School for Seduction

Aoife Stuart-Madge

Want to make this Valentine’s your most sizzling date night ever? Read on…

Whether you’re in that honeymoon ‘drunk in loooooove’ period of a new relationship or have arrived in the friend zone where Netflix and chill literally means watching a movie and relaxing together, we could all use a little help channelling our inner seductress from time to time – and never more so than on the most romantic night of the year. Herewith then, are the moves that can make your dream Valentine’s date putty in your hands.

Setting the scene

If you’re eating out, chances are the restaurant will have done most of the leg work for you, as even a not-so-fancy venue will have plumped for some candles and a rose or two. If dinner is at your place, creating the perfect ambience requires a bit more effort on your part. The good news is there are few things more romantic than a home-cooked meal for two.

So rather than go OTT with hearts and flowers, just dim the lights, light a candle, put some music on and let your menu do the talking. Resist the urge for clichés that can come off as cringe – a soundtrack of bands you know he likes is a much cooler (and subtler!) way to say how you’re feeling, than blasting Marvin Gaye’s Get It On.

Devising the menu

You don’t have to be a Rachel Allen to be able to whip your guy into a foodie frenzy: in fact, the simpler the menu, the better. After all, you don’t want to be stressing in the kitchen when you should be sharing a bottle of wine and soulful glances with your date. So opt for something you know you can pull off with ease but that looks (and tastes) like you’ve put the effort in.

It’s cold out, so think about something warming enough to satisfy. Individual lobster pies are a great way to make an expensive ingredient go far – and they can be prepped in advance – while a red Thai curry is an easy way to offer up something exotic. For dessert, anything combining chocolate and strawberries should help seal the deal – chocolate is known to release serotonin, the pleasure chemical, in the brain. Combine with a glass of bubbles – a nice Prosecco is relatively inexpensive and light on alcohol – to complete the Holy Trinity of romance.

Planning your look

If you really want to get his pulse racing, wear red. A recent study at the University of Rochester in New York asked 149 men to rate pictures of women wearing white, grey, blue, green, and red by level of attractiveness. Unsurprisingly, red came out on top. “Due to the association with hearts, Valentine’s Day, lingerie, and things like that, red takes on a sexy meaning,” said study author Andrew Elliot, PhD.

You don’t need to dress head-to-toe in scarlet to make the connection in his brain, either. A slick of red lipstick can be super sexy, and will speak to his primal senses, especially combined with tousled, undone hair. And there’s no need to douse yourself in Chanel No.5. A new study in Psychological Science concluded that men are more turned on by a woman’s natural scent than expensive perfumes.

Making your move

With dinner over, its time to get tactile. Shift things over to the sofa and offer him a playful massage. Studies have found that stress is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to male arousal, so a foot massage or even rubbing his back can help lower his levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and set the mood to sizzling.

Your soothing touch can also release oxytocin, the love hormone in his brain. Pair the cuddling with plenty of eye contact – holding his gaze will let him know exactly what’s on your mind. Still not reading your cues? Try serving up after dinner pomegranate martini cocktails. A recent study from Sussex University found men kissed more passionately and looked at photos of scantily clad women 16 per cent longer after drinking pomegranate juice.

If all goes well, you’ll be finishing off the drinks in the bedroom. Bottoms up!

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