (this goes for blokes as well – no-one can tell and it blasts out those unattractive under eye shadows). Natural light is best but good luck finding that at this time of the year! Get the camera angle right: you’re looking up not down at the camera.

Have a sense of humour: Nothing’s more seductive than someone who makes you laugh. It’s work, so you can’t be the class clown, but you can keep things light and cheerful and make the odd joke when appropriate.

Wear something seductive on the bottom half: No-one can see you’ve teamed that innocent jumper with sexy knickers and high heels/nothing but a pair of Calvins, but it really works to make you ooze sexual energy and confidence.

Find an excuse to keep them online once everyone else leaves the meeting: Say or private message, ‘I need to discuss one more thing with you John that’s not really relevant to anyone else. Can you stay on once we finish?’. Once it’s the two of you, invent a flimsy excuse that’s obviously fabricated, then say ‘OK, so I lied. I fancied a chat just the two of us’. Have some banter about your colleagues, ask what they’re doing for Christmas, ask a question about something in their background. Offer up your phone number, in case they need to get in touch with you out of work hours. Unless they’re completely clueless, they’ll get the hint you’re interested in being more than just a colleague.

Use their name: ‘I agree with Sofia’, ‘Matt’s absolutely right when he says that’. Science proves our brain clicks to attention when we hear our name; it’s also an ego boost to be personally name-checked, particularly if there’s a compliment attached.

Get the eye contact right: Zoom’s weird: you’re looking straight at the person you can see onscreen but, to them, it looks like you’re looking elsewhere. It’s all to do with the camera angle. It feels counterintuitive but if you look at the camera, rather than at the person, you’ll look directly into their eyes.

Find an excuse to meet up: Again, make an excuse to private message, chat about work stuff for a bit then segue into talking about what you love doing – cooking, eating, walking in the park, watching movies. Ask if they enjoy doing it, too. Even if restrictions are re-introduced, you’re likely to be able to meet for a coffee/some mulled wine in the park. You don’t need to officially ask them on a date. Think of somewhere central to the two of you and say, ‘Hey, that reminds me, I’m going to this movie/will be in this part of town on Saturday. If you’re around, why don’t you come along’. This keeps it deliberately vague: it’s not clear if it’s a just-the-two-of-you thing or you’re inviting other friends as well. Much less cringey if they decline the offer!

If it’s just the two of you…

Get dressed on camera: Pretend you’re running late and say, ‘Look away for a sec, I just need to change my top’. If you’re brave, you’ll strip to your underwear/a bare chest, if you’re not, briefly reveal a tight, flattering vest top.

Have something sexy in view in the background. An erotic print or photograph, a book with a provocative title, a nude figurine. Push it up several notches by casually draping lingerie over the back of a chair or sofa.

Tilt your head to the side: It’s something we do when we’re interested in what the other person is saying – and it exposes our neck, a subtle erogenous zone. If you’ve got long hair, push all of it to one side and hold it there. It makes you look flirtatious but also vulnerable.

Tracey (pictured) said not only do facial expressions liven up our own stories, they let other people know the effect theirs are having on us.

Be curious: Most people are flattered if you ask questions about them: we all love talking about ourselves! Start with the usual: where do they live, do they have a pet, how has the pandemic affected them. Then get more daring: how did they cope not being able to date etc? Make up a funny story about accidentally interrupting your flatmate/sister having Zoom sex. Blatant, crude sexual come-ons will get you nowhere: mention the word ‘sex’ in a relatively innocent context and you’ll pique their interest classily.

Be playful: Gentle teasing is a great flirting tool. Watch their reaction carefully, though, and know when to pull back if you’ve crossed the line from cute to annoying.

Be the one to end the conversation so they’re left wanting more. Do it before you’ve naturally come to the end of the chat and doing that awkward ‘Anyway, it’s getting late’. Say something funny, ‘My dog has literally dropped the tin opener in my lap. I think I’d better feed him’. Then go. Quickly.

