5. Pay attention to his carnal foreknowledge.
"In 10 seconds," says Sheldon Burman, director and founder of Chicago's Male Sexual Dysfunction Clinic, "I can tell you his sexual orientation, I can tell you if he's an enthusiastic sexual participant, I can tell you if he's seething with rage."
Short of scheduling an appointment with Dr. Burman, how can amateurs judge a potential bedmate? Warning signals include a sallow complexion, labored breathing, shaky hands, poor coordination, or the general appearance of poor health. According to Burman, "if they look unwell, they're probably not functioning sexually."
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6. Look beyond his bone structure.
Deborah Gunther, who practices the ancient Chinese art of facial reading, says there are countless ways to gauge a person's character through his face. A mouth full of curves is a sign of a sense of humor. Watch out for large, round nostrils, which could mean he can't hold onto money, or a jaw that is wider than his forehead, which signals a dictatorial personality. Thin lips can point to emotional repression, while fuller lips signal sensuality; and if you can see the inside of his lip when his mouth is closed, he may be promiscuous.
7. Listen to his voice.
Our reaction to a man's voice is often instinctive and immediate. According to Sam Chwat, director of New York Speech Improvement Services, the response is primal: "Humans react differently to an animal that whimpers than to an animal that oars."
However, Chwat notes, though one might interpret a soft voice as a sign of timidity, it could signal a willingness to listen. Similarly, an overly strident, forceful delivery might be his way of compensating for insecurity. (There could be a tiny mouse hidden inside that great big lion!)
8. Notice his money style.
The doorman at New York's Four Seasons Hotel is a longtime observer of the wealthy—and those who wish they were. His wisdom: "If a man is too interested in flash, his money is probably poorly managed." According to his colleague up the street, at the Pierre, "The watch tells you everything." Don't forget to check out his feet: The doormen concur that brown shoes paired with a blue suit equal a bad tip.
9. Look into the crystal ball.
"Everyone is born psychic," says Tina Vlado at The Village Psychic in New York. "Some just more than others." Those of us less preternaturally inclined simply have to focus.
"When you first meet someone," Vlado suggests, "stop for a second, breathe, and get a sense of the energy." Strong, silent types are usually easier to read. "When they're talking too much, it's almost like they're hiding something," she says.
10. Focus on topics that reveal his values.
Adele Testani, the cofounder of HurryDate, is candid about first impressions. "You're not going to be able to tell if you want to marry him," she says. "But you can tell a lot about humor, attraction, and chemistry."
In a speed-dating scenario, nerves run high. So pay less attention to what he's saying—"My name is Harry, I enjoy sushi and Trivial Pursuit"—than to which topics end up dominating his time. You'll learn more about his values while taking into account the limits of the situation.
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Savannah Ashour is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, N.Y