Acceptable Expressions of Sexual Energy
The Art of Flirtation
Sexual energy is emitted and perceived so naturally and instinctively, it’s often downplayed or goes hardly acknowledged. Many people underestimate the power of flirtation, and there’s certainly an art to it. For some, flirting comes naturally and playfully; for others, it’s uncomfortable and uncertain. It’s definitely subjective because what one may do to casually express interest, may seem too bold or overbearing to another. Conversely, someone may feel they are pushing the envelope flirting with someone, only to find it seems to go unnoticed. One thing for sure is that positively received flirtation is initiated by someone who has found a commonality or connection with another, either by chance or by observation. Flirtation on some level, whether it is recognized as such or not, is conveying sexual energy. For the vast majority of people, it’s essential and a precursor to a sexual or love relationship. Flirting need not be seen as silly, unnecessary, or stressful. Engaging in harmless, low-key flirtation can be a tremendous mood-lifter, not to mention, a confidence builder.
There are numerous, verbal and non-verbal cues that we give and/or receive that involve sexual energy. It’s important to note that the expression of sexual energy, particularly in flirting with a new or not-so-familiar person of interest, isn’t directly tied to sex, per se. Proper, or appropriate flirtation is a way of revealing interest in a friendly, personal, and respectful way. And whether you're flirting or being flirted with, no assumptions of any kind should be made. If the concept of flirtation is not so familiar, if it feels foreign or awkward, or if you understand it but feel you aren’t so great at it, there are some suggestions and considerations that can be helpful.
As with any interaction with someone, it’s important to be genuine and true to yourself. Flirtation at its best comes naturally, so feeling and behaving naturally is most conducive. When someone's flirting is negatively received it is most likely because they’ve tried too hard. More to the point, he/she probably tried to say or do something that someone else did that was received favorably. This is why using pickup lines rarely proves beneficial. Communication of all kinds is best when it's personal and authentic. Of course, exercising some reserve is always advisable. You may find someone irresistible, and given the opportunity and the green light, you could see yourself being totally uninhibited. But that’s seldom, if ever, the case, and even if it were ever to be, it wouldn’t be in anyone’s best interest to throw such caution to the wind.
Be a people watcher. Allow yourself to casually observe human interaction of all kinds. The idea is to see how people respond to each other—how different verbal and non-verbal cues cause others to react. Approaches parents take with their children are great examples of determining what works or “speaks to” both parties. Notice what and how things are said by the parent to elicit desired behavior, action, or outcome from the child. Then observe and notice the reverse—how and what the child does and/or says that produces the desired result from the parent. Most assuredly it won’t be difficult to determine what doesn’t work for both parties, which is equally as important to recognize. Flirting comes across more naturally from someone who is (or has become pretty good at) reading people. Subsequently, being able to read people comes more naturally for some than others, but it can be learned. Even the best people-readers always have room to learn because human behavior is not consistent.
Flirtation often gets an unfair, bad wrap. It seems merely the verbal affirmation of it comes with negative connotations. “She’s a flirt.” "He flirts with everyone.” Being characterized in this manner is not something to which most aspire. And if someone refers to another as a flirt, it usually doesn’t convey a favorable opinion. But the truth is, most all people flirt at least sometimes; it’s a natural part of human interaction. I believe it is the inappropriate and undesired flirtations that have cast a dark shadow on the overall concept. When the experience is welcomed, if it’s even verbally acknowledged at all, flirtation is more favorably referred to as basic recognition that “she likes me.”
Besides what and how something is said in conversation, sexual energy can be exhibited through body language, facial expressions (a playful, sultry, or simply a friendly smile), and particularly with the eyes (a deliberate glance, lingering eye contact, or an appropriately timed and playful wink.) Flirtation is a bit of a game, but contrary to the dreaded “dating games” it serves to establish a connection rather than to leave the person of interest with even more questions. A cautiously, humble confidence is the ideal place to come from when engaging in flirtation or expressing sexual energy. If you proceed with caution then if/whenever your flirting isn’t received as you’d hoped, (and it’s happened to everyone) then you can adjust your course and avoid any misunderstanding or embarrassment.