Bite your lip: Do it while you’re making direct eye contact. Biting your lip is something we do unconsciously when we’re thinking AND when we’re sexually aroused by someone. They don’t know for sure which it is, which adds to the sexual tension. Or say, ‘Don’t mind me’ and apply some lip balm or gloss, using the screen as a mirror. Pout provocatively.

Schedule the zoom for out of office time: People behave differently at night than they do during the day. Suggest you both nip off to get a glass of wine, once you’ve been talking a little while, to make it seem like more of a date.

Can’t tell if someone fancies you? Learn to read the signs! 

He fancies you if he…

Flashes his eyebrows at you (lifts them up and down) or keeps them raised

Stands up straight, smooths or messes up his hair

Turns his torso so it’s facing you

Stands with legs spread

Squeezes his bottle of beer while looking at you (when men are sexually interested, they play with circular objects because they remind him of your breasts). 

She fancies you if… 

She keeps on crossing and uncrossing her legs

Slips her foot slightly out of her shoe, lets a strap fall off a shoulder

Looks straight at you and tosses her hair

Licks her lips while looking at you

Smiles broadly


Assuming you’re not working at No 10, you just might sneak one in. Excellent news if it does happen because the combination of being let out to play and too much booze, makes most (single) people open to advances (and, sadly, those who aren’t).

Use ‘we’ as soon as you possibly can. ‘We’re going to get fat if we eat all that, aren’t we?’. ‘Shall we have another drink?’. Linking the two of you conversationally subliminally plants the idea of linking up in other ways.

Give good face: Popular people tend to have animated faces and make a steady stream of expressions when they’re talking or listening. Not only do facial expressions liven up our own stories, they let other people know the effect theirs are having on us. Expressions are infectious: smile and the world really does smile with you!

Breathe. Someone you’re attracted to can take your breath away in a literal sense. When we’re nervous or excited, often we stop breathing. Robbed of oxygen, you can’t think clearly, and your voice comes out high-pitched and strangled. Not the sexiest sound in the world. Take slow, deep breaths and you’ll look and feel relaxed.

Don’t look away if someone else joins the conversation. Instead, lock eyes with the person you like and keep them there, even when they’ve finished talking or another person starts. When you eventually do drag your eyes away (three or four seconds later), do it slowly and reluctantly. This is something that’s simple to do, intensely flattering and if done well, will take their breath away.

Look at their mouth: The more we’re attracted to someone, the more time we spend looking at their mouth. We’re subconsciously thinking about what it might be like to kiss them (among other things).

Put something in yours: a straw, the end of your glasses, (if you’re brave) your finger. Putting any object against our lips makes the person you’re talking to imagine kissing you.


There’s a group of you, in one room, and you’re forced to hang around for at least a few hours: it’s the perfect flirting playing field. Even if the shy can usually manage to a bat of the eyelashes in these circumstances.

A his and her guide to spotting someone who is keen for sex 

Secret signs HE’S ready for sex

  • He’s touching his face more than usual
  • He’s holding his head high
  • His eyes appear shiny and moist
  • His pupils are large and dilated
  • His sentences are short and half-finished and he’s breathing quickly
  • His thighs tense 
  • His lips are red and swollen
  • His nostrils flare

Secret signs SHE’S ready for sex

  • Her eyes seem glittery and sparkly
  • Her cheeks change colour (her pulse is racing)
  • She’s stroking her neck lots
  • She keeps looking at your mouth and touching her own lips
  • She’s smoothing her skirt down over her hips to accentuate her curves
  • There’s a flush or colour on her neck, shoulders and chest (it’s where the expression ‘hot and bothered’ comes from).


Mirror their body language: It’s the single most effective flirting tool at your disposal. By matching or imitating their movements you’re subconsciously telling them you are like them and on the same level. Don’t mimic, mirror the mood. They lean forward, you lean forward; they put their hands on the table, you put yours there.

