To say I'm observant on dates is a major understatement. I can't help but analyze every one of my date's actions and mannerisms: his drink choice, word choice, the way he keeps bouncing his right leg or touching his bottom lip. And if you treat
date nights with the same Sherlock Holmes mentality that I do, you're probably wondering what your partner's body language during sex actually reveals about their feelings in that moment. Like, what does it mean when you find yourself kissing during sex? What if your partner kisses or caresses your feet? Your body language in bed together can truly speak volumes.
Just last week, my friend told me that a guy shoved multiple fingers into her mouth while they were making out. Like, making a dinosaur claw and just sticking his hand in her mouth. Needless to say, I was perplexed.“What does that even mean?” she asked. “Is it like, ‘Mmm, yes, I'm so into this, I want your tongue on my hand?’ Or, like, ‘I need to get away from your mouth for a second, but here, make out with my pointer and middle fingers?’”
I had no answers, only more questions. Enter body language experts
Tonya Reiman and Patti Wood. “Fingers in the mouth are a clear representation of several things,” Reiman explains. “[It] is often used as a fantasy tool — one in which the individual who puts their fingers in the mouth of their partner is experiencing an oral fantasy of their own. Secondarily, it is used as a ‘taste test.’ One person puts their fingers in their partner as a way to imagine the other potentially masturbating and tasting themselves in the process.” Huh, who knew?
As it turns out, lots of other typical maneuvers and mannerisms — and some not-so-typical physical cues — can indicate what your partner or hookup is
really thinking. Here's a look at what someone’s body language in bed says about their feelings during sex, from feisty nips and nibbles to gentle neck kisses. 01
They Can’t Stop Touching Your Face & Hair
“When someone touches or strokes your hair and/or face during sex, it is typically a demonstration of affection,” says Reiman. “This is primal; it shows that they want to connect with you on more than a mere physical level. Typically, the hair-stroker or the face-toucher has genuine feelings [for you] or is just a real romantic.”
Wood agrees. “There’s research that talks about how we’re attracted to
full healthy heads of hair, because it’s a signal that that person would make good babies if they had good genetic makeup,” she says. “So if we’re petting, stroking, tugging our fingers through, maybe slightly pulling on the hair, as we’re doing that, part of us is going, ‘Ooh, we’d make good babies.’ It’s one of those signals.” She also adds that someone who’s super into you will likely focus on your face as much as possible — not just because they like looking at you, but because they want to catalog your response to their actions.
If your partner takes the time to run their fingers through your hair or caress your cheek during sex, it may be an indicator they've got strong feelings and, at least subconsciously, they think you’re the real deal. If they avoid your face altogether, chances are they’re feeling much more distant.
They Use A Ton Of Tongue When They Kiss
“They’re either new to the world of intimacy, or they’re experiencing a sense of urgency,” explains Reiman. “They’re telling you they want to explore every part of you. Typically the body movements of this individual will match the
tongue movements. For example, if they’re fast with the tongue, their sexual encounter will mimic that action.”
Basically, if your partner's using a whole lot of tongue, it can mean they want you and they want you
now. That said, there's a chance they don't even realize how much tongue they're using. So if you're not loving all that slobbery action, feel free to give them a gentle heads up. “The tongue is an extremely strong muscle, and quite often the individual doesn’t realize they’re potentially overusing this muscle,” Reiman elaborates. 03
They Grab You By The Waist
“Obviously, this is positional,” says Reiman. “One of the main reasons to
use this position is to either pull you in deeper — thrust-wise — or ... admire and appreciate your measurements, which will typically bring someone to a sexually heightened mental state. This is potentially evolution at work.”
In other words, your partner is likely doing this because they want to get a better feel for your body, both physically and mentally (particularly if they are the penetrating partner in this scenario). They want to understand just how well your bodies fit together.
They Touch Your Forehead
If you find yourself forehead-to-forehead with your partner, odds are you have some pretty intense feelings for each other. In Wood’s words, this is a “beautifully symbolic” gesture. “You want to be of like mind,” she explains. “You want to sink into their thoughts. Head to head, [you’re saying,] ‘I want to meld minds with you, I want to think what you’re thinking. I want to be so in touch with you.’”
A kiss on the forehead, however, might mean something completely different. Wood says
forehead kisses (or kisses on the top of your head, for that matter) are driven by a “paternal” and “nurturing instinct.” This doesn’t inherently mean your partner views you as a child, but it doesn’t carry the same kind of emotional weight as a mind-melding forehead touch. 05
They Bite Or Nibble You
If your partner's getting a little nibbly, it's likely because they're aiming to amp up your excitement and pleasure, not trying to hurt you. “Many areas of the body become extra sensitive because of increased blood flow during arousal,” explains Reiman. “A gentle bite or slight nibble during this time allows your body to react with excitement as endorphins are released and pain is perceived as pleasure.”
“[The] neck is very much an erogenous zone,” says Reiman. “It represents an emotional connection to another individual.” She also says eye contact and neck-nuzzling during sex are two huge tip-offs that your
partner is emotionally invested, and not just looking for a meaningless hookup. Conversely, if your partner is intentionally avoiding eye contact and not getting nuzzly, it means they're trying to keep their emotional distance, despite how physically close you two are in that moment.
“Although it does not hold as much meaning as eye contact during sex, nuzzling the neck demonstrates a feeling of connection…” Reiman explains. “If [neither is] attempted, it is more of a sexual encounter, as opposed to a
lovemaking experience.” 07
They Spend A Lot Of Time On Your Hands & Feet
Did a new partner just spend a lot of time
touching your feet? As it turns out, this might not be a foot fetish situation. According to Wood, if someone heads straight for your feet or fingers, it probably means they’re too nervous to touch other parts of your body or focus in on your face. Kissing or touching your extremities sends a hot message, but it’s also a little distant. “That seems safer,” says Wood. “It’s sexy, but it’s safer.” 08
They Hold Your Hands While Hooking Up
Davide Angelini / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images
Your hand doesn’t have as many nerve endings, so your partner isn’t necessarily trying to turn you on, but they want you to know that they’re
there, and they feel close to you. “They want to maintain a connection with you that has more intimacy attached to it,” Wood explains. “It’s a sign of tenderness, and it’s a signal of connection, rather than just passion or lust.” Experts cited: Tonya Reiman , nonverbal communication specialist Patti Wood , body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma