Minus the City – Flirting Without Disaster

Cary Reed

While island bar-hopping on spring break with two friends, we pulled all the tricks everyone with a vagina has mastered: we said we were going to the bathroom but we’d be right back, we said that we had to leave now but of course we’d return tomorrow, we gave fake names, numbers, emails, and apparently we were staying in seven different hotels and three condominiums. By the end of each night, we were dodging hands, lips, and numerous crotchal regions.

My boyfriend thinks I’m very na’ve when it comes to the male mind. “You wouldn’t end up in those kinds of situations if you handled things better in the beginning.” Apparently just talking to a member of the male sex meant I want it. What happened to the line between flirting and getting physical?

With most girls, it takes a lot of reassurance to convince her that another boy is interested. She will say that she likes him, but that he does not like her and her friends will say that he does like her because, when she called him, he came all the way to the Jug from the townhouses. But she’s still not sure. A girl depends on flirting not only for entertainment but for that reassurance that a boy has feelings for her and would hook up with her.

Boys, on the other hand, are very different.

“Dude, that chick just looked at you.”

“She wants me.”

In this situation, talking, flirting or touching is all excess. She looked at you, therefore she wants you. And why waste time getting to the inevitable? She would never make the first move anyway, right? So the fact that she’s touching your arm and laughing at your joke and drinking your drink isn’t just flirting, but rather an invite to unzip your pants.

Girls love to flirt, and will do so shamelessly with any boy who will flirt back. Everyone loves attention. Girls also know that boys love to have sex, and will do so shamelessly with any girl who will have sex back. Everyone loves sex. And here is where I would argue that we are not so much na’ve as we are ingenious.

A girl knows exactly what to say to get out of a sexual situation that a boy thinks he is getting into. Through experience, girls know that while we may have to run away from the bartender by the end of the night, we’re not willing to sacrifice everything up until then. We could handle things better in the beginning, but then we’d miss the best part. We get to meet new people, maybe create an alias, listen to funny stories, feel pretty and drink for free. This is not to say that some girls are never seeking a random hookup, but if we are, we will let the guy know. And clearly. Until then, you boys might want to watch your wallets.