Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Drinking Free

Originally published Feb, 2005.

Q: I've been told I don't flirt enough. I am curious to know how does a straight woman flirt with men? And I don't mean the philosophy behind flirting but I want you to notice on your morning commute, while out at night, co-worker flirtation at the copier, etc. what works to get noticed and a guy's attention...aside from her bra size and ass that is.

A: Who is telling you that you don't flirt enough? Your girl friends or the guys around you trying to get your attention.

Oh, I guess you can't really answer me. I understand… shh.

I'm going to assume it's your girl friends. Most guys don't want you flirting unless it's with them or you are supporting them with your job at Hooters. In that case, flirt all you want baby, cuz the cable bill is way overdue.

So how do you do it? Well as a guy, I've been flirted with in all kinds of ways and I guess I can give you a few pointers. First if you are braless (a good flirter is always braless) and wearing a white t-shirt, try pouring a pitcher of water across your chest. That's always a definite attention grabber. Also, if you happen to be standing next to a pole, try holding onto it with your legs and swinging from it. Trust me; it's a guaranteed crowd pleaser. For more intimate flirting, there is a technique known as the table dance.

Okay that is all horrible advice and I apologize. Actually, it's been my experience that straight women flirt with men by writing them emails seeking their advice so for the real deal this month I decided to email a few of my female friends for their expert opinions. Here's a sample of what I got:

"laughing/giggling/touching/eye contact" (I'm assuming that these are distinct. Please don't poke out a dude's eyes while laughing and think that you are being flirtatious.)

"You can flirt with your eyes, your body language - lots of touching of body parts (hand, shoulder, neck, etc.) A flip of the hair, if you can manage it is also a good thing..."

"What has worked for me is being able to make dudes laugh. You bust a few balls, make a few subtle innuendos. Timing and certain looks do well also."

"I find being funny always helps. And sarcasm seems to go pretty far these days. And being interested and aloof all at the same time. Flirting is an art form."

"The biggest key factor of flirting is eye contact, at least that's how I play it. You seem more engaged in the conversation, shows you have confidence and I like to touch a guy's elbow when I flirt, kind of catch their attention. I didn't know people were awkward about it until my friend bitched about my flirting last night and said she can't do it."

"Call him by name, compliment him. Look him in the eye when you speak. Ask him for help with something such as fixing a car or assembling furniture (makes him feel macho), and glance at his mouth when you want to be kissed."

Okay, so there you have it. To sum up the women: you should be funny, make eye contact, touch us as you are talking, and flip your hair. In short, just be more outgoing. Let me also add that laughing at our jokes, no matter how bad they are, goes a long way, as does feigning interest in whatever garbage we seem to be talking about ("ooooh, you write for an independent magazine, that is sooo interesting!"). Trust me, it'll get your bar tab paid.

Oh and one word of warning to the novice flirter: practice in safe environments with people that you are already familiar with. Don't start making jokes and touching every potential stalker you see on the bus. Ease into it, and you'll be swinging from stripper poles in no time. Which brings up another good point:

Q: What is your take on flirting? How far is too far... Is it off limits to flirt with others outside of your relationship when you are dating someone steadily or married? It's something that I love to do and don't due much to the fear of leading someone on and getting myself in a dangerous situation.
A: Well, I know I wasn't supposed to go into the "philosophy behind flirting" but here's the deal: Flirting is a nonverbal means to express interest, specifically sexual interest. So, if you find yourself at the point in your flirting where you are giving your partner a "reach-around", that may be too far. Or at least the flirting portion of the evening may be over.

Is sex with others outside of your relationship off limits? If not, then I can't see any amount being too far. But, if you just want to flirt for the sake of flirting, that's cool too. Just please bear in mind that may not be the signal you're sending the world. I'd say the limits to your flirting should be a function of your intentions and the other person's expectations. Those expectations are hard to know when you meet someone new, so if you have limitations I'd get them out in the open pretty damn early. Drop hints about the existence of your boyfriend, husband, or dominatrix between giggles and touches so that at least people know where you stand.

Even then, I'm sure you'll get your drinks for free.