The Power of Eye Contact

Very sexy blonde woman making sultry eye contact with the camera

Have you ever had that moment where you lock eyes with a stranger and you decided in a split second you’re taking them home, and you’re already thinking about what they look like once you've ripped their clothes off? I hope you have because it’s so intense it’s palpable. And that’s the power of eye contact.

When it comes to hooking up for casual sex, studies show that whilst your initial gaze across the bar might be drawn to the person’s body, eye contact is essential to build intimacy and fuel desire for both people involved. It’s all about connection and your eyes hold that power.

44% of people say the first thing they notice when they meet someone for the first time are their eyes. So armed with that knowledge how can you maximise making a good first impression (which most people will form within the first 7 seconds) and perhaps improve your hookup success?

How do you make eye contact without being creepy?

Obviously this is aimed at our male readers because it’s not just about making eye contact, it’s how you make that contact. Strong eye contact will show confidence which is an attractive trait, but an intense gaze will probably make her feel uncomfortable.

The trick is to smile with your eyes. Yes we know it’s corny but it’s the best way to explain a warm, soft gaze. When you smile, can you feel how your eyes crinkle and your gaze softens? That’s what you’re aiming for.         

How do you know if they’re interested?

If someone holds eye contact with you for more than a couple of seconds, there’s a chance they are interested. Or they might glance away and then look back at you again. Holding eye contact is an invitation to approach (if you haven’t already) or continue the conversation. This is where banter and engagement are essential to further develop the interaction – you can’t just stare at them like a love sick puppy.

I really suck at making eye contact, help!

If you struggle with maintaining eye contact then you need to practice. Make eye contact with people as you walk past them, with cashiers, with bank tellers, with random people who you interact with on a daily basis. Learning to be comfortable with making eye contact is the key to perfecting that friendly, confident eye contact you need to build those intimate connections.

Build intimacy & connection through eye contact

Although many people find locking eyes with someone awkward this is how you build intimacy and trust. If you’ve watched MAFS you, like me, have probably cringed when they are given the task of staring into each other’s eyes for 2 minutes. But, it’s not pseudo science just to make them feel uncomfortable and get ratings, it actually works. Obviously you’re unlikely to ask someone at a bar or a hookup interview to stare into your eyes for 2 minutes but it is a practice you can do with your partner. Even if it’s only 30 secs to start with, build up the connection, and remember to smile with your eyes.

Eye contact reveals your emotions

Ever watched someone smile and thought “that’s so fake”? It’s because your eyes can reveal the emotion behind your facial expressions. Your eyes really are the windows to your soul and science has proven it. The amygdala is the key brain region for facial perception and a 2013 study found that activity in this area increased during eye gazing. This was backed up by a 2017 study suggesting that we gauge how others are feeling by subconsciously analysing their eyes.

Do you leave the lights on?

Eye contact during sex can actually be confronting for many people. A study found that 46% of singles said they prefer the light off when they have sex and for people in a relationship that dropped to 43%. But eye contact at the beginning of a sexual encounter can actually result in better sex. And having the light on can not only boost testosterone in men, the vulnerability required can further build intimacy and connection in your relationship.

What about when you’re dating?

Studies have been conducted in a speed dating environment which found that people who maintained eye contact to build intimacy asked fewer questions. And this is because eye contact is a powerful non-verbal form of expression, which tends to prompt people sharing more about themselves. Eye contact didn’t help with romantic attraction but it did reduce uncertainty and increase intimacy. So if you’ve always wondered how to fill in those awkward silences when you meet a potential hookup partner for the first time, perhaps it’s as simple as looking into their eyes.

And what about meeting people online? How do you achieve eye contact on a dating app? Face photos where you are looking into the camera is a good starting point. Don’t forget they don’t need to be in your Public Gallery but chances are a profile photo where members can see your eyes is something to consider. And if you are a Gold or Platinum member you can do live cam to cam chat via Messenger to push that connection past the online chat stage and potentially into a let’s meet up stage.

So eye contact might be the first interaction with a new love interest or hookup partner but it’s so much more than that. So don’t forget your homework, and we’d love to know if it works for you.

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