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In which Lindsey lets you in on some flirting info.

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Host: Dr. Lindsey Doe

Directing/Filming/Editing: Nicholas Jenkins

Titles: Michael Aranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green
You realize you are attracted to someone, what do you do now? You flirt. Flirting is signaling intimate interest and is also determining whether or not the interest is mutual.   My earliest memories of flirting were picking on a boy I liked; I think I even kicked him. Doh! Then, there was middle school flirting which was a different type of incoherence. I would type a letter, change the font to Wingdings, print it off and give it to my crush to decipher. By high school, I had more models of flirtation. PG-13 movies and my peers, things like footsie and hickeys, grinding, giving rides home and being polite! We used these nifty things called double entendres where one line could have an innocent meaning and a sexual one at the same time!    Any of those times when someone has chased a sentence with "that's what she said"? It's a double entendre. Like you, I've learned a lot about flirting from living. But there's still more to it! First, a little known fact: flirting is not exclusively sexual. Flirting is a communication tactic to imply a higher degree of intimacy than what has actually been developed. In addition to being a means of increasing intimacy, it could also be used for entertainment, self-esteem, gaining rewards like tips, deals, invitations. Here's how it happens as observed by curious researchers.   One: a three-part non-verbal step that includes: I'm here, this is my gender, you may approach me. Field of eligibles. Typically, guys get louder and bigger. In contrast, women flash their necks, lick their lips, and make eye contact. Two: eye contact. The flick of an eyebrow followed by a short gaze is called an eyebrow flash. Official term: eyebrow flash. It has to be longer than a second to communicate that I'm interested in you more than the rest of the things in this room, but shorter than three seconds so that you don't reach the point of creepy and threatening. During this important moment, watch out for non-verbal leakage.   Non-verbal leakage is a truth, so for my childhood self, when I kick someone, indicating "I don't like you", what I was really leaking is, "Let's go sit in a tree for some K-I-S-S-I-N-G." For adults, this scenario is switched: when the eyes may say "Okay," the rigid body posture facing away is a stronger non-verbal "no." Yawning, scowling, flirting with someone else - these are leaking indicators too. Sounds confusing? Here's my tip. (Nick: "That's what he said.") Another style of eye contact: repeated glances. Instead of building eye contact time by building one glance for two seconds, you're going to make repeated glances where you gather seconds over time. You're still giving them the message you're interested, you're still using visual cues to understand whether or not this person has interest in you, and you're giving the other person time in between glances to look away if they're not into it.   This leads to three: the approach, when the seeker reads from the sought a go-ahead, and approaches. Researchers have found that this happens within a few minutes, but pick-up artists would prescribe a thirty-second rule so as not to psych yourself out. Hmm? The next step is four: talk. Observe what you have in common, and focus on that. A personalized opening line is much more acceptable than something about polar bears breaking ice or space pants. Personalized - not personal. Be external - think about the shared interest that you can see between each other. Not where they live, their last name, or how to stalk them later. Intimacy is being negotiated; it's not there yet. You don't wanna ask questions that come across as invasive or unsafe.   I say all this, but you know whether or not this banter is going well, because it will feel balanced and it will be full of syllables. "What?" will become, "Whaaaat?" Five: swivel and turn. People will go from a side-to-side position to more of a face-to-face. If you're matched well it won't be this difficult. It should feel good, and energizing. If it doesn't, the rhythm is gonna get you. Someone will angle to you fast, or not at all, and the flirtation will be off - so leave with grace.  "Well, it was nice chatting with you, enjoy your night." If swiveling does work, and situates people face-to-face, it's not only reinforcing the flirtation, it's also communicating to everyone else in the room that they're under negotiation. "We're semi-exclusive, don't interrupt our flirt." In a heterosexual context, women control the next move. In same-sex relationships, there isn't so much of a gender script, so they get to intimacy faster.   Number six: the touch. Something like, "Oh, let me get that eyelash for you," or, "Aw!" If it is met with a "thank you," a return touch or a smile, feel free to keep going. If it seems to startle the person and nothing friendly is reciprocated, "Well, it was nice chatting with you, enjoy your night." More importantly than how to flirt, I want you to be able to recognize rejection and disinterest. Persisting after a non-verbal "nah," "no," "no way," "get away from me" is harassment. If you sense that you have to work harder to get what you want or the signal is unclear, well, "It was nice chatting with you; enjoy your night."   If the person actually wants your attention, they'll approach you later. Flirting is nuanced, but it's also very clear. Recognizable enough for researchers and onlookers to know what's happening.   Number seven: the last step in the pattern researchers call synchronization. If the flirting makes it here, things have become natural. Their movements, their breathing, their observations of the environment are all going to synchronize. It cannot be faked - I cannot even demonstrate it for you. All I can tell you is that it is an effortless unison, and it opens a platform for someone to make an explicit invitation.   To support Sexplanations and become a Sexplanaut, check out and subscribe to Subbable. I actually would love to hear from you. Leave your questions about attraction and flirtation below and stay curious.   Doh! I can't. Doh! DOH! Doh! Doh! Grrgh. Doh. *laughs* This has been done to me so many times in my life, and I don't know how to do it.