Flirt Flirt Bang Bang

Why flirting can be just as orgasmic — if not altogether better — than sex. 

As I’m about to embark on my hundred-day quest for things better than sex, I wax nostalgic about great dates in the past that ended with both me and my date still having our clothes on. My first date in 2006 is pretty high up there.  But “date” doesn’t exactly cut it: there was no dinner, candlelit or otherwise, and no token movie afterwards either. Just two cups of midnight cappuccino at some out-of-the-way café, two reluctant insomniacs, and…an honest-to-goodness three-hour flirting showdown.

Perhaps our flirt-à-tête was less ambitious than the soul-baring exchange between Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in “Before Sunrise” but, at its best, it swung the romantic pendulum towards “artful coquetry”, as my date put it. Eschewing the overrated transfusion of bodily fluids for a duel of wits, our date was as Wilde as it could get.

Such as it was, the date was a pure delight, one I’m tempted to call, with my resurgent pretensions to sophistication and sexual naïveté, both an intellectual exercise and a social experiment. For one, it will certainly go down in my book as the time I officially coined the term (and future buzzword, methinks): “FQ” or Flirting IQ. For the longest time, sex has been thought to be flirting’s logical or, to the more id-indulgent, inevitable conclusion. This simplistic notion overlooks the fundamental tension between the two; this nugget of erotic wisdom was best served in Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”: “Flirtation is the promise of sexual intercourse without a guarantee.”

Indeed. Which brings up the question of “chemistry” between two people. First we have romantic chemistry, about two people being emotionally compatible that leads to a commitment. Then there’s sexual chemistry, with the culprits being physical attraction and raging appetites of the nasty sort. But a different kind of chemistry – just as consequential, I think, and even more interesting than the first two, curiously slipped out of people’s radar: flirting chemistry. That smoldering magical spark we see between legendary Hollywood screen pairs wrapped up in their witty repartee? Flirting chemistry. (And Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid can tell you all about it. *wink*)

I suspect that the reason why flirting chemistry isn’t getting as much ink as, say, its sexual counterpart, is because flirting is habitually viewed as – ugh! – foreplay, a mere pre-coital social lubricant. Nothing wrong with foreplay, alright, but to simply engage in flirting to get into people’s pants is like having sex to breed. Flirting is a pleasure in and of itself, and unabashedly my drug of choice (and my date’s as well, who is a flirting virtuoso). I’ve realized too, having gone on a decent share of dates, that a flirt is only as good as his flirting partner. If hopeless romantics agonize over hard-to-find soulmates, the ideal flirting partner – and his unique concoction of wit, timing, sensual charisma and ingenious innuendos – is a lot more elusive.

Recalling the orgasmically unorgasmic success of that date, I’m now thinking of devoting this summer to an academic investigation of flirting, the art and science of it. Certainly, the date has inspired a thesis of what I think is a worthy Carrie Bradshaw entry:

“In the age of instant gratification, good old flirting has given way to the pick-up line which, in turn, has been losing its following to quickie-happy cruising, language be damned. Is flirting going the way of the dodo or, horrors, has it actually gone extinct?”

I couldn’t help but wonder.

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One Response to “Flirt Flirt Bang Bang”

  1. Wow – You have e hooked now! That was SO A Carrie entry.

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