If we could all walk into a party and booty wave like Beyonce, working the room would be NBD. The key to being a good flirt, however, does not lie in your ass-ets, but in your sass-ets, also known as your sass factor. How can you up yours? Be unapologetic, effortless, and authentic (and if you have a flair for bad puns, then bring them on, baby). There’s no one way to flirt; in fact, the best ways incorporate your own personal quirks with some tried and true sex appeal to really get the ball rolling. Unfortunately, some of the tips our culture spoon feeds women on how to flirt are pretty gag-worthy. Lock eyes, smize (don’t know how? There’s an app for that) and then look away. Um, no thanks. I like to flirt and keep my integrity, which for me, means staying true to my feminist ideals. Oh, and I’m not in junior high anymore. I don’t need a man to chase me; but won’t say I don’t enjoy that.
A note about flirting like a feminist: I like to think that you can do anything as a feminist as long as you own it. Let’s remember that feminism isn’t a cult. It’s about living in good faith with yourself (thank you Simone De Beauvoir) and the choices you make. (I suppose, then, that if you so choose, smize away to your heart’s desire). I do have to say that flirting is the opening salvo to a relationship (whether that relationship lasts hours or a lifetime) and people are creatures of habit. So the way you flirt — if flirting is the first act — will set the stage for how your prospective mate sees you. For example, if you insist upon performing a lap dance to Lana Del Ray’s Blue Jeans on your first date, don’t be surprised when said guy thinks you’re a little kinky. And while you always reserve the right to change your mind about what you want or how you want others to see you, the world won’t always agree with you. But I digress. With that in mind, here are my 7 do’s and don’t’s of flirting.
7. Steal the spotlight. This move is not for wallflowers (though you aren’t relegated to wallflower status for life). The only thing that separates the thunder-stealing life of the party from the rest of us is that she doesn’t care what other people think about her. The result is super sexy. So why not give it a try? All eyes will be on you. For inspiration, check out this prrrfect catcall by Eartha Kitt asking the age-old question: “Where is my man? … I need a man who can take me then taunt me and make me … is there anyone out there who has the nerve?”
6. Approach a group mid-chat. This move can be tricky, and the last thing you want to do is recall high school memories of being dissed by the cool crew. But, if you pull it off, you demonstrate aptitude in infiltrating a clique. Anyone is lying if she says it’s not frightening to approach a group of people mid-chat and chime in. The trick is to be bold and announce you are doing exactly that. Try saying something like, “I’m eavesdropping, but I couldn’t resist saying, I totally agree with …” Then add your two-cents. Commit to your newfound friends for at least a cocktail, otherwise you will look rude. Engage others in the group, not just your crush.
5. Be savvy about how you offer compliments. You never want to give an insincere compliment. So choose your compliments wisely and really mean them. One way to make certain you appear genuine is to forgo the “I like/love” introduction to the compliment. Instead, make a declaration, and the more specific, the better. For example, rather than saying, “I love your eyes,” try saying, “Your eyes are intriguing.” Then, spark a conversation that shows you are invested and interested in what you are complimenting. “What color are they? Violet? Gray? I feel like we’re in an Edith Wharton novel.” (Hey, I’m a writer.)
4. Never flirt with someone else’s partner. Okay, mistakes happen. Sometimes it’s unclear if two people are together or … not. But when you are sure someone is spoken for, keep it moving and get your flirt on with someone else. Flirting is a delicate dance, and while you’re coyly demanding attention, you can still be a lady. Respect yourself and someone else’s relationship. “Just for fun” flirting is fine as long as you remember there are consequences to your actions and no one wants to be with someone who’s addicted to attention. And though flirting can be harmless and you might be flattered when someone flirts with your partner, not everyone shares this sentiment.
3. Get him or her to make the first move. This might seem a little manipulative, but, I prefer to think of it as strategic. Approaching your crush head-on may be too bold for you. But there are ways you can “insert” yourself, make yourself visible and have him or her approach you. Because I’m naturally clumsy, (maladroit, if feeling sexy) I’ve literally bumped into a handsome stranger and made it work for me. Though I’ve never had the stones to intentionally try this maneuver, I think it’s a good one! The key is to be able to read social cues and know when to make your move. Just be sure that when you strike, you do so deliberately, even if your move is seemingly not so. In other words, go all in and commit to your strategy.
2. Do not rely on alcohol, your friend, or keyboard to do your bidding. Flirting is fun, so enjoy it IN PERSON (I love a good emoji sesh, but nothing beats face time when it comes to the possibility of getting it on). You cannot truly enjoy the empowering playfulness that is flirting if you employ any of the above three methods. Plus, you’ll end up looking lame.
1. Be in the moment and do you. There’s a reason this is the #1 tip to being a good flirt: because the things that make you who you are ring true. We all have our signature moves — leaning in close, tossing our hair, touching a person gently on the arm, applying lip gloss in public, admitting to flirting while flirting. These are the classic rituals of courtship that send our crushes the message that we are open for possibilities. Embrace them in all their glorious silliness or ferocity, and remember to put yourself out there. Spontaneity is one of life’s greatest joys, and people who are joyful attract others like a magnet. A mistake women (and men) often make is in overanalyzing behavior and questioning the small things to the point where the authentic moment escapes us. Someone recently confessed to me, “I try not to find answers in sexuality anymore because it ends up just ruining it.” So get out there, babes, and do you. The worst that happens is that he or she rejects you. I promise you — you’ll survive.