Welcome back to Part 3 of our Sexual Magnetism series. Today’s article is from one of our guest editors. Gary is a retired professor, military historian, world traveler and author. Even more importantly, he’s excellent with women. Gary was gracious enough to provide his insight on the subject of flirting and we jumped at the chance to include it in our program. Enjoy.
“If I told you I liked your body, would you hold it against me?”
“May I borrow a quarter?
“I want to call my mother and tell her I just met the girl of my dreams.”
“Are you a parking ticket? Because you’ve got fine written all over you.”
These are cheesy, rehearsed pick-up lines. What I want to talk about here is real flirting. There are numerous sites on how to become a “pick-up artist.” This is not my intent here. Flirting, to me, is the art of affirming another human being’s vibrancy without expectation of “reward.”
As a starting point, and this is not as obvious as one might think, one has to actually like people, especially the people whom one is flirting with. I do not necessarily mean “like” as in “sexually interested” but rather “I want to know you better and I enjoy our interactions.”
Some cultures embrace the art of flirting. Much of Latin America does. Watch a Puerto Rican girl flirt merely by a widening of her eyes. Listen to the exchange between two Venezuelans. Much of the USA does not unless it leads to the bedroom.
Because I was a teacher I love lists. Here are my steps to becoming a good flirt:
1. Be Comfortable With Yourself
To really flirt well you have to first feel totally comfortable with yourself. Self-confidence is, in itself, powerfully attractive. It’s impossible to flirt when one is feeling unattractive—it comes across as insincere self-deprecation instead. Work on improving your self-esteem and self-acceptance. Some of the biggest flirts are not necessarily the best looking—they are just comfortable in their body and with who they are.
2. Don’t Be Desperate
This follows from the first. Ever notice that your attractiveness increases when you are in a relationship with someone else? If you’re a guy in a good relationship, other girls sense you are not “after” something and that someone else finds you attractive too. It makes you less needy. If you are in your happy place and not trying to get laid you will be more likely to just flirt pleasantly. If neediness is the coup de grace for attraction, it follows that confidence is a good fortune cookie.
3. Learn to Smile
A genuine smile is a joy to behold and makes everyone feel good. Ever notice how a child’s smile is infectious? If someone smiles at you, it’s hard to glare back—well, as long as you aren’t already in a fight. By the way, it doesn’t hurt to practice this to avoid the creepy smile, leer, looking too goofy and/or too contrived. It doesn’t have to be all teeth, a real smile will show in the eyes.
4. Make Eye Contact
No need to stare all googly-eyed. Sometimes a mere glance is enough. But you have to look a person in the eye to make a human contact. If you are going to wink, the subtler the better.
5. Move Closer to Her
It seems obvious that proximity is important. One can flirt across the room but you run the risk of appearing to flirt with folks you may not be directing the look at and that could be interesting. A touch on the shoulder or arm can be very flirtatious…just don’t mistake that with pawing.
6. Listen, Listen, Listen
Once engaged, lean in…and listen. Stop trying to be suave and clever. Listen to what the other person is saying and respond. Ask them about themselves because you really want to know the answers. Have an organic conversation. This is not your time to brag about yourself. Be playful, light, don’t take yourself too seriously. The story is told of a beautiful actress who dated two very famous, accomplished and intelligent men. Asked which one was the best date, she replied that the one “who made me feel as intelligent as him,” rather than the one who “made me feel that he was the most intelligent person in the room.”
7. Compliment Her
Who does not like be told they dressed nice today? Which of us hates being told we “smell nice?” How many of us would stay grumpy if someone said we had a nice smile or nice eyes? Keep the physical compliments above the shoulders…until you get to know them much better.
8. Practice Flirting
Finally, flirt with everybody. Enjoy the chance to share a positive moment with another human being. I have never been a woman so when it comes to how a woman should flirt, my advice should be taken with a pinch of salt, but I can tell you what works for me. To be honest, any flirting is going to go over with a guy. We are hardwired to receive even the subtlest of messages. One minor point, don’t try too hard; less is more. I once had a cologne sales girl spray some on my neck, lean in and quickly smell. She leaned back and took what appeared to be a involuntary shudder as she sighed…I purchased the largest bottle she had. On another occasion, walking down a street in Puerto Rico, I glanced at a very attractive young lady and glanced away…and then halted. All she had done was widen her eyes as she returned my glance but the message made me catch my breath…and stop with the fish-lip smile; the tip of the tongue between the teeth is much more enticing.
For guys, we need a bit more practice. I have mentioned several ways above but want to come back to learning to actually like the people we are flirting with. I will flirt with anybody. Grandmothers and their granddaughters because I like women. Go find some women you know and try some of the “techniques” I outlined above. Charm has sadly taken its leave of our social universe. Let’s put it back.
Before I go, here are some things not to do:
- Whistling – She’s not the dog. Seriously, has this ever worked for anybody who wasn’t insanely hot and or famous?
- Cat-calling – In 2018? Did that ever work in high school at the burger drive-in?
- Cheesy Pick-up Lines – Would you really want to be with somebody who falls for them?
Dolly Parton once said, “I love to flirt and I’ve never met a man I didn’t like.” The feminist social critic Bell Hooks offered this take: “I have always been a flirt. My mother says when I was a child I used to stand outside the house and just smile at everyone who walked by. Like, ‘Please take me with you!’”
Get out and smile and flirt.
Thanks again Gary and remember gentlemen, Stay Superior!