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Flirting for the Advanced Soul: A Single Woman's Guide to Getting Attention

by Rebecca Adams

[Editor's note: It's that time of the year again for the magical midnight: New Years Eve! That means parties, and parties means fun and flirting. Get the lowdown and give a hi-five for proper flirt techniques from our own Kinsey Institute intern.]

Flirt. Not seduce. I have a 2515 page dictionary with four definitions of "seduce" and they all mean "to manipulate a person into something he or she doesn't want to do." I refuse to believe that the glorious readers of Clean Sheets would ever knowingly manipulate a person not equally engaged in the scene. We leave that to salespeople and politicians.

Nor is this a How-To for ladies seeking a husband -- any husband. I scoff at The Rules and other tactical approaches to capturing a man, and so should you. Women are far too powerful to require tricks and baubles to enrapture potential lovers. Human to human, we can arouse and intrigue far more tantalizingly than with any homogenized, sterilized, shrink-wrapped technique for catching a man.

Instead, this is about capturing your erotic power and channeling it to attract all the sensual attention you want. You're going to flirt.

That starts with masturbation.

Alone in your bed, or in your bathtub, or in your kitchen or your car or your backyard, you, Goddess Temptress, can give yourself everything you want -- ecstatic orgasms, passionate caresses... You have no need for anyone's lust but your own. You flirt not to fill in a gap but to enhance something you already have and love.


Step 1. Masturbate immediately before going to the place where the flirting will happen -- better still, masturbate in the car on the way there. Come as you pull into the parking lot. Stroll in with your cervix still pulsing and thighs still vibrating. Smile.

Step 2. Have a goal. What are you looking for? Wanna get laid? Wanna tease and torment? Wanna imprison the lust of every man in the room without speaking to a single one of them? Your mission defines your approach.

Step 3. Have a target. You may have already identified a man or you may be searching for one. A few words on choosing rewarding targets:

Don't eliminate anyone on the basis of age. Older men have the patience, technique, and staying power foreign to younger men. Younger men have the energy, stamina, and sheer libido. However, either, properly approached, will willingly -- no, enthusiastically! -- devote himself to your pleasure.

Do eliminate on the basis of sex appeal. It can be difficult to judge who's worthy of your puss and who's a waste of erectile tissue without a test drive. My personal criterion is to imagine his face collapsed in ecstasy. If the image makes you catch your breath, move in for the kill. If it makes you snort or wince or giggle, look further.

Step 4. Once you've identified the mortal you wish to conquer, you need an approach that will mystify and bewitch, without intimidating. A few suggestions:

1. Be honest about what you want, and be clear about what you don't want. This is not because "Men like women who know what they want," or "Your man will love your straightforward attitude." Who cares what they want? This is about you getting what will make you happiest. If you make him guess and he guesses wrong, then you're dissatisfied.

If you don't get a response you were looking for, a "second chance" method I like is to pout gently and say, "No, you were supposed to say..." and then give him an opportunity to make it up to you. Reward him lavishly when he performs the desired behavior. I recommend a quiet, low, somewhat possessive laugh and an affectionate smile.

2. Certainly you may just want to play the game. Go for it. Tease. Giggle. "Accidentally" brush against him. Look at him, look away, then look back -- peer up at him from under up-turned lashes, let your eyes fill with lust, let your lips part. Do all those Cosmo-Glamour tricks and floor him with your flawless mastery of courtship. Give mixed signals, keep him guessing. He won't know what to do with himself, but he'll keep trying.

But for God's sake be original. Nothing nauseates me more than women replicating the motions they learned by rote in some flirtation class. (I think they hold them at sorority houses, day long seminars on flirtation, lipliner application, and how to play softball without messing up your hair.)

There is something about you that is completely irresistable. If I knew you, I'd be able to tell you what it is. I'd look you up and down and say, "God, your belly. Do something brilliant with your belly!" Or, "Where did you learn to do that thing with your wrist? Christ!" Or, "You have the most astonishing rack I've ever laid eyes on." Or, "It's your posture. You stand like a woman who knows where she's going and knows she'll get there, so she has no need to hurry." And then you'd know, and you should use it. But since I don't know you, you gotta find your irresistibility on your own.

3. Unsafe sex is not sexy, it's self-destructive. The Goddess Temptress knows her body is a shrine to be protected. Unless sex is not on your agenda, or you've already talked about your safe sex boundaries with your target, incorporate it into your flirtation. A few come-on lines that involve condoms:

"Please tell me you're not allergic to latex."

(Pulling an assortment out of your purse) "Which color do you like? I'll save it for you." Smile brightly.

"Have you ever seen a woman unroll a condom with her lips?"

And (of course!) The Goddess doesn't have to have sex:

"Do you like to kiss? I like to kiss. You're pretty and I'd like to go outside and kiss you for about 15 minutes. What do you say?"

"I've been hypnotized by your hands for the last half hour. How would you feel about just running them all over my body so I can feel how warm they are through my dress?"

"Ya know, I don't want to have sex tonight, but God do I want to masturbate while you watch. What do you think?"

4. Above all, listen to your instincts. Your body is an information-gathering machine that sends you all kinds of information about the person you're talking to, if you just listen to it. From his scent, his temperature, from the tiny expressions that flit transiently across his face, all of these bits of information accumulate into "intuition."

It's not a sixth sense, and it's not mysterious -- it's just too subtle to measure. Your body knows how your target is responding to you and what you can do to train his response to what you want. Ask your body what she sees. Listen to your answer.

In the unlikely event that you face rejection -- ugh, rejection. What an ugly word. Instead let's think about it as progress, as a learning experience. Certainly a man's unreadiness for your deep personal magnetism is no evidence that you're less powerful. He's probably not worth your energy anyway. Right?

I recognize that none of these thoughts are terribly soothing in the face of a glaring "No" from a person you wanted to want you, but remember flirting is frivolous. Save your heartbreak for a long-term lover, or for a pet, for god's sake. One man who seems attractive and engaging does not warrant self-recrimination and doubt.

To flirt is to skate on the surface of human interaction. We flirt to know we can attract others, to assert our erotic power.

Hey, I'm a single girl, I know how it is. Even though I have loving, passionate friendships, a supportive family, fulfilling work, and a really great cat, I still have those moments when all I want in the world is The One, that mythical creature as intangible and perfect as a unicorn who will stroll into my life and engage me utterly.

Flirting, by its very nature, will probably never get me that. But that's not what flirting is for.

Flirt for yourself, not for them. Be a gooey, chocolatey tidbit, a warm, sensuous fondue, a flaming dessert, all wispy meringue and licking flame. Do it because most of the time we have to be bread and butter, and every now and then it's nice to be a juicy, luscious, cream-filled sweet.

©2000 by Rebecca Adams

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Rebecca Adams is a clinical intern, researcher, web designer and docent at the Kinsey Institute. She is also the Fiction Intern at Clean Sheets.


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