Artist, writer, and designer
To start, I’d like to congratulate you for taking on the mystery of queer flirting! Forreal though, I honestly believe flirting is one of the most vulnerable things someone can do. Flirting involves a lot of brave shit: naming your desires head on! Facing the possibilities of rejection! Telling insecurities that may arise to chill tf out! So cheers to you for wanting to up your flirting game.
Jokes aside, I don’t believe queer dating, or femme flirting, is particularly mysterious. I think queer flirting feels illusive because it rejects the hetero and cis normatively entangled in dominant cultural ideas about dating. This is a recipe for stirring insecurity and fear in naming our flirtatious desires.
For example the common belief that femme people should wait around for someone else to approach us. Yawn 🍅. When I first entered the world of queer dating, I had to give some serious attention to unlearning the gender norms making my flirting game so passive and dusty. I was also nervous to flirt because I didn’t want to reproduce the creepy or unwanted flirting I’d experienced in the past with cis, straight men.
Herein lies the joyous potential of queerness: to create new ways of dating, romancing, and flirting devoid of the tired scripts.
This brings me to my three tips to being a clear flirter: ground your confidence, be direct, and be yourself.
#1 Ground your confidence
Confidence is when we’re grounded with our sense of self, including our ability to name desires and needs, while being able to be present and empathetic with others. Confidence is embodied, meaning we can literally make the energy of confidence physically present through non-verbal cues, like our body language, gaze, or the way we say things. We can root into confidence before flirting by asking ourselves some simple questions:
- What does confidence feel like in my body? (Example: Do I stand taller? Is my gaze more direct? Is my breath slow?)
- What does my voice sound like when I’m confident? (Example: Do I speak more slowly?)
- What experiences help me access confidence? (Example: positive affirmations, meditation)
#2 Be direct
Let’s get one thing clear, directness is sexy. Directness is a green flag to others that you know what you want, and that you’re grounded enough to name it. When done through a place of confidence, it also means that if you’re rejected, your sense of self will remain intact, and you’ll end on on a neutral or positive note. Making your flirting direct can be as simple as making subtle language adjustments, like making “I” statements or taking initiative with planning dates. For example:
- Do you want to hang out? → I’d love to take you out.
- You’re so pretty → I think you’re so pretty. Can I take you on a date?
- You’re so cool → I think you’re so cool, I’d love to get to know you more, can I take you out?
- Literally saying “I’m flirting with you.” (Example, I have def texted someone “(flirtatiously asks) What’s your favorite song?”)
#3 Be yourself
I know I know, this is one of the most cliché lines in the dating book. But listen, it’s the truth! It doesn’t matter if your flirting style is goofy, nerdy, sultry, corny, soulful, or endless other styles, as long as it's YOURS. Remember, the point of dating is to find someone that aligns with your values, needs, and desires. My flirting style is sultry, but it’s also a little silly, because it’s important to me that I can laugh with the people I date. If someone isn’t into my flirting, that’s incredibly useful info that maybe we’re not for one another, and that’s ok!
Clear flirting is transformative because it can pull into reality the dating experiences we desire. It might take some practice, and a willingness to perhaps at times feel insecure, awkward, or silly. But on the other side is a sense of being in touch with our desires, which is one of the bravest and most magical things we can do.
I actually laughed trying to answer this to myself. My homegirls and I are still trying to figure this out. Being queer is so complicated and kind of annoying. But, I think that’s what makes it fun.
I’m not sure if I have a legitimate answer for how to make it clear that you're flirting other than being clear and concise. I do, however, want to encourage folks to play.
Maybe it's my libra rising, but all I ever want to do is play. Forget whether or not the person knows you’re flirting.
Do you feel good? Are you having fun? Are you enjoying the banter? Make a joke, compliment them directly, find a reason to ask for their help with something, don’t be afraid to look silly.
Once you relieve yourself of the weight of having to be perceived a certain way or identify/name whatever your exchange is or isn’t, flirting gets so much easier. Don’t overthink it. If you’re enjoying yourself and you both leave the conversation feeling good, you’ve done a great job, babe.
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