22 February 2010

"Fools give you reasons, wise men never try" --Rogers & Hammerstein

[A Belly Button Brush. Keepin' it clean, folks.]

I've been thinking about the Belly Button Theory lately. Why? Because, invariably, a day or two after I attend a party, I realize I have, once again, failed to check out this theory in action when I was there. It isn't my theory (read: so, really, how good a theory can it be?) but I do like theories, for the most part. Especially, ones named for body parts.

The Belly Button Theory states that, in a social situation where people self-configure (not assigned seating), that regardless of who a man is talking to or standing with or nibbling on, even, he'll orient his belly button in the direction of the person to which he's most attracted.

Here's my thinking on this:

First, I'll bet "Belly Button Theory" is the polite name and that it really refers to where a different part of his anatomy is pointing.*

Second, I don't think I buy it.

I do think you can tell a lot about people by the way they orient their bodies in relation to other people. In fact, a regular game of mine is to try to predict the success of a WaPo DateLab match-up by how the couple looks in the candid picture(s) before I ingest a single word of the write-up. Do they look like they're enjoying being near each other? Are they touching? Do they have matching expressions (Do they both look goofy/happy/whatever?) And you can get a feel for some of that looking at how people are configured at parties.

That said, I think I have detected that frisson from men who have sat next to me or stood at an acute angle, regardless of where they, and their buttons, are facing. I still vote for proximity over button direction. But, as I said, my research is limited. So, clue me in...

Question du jour: Do you buy into the Belly Button Theory?

* I know what I'm thinking, what are you thinking?**

** Spleen? Really? You're going with that answer?


Narm said...


Of course my only evidence is the fact that I do this EVERY TIME I look at internet porn.

Kate said...

Well, considering that I'm so dense about relationships with men that someone who liked me would have to hit me over the head with a bat, I am just going to watch the answers.

AbbotOfUnreason said...

I think that a more accurate forecast could be made using a formula that took into account (in public social settings), the angle formed where the end points of the intersecting lines are the person we're testing's head and either a) in a standing situation the feet of the attractor or b) in a sitting situation the hips of the attractor, wherein the intersection/angle point is taken to be the a) feet or b) hips of the attractee.

But this probably only works with geeks.

Momma always told me, if you can look down her shirt, either she's interested or you are.

Liebchen said...

Somehow I'd never heard of this theory, but I'm inclined to agree with you on proximity over belly button orientation.

I also can't wait until the next time I can test this for myself...

Maya said...

Hmmm, that is a tough one. I'll need to do some research. Generally, I'm pretty good at reading body language. I've never heard of this theory before, however.

Titania said...

Never heard of this theory before, but I guess I have herd of variations of it. At the end, what I seem to take away from them is that if your body points in a general direction towards someone you must like him/her. It kinda makes sense to me

Reya Mellicker said...

How fun to learn about a theory I haven't thought of yet. Or maybe never would. Yeah, probably never would.

I like it as a theory very much. It has elegance and yet is slightly gross, a lovely combination. I'll definitely check it out next time I'm out and about.

lbluca77 said...

For women would it be the boob theory? Do we point our boobs in the direction of the man we are most attracted?

Mac and Cheese said...

Does it matter if he's an innie or an outtie?

Lemon Gloria said...

I do but I don't think it's belly button or penis - I think it's likely that people are likely to face their body toward the person to whom they're most attracted. You might not turn your face that way, as you'd be conscious of which way you're looking. But the body, yes. Now I have to pay attention in social situations - this is really interesting!

Also, I should get my husband a belly button brush.

brad said...

I've been walking around letting my belly button do all the real talking for me? Oh, yeah: I'm gonna brush it. And then I'm gonna wash it out with soap.

Tinksfairy said...

I think there's some truth to it - I've noticed guys who later asked me out orienting their upper bodies toward me (I've never heard the "belly button" version)

Of course the beauty of this theory is if you see a particularly attractive member of the opposite (or same if that's your thing) sex, you can just, you know, sort of shuffle over to that window where they're facing you and then pat yourself on the back!

Mike said...

*You know what I was thinking.

Dmbosstone said...

Doesn't that mean where he entire body is usually pointed at? It's rare you are contorting you upper and lower half because you want to point you stomach at somebody.

Ms Smitten said...

hey, following on from 'abbot' - absolutely, and take it from me... if I fancy you I'll make sure you have ample reason and wherewithal to look down my shirt.. and if I don't, I won't.

on the belly-button thing.. what;s the group position on men wearing trousers so high they obscure the entire region? A bad, bad thing?

Barbara said...

I'm still recovering from a comment at the gym today from a neighborhood guy older than I am. He looked at me as my trainer had me doing some sort of exercise with a yoga block between my thighs and said, "You've got something between your legs!" I just looked at him incredulously and wanted to say, "You do, too," but instead I rolled my eyes and Emily kept counting. I didn't happen to look at what direction his BB was pointing.

Alice said...

ooh, interesting theory. now *i* can't wait to get into a social setting and check it out... i'll report back with my findings.. :-)

Bob said...

I'm intrigued, but it worries me that now I'll be checking out belly button directions rather than other things.

Tracie said...

I've never heard of this but I think you're right.

Toe said...

I don't know if this is true or not because the Hubs has no belly button but I know he likes to talk to me anyway. Also, we were discussing this at the firehouse the other day and one of the Captains said that if you are at a bar and some guy is squeezing his glass and rotating it it means he's envisioning your boobs. I think this was guy intelligence I was not supposed to know.

lacochran said...

Narm: OMG! Were you facing the monitor when you were reading my post?!

Kate: You're into bats? Huh.

AbbotofUnreason: We're going to need a whiteboard.

Liebchen, Maya, Lemon Gloria, Alice: Do let us know what you find out!

Titania: Unless you're eight--then you hit and run, right?

Reya Mellicker: That's what I strive for--elegant and slightly gross.

lbluca77: Are you saying you do this?

Mac and Cheese: It does to me. Wait, what?

brad: :)

Tinksfairy: Ooo, interesting corollary--can you create the dynamic by positioning yourself in their "angle of attraction"?

Mike: Of course.

Dmbosstone: Maybe if you're an Olympic gymnast?

Ms. Smitten: So, you prefer your men to show their belly buttons?

Barbara: I'm rolling my eyes in solidarity.

Bob: People will still assume you're checking out other things.

Tracie: That's really all I've ever wanted. Thanks.

Toe: Ha! Touche!