We all know that watching other people flirt is one of the most stomach-turning, puke-inducing experiences out there. Enduring an hour of badly placed innuendo, endless lip licking and constant hair tossing (Girls….just stop it) is nothing short of hellish for everyone but the parties directly involved, who see themselves as a pair of glorious unicorns courting in an enchanted forest. The reality is, you are standing in a club that smells of feet, forearm resting in a puddle of spilled Sambuca. Girls, you are all too aware of your skirt riding up, boys, your balls have been sweaty since you got here; but still we soldier on with this bizarre ritual like so many of our animal brethren. Let it never be said that I am above flirting, I’m not, none of us are, there are, however, a few techniques that I am above. The rest of this post is based upon my evening on Friday. Myself and an adventurous friend of mine were recently invited out by the owner of my local Italian restaurant and its manager. This place is genuinely my favorite eatery near me and, having turned down an invitation a few weeks previously, I thought I may as well keep these two gents on side so I can continue to stuff my face there. Stepping into their car we are instantly engulfed in a haze of Dolce and Gabanna Light Blue, a half empty bottle sits in the central cup-holder and we look on in horror as the cap is removed and the remaining contents are hastily spritzed onto every inch of our chaperones. We eventually found ourselves cruising through central London; Euro-pop blaring we stopped at a red light, and then it happened. The music subsided, we breathed an audible sigh of relief, the window was wound down and the cat calling began. Italian is a beautiful language, I cannot deny this, however I have never felt so repulsed by the words “Ciao Bella” in my entire life. We called the boys on this most pugnacious of acts; “seriously, you’re those guys?! Do you do this in bars?”, they responded thusly: “We see the girls, we call them over. We say ‘champagne!’ And then they go home with us”. Are you fucking for real right now?! And these girls, they sound like absolute trash! I’m sorry, I am very much pro-female, I think in this life we take what we can get and give nothing back; however, sleeping with a man for champagne crosses a line I thought we had long since left behind.
We eventually arrived at a Greek Club called Elysee (http://www.elyseerestaurant.com/) a very cool, townhouse-esque bar awaits upstairs with an amazing roof terrace complete with hookah pipes and heaters-a-plenty. The atmosphere was friendly and the crowd 95% Grecian. Having paid our entry fees, our gentleman companions disappeared into the night, leaving us to fend for ourselves in uncharted territory. Myself and my friend are not the best girls to attempt flirtation with; we are very much the strong independent woman type, and do not take kindly to the roving eyes of strangers, approach with caution. We found ourselves talking with two Greek men, B (for bearded) and N (for no game). Now B was quite chatty, and eventually had my companion enthralled in a flirting lesson, he was telling us that in Greece, you see the girl, she looks at you, you look at her and you go home. He was asking what advice we had and, me being me, I told him the following:
1. Always have the upper hand. This is something that men never expect from women (interestingly when two members of the same sex come together, this often isn’t an issue as gender-roles tend not to come into play) For me, if a you can take the upper hand with me, then you are intelligent enough to merit a few minutes of my time in what will doubtless be an inconsequential attempt at getting into my pants. This rarely happens as I am gifted with a quick wit and an unrelenting cynicism which usually ends up a bruised ego.
2. Make me laugh. Seriously, if you are funny I am going to be so much more interested in speaking to you than if you are full of woe or empty compliments. Also, a sense of humor indicates an understanding of basic human psychology; we are obviously more attracted to those who induce a feeling of harmonious warmth.
3. Just maybe don’t be a total dick. There is a huge difference between confidence and being a penis and it seems as though most men are unaware of this; confidence occurs when you are secure enough to have a conversation and not have to use put-downs, name drops and/or lies. Being a penis occurs when you have one too many to drink and accomplish any of the following: saying “we going home then?” (yes that was said to me on Friday), anything to do with “blowjob lips”, arse grabbing and dancing all up on me. Do not assume that because I have made an effort to not look like a complete hag, that it is an open invitation for crass commentary and dry humping.
The fact is, flirting is putting on a show for someone you want to impress, making that initial connection, picking your best stories, working out their sense of humor; however below this surface level titillation is a degree of vulnerability. My mother said to me when I was about 10, “somewhere waiting out there is some poor unsuspecting man who is your one”, and it has to be said, I don’t believe that I will meet ‘the one’ in some dingy bar or grossly overcrowded club, which is probably why I behave like such a perpetual bitch.