The phrase “bedroom eyes” refers to a glance or look given by one person to another to suggest a romantic or sexual desire. The recipient has the feeling that the person with such eyes is almost hypnotizing them into similar feelings. These eyes are described in various ways, but tend to be dreamy, sultry and seductive eyes.
“Bedroom eyes” is a non-literal or semi-literal collocation where two words, ‘bedroom’ plus ‘eyes,’ have been placed together in order to derive a third meaning. In this case, the hidden meaning is a desire and invitation to something else. The bedroom is the desire and the eyes make the invitation.
The reaction is in the eyes of the beholder, literally. This means that the phenomenon could be a simple matter of perception. The person who likes the person with “bedroom eyes” is seeing an attractive feature rather than a projected look created in order to get the other to bed. This means having such eyes is sub-conscious and cannot be recreated.
To describe someone as having “bedroom eyes” is to attribute to him or her a positive aspect. This insinuates that the beholder wants to see something positive in the other person and wants to be seduced by them; what he or she sees reflected is his or her own desire. If he or she did not want to see “bedroom eyes,” he or she would describe the person as “lecherous” or “seedy.”
Eyes have been associated with conveying inner emotions and desires for centuries. Science is beginning to understand how eyes reflect a person's personality and can be used in sex. Orebro University in 2007 tested iris patterns and then compared them to personality types and found a clear correlation. The University of Melbourne in 2010 tested minute eye movements to study where people look when they are flirting. These studies complement others on the important role of eyes and eye contact in seduction.
The phrase has appeared as a film title in the 1980s. William Fruet’s movie concerns a voyeuristic runner who aims to look at women or a woman, but instead witnesses a murder. Bedroom Eyes is also the name of a Swedish rock-pop singer, whose real name is Jonas Jonsson, who debuted in 2009.