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Thigh body language


Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Thigh body language

Opening | Closing | Crossing | Lifting | Touching | See also


Thighs are the upper legs, containing the femur and a lot of muscle. They have a ball joint at the top that allows full rotation and a hinge at the knee at the bottom.


When the thighs are rotated apart, they expose the genitals and thus send a very inviting message. In intercourse, a woman's thighs are open and thus this is a particularly strong suggestion, particularly when wearing a short skirt or dress.

For men it says something along the lines 'Hey, look at my great big penis!' For other men, this can mean 'My penis is bigger than yours!'

Opening the thighs also expose the genitals to attack and this move may also be a power display, saying 'You dare not attack me because I am so powerful.'

In a relaxed pose, the thighs are typically slightly open, with legs running in parallel from the hips.


In an opposite of opening, thighs that are pulled tight together send a signal of rejection that says something like 'No way you're getting in here!'

Knees together can be quite a prim move, particularly when sitting. When wearing a short skirt, it can also be a pragmatic position to prevent embarrassing and socially undesirable exposure of the genitals.


Crossing the thighs, standing or sitting, takes the defensiveness of closing further. It is often a strong 'closed' signal very much like crossing the arms right across the body. When the upper body is open and the thighs are closed, this may be a symptom of the person applying deliberate control to their upper body but forgetting (and over-compensating with) their legs.

This can also be a relaxed position, particularly when the muscles seem loose.


Lifting the thigh is a basic element of walking and may be a signal of a desire to walk away.

The weight of the body rests on the legs and the thigh has the largest muscles to manage this precarious balance. Lifting the thigh may simply be a stretching exercise.

Bouncing the thigh up and down may be a signal of impatience.


When people are about to stand up, they may put both hands on the thighs to push themselves up. This may also be a signal of readiness ('I'm ready to go!').

Putting both hands on the thighs with the elbows out sideways can be a sitting version of hands-on-hips, widening the body and showing displeasure or threatening action.

Touching the thighs draws attention to them. As the thighs are near the genitals, touching can be very suggestive. The nearer the genitals the hands move, the more inviting it is. Touching the inside of the leg is more suggestive than touching the outside of the leg.

The thigh may be slapped as a self-punishment or 'gee up' self motivation.

See also

Arm body language


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