Human body language can take on many different forms, which can be both subconscious and conscious actions. Crossed legs can mean a wide range of things when performed in certain ways or when perceived by other people.
You may have often found yourself wondering, why are crossed legs attractive?
Whether it is done by a man or a woman, crossing the legs can be extremely attractive and can signal a range of emotions including dominance, insecurity and sexual interest.
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What Do Crossed Legs Symbolize?
A number of psychologists that study human body language have found the crossed legs position in women to be a sign that she is interested in a guy. This can be general interest, or sexual interest.
Normally, a woman would cross her legs with the knees pointing towards the person she is interested in, as a subconscious sign that she is focused on that person.
For some women, crossed legs can be a sign that she is disinterested in the people or situations around her.
If her legs are crossed, but her knees are pointed towards an exit or other area away from people, this can be a sign that she is insecure or ready to leave the situation she is currently in.
When out with another person romantically, you can use these physical body language cues to determine how well a date is going and if she is interested in you or ready to make her exit. If her knees are pointed towards you, it shows there may be some chemistry between you two.
Other potential meanings of the crossed legs in both men and women include:
- Physical Comfort
Some individuals can simply find crossing their legs when sitting to be a comfortable and natural position for them. There may be no underlying intention or feeling along with it, and it is simply how they normally choose to sit in all situations.
Crossing the legs is common when a person is relaxed and comfortable in their current surroundings. This can be with a group of friends, when relaxing at home, or in other locations where a threat is not perceived.
Tightly crossing the legs when sitting, or crossing the legs while standing against a wall, can be a sign of insecurity and fear. The assumption by psychologists is that by crossing the legs in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation, you make your physical profile smaller and more passive.
- Sexual Teasing
Normally seen in women and not men, crossing the legs repeatedly can be a slight tease to show sexual interest in a partner. Slowly crossing and uncrossing legs by women in short skirts could be a sign that she is trying to get your attention.
Why Do Females Sit Cross-Legged?
Cross-legged sitting for females is a tradition and social expectation that goes back well into the 1300s and Victorian times. Women were taught to sit with crossed legs as a sign of femininity and delicacy, as this smaller, more delicate profile made them look more attractive to men that were potential suitors.
Over time, the etiquette rules for how women should sit changed and became more free during World War II, but then reverted back to more traditional ways of sitting in the 1950s. Since then, most women have been taught that sitting with crossed legs is ladylike and makes them much more attractive overall.
Historically, it was a sign of virginity which was desirable to a woman’s potential husband, and from there it moved into a more accepted way to display a graceful appearance for ladies and women of all ages.
Women were taught to value their feminine silhouette and to make themselves appear smaller and more graceful when amongst men in a group setting.
Additionally, many women throughout history wore skirts that were knee-length or shorter.
Sitting with legs crossed was socially accepted as it hid the view of private areas on their body. Crossing the legs allowed the ladies to sit comfortably while wearing short skirts and preserving their dignity.
Why Are Crossed Legs Attractive?
When a woman crosses her legs, it accentuates the muscles in her calves and upper thigh. This can be an appealing and very attractive view for others in the area.
Additionally, some individuals find men that sit and cross their legs to be attractive, as this casual and relaxed seating position shows they are confident in their sexuality and won’t have a toxic or dominant attitude like men that “manspread” tend to.
Crossed legs in both females and males, especially when it signals interest towards another person, can be subconsciously attractive when on dates or when getting to know someone for the first time.
When speaking with someone, if they cross their legs and point their knees towards you, it is a conscious or subconscious sign that they are focused on the moment and what you have to say.
This simple gesture can make awkward introductions more enjoyable, even if the person sitting with crossed legs is doing so subconsciously. Body language plays a huge role in social interactions between people of all ages and both genders, and crossed legs or crossed ankles can be a very noticeable sign to look for.
Other similar body language signs can include crossed arms, standing with crossed legs, standing with legs in a defiant “A” or “II” position, as well as sitting with one leg bent under your buttocks. These can all signal confidence, insecurity, or social or sexual interest from both men and women when in social settings.
Whether you are a man or a woman, sitting with crossed legs can be a way to symbolize many body language emotions including confidence, insecurity, and sexual interest.
For the majority of women, sitting with legs crossed was also a way to preserve their dignity when wearing short skirts or dresses, as it hides the view of their private areas.
Social norms in many cultures have taught women to sit crossed legged as a sign of femininity and symbol of virginity, which is desirable to male suitors.