Wikipedia even has an entry on flirting, but we guess that's not surprising, for what doesn't Wikipedia have an entry on?
Flirting or coquetry is a social and sometimes sexual activity involving verbal or written communication as well as body language by one person to another, suggesting an interest in a deeper relationship with the other person.Let's let that do as an introduction to the subject. [Our questions of Sharon are in italics.]
First, just to establish that you're super-qualified to talk about flirting, how many times have you flirted, approximately? Over a hundred, right? A thousand times? More?
A thousand is probably more accurate. Once I saw the response to my flirting, I was hooked on it! When I see the lust, admiration, or whatever that look means, I suddenly feel beautiful, sexy, and I believe my whole body exhibits this change. My female friends have told me they can see a change.
You're qualified! Okay, let's say you see a man you'd like to flirt with...but first, let us ask you this: You don't just flirt with any man you see, right? How do you decide whether to flirt or not?
Really, it's by intuition. I see a face that, to me, looks intelligent, happy, smiling. He's not laughing too loudly or drinking rapidly. Is he looking around with the unmistakable "I'm available" look on his face? It is a process that really cannot be put down on paper. Each woman has her own intuition on who she is looking for.
"Available"? You mean....
He wants what he sees. Now that does not mean I will leave with him or have any further contact, not until I do some background checks. Many men have that "I'm available" look, but it is up to me to make sure he really is available.
But what do you mean by "available"?
I have learned that all or at least 98% of men are available for sex, behind a bar, in the bathroom, a vehicle, a hallway, or any place they can find.
When I say available I mean free of any encumbrance (females). I don't want some guy's girlfriend or wife, or both calling me or bugging me in any way. Been there done that. I don't like threats. I don't want a man who will cheat on his wife as he would do the same to me.
Okay, you've identified your available-looking man. What's the first thing you do?
Cross my legs, away from the table so they can be seen, put the "Mona Lisa smile" on my face, no teeth, not too wide a smile, slightly tilt my head down, 1/4 turn toward the "target," a second of eye contact, look down "embarrassed"—I have been caught looking, and smiling. I move the crossed leg slightly up and down the leg on the ground, as if trying to ease an itch.
Please explain why you're pretending to be embarrassed. This seems to be an important point. What's the psychology here?
To give the impression it was a chance look, totally unplanned, innocent. Funny, men always think they are the ones who are initiating contact, but then we girls like it that way.
Interesting! What next?
I wait, occasionally glancing over, quickly back, again as though embarrassed at being caught looking.
Now what if he's not responding as you expected? Can you give an example or two of what you might do to "correct course"?
I might stand, slowly smooth my dress or skirt down the front of my legs, "accidentally" knock my purse, napkin, or something that requires me to bend over to retrieve it, showing my rear and cleavage at the same time.
When I stand up, I pretend to have to go somewhere, say to the restroom, and I do the "Marilyn Monroe walk." Slow, slight swing of hips, slightly leaning back, putting one foot in front of the other, as a model walks. Men notice the slow, deliberate walk and are reminded of sex, even with an overweight woman.
This was a pose I used when I was belly dancing. Very sensuous and clearly an invitation. Usually gets a drink sent over or an invitation to dance, depending on where I am.
Belly dancing? Well, we guess we need not go into that...So, the flirting is intended to attract a man's attention in order to get something from him?
It may be flirting only—it just feels good to have a man or men drooling over what they can't have. If the man joins me, or joins me and my friends, we will talk and I can get a sense of what he wants and how far he is willing to go to get it—
"How far he's willing to go?" Like what? Where are you trying to see whether he's willing to go?
I want him to show me his wallet, what pictures it contains. (I'm not trying to see whether he has money.) If he is overly touchy/feely, he's probably not a good choice. Intuition is every woman's greatest defense. If he is willing to date and be a gentleman, that is a man with patience, willing to wait for what he wants.
If I am really turned on, I will "accidentally" let my arm or leg touch him or even better if possible, a breast will brush his arm. If there has been an occasional fireworks or sparks of chemistry between us, bodily contact may be imminent, but not always. If we get to a place of more privacy, and the man acts like a hungry tiger, game off! Too dangerous.
That sounds like personal experience talking?
