When a man touches your thigh, even in public, even in what appears to be a casual manner, it’s an intimate gesture. Thighs are often considered a private part of the body, much like cleavage. Even if it’s on display, say in a low cut shirt or short skirt, the invitation to touch certainly doesn’t extend to the public, casual friends, or anyone else you’re not either directly intimate with or about to be directly intimate with.
Psychology Today expresses the way many men feel about a woman’s legs with this, “Researchers have spent far less time studying men’s attraction to women’s legs than the typical man on the street devotes to gazing at them . . . and maybe finding himself spellbound by them. So—to heterosexual males at least—what’s so special about female gams?”
What’s the answer to why your legs are so alluring to him?
One reason is that women’s legs tend to be so very different from a man’s. They’re often slimmer, softer to the touch, and hairless. Women in general tend to moisturize and care for their bare skin more, making the idea and the act itself of touching your legs sexy. It’s skin, and anytime skin to skin contact is made with someone you’re attracted to your brain releases “reward” chemicals, making it enjoyable and making you want to do it more.
Another reason your legs are so tantalizing to him is that they’re often covered. Jeans, leggings, yoga pants, even long shorts often cover the thigh. He doesn’t see this part of you frequently, making its appearance notable and exciting. The same sort of concept applies in cultures that cover their hair. What isn’t a big deal for many of us, a woman’s hair laying on her shoulders, becomes inexplicably alluring because it’s oft hidden, mysterious, even a bit taboo.
A final reason your thighs catch his eye is because you’ve chosen to show them in this outfit. You’re sending the message that you’re confident and healthy, carrying enough body fat and musculature to make your legs attractive. Yep, I said body fat. Your curves, the gentle slope of toned “thick” thighs, does something extraordinary for him. As Jeraldine Phneah cites, “Researchers at Georgia Gwinnett College and the University of Texas at Austin say that curvy women reward the male brains the same ways a drug does. Their study asked a group of men to look at photographs of women’s naked bodies before and after plastic surgery. None of the women lost weight. Instead their fat had been redistributed to other places. Some essentially gained weight to become more curvy after surgery. MRI scans of the observers’ brains when they looked at curvy women showed activity in the same reward centers activated by pleasurable drugs.”
Back to the question at hand- what does it mean when he touches your thigh? It means he’s noticed your legs, wants to run his hands over them, and that he is still looking at them. It’s a physical declaration of attraction and proximity. If you’re consenting and also attracted, it can be the first act of foreplay.
Remember though, this is an intimate gesture that requires your consent. Even if they’re exposed, no man should feel invited to lay his hands on your skin unless you’ve expressly given him permission and access. If not, brush his hand off, try to regain your space, or, if necessary, tell him how uncomfortable you are. We’re in a Post Harvey Weinstein society. He doesn’t have the right to touch you for any reason other than you’ve e granted it.