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3 min

Flirting 101: It’s your move

A primer for picking up grrrlz

Can’t tell the difference between going for coffee and going on a date? You’re not the only one. The common lesbian or bisexual women’s lament is that nobody seems to be interested in them; they know how to make friends with that hottie at the club, but not how to pick her up.

The truth is most women don’t follow the same social rules as men. Men are socialized to take action on their interest. They approach, say what they want and wait for the answer. They risk rejection as many times as it takes to get what they’re after.

On the other hand, women are socialized to wait for someone to approach us and show they’re interested. We don’t want to risk rejection. But when dykes all stand around waiting for someone else to make the first move, nobody gets anywhere.

There are not-so-obvious ways to flirt so the risks are smaller, even though the intent, overall, is clear. It only takes a little courage. Here are a few tips to set you on the road to successful flirtation.

Show confidence. Confidence is very sexy. A lack of confidence indicates that you don’t know what you really want. Nobody wants to be someone’s choice out of desperation. Being chosen as interesting by someone with confidence is very hot.

Show interest. Eye contact is key. You don’t have to stare, but catch her eye and keep catching it. Smile often. Shyness can be endearing as long as you’re not too shy to even look. Use your eyes to show what you want. No matter where you are on the gender identity spectrum, there’s not much that’s sexier than bedroom eyes. Focus on the person you’re interested in. Demonstrate that you’re listening when she talks by giving her your undivided attention. If you’re being flirted with and like it, respond!

Take incremental risks. Move closer. Touch her somewhere neutral like her arm or shoulder and then move to less neutral spaces and see how well that goes. Sit next to her so your thighs are touching. Gently raise the stakes after each success. Don’t be afraid to include nonverbal cues like playing with what’s in front of you, using your hands or mouth to gently mimic sexual acts, leaning in to her, winking and anything else you can think of to unambiguously show her you’re interested. It should be fairly clear without you even saying a word.

State your intent. At some point there’s that moment when one of you wants the other and you’re both afraid to say so. Hike up your virtual cohones and speak your mind. I’ve even known some gals to pack a dick to give them the extra courage it takes to say, “I’d like to continue this somewhere less crowded” or “I’d like to enjoy more of this.” By stating what you want and seeing how she reacts, you’re giving her an engraved invitation, letting her know you want her and leaving the ball in her court. How delicious!

Respectful rejection. If you’re not interested or just like to flirt for fun, once you’ve exhausted nonverbal cues such as withdrawing or not responding, the only choice is to gently say you’re not interested. If you’re sure you’re not going to be interested in the future, telling her something like, “I’m flattered that you’re interested in me but I just don’t see you the same way,” lets her know that you respect the courage it took to show interest. If you’re interested but the timing is wrong, just say so. “I really wish I could take you up on that right now. Can we set another date?” not only shows you’re interested, but also opens the door to another opportunity to make good on it.

Practice, practice, practice. At the club, in the streets and at the laundromat, practice flirting every chance you get. Don’t be discouraged if the first woman you approach doesn’t fall over herself to fall into bed with you. Rejection is part of the process, and it isn’t the horror we make it out to be. Keep at it and you’ll find success.