A few times I have had to just tell a guy to get away from me.
Perhaps one or more of your longer-term relationships started with a flirt. Tell us about the flirts that started them off, if you can remember.
One relationship started with flirting, but 25 years later it ended with my flight from home....
To be honest, most relationships were initiated by the man, as was the case with this one.
Of course, you'be been repelled by some men's flirting, haven't you? How many times would you say that's happened?
I cannot count the times. Most were just plain crude and disgusting. Foul language is not sexy or attractive. Now, that is not the same as a couple, in bed, who like a bit of verbal stimulation, but that is a private thing.
Did flirting that you initiated ever turn out really bad?
Yes, one did, and it ended with cracked ribs—mine. Was not pleasant and cured me from drinking too much.
Care to tell us a bit more about that incident? What happened?
With the girls, we were drinking a bit too much, the guy wanted to go home with me and I said no, but his arm was around my waist and he started to squeeze. So I screamed, he let go, my girlfriends came running, and then he left.
On occasion, has your flirting led to someone else's becoming jealous?
The jealously always seemed to be from my so-called female friends. Once one of them was trying to flirt with a guy, and he came over and picked me. This may sound pretentious, patting myself on the back, but my friends have told me they always tried to seat me at the back of the table.
Even that backfired. In one bar—it was called Cowboy Bar—a 6-footer approached our table. The other girls were smiling big, but he suddenly leaned over, picked me up by the waist, and hoisted me over the top of the table, to dance. A close friend told me I was always the "bait." All I could say was, "Why didn't you tell me?" She said one of the reasons she was my friend was I had no idea how beautiful I was or smart, and I liked all types of people, races, religions. I keep thinking if I had realized these things, how different my life, today, might have been.
That sounds like a huge realization. Please say more about it, and about the fact that you referred to these friends as "so-called."
The "so-called" friends are no longer friends. My real friends would tell me these nice things but I could not listen to them. I could not accept compliments and refused to hear their words. I didn't think I deserved praise of any kind. Physical or mental.
Have you ever flirted with a woman? It must be different for a woman to flirt with a woman. That is, different from flirting with a man. Tell us about it.
Yes, flirting with another woman is different. I can walk up to her and say "Hi," and we may start a conversation or it may be very short, depending on her reception. I can tell when another woman is interested, physically. Just as flattering as a man's attention. We touch each other more, hand on the arm or around the shoulder. Fun!
How would you respond to someone who told you that they didn't think flirting was right because, for example, it "leads people on" and therefore isn't honest?
Leads them on to what? Marriage, children, a happy life? Flirting is not necessarily frivolous. A woman has to understand that most men will "lay" any female who is willing and then be able to walk away like nothing happened.
People want what they can't have. So ladies, don't give away the merchandise on the first meet. I am older now and most men my age are no longer into the flirting game, so intimacy occurs more quickly. After all, we no longer have all the time in the world to check each other out. At my age, love is where you find it and if you do, lucky, lucky you. Lucky me!
All in all, over the course of a lifetime of flirting—in fact, when did you start flirting?
I think I stated flirting as a young child, I just was not aware of it.
How big a part of your life has flirting been? How would things have been different without flirting?
Well, it would have been vastly different, but then, if I had not taken the path I did, I would not have fallen in love or be here, at this time, at this place. Lots of bumps in the road, some nearly took my life, but it all led me to today.
So, because you have fallen in love, and are here now, you have no regrets?
There are regrets, but on the other hand I would not be in the place I am right now. Still, if I was given the chance to change the last 25 years, I would, and I would take my chances on the path the change would have taken me on.
What are your final words on flirting?
Flirting can make a woman feel beautiful and sexy, a man handsome, virile. When I flirt, I feel like the most beautiful woman on earth, even though I am no longer a slim young woman. Confidence can make any woman beautiful.
What question(s) did you hope we would ask but didn't?
My first boyfriends, my first loves, do I still think of them, do I still have feelings tucked away somewhere? Yes and yes. A woman never forgets the first real love, deep emotional love, and hopes that he stays with her forever, but if it is not to be, then I know I can be open to love when it comes my way again. Hmm, think I could get directions to my heart on MapQuest?