The Art of Flirtation: An Awkward Male’s Perspective

This is a Mars vs. Venus entry, meaning I’m going to share my male perspective, and then at the end of the entry you can click over to my blogger friend Katy’s blog for the female perspective on flirting.

I’ve always enjoyed flirting, but over the past year I’ve had a series of epiphanies about the importance of flirting to romantic relationships.

You see, I love the chase. Getting to know someone new, not knowing whether or not they’re interested or what they’re ready for…all that tension and suspense and curiosity. Love it.

But I’ve never been able to sustain the high I feel when the chase is on. It always dies down. So I started to wonder if there was a way to sustain the chase after you commit to someone.

Then I realized that the answer was right in front of me: In a relationship, you can sustain the excitement of the chase through intentional flirtation.

“Intentional” is really important here. Flirtation is a choice. Do you not think of yourself as a good flirter? Keep trying until you get it right. Do you not flirt with your husband or wife? Start doing it. Today. It’s really important. Do you often get stuck in the friend zone? It might be because you’re not flirting.

Also, let me be clear about what I mean by flirtation. I don’t mean signals or playful banter. Those things are important, but by flirtation I specifically mean doing something to get a rise out of someone else. To turn them on a little bit or ignite a spark of chemistry.

It’s sexual, but I think that true flirtation should exist independent of sex. Don’t flirt with someone because you want them to have sex with you right away. If you do, that person may stop responding well to flirtation because it’ll feel like a game, a means to an end. Rather, flirt for the sake of flirting. Flirt for the fun of the moment. Flirt because it feels good right now.

So here’s what I have to offer: 3 physical flirtation tips and 3 non-physical tips. I am by no means an expert. In fact, I can be quite awkward at times. But I think these tips are pretty universal–they apply to men and women.


  1. Proximity. Stand or sit too close to the other person.
  2. Physicality. Touch the person on their arm/leg, escalating the touch if they reciprocate.
  3. Focus. Make intense eye contact from time to time. Don’t stare–just show the other person that you see them and only them.


  1. Mention nudity. For example,  talk about when you’re naked at home, the last time you took a shower, etc. Be bold and make their mind wander.
  2. Ask the other person what they’re wearing. It’s such a simple, innocuous question, but it shows the other person that you’re picturing them in your mind at that moment, and it gives the chance to have some fun with their response.
  3. Send the other a photo of yourself, or part of yourself. With photos, what is left barely revealed is a lot sexier than revealing what’s underneath. Some people are afraid of photos getting spread around, so don’t include your face in the photo if that’s your concern.

What do you think? How important do you think flirtation is in a relationship? What are some ways that you get a rise out of people through flirtation? Head on over to see what Katy has to say about flirtation.

23 Responses to “The Art of Flirtation: An Awkward Male’s Perspective”

  1. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    I should note that Katy and I did not compare notes before posting, so I’m really curious to see what she had to say!

    • Katy says:

      I love your list, and am so glad that we didn’t compare our notes prior to posting!

      My favorites (and ones I need to remember) are the ones on the non-physical side. I obviously didn’t even consider those ideas as a necessary part of flirting.

  2. Chelly says:

    My favorite from your list is Proximity. This isn’t something I do to flirt on purpose, I just do it because I can’t get enough of that “closeness.” I crave it, which is why I could never be in a relationship with someone who isn’t touchy-feely like I am.

  3. Ansley says:

    I love this list! I’m kinda flirty and love the witty banter but sometimes, I like to make my point without words.

  4. DanM says:

    Knowing you as I only vaguely do now, I’m reminded of holding flirting/dating lessons in the middle of japanese class in high school. Though I don’t think you asked what I was wearing. And if you did, you probably said it in Japanese and I didn’t comprehend it anyways. But I’m pretty sure I touched your leg. It was good for me, hope it was for you too 😉

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Was I teaching the lesson? Because I’m pretty sure I had much to learn from masters of flirtation like you and Emily.

  5. DanM says:

    Ummm… you have to ask? Of course we were teaching you! And Ricky. The 4 of us with our desks in the corner off to the side from the rest of the class. Have you forgotten everything young padawan?

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Ha ha…it’s been a long time, Dan! I remember teaching you all Japanese. The flirtation lessons are much more faint in my memory, but I have a vague recollection of them. Am I missing any of the lessons in my 6 points above?

      • DanM says:

        I think you’re spot on with “flirt for the sake of flirting. Flirt for the fun of the moment. Flirt because it feels good right now.” I love to flirt! Flirting makes me personally feel good, not because I’m looking for attention, but because I like thinking I have an impact on someone else, that maybe I can make someone smile or feel good, even for just a moment. Maybe I have zero impact, or worse a negative impact (oh god :/) but why stand around waiting for euphoria to come to you, when you can start it.

        I compliment strangers all the time. Usually just a passing comment, not even looking for further conversation. Which perhaps makes me a creeper now that I think about it more. But that’s actually perhaps a good way to practice – be a creeper (ugh.. this is going downhill fast!). You’re likely never going to see a total stranger again, even if your flirtatious attempt goes well. Especially if you’re on travel. I say that’s one small bit of advice I’d give to Katy or other’s who are nervous. You’re in control, so there’s no reason to be nervous, you can always walk away too. We, as people, speak up to little, so speak up! Spread some joy!

        The other point I’d add is that timing is everything. If you let that crucial moment pass you by, then it becomes awkward. Or think of something brilliant after it is too late, well, find a way to bring the conversation back to that topic before you say your witty line with a wink. Pick your moments to flirt carefully. Be relevant! Someone is talking about how much they hate their job and you’re over there not listening to a word, just winking like you have a twitch, no go! Aww that must be hard for you. 😉

        • Jamey Stegmaier says:

          This is awesome, Dan. For the sake of my other readers, I know Dan from way back in high school, and he was quite the expert flirter even back then. If there’s a black belt for flirting, Dan has easily earned it by now.

          Dan, I think you’re married now, correct? Can you speak to how you keep flirting alive in your relationship and how that commitment changed the way you flirt with other people?

  6. Brad says:

    I just got back from the gym, where I decided to try this out. I stood too close to women, touched them and mentioned nudity. This did not work.

    Back to the drawing board, Stegmaier.

  7. Brad says:

    I, um, thought it best to end the experiment before I got to Katy’s list.

  8. Jill says:

    While I did enjoy this post and the lists – I can attest that I’ve done pretty much every single one of those things and I’m still a terrible flirter. I’m awkward.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Sorry to hear that, Jill. Keep trying. In particular, keep trying the stand-too-close method. It’s easy, obvious, and hard to mess up. And of course, if you do mess it up, please tell the story here.

  9. […] I haven’t read Katy’s take yet, but I’m eager to see her female perspective. Click over to check it out here. And if you’d like to check out our previous Mars vs. Venus entry on flirtation, click here. […]

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