When I was asked to present at the event, Master the F Word: Flirting, my first thought was “What do I do when I flirt with someone?” The answer was simple: I imagine myself fucking them. From this idea, I ran an experiential with the group, giving participants instructions to talk to the person in front of them imagining themselves coming from a place of wanting to fuck them. People seemed to really like the exercise, which was great. I got an interesting question from one young woman, though, which I think is worth elaborating on.
What I believe I heard her ask was, “ What do you do if the guy you are talking to only wants to fuck you and you can tell he wants nothing else?” Truth be told I was caught off-guard and unable to answer in the moment, but after further reflection, here’s what I would do:
The first thing I do when I meet someone new, say a potential lover, is check in with myself around what I want. Do I want to know this person more? Do they seem interesting to me? Am I attracted to them? What does my body want? Does it already feel like I want more from them than they have the emotional capacity for?
If I am unclear about any of the above, I usually just ask myself, am I still having fun talking with them? If the answer is “no,” I excuse myself. Not in a rude way, I just depart to the bathroom, the bar, another person, the door… If you know someone is not right for your life, move yourself away from them and towards people and situations where there is mutual interest.
I had a teacher once say to me, “I only spend time with people who light up when I walk into the room.” It was inspiring and has still stuck with me. Lovers, serious or not serious, ought to be the same. Regardless of the level of commitment with a person, if they are unable or unwilling to give you the things you need, they need to take a hike, or you need to take yourself on that hike away from them.
There was a second part to her question about what to do when it seems like men consistently ONLY want to have no-strings-attached sex. I know (because they enter my office everyday) there are many amazing men who want to have a committed, emotional, and intimate relationship that involves hot, amazing, tear-your-clothes-off-when-you-walk-in-the-door sex. So the issue is not necessarily that these men are not available and interested. If I found myself in those types of situations over and over again, my first response would probably be to change the places I hang out. If that didn’t seem to help, I would take some time with myself and ask others to help me understand what kind of signs or cues I am putting out there to others.
When dating or flirting, I follow the idea: what do I want. I constantly ask myself, “do I want to do that or not?” If the answer is “yes,” I go for it, and make myself vulnerable and open to the ever present potential rejection. Yes, I get rejected. With this stance on dating – putting yourself out there – everyone gets rejected. I try to act from my true desires and my real self. Even getting rejected here and there, something inside me comes alive when I allow myself to fully show up.
So to the beautiful woman who asked me how do I handle those situations, there is no magical solution. You have to ask yourself what is it that you truly want. What I want, or what anyone else wants is not important. It is about you. Owning yourself, owning your heart and desires, and making room for the ones who light up when you walk into the room.
Also posted on BetterSexEd