Written by Jo "Boobs" Weldon

Often giving dating tips is nothing more than telling people things they already know but a) wish were not true or b) forget to actually use, thinking chemistry and/or magic will be enough.  I'm here to remind you what works.

I teach burlesque and am the headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque.  When I coach I refer to eye contact as "the fake orgasm of preforming." This is because we cannot make eye contact with a hundred people at the same time, but must appear to if we want the audience to feel connected.  Eye contact is an absolutely essential communication skill, and communication skills make dating easier.

Technically, "eye contact" is defined as looking at someone who is looking at you.  However, eye to eye is a powerful connection.  A range of socially visceral experiences happen every time our eyes meet.  So, what can a sociable being with mating in mind do to go from eye contact to full body contact?

Accept the absolute power of eye contact.  Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have found that if you're making eye contact, you'll come across as sociable, no matter what expression is sneaking over the rest of your face.  In fact, they found that a smile without eye contact has almost no social value.

Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.  Body language experts advise trying to match eye contact, when you find someone whose eyeballs you want to massage.  Staring too hard or too long is aggressive.  This goes whether or not you pee standing up.

Maintain eye contact long enough to make an impression.  Looking away or down may make them think you're not interested, or may simply not give them a chance to decide if they're interested.  If you're not sure how to look away, do a quick look down with a smile and then back up.  If they're looking away and seem to have moved on, you can do the same.

Smile.  You've heard every friend you have ask if a man or woman in a bar is looking at them.  The smile confirms.

Hold eye contact as you walk toward them.  If they turn away at this point, unless you can tell they had to pick up change from the bar or some such, they aren't fully interested.  Let 'em go.

When you make other contact, maintain eye contact.  When you hand someone a drink, a business card, or that thing they dropped, look them in the eyes.  It will make your presentation read as a purely sociable gesture.

Remember the importance of eye contact during the actual date.  Checking your Iphone, unless the person across the table just sexted you, is the opposite of eye contact.  It's not just a matter of manners.  Everybody is dying to look at their phones.  Once you do it, your date will too, and you'll both disconnect and retreat into your own worlds.  If you have to check your phone, excuse yourself.

Finally, make eye contact while you're making body contact.  Remember the scene in "Zack and Miri make a Porno" where they're having sex for the first time? Bingo!  If you always have sex without looking the other person in the face, try it.  It will get real.  See if you can have an orgasm with your eyes open---but don't fake it!

Not that any of you ladies and gentlemen would ever fake an orgasm.  Or that anyone would ever fake one with you.  I can look you in the eye and tell you that.

Photos are World Famous BOB by Jo Weldon/Karl Giant, Jo Weldon by Karl Giant, and Amber Ray by Jo Weldon.
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