How to flirt, and why.

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by toothlesstiger, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Touching is non-verbal communication, or maybe a conversation. How you respond, or don't respond, helps determine what the other person does next.

    If you aren't interested in it "going anywhere", you just don't return the touch, or back away a bit, etc. If want it to go somewhere, or want to know where it MIGHT go, you move closer, return the touch, etc

    I think it's helpful to think of this as a conversation in the context of flirting.
  2. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Active Member

    It really depends on type of touching.. it could be the same person but a different touch and different setting would feel different..

    I can dance with certain men and feel nothing at all from the touching of our hands, or his hand on my back to give me a lead, whatever. Even flirtier salsa moves won't do much, because they're just salsa moves. Same person, another night watching a movie, and his hand brushes my skin? Electricity. completely different.

    This probably relates back to ballroom/bedroom thread where someone just thinks dancing is foreplay, lmao
  3. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    I repeat: context
  4. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Active Member

    Musta missed your post, sorry didn't mean to be redundant!
  5. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Makes me think of a couple of other threads, where the gentlemen wanted explicit verbal approval of a step towards a more intimate interaction. There's a whole language of touch. I am not a touchy-feely person in the sense of hugging everyone, but I am very sensitive to touch. There are different levels of touch that correspond to different degrees of intimacy. If I want to increase intimacy, I gradually increase the level of intimacy of my touch, until she signals me to stop. If the touch is getting too intimate for me, I will pull away.

    Where I ran into some cognitive dissonance is when a female friend whom I was quite fond of would take touch to a point beyond what I would interpret as friendship, and then when I would respond in kind, would pull away. Mixed messages.
  6. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I've always felt that women could touch with more "societal approval" than men could.
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Agreed.

    Incidentally, I think you and Peaches are both right about the guy I accidentally touched. He defines personal space and its implications differently than I do. So both things are true. I got into his space in a way that he may interpret as romantic. So I'm the culprit. But he misinterpreted my casual touch, so it's in his head.

    Gotta figure out what to do about that.
  8. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Active Member

    I remember reading a novel when I was 16 (and don't worry.. it was Left Behind) the main character, a married pilot, loved it when his younger, attractive flight attendant would casually touch him in passing and I remember reading that thinking, people do that to flirt? Just randomly touch? A guy wouldn't think I was a weirdo if I touched him for no reason?

    My eyes have always been my flirting tool. Since high school, the only way a guy could perceive my interest in him was through my eyes.
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Keep in mind that in your example, I would guess that they are co-workers. My reading there, is that a light touch from a friend or co-worker whom you find attractive IS a pleasant thing, and is / can be acceptable as part of a greating.
    Now, if said flight attendant touched someone she didn't know out of the context of, say serving a meal, or making sure a passenger who had been air sick was feeling alright, it would be odd.

    And, of course, you get into how, and with what you touched the person. Haven't we all seen the scenes where you "accidently" bump into someone?

    In the new "Footloose" the female lead ??? is going to the prom? with the male lead, and his VW Beattle door won't open. He heads for the driver side door to reach across and open the door from the inside, and his date puts out her arms for him to pick her up and slide her through window into her seat.
    Her mother, played by Andi McDowell, remarks that the moment was "well played" by her daughter.

    And, sure, you start with the eyes, usually with someone you don't know well, or at all.

    And BTW, although my grandparents came "off the boat", and had the European (as I think of it) hugging thing going, my mother's generation was quite the non hugging one. I've had to learn what I know from experience and quite a bit of reading.

    ALWAYS be aware of how the other person reacts to what you do, and don't push anything (especially if you are a guy).
  10. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Very important to be very sensitive to reactions and go slowly.

    On the topic of hugging, and general cultural interactions, I have an Italian relative who married a Swedish man. When they were in Italy, he was all warm and fuzzy and huggy and talkative. They moved to Sweden, and the warmth stopped. She became depressed and suicidal out of loneliness in the new culture.

    My wife grew up in a culture where even husband and wife did not display any affection outside the bedroom. It took about 30 minutes in my huggy, bantering, mediterranean family for her to fit right in.
  11. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Active Member

    This warmed my heart :)
  12. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    true in the states, but i know in my own grecian community, whether family, friends or recent acquaintances, it is very touchy-feely, including amongst the men -- they tend to be very hands-on with affection IME. there's a sense of entitlement to touch others that would be offensive to most westerners... again IME.

    i can instantly think of numerous older male acquaintances who are very physically affectionate with both my male children & my father. all wholesome & innocent stuff -- agape. :)
  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i can very much relate. i married a 1/2 swede/1/2 norwegian, and in fact grew up in minnesota where it is predominantly scandinavian. i experienced this coming-together-of-extremely-different-cultures aspect in many ways, especially with my in-laws, who were right out of "my big fat greek wedding". :tongue:

    my (ex)husband loved the largesse and warmth of the greeks. i would have been inclined toward a small bridal affair but..he wanted the whole souvlaki. :cool:
  14. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Now a days with "man hugs" and shoulder bumps common among younger men (at least in my experience) it seems there is another cultural / generational change going on in the US.
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    I sincerely hope so.
  16. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i agree. my boyz are pretty demonstrative with their close friends, and with each other. it's different from how i remember back in the day...

    there's a "softer" side that's worn more candidly on the surface.
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yup. A lot of it is cultural. (The guy I touched is also African-American, so you'd think I'd understand where he's coming from. :oops: )

    I have a couple coworkers who are Latinas. They interact easily with each other, but are very, very formal with Latinos who work with us. There are rules which don't include women and men interacting casually and socially, outside of family/church and other very well defined safe zones. (One coworker explained it to me, since I was completely baffled.)
  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Probably an extension of all the gesticulating with the hands while talking. ;)
  19. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    you got that right. :)

    actually, i think it's because they're just so gosh-darn LOUD and emotional that it spills out all over, lolz.
  20. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Definitely cultural. Definitely. On my dad's side of the family (read: Italian, Polish), greetings are kisses. Period. Male, female, related, not, first time meeting, old friends...whatever. Greetings are: hand, or hands, on each others arm/side somewhere, and a kiss on the cheek. Possibly two. It's just normal. Between the men as well as the women.

    When I went to Argentina one of my teachers greeted me in much the same way...which led to apologies and explanations by the American woman who arranged the lessons...which led to my explaining that it seemed perfectly normal to me. Shrug. Culture is a funny thing.

    Italy is also the first/only place I've seen pairs of (straight, not a couple) men walk arm in arm...and the women as well. Was interesting to my 15-year-old eyes to see my grandfather hold hands with my uncle as they were walking along and talking. Shrug.

    Interesting thing...gender roles and behaviors and norms across cultures. What is considered gay in one place isn't in another. Shrug.

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