By Jane Hoskyn
1. He’s brilliant at eye contact
Eye contact is extremely seductive – and no-strings men know this. These players are all about getting sex, and they’ll only stay for breakfast if it involves hand relief and a quick goodbye.
Players are masters of body language. They know to lean in as you speak, to brush your arm with theirs and let your knees touch for a moment longer than necessary. Most of all, they’re very good at eye contact.
A guy who wants you for more than sex will be too nervous for all this stuff. He’ll get goose bumps and mess up his words. He’ll find it especially hard to meet your eye, because it’ll make him blush like a baboon’s bum.
2. He talks about himself more than about you
He wants to impress you, because that’s his way into your knickers. He’ll bang on about his exotic travels, his amazing career and the time he lit a cigarette for Jeremy Clarkson.
But he doesn’t want to know much about you beyond whether you can cross your ankles behind your head. He may ask about your housemates, but only as research for when he invites himself back for coffee.
3. He avoids serious topics
He won’t discuss personal matters, because he doesn’t want to run the risk of you hugging him or, horrors, opening up your own baggage. If he mentions his ex, it’s only because he’s not over her and wants a rebound fling.
4. Friends aren’t part of the conversation
A no-strings man doesn’t want to involve you in his life. His friends are more important than you are, so he won’t chat to you about them and he certainly won’t introduce you. If your friends were to turn up in the pub, he’d make his excuses and leave.
5. He chooses your date venue
It’s especially easy to spot a player if you go to the cinema. A man who joins you for a chick flick is either gay or really interested in you. A man who insists on seeing Watchmen – when you don’t know what Watchman is – is only taking you to the pictures because he wants sex afterwards.
6. He’s dismayed by a gift
If you’ve been chatting online for a while, you might think it’s nice to bring along a little pressie. Big risk.
If he opens it with blushing pleasure and says ‘my turn next time,’ you’re doing well. If he says ‘you shouldn’t have,’ goes silent and looks uncomfortable, he’s terrified that you’re about to start sending out wedding invitations.
7. He asks you to go Dutch
This is a tricky one. Not all bill-splitting men are just after sex, and not all bill-payers are after a relationship. In fact, lavishing you with drinks and dinner is part of the player’s sex-getting strategy.
However, our quick poll of male daters revealed that most men would want to ‘treat you’ and ‘be the man’ on a first date if they wanted a relationship. ‘I’d only ask a woman to go Dutch if I didn’t care what she thought of me,’ says Simon, 38. ‘We’d split the bill, have sex and say goodbye in the morning. Casual and independent.’
8. He can’t keep his hands off you
If you’re on a 10th date with a guy who can’t control his public displays of affection, lucky you! Always nice to have a boyfriend who thinks you’re the sexiest thing alive.
But most men will only paw you on a first date if they don’t want a relationship. They know that women want gentlemen, but if they’re only after sex they don’t care about the impression they’re making.
9. He doesn’t chat or cuddle after sex
Once he’s got you back to his place (or yours) for sex, it’ll be fast and furious. He won’t spend time worrying about how to please you, because he’s the one who counts. Afterwards, he’ll roll over and sleep the sleep of the thoroughly shagged.
10. He doesn’t call
If a man doesn’t call after you had sex on a first date, it doesn’t mean that he’s shy or playing hard to get. It means he’s got what he wanted. Recommended reading: He’s Just Not That Into You.
A man who really likes you will call, probably within 24 hours of your first date. It won’t be a booty call, either. He’ll want to chat, and to hear the sound of your voice, and he’ll be terrified. Be nice to him – he could be around for a while.