I can’t flirt. I can’t do it. I can’t do coy eyes across a bar, I can’t put my hand on your leg suggestively, I can’t make an innuendo laden joke, I can’t reply to your flirting without saying things like “My house? DON’T COME TO MY HOUSE IT LOOKS LIKE A TWELVE YEAR OLD LIVES THERE”. I just can’t do it and I’ve tried. Honestly I have tried. It’s not that I am not a sexual person it’s just that I have no idea how to jump the gap. Once I start making out I’m different, totally different, it’s like inhabiting a cooler sexier, better version of me, who may still fall off the bed while making out, but will jump back up and keep going rather than lie face down on the floor trying to sink into the carpet.
Not knowing what to do I went from ‘stick around at the houseparty till everyone has gone to sleep and sit on their bed till they get the idea’ to ‘hurl myself aggressively at them and start eating their face’ because I had no idea what the steps in between were. It did not work at all, so I went back to my prior strategy. To be honest I still have no idea. Anyone who’s been on a date with me will tell you that I turn up looking nice, I smell good, my hair is shiny, I’m polite, charming, companionable talkative, like really talkative, but have the body language of a paralysed deer. If I like you I will probably sit with my hands in my lap staring moon eyed at you and hoping you aren’t wondering if I’m high. When you put your hand on my knee I will look at it, terrified, then look at you, and possibly back it, which generally causes you to remove your hand and worry what you did wrong.
When I think of successful chat up attempts I’ve tried in the past I cringe deep: once I stuck my hand in a man’s mouth and said “Your teeth are amazing”, another I started absentmindedly rubbing someone’s head as they sat next to me. A particularly memorable occasion shifted from ‘chatting on my bed’ to ‘heavy making out’ when I said, somewhat woozily, “I think it’s very important that I take my dress off right now”. No matter how fun each of the subsequent moments were I’m not sure I would be able to replicate the ‘flirting’ again.
At the moment I am suffering from a weird lack of confidence. When people flirt with me I gaze back at them suspiciously or shrink into myself. In fact I can name at least 4 people who I dated recently to whom I in no way communicated any sexual interest. While in a bar with my last date something different happened, they asked me suddenly if I was attracted to them. I went scarlet and looked into my lap, “Yes, very much so, but I have no idea how to flirt with you” I croaked. And then they sighed with relief. They put their hand on my knee and I looked at it and then at them and then tried to smile even though I was terrified and had no idea what to do with this information. We chatted, made future plans, made out. It was lovely.
So now I’ve resigned myself to the fact that should I be sexually attracted to someone on a date I’m going to have to say so. That’s right I’m going to have to blurt out, because lord knows I won’t find a good point to say it, I’ll shout it during a conversation about abortion just as the music cuts out, “I really like you and want to make out with you”. And then I’ll sit there and try not to faint as the person next to me says “Oh thank God for that”
I found the picture whilst looking for a photo of a frightened deer to send Sarah Woolley to represent my flirting face, so have no idea where it’s from.
And yes, the title does reference Genesis. I’m sorry.