Few guys want to get caught gazing lovingly into your eyes across a coffee shop table or watch manly athletic events while being pa-cute and cuddling you in a sports bar. But, there are some public displays of affection that dudes do get into—namely, the ones below.
1. The Arm Lock
That casual way you lace your arm through ours as we walk side by side might seem subtle, but it’s one of those traditional, old-school gestures that makes us feel strong, protective, and desirable. “I love knowing my girlfriend feels safe around me,” says Andrew, 23. “And when she grabs my arm, it’s like she is excited to be seen with me and wants other women to know I’m hers.”
2. The Stealth Caress
The key to this under-the-table stroke is knowing the difference between sexy and inappropriate (we’re not looking for a Wedding Crashers–esque reach under, thanks). “I was having dinner with my girl and her friends and was kind of zoning out when she grazed my leg with her fingertips,” says Owen, 26. “I was at full attention after that, literally and figuratively.” So, let a hand stray onto our thigh, and if it gravitates a little north of there, so be it. The whole “we’re not supposed to be doing this” vibe is a massive turn-on, and the contact heightens anticipation for what you have in store for later.
3. The Whisper
In public situations, when even a quick squeeze is in poor taste, there are other ways to convey how tight you two are (yes, guys care about outward appearances). Example: Lean in close, making sure your lips graze his ear, and whisper something. Whether you reveal what color of panties you’re wearing or just ask us to pick up your dry cleaning, the viewing audience sees two people speaking on a private, intimate level. Bonus: The ear is a neglected erogenous zone, so your warm breath can trigger full-body tingles.
4. The Ass Grab
Take us by surprise with a quick posterior pinch and you can change our name to Putty and our hometown to In Your Hands. This gesture is a silent way of saying that you’re, well, horny...and what’s not to like about that? Plus, it makes us feel great to know that you can look but then you have to touch. Bong, 30, explains the ego stroke: “It makes me feel like my girl can’t keep her hands off me, and I’m totally okay with that.” Just remember not to squeeze while we’re holding a beer, a plate of pulutan, or anything else that might spill—we startle easily.