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How to Flirt and Why You Should Always Shoot Your Shot

Sometimes learning how to flirt can seem more scary than simple, but here are a few strategies and tricks you can use to make it easier, and even fun.

“Flirting” feels like a loaded word these days. There are so many questions naturally that arise like: how do you even flirt, are they flirting with me right now, and why am I suddenly stuttering in front of the person I like? It starts to become a minefield.

According to a 2014 study on the literature of flirting, people flirt for 6 main reasons: Sex, fun, exploration, increasing intimacy, ego boosts and persuasion (trying to get something from someone else).

I definitely flirt for fun. Flirting has always been one of the most entertaining pasttimes in my life, one in which I frequently indulge. Maybe that’s the Samantha Jones in me. In any case, I wanted to share some tips on how you can make flirting work for you because it can be the most freeing thing if you let it be.

Tips for Learning How to Flirt in Person:

First off, whether you’re with someone you like or there’s a bit of banter between you and someone else, lean into the moment, and say what’s actually on your mind. Don’t worry about being too wild and just have fun. Personally, I’ve said some outrageous things so I promise you cannot be as bad as me.

Don’t be afraid to be sexual

  1. Here are some of my favorite techniques for when sexual tension is building:
    1. A light touch on the arm. Start with neutral parts of the body and move down, always respecting the person’s boundaries. Pay attention to how they respond. Ideally one of the best touches would be the thighs and the hands.
    2. The Eye Triangle. Look deeply at the person, as you usually would with steady eye contact, and when the time is right, break eye contact, look down slowly, and then look back up. If you’re communicating a more seductive feeling that’s enough but if you really want to go for it, subtly bite your lip too. I personally love doing this because it really turns the person on and that’s entertaining for me, especially when we’re out in public and they can’t do anything about it…yet. Anyways!
    3. Make an S with your body. In more basic words, lean in. Put that curve in your back and make direct eye contact with them. Like so (disregard the hand holding lol):
    4. I reiterate: Make! Eye! Contact! Just on a very basic level, eye contact is very important. If you look away too much, that indicates disinterest or (and not to sound rude, I say this with love) that you’re not very confident. Either way, it doesn’t help your cause. Look them in the eyes. Besides, if you like them, I’m sure they have very nice ones, enjoy them!
    5. Don’t be afraid to be a little risque. Like I said in the phone sex article, all those thoughts you have about your crush, this is the time to lean into them. Have fun. Tease them. I once told a guy he could be eating me instead of his dinner so…I say go nuts (and yes, he liked it lol😊)
    6. Tease them! This goes for every single type of communication, in person or virtual. Whether it’s you playfully disagreeing or poking fun at them after they told you something funny/embarrassing. Be playful. It makes it more fun for you and it’s a way to bring humor into the situation. For example, if they work out a lot, call them out on it or if they’re from a city you don’t like, you can joke about that too. As long as it’s in jest and not openly disrespectful, have at it. If typing the text makes you giggle or smile, definitely send it! If your gut reaction is to make a funny quip to what they said, do it. Humor is a great way to increase intimacy and it’ll make you less nervous. Let go. You are wonderful and amazing, don’t stress too much.

Let go of the fear of rejection!

Fear of rejection is one of the biggest reasons people are afraid to shoot their shot, far less flirt. I’m here to tell you that rejection is simply a part of life. Not everyone you throw to is going to catch what you’re saying and that’s okay. It says nothing about you and everything about them. Your interests just might not align.

Struggling with body image issues in the past and even now has led me on a very real note to have incredibly low expectations for flirting in general which is why I do it with reckless abandon probably. I’m also very impulsive by nature and better “an oh well instead of a what if” has always been my philosophy. All this to say, stop thinking so much. I can assure you, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised. And if you’re like me and you have NO IDEA when someone is flirting with you, instead of doubting if they are, trust your instincts because they’re usually right every single time.

I think that’s why I like flirting so much honestly. It’s one of the few times in my life when I’m really present. I’m not thinking of an end goal or in my head about what they’re thinking, I’m just catching a vibe and really existing in that exciting feeling. Maybe it is a bit of a game for me but the biggest key to learning how to flirt is really just learning how to let go.

Also, if someone likes you, chances are they’re just happy to have you talking to them. I can assure you there’s very little you can say to change that. Just stay true to yourself and have fun.

Tips for Learning How to Flirt Virtually

Whether it’s text, snapchat or down in the DMs, outside of that virtual footprint (thank God for the ability to unsend Instagram DMs whew), this is one of my favorite mediums because there really is no pressure. Although I do prefer being in person and virtual communication is only meant to be temporary, it still is a great stepping stone.

First off, you can really be as reckless as you want to be. My advice: ALWAYS SEND THE RISKY TEXT. Literally. Nothing bad has ever come from a risky text, I can assure you. Risky texts only bring good things (at least in my experience lol).

One of the best things about virtual communication is the ability to prepare, you don’t have to rush your response. In an in person conversation you can’t spend 5 minutes contemplating your response, virtually, you can. And! You have emojis to soften the blow.

