The beginner’s guide to flirting.
As a sex coach that helps singles and couples get better in bed, I believe that flirting is the best way to create romantic and/or sexual tension between you and someone you’re interested in, laying the foundation for more to come. Great flirting is all about subtlety, at least at first. It’s a critical part of dating, since the goal is to show someone you’re interested in them and see if the two of you have any chemistry. But I also happen to think that flirting shouldn’t stop when you’re no longer single. Flirting with a long term partner can remind you of what you find sexy about that person.
Flirting is a lot of fun but, for many of us, it’s also a language we may not have completely mastered yet. Whether the idea of flirting has always been foreign to you; you’re newly single after a long-term relationship; or you simply want to add some playful heat back into your long-term relationship, this beginner’s guide is here to help.
1. Flirt With Confidence
While a well-timed, cheesy one-liner might get a good laugh from your date, pickup lines and one-liners, in general, are often a major turn off, especially in the early stages of dating. Instead, flirting is always best when it feels and sounds like a natural progression to the conversation you’re having. It should be honest and genuine. If you tend to be more introverted, use it to your advantage. I personally think a little shyness can be charming.
The key to flirting naturally is not to overthink it. If you stumble over your words or say something that maybe just comes out wrong, have a good laugh about it! Laughing together is a great way to release a little bit of tension before building it back up again. Ultimately, there’s nothing sexier than confidence when it comes to flirting or dating.
Sassy Tip: Want to find out more about how the rules of engagement around flirting have changed in today’s world of dating? Listen to this podcast episode.
2. Offer An Unusual Compliment
What do I mean by an unusual compliment? It’s something you’ve noticed about that person that wouldn’t normally be commented on by their friends or other dates they’ve had in the past. This will make you stand out from the crowd.
For example, instead of going for something easy like their looks or what they’re wearing, try to highlight one of their less superficial qualities. That could be intelligence (e.g. “it’s so nice to be with someone who understands ‘this topic’ so well”), or competence (e.g. “it sounds like you’re extremely good at what you do”).
3. Flirt With Your Eyes
There is nothing more satisfying than a good, long, lingering flirty look. Eye contact is an extremely powerful tool we can use in all aspects of our lives, but it’s especially useful when we’re flirting.
You can use eye contact to show that you’re interested in someone across the room or to give your full, undivided attention to someone. If you spot someone you’re interested in at a distance, look at them just long enough for them to notice your gaze, then drop it shyly, and repeat. If you find that they too, are looking at you, there’s a good chance they’re as interested in you as you are in them.
Eye contact is also a great way to signal to someone you’ve been chatting to that you’re ready to take things further with a kiss. I call this the “kiss me look”, where you gaze at their lips, up to their eyes and back again. Tip your head a little to the side (as you would for a kiss) as you talk to them and it’s likely they’ll take you up on your wordless offer.
4. Break The Touch Barrier
As you talk and flirt with the person you’re interested in, use light, carefree touches to build up a physical connection and show you’re interested. You could try a light grazing of your hands as you walk, a touch of the knee when they make you laugh or a gentle brush of legs under the table. This is a great way to frame that your intention goes beyond the “friendzone” and find out if they’re truly interested in you as a partner. Of course, it goes without saying that if your date is not into it, stop straight away. Consent is everything!
Even more subtle – but still very sexy – is giving flirtatious body language cues such as lightly stroking your face, lips, neck or shoulders, which can draw attention to those areas in question and hint to the object of your affection that you’d like to be touched there.
5. Use Playful Banter
Once you’ve established a rapport with someone and they are reciprocating your overtures, you can become more playfully suggestive with your flirting. Try to keep things light and humorous – this is about being suggestive and teasing them a little, not necessarily being overtly sexual.
This kind of suggestive flirting transfers into a digital context really well. And one of my favourite tips is using emojis to keep things lighthearted but still show your intention. One way to use playful banter is to suggest things that you want to happen, before they’ve happened yet. For example, “Do you miss me yet?” or “Where are you taking me out to tonight?”, followed by a winky face emoji.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
The best way to get better at flirting (or anything in life) is to practice! Practice a little harmless flirting with strangers you meet and friends you’re interested in. It doesn’t have to necessarily be romantic. Get comfortable with saying hello, smiling and striking up conversations with people at the drop of a hat. Not all flirting has to be done with the hope of leading to a sexual situation. Generally, when people see you’ve got a good sense of humour and are open to flirting, they’ll be much more interested in talking to you and spending time around you.
Overall, I believe that flirting makes you more approachable and dynamic. Just remember to back off – without getting hurt – if they don’t return your efforts. Sometimes people just aren’t in the mood, so move on and find someone who is.
Images courtesy of Tin Iglesias for Sassy Media Group.