Touch them: The right time to instigate your first touch is in response to something the other person has done or said: if they make you laugh, say something to surprise or delight you, reveal something intimate, or make a point you particularly agree with, that’s the time to touch them. Start by touching the back of the hand, the forearm, upper arm or shoulder. If your touch seems welcome, as the night goes on sit close enough for your arms to touch, casually press your thigh against yours, move a foot so it’s next to theirs. If they’re interested, they’ll touch you back within a few minutes. If they’re too shy to reciprocate, they’ll look visibly disappointed if you create distance.

Record yourself before you go: Next time you have a friend over, record 10 minutes of the conversation (with their permission). Listen back. Do you make sense, talk coherently, give the other person a chance to speak? We all have pet words and phrases we overuse – what are yours? How’s the tone and pitch? Adjust as necessary.

Create an instant shared past: Refer back to anything that’s already happened between you. Say, you almost spilt a glass of red wine when you were chatting before sitting down. Later, talk about how clumsy you are and say, ‘Pete/Rachel knows all about that, right Pete/Rachel?’ with a conspiratorial grin. The rest of the group wonders, ‘What happened between those two?’ marking them as ‘yours’. It makes it look like you have a shared history even though what happened was inconsequential.

Give a compliment that’s entirely individual: ‘You have beautiful eyes’ is nice but hardly memorable, ‘Your eyes are the most vivid shade of blue I’ve ever seen’ is.

Seduce her by lending her your coat or sweater: it’s a protective, sexy gesture that says, ‘I’m committing to hanging around to get that back again’. Something that has been close to your skin is now close to hers.

Seduce him through subconscious teases: Cross one arm loosely across your waist and support the elbow of the other arm by cupping it in your hand. Now lift the supported arm until your fingers touch your chest then stroke your collarbone lightly. Maintain eye contact and let your hand rest there when you’re finished. This subtly draws attention to your breasts and lets him know you’re interested in more without coming on too strong or being blatant.


This demands no-holds barred, more brazen moves. If you’re out and about, you need to act fast because there’s no way of telling how long your target intends hanging around.

Give them the green light to come over: Look directly at the person, smile and turn your body toward them. If someone is doing the same to you – looking at you, facing you and smiling – they’re officially open to being approached. Make sure your body language is open. Don’t hold your drink of bag high in front of you as a shield, don’t cross your arms and stand with legs slightly apart.

Don’t be scared to make the move yourself. If you’re part of a group of mixed friends, it takes exceptional courage for someone to come over to chat you up without knowing if you’re already attached to someone else.

Use your friends as the excuse: Say ‘My friend Jane/John is sick of listening to me going on about how pretty/handsome you are and made me come over and say hello even though I’m sure someone like you already has a partner’. It’s as low risk as you’ll get. It delivers a compliment, suggests you aren’t going to hang around if you’re not welcome and gives them an easy out.

Pretend you’re talking to your best friend. What would you say if your best friend was the person beside you at the bar? Something like, ‘How long do you think it’s going to be before the barman gets to us?’. ‘How hot is it in here?’. ‘How cool is that person’s hair/top/outfit!’. People get hung up on thinking the first thing they say needs to be a clever chat up line. Most chat up lines aren’t clever and sound contrived. Say something that feels natural in the context of where you are.

Make it clear what’s on offer: Do you want to hook up right there and then for sex? Or are you interested in a relationship? Whichever scenario applies to you, dictates what comes next (ahem!). Ask to borrow their phone, type in your number, deliver a kiss on the lips (or one that’s more covid-friendly) and leave them wanting more. Or look them straight in the eye and say, ‘I think we should go somewhere more private. What do you think?’.

Want to know more about sex, body language and relationships. You’ll find Tracey’s blog on traceycox.com and can listen to her weekly podcast, SexTok, wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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