Many of my friends will tell you that I flirt with everyone I know. Male, female, straight, gay, bi, and everything in-between: if it walks on two legs and I know it, chances are I’ve been at least a little flirtatious at some point. When friends first starting tell me this I thought they were crazy, but when I stop to look at it, I guess they’re right to some extent. In some ways light flirting is an outlet for me to show that I care about people, and I think part of the reason why it flies is because my friends know that I’m not really flirting with them in the sense of showing a sexual or romantic interest. It’s all just in good fun.
Perhaps, though, my ubiquitous flirting with my friends is due to the utter lack of flirting with people that I don’t know.
When I’m out in a social setting amongst people I don’t already personally know, flirting is pretty much off the table. I may make eye contact and thereby indicate that I’m willing to be flirted with, but almost to a fault I won’t flirt with anyone who doesn’t already number amongst my friends.
My frex used to teasingly tell me that I was like the cute dinosaur from Jurassic Park. Do you remember the scene where the guy who was stealing the DNA had to climb down the hill to attach a cable to a tree so he could free his jeep? A comparatively cute dinosaur (a dilophosaurus, to be exact) appears, and at first it seems like it’s pretty innocuous. But then, when Wayne Knight’s character is climbing back up to his jeep, the cute little dilophosaurus fans out the flaps on its head, spits venom at Wayne Knight, and ultimately attacks and kills him.
How did this apply to me in Ramiro’s opinion? Well, when I flirt, I hang back and act coy and perhaps a little curious, but then once you’re within my grasp I too stop looking cute and go straight for the jugular. I’ll let you do the work and think you can play fetch with me like Wayne Knight tries to do with the dilophosaurus until I’m sure that you’re mine. And then you better watch the fuck out, because you’re mine.
I suppose it’s incorrect to say that I’m not in some way flirting in this situation. If I didn’t glance over at you and let my gaze linger just long enough to let you know I wasn’t just aimlessly looking around, if I didn’t occasionally let my lips curl up into a slight smile that vanishes almost before it’s even taken shape, if I didn’t let my long eyelashes reel you in, then who knows, maybe you wouldn’t move toward me to actively flirt with me. But there’s the key: I let you flirt actively and only flirt passively in return. Except in very rare cases, I won’t lift a finger no matter how interested I am–even if I’ve been drinking.
And though it’s been like that for as long as I can remember, I can’t for the life of me explain why exactly that was the tactic I adopted. At first glance one might assume that I’m afraid of rejection and thus prefer to wait for the sure thing, but I don’t think that’s it. I’m no fan of rejection, but like everyone else I’m also no stranger to it. It’s part of the deal that we all have to accept, and there’s nothing to say that even after the point when I jump at the “sure thing” the person in question won’t ultimately decide I’m not the one with whom they want to flirt or chat or go home.
I should note that the only time this doesn’t really apply is when I’m looking for a hook-up online and to a lesser extent when I’m in a gay sauna. But I would also argue that in both of these cases we’re not really talking about flirting, but rather about pure hookups. If, however, in either situation someone starts flirting with me, I revert back to the passive flirting that defines my style.
The fact that I employ a passive approach goes a long way in explaining why it’s more likely that I’ll hook up with a guy than with a girl. I don’t want to overgeneralize, but it does seem like women are more likely than men to be the passive participant in flirting, or to put it differently, that men are more likely to actively pursue their flirtatious interests. Obviously that isn’t always the case, but I don’t think I’m far off the mark in saying that it’s more likely that a man will come flirt with me than a woman.
It also helps explain why men who flirt with me often expect me to be the passive partner in bed. On quite a few occasions I’ve reached that awkward moment where the guy realizes that I’m expecting him to bend over when that’s exactly what he wants me to do. Again, that’s not always the case, but it’s happened often enough that I can’t dismiss it as completely outside of the norm.
Then again, no matter how we choose to flirt, there is bound to be occasional misunderstandings or false expectation. Plus, it’s not like my method doesn’t ultimately work for me with both men and women, so I really can’t complain, and I would be lying if I said that turning the hunter into the hunted doesn’t appeal to me. I mean, come on, why go after my bounty when my bounty can just come to me?
And besides all that, I think it’s pretty damn cool to be compared to a dinosaur. Dilophosaurus for life, yo!