I'm Soaking In It: On Flirting

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 13.266% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I am, apparently, a very flirty guy.  I’m told by women that I have a habit of sending playful signals that tell them that I am, if not actively interested, at least amenable to smooching.
I don’t necessarily mind this, but there are days I would like to know exactly what the hell I’m doing.
For I rarely intend to flirt.  It’s just sort of this radio signal I emit, occasionally broadcasting at women I didn’t actually have any interest in, which makes things awkward on occasion.  I suspect it’s even more awkward for the women who have negative interest in me, who I don’t necessarily intend to smother in flirt-pollen… but as noted, I have zero idea how to turn it off if I’m comfortable around you.  So, you know, sorry about that.
Yet the truth remains I am not cloistered in my usual straight-jacket of social anxiety, then I am probably exuding some flirtiness.  At least according to the women I deal with.
I’ve tried to break it down, but the interesting thing about being naturally flirty is that it also makes one remarkably oblivious to being flirted at.  The only flirt-receptors I completely, 100% get are the moves that I don’t do – if someone repeatedly touches my arm, I know that it is on like Donkey Kong.  Or they’re Southern.  I’ve been repeatedly convinced a Southern Girl totally wants this Ferrett-bod, and have prepared to make my excuses as to why this coupling would be unwise at this moment in time, and then saw them interact with someone else and had that deflating realization of Oh, okay.
(Because it’s nice to be attractive to someone, even if they’re not your type.  I’m always baffled when dudes are all like, “WHAT IF THAT GAY GUY LIKES ME?!??” as if merely being the target of someone’s affection will corrode your sexuality.  I’ve been flattered by some attentions, expressed respectfully, even as I did not reciprocate.)
But anyway, like many people, women will flirt with me and I’ll just be obliviously happy.  “How friendly they are!” I think.  “What lovely people, to compliment me so effusively!  What a brotherly gesture, to kiss me on the cheek!  What wondrous companionship, that she’s touching my… oh, wait.”
Which, again, is often compounded by the fact that they’re getting my flirtatious signals, and now we are caught in an inadvertent feedback loop.  Thankfully, I like people on the whole, so I’ve rarely inadvertently stumbled into smooching with people I’m opposed to – but it’s sort of like being caught in a warm summer storm: pleasant, a little moist, but this might have been enjoyable if I’d known it was incoming.
Then again, I know flirt-blindness is a chronic thing.  I like Neil Gaiman’s idea of inviting someone to a seduction. “Wear the kind of clothes you would like to be seduced in.”
But my point is, it’s disconcerting to be exuding an aura that you have no idea where the kill-switch is located.  I’m doing something.  I don’t know what the mechanics of it are, I can’t give you advice on it, it’s just… there.  Whether I want it or not.  And it’s a positive thing on the whole, but there are days I wish I at least knew how this process worked so I could excuse or refine it.

1 Comment

  1. Jenny-Cat
    Dec 20, 2014

    I’m glad you posted this. You make me feel so damned much better at my utter and complete lack of ability to tell when someone is flirting with me. My last partner had to go to some pretty heroic lengths to get me to realize that he wasn’t just being a friendly guy.

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