Disclaimer: I am the friend that will type the message and send it for you. Just to give you insight into my chaotic good energy. With that in mind, here are some tips for virtual flirting:

  1. Don’t think so much. This person is entertaining you because they’re either curious or they like you, or both. So, this is not the time to ask about the weather. It can be daunting starting a conversation with someone but usually it only takes that whole “wyd” or “what’s up” to go into a whole rant about why capitalism is the worst or why Sweet Spicy Chili Doritos are the best. Let the conversation get random. Jump in full speed ahead. Ideally, you’re talking to this person because you want to get to know them, so do that. Whether you’re trying to hook up with no strings attached, get entangled, swing or date, please just go with the flow and for the love of everything good and holy, do not make them feel like they’re carrying the weight of the conversation on their back. Because that is a surefire way to get ghosted. No pressure, just real talk. Point is: talk to them like you’d talk to a friend. There’s really no difference. Only thing is, this is a friend you want to makeout with, ASAP.
  2. Sending memes can be a good way to break the ice and start a conversation. I personally use them as ways to gauge political beliefs. Meaning, if I see some deeply misogynistic conversation happening on my tl in the form of a “debate” (smh, hoteps, chile anyways), I’ll send that to them to get their opinion. Depending on what they say, we can have a delightful, intellectual conversation or they can get blocked. Okay, it doesn’t have to be as high stakes as that. But if you see a meme or debate happening, funny, serious or in between (hint hint: entanglements, #goyagate), send it to them. Just don’t send too many memes and such. I definitely have been guilty of this, it’s never turned out badly but I will say in the interest of making sure you don’t do the absolute most like I do, use them only when you’re having a hard time figuring out what to talk about. It can take the edge off the situation.
  3. Find common interests. Understanding what you too both like can help you as it relates to banter, inside jokes and continuing a conversation. Very similar to number 2 but just make sure you can find ways to connect even thought it’s virtual.
  4. Don’t stress over missed texts. I know this is especially hard if you have anxiety, but remember: what THEY do, aint go shit to do with you. Say you shoot your shot and it lands flat, no response or a boring conversation, say oh well and keep it pushing. Don’t get caught up in the idea of people, understand the reality of who they are. Attraction isn’t foolproof and if anything, texts and DMs are great places to figure that out. Personally, I despise texting. I’m only good at it if I actually really like the other person. So, if we can’t text freely, I know it’ll probably be a dud in real life. Texting is a good litmus test. A vibe check if you will. If something’s there, it’ll be fun. If it’s not, it might be boring. It should be all shits and giggles in the beginning, so if it’s not that, don’t get too sad and pat yourself on the back for being confident enough to shoot your shot. I know I’m definitely proud of you!!!

Tips for Flirting Over the Phone

This is really a hybrid of in person and virtual communication, you may not have the physicality of in person communication and you don’t have the distance of texts and direct messages, but you have your voice and if it’s a video call, facial expression. As we all know, tone and facial expressions are paramount at communicating what you want. So, keeping the other tips in mind, the biggest thing you can do here is make yourself comfortable.

Here are some tips I use before a Facetime with my crush:

  1. Feel put together. I don’t do makeup and all that but my favorite time to Facetime is after I shower in the evening. I feel relaxed, moisturized and sexy. You know that feeling where you should be looking at the person but you keep looking at your little square in the corner? That’s me after a good shower. I just think I’m the cutest thing. Just all natural and gorgeous. I know sometimes you’re tempted to answer the phone whenever your crush is calling because you’re so jazzed to speak to them but, it’s okay to set the boundary and call them back at a time where you feel comfortable. That could be after lunch for you or after you relax by reading your favorite book. Just make sure you’re in a good frame of mind. It’ll calm any nerves you have and the conversation will probably benefit from your comfort and confidence, and they’ll like it too, and hopefully they’ll reciprocate.
  2. Make sure you’re in a space where you can really say what you want to say. The biggest thing here, especially if you have a hard time letting go and figuring out how to flirt is making sure you can communicate openly. Ensure that you’re in a space where you feel free whether that’s in a park with no one else around or the peacefulness of your bedroom. Similar to the phone sex article, be in a place where it’s just you and them, where you can let loose if you want without feeling judged. The best thing you can do for any connection is be open and vulnerable. Not to say you have to tell them your deepest darkest secrets but communicate that you are someone they can trust in this moment. That’s way easier to do when you feel comfortable.
  3. Don’t try to play games. This is not the time to act like you’re something you’re not. I know it can be tempting to create a curated image for this call but try to be authentic to you and don’t overthink it. They want to get to know who you are, not the internet version of what you expect them to want. Be yourself. You are more than enough and you are worth all the love and care in the world. Most of the time people think learning how to flirt means becoming this vixen alter ego of yourself but that’s not entirely it. Just be present and catch the vibe. That’s when it’s the most fun. The best calls are when you guys are both just being clowns and you feel comfortable saying whatever you want. You don’t need to have an end goal, but if there was one, it would be making sure you both end that call with a smile on your face and in your hearts.

Figuring out how to flirt can seem daunting at first but when you let go of all the preconceived notions and expectations, it can actually become quite fun. Good flirting is really just good banter. Focus on good conversation and good vibes, and trust your instincts. It’s okay if things don’t work out. What’s not okay, is you being so afraid to strike out, you don’t even step up to bat in the first place.