From one Flirt to another

Date posted: March 9, 2008


I stood in front of my mirror and pulled my hair back to have a full view of my face; I examined each line and each feature as I entertained thoughts of all the compliments that I will get tonight at the cocktail reception. I reached out for my make-up kit and carefully hid the fine lines and the little spots. I smiled as I powdered my nose and applied the blusher on my cheeks. I pouted as I put on the lip gloss and took a long gaze at my reflection as I traced my upper lid with eye-liner. I added the final touches with Mascara and tinted cheek color before I let my hair loose on my forehead and the sides of my face. In my head, laughter then sudden silence filled the background as I made heads turn with my grand entrance into the ballroom. Like a little girl I twirled in my gown as I examined my side and hind views. I was really looking forward to going to that event and I was looking forward to a lot of fun … I released the coquette in me and I was ready to flirt. Why do I flirt? I have no idea! Am I targeting anyone in particular? No … not really! Am I fishing for a husband? Certainly not! Do I want to make a certain lady jealous? No … I take such feuds outside! I flirt because I am a flirt.

The party went perfectly well; I shined like a star, got all the attention I needed, and drove home on an ecstatic high. The morning after, I sat in bed reminiscing over the night before; the guys, the girls, the compliments, and the flirts. Compared to the flirting escapades that took place the other night, my flirting was quite innocent – a tease in other words. Standing in a corner at the back of the ballroom, I watched the huntresses gear for war. Like cupid, they aimed their arrows at the hearts and pockets of eligible bachelors and single married men. Armed with seductive smiles, laughter, and long gazes the girls told stories and jokes to entertain their preys. They showed off their expensive signature purses, watches, and gowns as they narrated all kinds of anecdotes about the countries they have been to and the places they have visited. As they launched their amorous attacks, they swayed to the music in the most inviting manner – their body language literally begged to be taken to the dance floor. Dancing is a great non verbal communication tool; I watched their sleek hands gently tap the broad shoulders and their longing arms reach out to the muscular torsos – all while maintaining mesmerizing eye contact and a constant pout.

Body language also plays an interesting role in flirting. Women touching, stroking, or playing with their hair say that they are approachable and when they remove their hair from side to the other revealing a bare shoulder or neck, they are clearly announcing physical attraction. Lips give away interesting signals too; licking, biting, and sipping are sort of the second base of flirting. When a woman touches or strokes any part of her body in the course of the conversation, or when she intentionally, yet accidentally, bares any parts of her skin, she is making a direct move on the man. Women know that many men have some degree of foot fetish; hence, crossing her legs while moving her foot up and down, or in circles, tells the man that she wants him, and when she starts taking off and putting on one shoe with the other foot, then she is saying that she is tired and that she wants to go to bed. Experienced flirts master the dangling carrot technique and know how to transmit unmistakable messages that if the man was good, he would be rewarded. Women were born with instinctive tendencies to flirt, and as Darwin put it, they use their selection processes to choose the best mate for the healthiest offspring. Personally, when I flirt, I know that I am sending cues that I am interested, healthy, willing, and approachable.

The flirt's motto goes something like that: "Look but don't you dare touch; touch but nothing more than a touch; maybe more but I am now dancing with you and in a minute I will fly with another beau. I am here to have fun and so are you." I know why I flirt; I enjoy the attention and I like exercising my hunting skills. I wondered if all the other social flirts share my reasons. This was how this feature initially started but this was not how it went. I called on a few of the renowned flirts in Cairo's social scene, informed them that I was writing a feature about girls and social flirting, and that I was interested in quoting them. To my surprise, the girls – all of the girls – responded defensively that they were decent respectable ladies and that they did not flirt! I asked the ones who were at the reception to tell me why they flirted the other night, and again, they completely brushed off my "accusation" with phrases that ranged from complete denial to various levels of lexical manipulation. They all seemed to agree that the guys were casual acquaintances and that their demeanor was flawless. Some of them even threatened not to talk to me ever again were I to write such "nonsense"!

They were all ready to point fingers at other girls who "do" flirt and they wanted to share with me the stories of shameless girls who tarnished the image of good pure innocent Egyptian girls with their blatant actions. I found that attitude to be completely sickening and provocative. It is always "those girls" as opposed to "girls like us" … a form of a sick projection of their flaws. I was left with a blank piece of paper staring back at me and a pressing deadline that had to be met. Under such pressure, I decided to write my piece regardless of what they thought. I will only refrain from showing their pictures and stating their names; I guess initials will do. And since they denied the whole flirting thing, I will just have to write my own analysis of their behavior.

I.Z. – my favorite flirt. She stops at nothing; single and older, single and younger, married, divorced, separated, kids, or no kids – any man is a target. She is neither pretty nor the most articulate so she makes up for her shortcomings by pushing her body on every male who crosses her path. Pouting and showing a lot of "tongue" in her speech are her favorite weapons – sad truth: men fall for this! Why does she do it? Because she needs to get married.

