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One Secret Sign Someone Is Sexually Attracted to You, Say Psychologists

What happens to your body when you’ve got the hots for someone—and vice versa.

When you experience sexual attraction IRL, your body reacts in some interesting—and often totally weird—ways. Your pupils will dilate, your body will start to accumulate sweat, you'll likely feel a rush of dopamine, and your body may even start subtly mimicking their physical movements.

Most of these signs that you're crushing hard are difficult to spot in real time. But according to a fascinating new investigation into the science of voice and attractiveness published by the BBC, there's at least one major thing you're doing when you think someone is really attractive that you may not know about. And if they're into you? They're doing it, too. Read on for what it is. And for more news from the front lines of scientific research, make sure you're aware of The Sex Position That Secretly Helps You Sleep Better.

It's All About the Pitch of Our Voices

Two young people sitting on benches in a park and talking

According to a paper presented at the 2018 International Conference on Speech Prosody, researchers from Europe showed why, when you're having a "good conversation" with someone else, you naturally start to alter the pitch of your voice to mimic theirs. The official name for this behavior is called "prosodic entrainment." But when you're on a date, something different happens. (Note that this study, and all of the ones that follow, focus on heterosexual relationships.)

Men's Vocal Pitch Goes Down, Women's Goes Up

Portrait of young beautiful couple on a date drinking coffee in cafe

As the BBC notes, a study in the journal Voice Attractiveness found that our voices do something different when sexual attraction is involved. If you're a man who sexually attracted to a woman, the pitch of your voice will go down. If you're a woman, the pitch of your voice will go up. It "play[s] to our gender stereotypes," notes the BBC. "The more attractive we find someone, the greater the difference [in pitch]."

So if you've just had a meet-cute, and you hear the other person lower or raise the pitch of their voice, it's a sure sign they're crushing hard. And for more science news, know that If You Have This Body Shape, People Think You Crave More Sex, Says Study.

You Can Also Use Your Pitch to Your Advantage

Beautiful young couple with glasses of red wine in luxury restaurant

According to a study published last year in Voice Attractiveness, raising or lowering the pitch of your voice (depending on your sex) isn't just a surefire sign that you're attracted to someone else, but "it also makes the other person more attracted to us. We can use our pitch to manipulate others," writes the BBC.

But There Is One Exception

woman looking at the man on a date in cafe

However, the BBC notes that there's one exception: Sometimes women lower their pitch when they find a man attractive, "particularly if it's a man who is popular with other women."

They note a speed-dating settings, some women will lower the pitch of their voices when talking with men who are clearly the most popular. "Like our politicians, it might be that they were trying to appear more serious and less naïve than their competitors," noted Katarzyna Pisanski, a bioacoustician at the University of Lyon, to the BBC. And for more news from the front lines of sex and science, see why Older Women Who Do This Have Worse Sex, Says New Study.

William Mayle
William Mayle is a UK-based writer who specializes in science, health, fitness, and other lifestyle topics. Read more about William
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