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  • Writer's pictureJaye Gaff

In which I can't flirt for shit

Has there ever been something you're so incapable of doing that you feel inadequate? I can't cook pancakes. I can't scramble an egg. I can't flirt for shit.

I am inescapably shy. My formative years were spent around people who diminished who I was and what I looked like to build themselves up. I've spent the majority of my life telling myself I am good enough but I never look at myself and feel sexy and, I just feel, that to flirt you need to feel sexy. I feel okay with how I look. I love my freckles and pale skin. I adore my boobs. But I don't feel capable of flirting.

If my life depended on it I would die. If my Husband and I ever get divorced I will die alone {which I don't actually see a problem with because I like being alone and I adore a good vibrator}.

Flirting is always an area where I've felt... lacking. I have never been able to flirt. Luckily, Husband and I met when I was seventeen so I never really had to do it. A friend of his exchanged numbers for us because he, too, is also hopeless at this stuff. I always watch movies or TV shows and think -- how do they do it? I am perfectly comfortable talking to men, that's not the problem. I am not comfortable talking to someone I have, or could have, actual feelings for.

I've been married for 11 and a bit years and I still can't flirt with my Husband. If I want sex I can't be "sexy". I just get naked, walk in to the study where he and his Hobbit-feet dwell, and ask to be boned.

Now, here's where another problem lies. I have been told by multiple people that I am a flirt. I used to have this "friend" who would always tell Husband to stop me talking to men because I was flirting with them. I have been told I flirt with men while my Husband is sitting right next to me. But I'm not and I don't. I swear.

Me laughing with a man, talking about sex or my boobs, heck, even touching here and there is not me flirting. If I could flirt that would not be it for me. Because I see men in the same way I do women and if there's no problem me touching a friend's boobs why can't I touch a man? I like to talk about sex and porn. I bite my lip a lot. I play with my hair. These are all, supposedly, signs of a woman flirting. But these are not signs of me flirting. If I really, truly, liked the man I was talking to I would not be talking to him. If I can sit next to a man then I am not attracted to him (Husband aside, obviously).

Let's look at 10 signs someone is flirting with you shall we?

  1. Prolonged eye contact: really? I make eye contact with everyone. How is this a thing?!

  2. A lot of brief glances: when I'm lost in thought I can look like I'm looking at someone. I'm not. I'm dreaming of bed. But if I am looking at you it's to wonder what you look like having sex (does anyone else always want to know what someone's orgasm face looks like?), or because you said something dumb or funny or I'm just annoyed by your very presence.

  3. Playing with their clothing: if someone fidgets with a button they could be flirting?! Who is looking at someone that intently to see some button play?

  4. Teasing or awkward compliments: I tease everybody and all of my compliments are awkward because I'm awkward.

  5. Touching while you talk: I touch everybody! This is something I started doing after I became a mum -- for me it's a very motherly caring thing to do and I do it with everyone without ever realising I'm doing it.

  6. Raising their eyebrows when they see you: what does this even mean?

  7. They let you catch them checking you out: I check everyone out. I am a huge perv, mostly for women. I'm also not really sexually attracted to people or, really, one gender. Anyone can turn me on but mostly I turn myself on or, rather, the thought of an orgasm turns me on more than any one person.

  8. Open body language: if their feet are pointed toward you they could be flirting. Or, and hear me out on this one, nobody gives a shit where their feet are pointed.

  9. They're the first one to react to your social media posts: I'm nice. Sue me.

  10. They move their body closer to yours: if you are seated next to someone and you're in conversation with them why wouldn't you move your body closer? Why wouldn't you touch their arm sometimes? I'm confused.

So what's a person incapable of flirting who gets labelled as a flirt to do? Because if all of those things that are intrinsically me are flirting then what the fuck do I have left?

I've toyed with the idea that maybe I do know how to flirt, maybe I'm even great at it, that it's just one of those things I don't realise? Maybe I'm the world's greatest flirt. Maybe I could teach classes on it and become a millionaire. But I doubt it. Because isn't flirting something we do intentionally? Shouldn't I know I'm flirting? Shouldn't I be in control of what I do and what I say? And, really, if telling someone, in vivid detail, about the sex dream you had about them constitutes flirting than I am screwed -- I have sex dreams about everyone.

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