M.E.K. – the worst type. She eases her way into a man's heart like a smooth operator. She turns into a fragile biscuit that feels breakable and smells like vanilla. She has a way of baring her skin in the most lady-like manner while sincerely declaring, with puppy eyes, that she has never been in love, never met the right man, and never went beyond innocent flirting. Like Samson's Delilah, M.E.K. lures men with sweetness and charm until she has full control over them – then she could tame them and shave their heads. Why does she do it? Because she wants to land a rich husband.

D.I. – the illusive type. She puts on the I-am-so-not-interested face but once a guy is in her range of power she entraps him with a triple doze of passive aggressive seduction. Aiming her blows at his pocket and self-esteem, D.I. makes sure that she is challenging, unreachable, and hard-to-get. Why does she do it? Because she is bored and sick in the head.

A.M. – the classy girl. Born into a rich well-connected family this girl almost flashes her dual nationality on all occasions. She uses her girlish charm along with her education and upbringing to make a statement: I am cute and rich but down to earth – come and get me. Why does she do it? At times it is for entertainment and at others she is just craving attention.

R.R. – the wild tigress. Loud and hysterical this girl takes a party by storm making sure that she is spotted, heard, and escorted. Regardless of her knowledge or ignorance of the topic being discussed, she would barge into any conversation to prove her existence. Totally uninhibited, she flirts directly and strategically aiming at guys with looks or guys with power or both. Why does she do it? She loves competition.

S.S. – the sick child. She does flirt but her flirtatious attempts are all infiltrated with sympathy-seeking attention-grabbing episodes. She is always ill and is always in need of a savior. She majored in guilt trips and graduated with honors from the high institute of faking-it. Why does she do it? She needs a provider.

M.B. – the diva. She has the air of a heavenly creature – an ancient goddess who rules the world and the men of the world. Her advances are subtle but her techniques are outdated. She enjoys attention and loves to be surrounded by testosterone. Why does she do it? Assurance, love, and maybe a relationship.

N.Y. – the forever young type. This is my worst nightmare; I fear growing old and denying it. She intentionally does not wear makeup because young girls do not need it and she has the disposition of a "suppository"; smooth, tasteless, odorless, colorless, and highly uncomfortable. She believes that the best way to flirt is to have the I-just-got-out-of-bed attitude; tousled hair, dreamy eyes, and low voice accompanied by super long syllables. Why does she do it? This one confuses me; I am not sure whether it is marriage or just companionship she is after.

From coy advances to direct approaches women – me included – have again switched roles with men and have taken the lead in social flirting. Instead of the back seat, we have become forthcoming in the way we draw attention or make statements. It is nice to be a proactive female who refuses to sit on the bench but, on the other hand, it is totally provocative to delete all the red lines and turn from ladies to cheap meat. In the reality show, "Ladette to Lady", teachers at Eggleston Hall teach the girls how to brush off their bad manners and work on upgrading them into real ladies. The girls take classes in floral arrangements, cooking, fashion, table manners, and social ettiquette where they are instructed on posture, confidence, conversing, eloquence, and grooming. I am certain that if the teachers were at the reception with me, they would have had a stroke just listening to the convesation the girls struck with their dance partners.

From Eggleston Hall, I took my questions to Dr. Yasser El Manawy, Life Coach, who gave me some very interesting insights. Upon asking the certified psychiatrist to analyze such characters, he told me that this was a personality type that was unstable; such a woman is self-centered, insecure, lacks confidence, and constantly seeks attention. He resorted to the wrong methods of bringing up children in our society as a direct cause behind such a personality. Parents are too strict, too discriminating, or too accommodating and either way the girls suffer. Dr. Manawy explained the motives and drivers behind excessive flirtatiousness as the need to release hostility and negativity towards men. He said that such behavior symbolized their relationship with their fathers and how they craved the attention that they did not get when they were young. The flirting cycle is triggered with an instantaneous need for fun, when they do not get the attention they want at the time they want, they become very upset and sad and when they are down and sad they need more fun and more flirting.

Inside of their psyches, these women have a split between the values and ethics that they were brought up to embrace, and their actions manifested in flirting. Some of these women have the ability to take their flirting all the way into a complete relationship and those are the women who manage to bridge the gap between what they believe and how they behave. Those who, for fear of God or society, stop at the level of flirting believe that as long as no intercourse is involved then their flirting is forgivable and this is why they seem to hop from one guy to the other. It gives them a sense of the power that they lack in other areas of their lives; hence the attract-drop-attract sequel. Dr. Manaway concluded saying that female social flirts mentioned in this article need professional assistance because this type of flirting is an addiction; they get hooked on the excitement of the moment thus turning it into a habit.

Being a flirt myself, I have nothing against flirting. I actually think of it as a healthy relief of day to day frustrations. It is a harmless exercise that never fails to put a smile on my face. But in excess, flirting becomes, at best, disgusting and women who take their natural instinct for flirting to an extreme turn themselves into girls on display in a window in a crowded street; their moves and words tend to be staged and their reactions, like those of porn stars, are faked. After social pretences and hypocrisy, aimless pointless meaningless female social flirting is the new plague of the Egyptian society. Women flirt to the extent of literally throwing themselves at men as if those men needed another reason to toy with our hearts and minds.

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