We already know that it’s common for a husband to underestimate his wife’s sex drive — women tend to be a lot more subtle than men, to such an extent that your wife herself might not even know when she’s aroused!

Men’s subjective ratings of arousal were in agreement with their body’s level of sexual arousal about 66 percent of the time, while women’s were in line only about 26 percent of the time.

“The general pattern that I have seen in my laboratory is that women experience a genital response but do not report feeling sexually aroused,” Chivers told LiveScience.

So how can a husband know when his wife is interested? Being direct and verbal can be effective, but can also risk “ruining the mood”. Women like to be romanced and wooed — even after years of marriage! — and “Hey, wanna go upstairs and *blank*?” may not make her tingle.

Every husband should be a student of his own wife: learn everything about her, especially her sexuality. Every person is different, but here are a few behavioral signs a husband can watch for that may indicate his wife is more interested in sex than is immediately obvious.

  • Physical touch. Casual touching is always an indicator of affection and openness. If your wife initiates touching then she’s definitely happy with your relationship and receptive to your overtures. Physical touch doesn’t mean that she definitely wants sex — she may just want to cuddle for comfort after a hard day at work. Touches from hands, fingers, and lips — as well as “accidentally” brushing against you — are likely to be greater indicators of sexual interest than are hugs and cuddles.
  • Eye contact is always a sign of intimacy, and longer is better. You should hold eye contact until she breaks away — it will signal your confidence and dominance. If she breaks eye contact with a submissive downward gaze and a smile, she’s practically naked.
  • Posture and attention. Body language says a lot. Look for open postures: face and shoulders straight at you, rather than with a shoulder towards you; arms and legs uncrossed; leaning towards you; shoulders back, breasts pushed forward; close proximity, inside personal space. Also watch for mirroring, which is generally a sign of rapport and intimacy.
  • Self-touching and grooming. Touching her hair, adjusting her clothes, playing with her jewelry, and other kinds of self-touching — especially around the mouth, face, and neck. Licking or biting her lip, or sucking on a straw or toothpick, is a strong sign.
  • Vulnerability shows a desire for intimacy. Signs include: revealing more skin; exposing her underarms, wrists, or neck; submissive positioning or postures.
  • Verbal cues. In addition to non-verbal indicators, your wife’s language can also indicate sexual interest: giggling; using your nickname; playful teasing; mismatched words and body language (e.g., laughing while disagreeing); complimenting you; soliciting compliments or approval; re-starting the conversation when you stop talking.

Husbands, when you learn to read your wife’s indicators of interest she’ll feel like you really understand her, like you’re reading her mind, like you’re in sync. She’ll feel good about your relationship, your intimacy will increase, and you’ll have more sex.

Wives, what do you think? It’s probably pretty easy to know when your husband is interested in sex… or is it? Husbands, do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment!

Amy Cuddy describes how your body language can affect your hormones, thoughts, and behaviors. Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes.

The specifics of her experiment apply to feelings of power and confidence, so they’re at least indirectly applicable to sexuality. Here’s an excerpt that describes some of her results. The 20-minute video is worth watching in full.

So this is what we did. We decided to bring people into the lab and run a little experiment, and these people adopted, for two minutes, either high-power poses or low-power poses, and I’m just going to show you five of the poses, although they took on only two. So here’s one. A couple more. This one has been dubbed the “Wonder Woman” by the media. Here are a couple more. So you can be standing or you can be sitting. And here are the low-power poses. So you’re folding up, you’re making yourself small.This one is very low-power. When you’re touching your neck, you’re really protecting yourself. So this is what happens. They come in, they spit into a vial, for two minutes, we say, “You need to do this or this.”They don’t look at pictures of the poses. We don’t want to prime them with a concept of power. We want them to be feeling power. So two minutes they do this. We then ask them, “How powerful do you feel?” on a series of items, and then we give them an opportunity to gamble, and then we take another saliva sample. That’s it. That’s the whole experiment.

So this is what we find. Risk tolerance, which is the gambling, we find that when you are in the high-power pose condition, 86 percent of you will gamble. When you’re in the low-power pose condition, only 60 percent, and that’s a whopping significant difference. Here’s what we find on testosterone. From their baseline when they come in, high-power people experience about a 20-percent increase, and low-power people experience about a 10-percent decrease. So again, two minutes, and you get these changes.Here’s what you get on cortisol. High-power people experience about a 25-percent decrease, and the low-power people experience about a 15-percent increase. So two minutes lead to these hormonal changes that configure your brain to basically be either assertive, confident and comfortable, or really stress-reactive, and feeling sort of shut down. And we’ve all had the feeling, right? So it seems that our nonverbals do govern how we think and feel about ourselves, so it’s not just others, but it’s also ourselves. Also, our bodies change our minds.

Take-away: try some power poses before sex and see how it affects you and your spouse. Bonus points for posing together!