You may be a leg man—or a breast guy—so there’s a pretty good chance you’re ignoring the sexiest female organ of all: her brain. “Many guys crash and burn in their quest to be a great lover because they forgot that the most important part of her body is her mind,” says Reef Karim, MD, author of Why Does She Do That? Why Does He Do That? and the director of The Control Center, a sex, drugs, and relationship treatment center in Beverly Hills. Follow his advice on stroking her head, so her body will naturally follow you into bed.

Be patient. When you have a new girl’s attention and you’re working to close the deal, don’t rev your engines prematurely. “You don’t want to come across like a predator,” says Dr. Karim. “No girl wants to hook up with a creeper.” To avoid that vibe, don’t stare too much—particularly at her lady parts—don’t be too touchy-feely, or get too physical too soon. “When a woman is worried you could hurt her, it’s over. So much of her enjoyment is about feeling safe.” 

Think about ambience. Girls instinctually appreciate that candles and mood lighting are romantic. That’s probably not your own natural instinct, but it’s an easy angle that steers girls in a sexy direction. “Guys don’t care if candles are lit or not,” says Dr. Karim. “We don’t care if it’s dark and we can’t see or if all the lights are on.” But girls may be more insecure about their bodies, so setting the lighting so that it’s dim enough that she doesn’t have to be overly self-conscious will up your odds of a steamy night.

Play to her sense of smell. A pleasant aroma—mixed with a cocktail of pheromones—goes a long way toward turning everyone on, since your olfactory sense is the strongest. “Incense and natural smells are always better than cheesy cologne,” says Dr. Karim. “Drakkar Noir is now a repellent like mosquito spray.” Individual smell preferences differ from woman to woman, so impress her even more by asking if she prefers the scent of sandalwood, roses—or a garlicky tomato sauce instead. “A little research into what she likes can go a long way in the bedroom.”

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Turn on some tunes. The music needs to go with the theme of the night, but it shouldn't be too distracting. The focus should be on you and her, not your own personal playlist. “Death metal may turn you on, but it doesn't turn on many women,” says Dr. Karim. “I think music is less specific than smells. You can throw on some Sade or Barry White, and at the worst she’ll think it’s cheesy, but at least it’s not a distractor. There is certain music that goes with a little bit of romance, but other music is a turnoff.” And again, asking her what she likes to listen to is a surefire way to impress. 

Find common ground. Before you launch into your come-back-to-my-place lines, talk about shared moments from the night you’ve shared. “For women, it’s all about mood and timing, and sex talk too early is a big risk,” says Dr. Karim. So much of the seduction talk is a dance. “You meet a woman in a bar, and she knows it could go somewhere—and so do you—so roll with it. Eventually you will get her back to your place, but don’t talk about it. If you tell her she should see your bed, it looks like you’re predetermined, and for a woman, that usually ruins it.” 

Be confident—not egomaniacal. There’s a very fine line between the two. “Confidence is rooted in, ‘I am comfortable with myself and I believe in what I’m doing,’ and being ego-driven is primarily based in insecurity,” says Dr. Karim. “Confidence comes from the inside out, and ego is coming from the outside in.” So don’t brag about your sweet wheels or that you’re tight with a hot-shot club promoter, let the cool things about you leak out more subtly. A guy with humility is far sexier to a woman than a show-off. “The guys who are most comfortable in their own skin get the most women. A six pack doesn't hurt, but it's not necessary.”

Make her laugh. Appealing to a woman’s sense of humor immediately ups your odds of getting her to have sex with you. To wit: Russell Brand is almost frightening to look at, but you can’t argue his success in the sack. Just make sure she's laughing with you and not at you. “Unless clowns are a turn on for her,” says Dr. Karim. But even if you’re being funny, if you come across like you're reciting a guy's pick up manual, you're going to blow it“Be yourself. Unless you're a douche bag. Then pretend you're someone else less douchey.”