Shoot that poison arrow

So, ladies – I can only do this one from a female perspective, but hang on in there, chaps, you might learn something. Ahem… So, ladies, you have identified your target, but how do you achieve a direct hit? How do you ensure the object of your desire is struck by your ‘l want you’ arrows?

We are not necessarily talking about love here, but pure lust, and ways of subtly letting the male know that you are very keen to share more than a handshake with him.

From my experience, very few men notice the kind of signals suggested in magazines – eye contact, brushing past, flicking your hair. Most would not even see it if you wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘I’d like to get jiggy with you’ in neon pink across your chest.

Unfortunately, to ensnare your prey you need to work hard, campaign and sometimes be prepared for the long game. It took me three years to finally get it on with The Man. Other personal relationships and obstacles did hamper progress, but he had no idea I fancied him for the first two years. And I surprised myself that my interest and resolve was as strong in the third year as it was in the first.

With this, I may not be the best person to advise, but here are some suggestions anyway:

Find a way to talk: Looking longingly at him and trying to catch his eye are just not enough. He will just think you are staring at him like a nutter and rather than arousing his interest, you are just scaring him off. Ok – you want to admire the view, as you totally, utterly want him, but be subtle about it.

Join in: If he’s a work colleague, make sure you go to any social outings he’s at – being around and accessible means you are not as forgettable as you could be. If he’s a friend of a friend find times when he is going to be out/around.

Non-obvious stalking: Don’t actually stalk – this is not only scary for your target, but can land you in trouble with the law, with an injunction or even custodial sentence! And being a psycho is not going to do anything for your sex life. What I mean is if you know he is in a certain place at a certain time e.g. in the work canteen, waiting to catch a particular bus or train or in the supermarket, show up from time to time. I don’t mean be there every time without fail or he will start to panic and change his routine to avoid you. From time to time, even once a week (but don’t pick the same day every week or he will notice a pattern) be about, breeze past, say ‘hello’ if you dare, smile, tuck your hair behind your ear. Don’t linger – walk by, get the milk out of the fridge, do whatever you have to, but move on. A fleeting appearance can leave a bigger impression than giving him a full account of your crappy day or the argument you had in the shoe shop when you wanted a refund.

Smarten up: Take a little bit of extra time on your appearance if you can. Check your makeup is tidy – no panda marks under your eyes – and your hair looks clean even if it isn’t. Wear things that highlight your best bits e.g. if you have good boobs, a bit of cleavage doesn’t do any harm, as long as you are not in the realms of a lusty serving wench in a 17th century tavern. If you have good legs, show them off. To do all this, you don’t have to dress obscenely – this won’t go down well at work and your friends will think you’ve had a knock on the head. Just look in the mirror and think “would I fancy me?” or “what will he notice first if I wear this dress?”

Create a ‘oops’ moment: Once your ‘breezing by’ routine is established, I don’t see anything wrong with you creating a situation where you have to interact, even if it is an old cliché. Dropping a pile of papers near him, forcing him to come and help you pick them up, may have been applied in dozens of movies, but it’s worth a go. It will test out whether he’s a selfish git or a polite and helpful sweetie if nothing else. Alternatives are accidentally bumping into him in a crowded place, dropping something out of your handbag on the platform or near the bus stop, even spilling a drink. Even if he helps you up and asks if you are alright before walking off, it gives you something to refer to next time.

Take an interest: Assuming you get talking eventually be completely, utterly interested in everything about him (even if your only interest is seeing him naked). So, you are supressing a yawn when he drones on about Formula One, steam trains, logarithms or computer programming. But you have to put on your best Oscar-winning performance and look fascinated. You should even listen well enough to ask him a few questions on his specialist subject – this will impress him no end.

Take it to another place: The conversation has to continue – either in a bar, restaurant or if you are daring enough, your sofa or boudoir. Find a way to do this – “we should talk some more in the pub” or your selected venue. If he takes the bait, you are a step closer to take off. If he doesn’t , either he’s tired, not interested or clueless about your less than honourable intentions in which case you will have to start all over again with the above steps. And believe me; I’ve been there – three times.

If all else fails: You could just wait until Christmas – if there’s a work Christmas do or you are out with your friends or feeling extra festive at the bus stop when people around you are a little more jovial than usual. Then, either blurt out that you fancy the arse off him, dive in for a kiss or launch yourself at him. This will at least get you a swift response as to whether the last few weeks/months/years have been an utter waste of time or well worth the graft. If it all goes horribly wrong you can use Christmas as an excuse and pretend you lost it for a few seconds.