Glorious summer is finally upon us. At last hot sultry days and long buggy nights when the sun doesn't go down until well past Happy Hour. You know what's especially fun to do with all those extra hours of daylight? Flirt. But since we've officially dubbed this 2013 season the Summer of Sexy, it's advisable that you don't just engage in any old run of the mill flirtations. To honor the potential of this very special summer you may want to consider learning how to flirt brilliantly.
Brilliant flirtation is the art of openly expressing your authentic self and causing your object of attention to become totally and completely smitten. We often revert to the most timid, inhibited, awkward version of ourselves when attempting to put our attraction into action. But if you want to be a truly effective flirt, you must counteract this tendency by learning to bravely bare your authenticity when looking for love. So this summer dare to ignite your own natural heat and let your real self shine bright. Do this and we promise, others will swarm to your side like mosquitoes to a buzzing blue light. Zap! Gotcha.
Sound like an enticing proposition? Well lucky for you we wrote a whole book on mastering this art - Smitten: The Way of the Brilliant Flirt. It's an absolute must-read for anyone who wants the skills to immediately enrapture another, without ever compromising their true self. But in the meantime, here are 10 tips to help you start maximizing on your inner glow...
1. Location, location, location
If you're interested in making real live human connections, you must position yourself accordingly. As you walk into the bar, restaurant, or steamy subway car, sit in an easily approachable area. The shadowy corner in the rear of the room surrounded by a host of friends is not an ideal spot to entice new interactions. This positioning creates an impenetrable fortress that only a reckless, desperate individual would attempt to breach. Since dating those unstable types is so last summer, we recommend instead choosing a spot that's an open, welcoming environment fit to receive the kinds of visitors you are eager to mix and mingle with.
2. The Creative Querist
A surefire way to make your flirting fall flat is to insist upon asking the mundane initial questions we all know so well. "Where are you from?" "What do you do?" "Where did you go to school?" Blah, blah, blah. Aren't we all sick of reciting our hometowns, positions, and pedigrees? Add some sexy summertime spark to the exchange by asking something unexpected. "What's the scariest animal you've seen in the wild?" "Have you ever counted your freckles?" "Do you think papaya tastes like dirty feet too?" You can gain loads of inspiration from your immediate environment, by asking how the bench suits her bottom, or if his fish is fried to his liking. Tap into your genuine curiosity and allow your unique inquiry to emerge. Whether they respond with a laugh, a smile or a slap, it'll be a whole lot more interesting than "Paramus. Programming. Penn State."
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Quality flirting begets more quality flirting. So in the Smitten philosophy we never ration our flirtatious energies. Instead, we flirt all the time. This doesn't mean that you're open season for unwanted sexual encounters. It just means that you create playful, friendly, fun interactions from the minute you set foot out your door. Give the bus driver a dazzling smile, say something super sweet to the doorman, offer the woman who moved over to make room at the bar a sip of your refreshing mint julep. By the time someone crosses your path that you might really want to get to know, you'll be all warmed up with your mojo on high.
4. Uncork Your Joy
You really wanna be a Smitten super-star? Try this flirtation whopper: unselfconscious, uninhibited expressions of joy. We are flummoxed as to how "playing it cool" became the standard for anything, especially in romance, where the whole point is passion. The truth is that underneath the cool façade is fear. It can feel vulnerable to express joy because it signifies we really care. If we really care, then we run the risk of being disappointed or disheartened. But this is precisely why your uninhibited expressions of joy are so sexy! They display your fearlessness, your lack of self-consciousness, and your giant heart. A simple exclamation like "Holy Tallulah, I LOVE this song! It's got the best syncopated harmonic structure I've ever heard! Listen!" shows that you are not afraid to take a risk and open yourself to passion and excitement. Your unself-conscious expressions of joy will infuse the whole encounter with a feeling of exhilarating freedom.
5. Body Talk
When the evil sea witch Ursula stole young princess Ariel's voice, she ensured the little mermaid that even without the ability to speak, she still had the essential element to woo and bait her charming Prince Eric... body language. We gotta admit, Ursula was on to something. Your body language says it all: "Come talk to me, I'm open to play", or "Stay away, only my Smartphone gets my love." Out of intimidation and fear we tend to close off physically, hunching our shoulders or dropping our head when we smile - major flirtation fails. Next time you're talking to an attractive stranger, keep your head lifted, shoulders squared, and heart wide open. Physically showing you are available will naturally set the stage for sexy flirtatious fun times.
6. Let Your Freak Flag Fly
There is nothing less sexy than the status quo. In fact, we are disgusted with the amount of advice out there that encourages repressing our strange and quirky attributes. Instead of always playing it safe, go ahead and admit your paralyzing fear of chickens, fascination with cadavers, or bout with the rare foot fungus that resulted from your teenage experiment living sans shoes for an entire summer. Offer up unique and odd tidbits about yourself to spice up the conversation and inspire a creative response from the other. If you want a truly tasty night don't be scared to color outside the social lines. Just a pinch of your freaky flavor now may lead to a whole feast of possibilities later.
7. Remember the Universal Motivator
If you don't know the Universal Motivator, here it is: LOVE. Each and every one of us wants, desires, craves, and thrives on love. Most of our behaviors with others spring from this inherent human need. Some people have really strange ways of handling their urge to be loved, like those guys that make creepy comments or those chicks who suddenly act all gossipy and critical for no apparent reason. Do not get sidelined by these bizarre behaviors! As a brilliant flirt you must remember the Universal Motivator and treat everyone you encounter with an underlying energy of kindness, respect, and sensitivity. This compassionate attitude will create an aura of generosity that is far sexier than any cool or snobby reaction could ever pretend to be.
8. You Better Recognize
There is nothing more arresting than being seen. Each of us craves recognition for our distinctive qualities, whether it's our sunny smile, our uncommon wit, or the ethereal grace we exude as we stride through a room. Making an astute observation about your object of attention will show that you see them and appreciate their particular nuances - they are not just another face in the crowd, they are special. So say something like, "You know, you really have such a lovely balance of both masculine and feminine energy," or "Your brow bone is so nice and strong. In another life you definitely could have been a Viking king." The brilliant flirt never forgets the power in giving the gift of genuine recognition.
9. Flirt Unto Others
Flirtation can be quite delicate territory, since it involves matters of both the heart, and loins - two very vulnerable spots. Because of these high stakes, flirtatious encounters can quickly transform perfectly honest folks into lying sacks of shit. As such, it is imperative that you check your urges to misrepresent yourself and abide by the Smitten code to always be real. If you are an assistant, do not pretend to be the editor. If you are drowning in debt, do not behave like a high roller. If you have four kids from a previous marriage, don't act like you've never changed a diaper. First, your lie will be found out, and it'll be a really embarrassing turn-off. Second, the brilliant flirt owns and rocks exactly who/what/where they are in this moment in this life, without apologies, no matter what the circumstances - and that is mad hot. So flirt unto others as you would have flirted unto yourself by being totally, unapologetically real.
10. Rejection Shmejection
Seriously sexy writer/poet/philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson offered this invaluable flirtation advice well over a century ago: "Do not waste yourself in rejection; do not bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good." If you are going to be a brilliant flirt, you must be courageous enough to open up and give your attraction a shot. If the object of your flirtation doesn't pick up what you're laying down, don't waste an ounce of energy taking it personally, for nothing is personal. They simply aren't the right fit, are otherwise engaged, or you remind them of their little sister, and no one wants to make out with their little sister. So never let rejection dampen your game. Instead lift your chin, take a deep breath, and set your beauteous gaze in a brand new direction.