How To Flirt

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Knowing how to flirt is important in every phase of a relationship. And yet – no matter how fun it may seem, it can actually be quite difficult and vulnerable to do.

When you flirt, you open yourself up to all sorts of amazing possibilities. But you also expose yourself to potential rejection. What if you are flirting with someone from across the room, then finally get up the nerve to talk to them, and they say “Why do you keep staring at me?”.

Thus, when consciously flirting, you should think of it as an open invitation that may or may not be received. Just know that if you learn how to flirt well, and you keep putting yourself out there – it will eventually pay off!

Why Is Flirting Important?

In Dating: It’s important to flirt so you don’t fall into the “friend zone”. You might have a great conversation with someone, but if there is no exchange of sexual energy, your chemistry could never take hold. Flirting brings attraction into an experience and lays the foundation of a sexual tension you may want to explore later. 

In Long-Term Relationships: When you spend all of your time talking about logistics, you can completely forget that you have an erotic connection that needs to be cultivated and attended to. Flirtation can keep long-term relationships sexy and fun. For example, maybe you’re talking about what chores around the house you are going to tackle this weekend. You might say to your partner in a flirtatious voice, “So, what do you think we should prioritize this weekend?” This is letting them know you may want to build some sexy time into your “chore” schedule.

In a Business Setting: People’s power is often visible in the charisma and chemistry they bring to a work situation. Particularly women frequently give up that power by turning off the connection to their flirtatious energy at work. Studies have shown however that flirting can be a real asset to women, especially during negotiations.

Men get in trouble if they are not bringing mastery and awareness to their flirting. Make sure if you are bringing flirtation to your work environment, you are not doing it in an inappropriate or harassing way. Read the clues – and NEVER use sexual innuendos (more about innuendo below).

How to flirt with a guy at work

3 Awkward or Creepy Flirts

Before knowing how to flirt well, it may be helpful for you to see how you can flirt badly. We have examples of three bad and awkward flirting techniques we definitely DO NOT recommend: 

The Creepy Flirt – Many words and actions can come across as creepy in the flirting world. The main thing you want to avoid is over-sexualizing things right away. A lot of people think flirting is offering sexual innuendos, peppered into a conversation. Like, “I’d drink anything that touched your lips” or something cheesy like that. When it comes to how to flirt with a guy, innuendos can work. If you are a guy flirting, sexual innuendos are not how to flirt with girls. 

The In-Your-Head Flirt – This is when you are trying to flirt, but are completely disconnected from your body and erotic energy. You are basically just trying to think of the right thing to say. To the person across from you, you’ll seem like you are off in your own little world – instead of being in the flow of connection. You’ll be perceived as uptight or frozen instead of playful and inviting.

The Pickup Artist Flirt – And don’t get us started on all the problematic ways pickup artists flirt! Some of them are champs at putting down a person they are trying to flirt, just to make them feel insecure. YUCK. Others think wearing silly, shiny hats and jewelry is the bomb – as if you are trying to attract a bird to your nest. These might work if you are looking to flirt with girls who are drunk. But if you are looking for a real connection, this is definitely not how to flirt with a woman. We recommend you avoid these manipulations and silly gimmicks.

Blocks to Flirting

As previously mentioned, flirting can be difficult for many people. Here is why you might struggle to give or receive a flirt:

  • When someone flirts with you, it flushes you with unexpected erotic energy. This can feel like your body is out of your control. If you are someone who likes to be in control, you might shy away from these kinds of experiences. However, consciously translating that fear into excitement might put you on a fun roller coaster ride.
  • It is very vulnerable to receive a flirt – and then reciprocate it. You might not be sure if they are really trying to flirt with you. Don’t feel embarrassed if you incorrectly respond.
  • If you are engaged in a serious two-way flirt, feelings of commitment or overwhelm might creep in and block you. Even if you think you are just playfully flirting, you might catch yourself worrying that you won’t be able to stop the process. You’ll fear you’d end up hurting someone’s feelings, or or have to deal with their anger. Angst that you won’t be able to keep your boundaries might freeze you. Or worse – that you’ll find yourself in a sexual interaction with someone you don’t really desire.

    If you are worried about boundaries, it is important to know how to slow down a flirt or get ready to exit. You might say something like, “Mmm. It felt so good to connect with you, but now I need to get back to my day. I hope you have a beautiful one!”. Or “It was so fun flirting with you!”.

    Sometimes people take flirting very seriously and get angry when you want to stop. If you feel scared or pushed, make an excuse and exit. These days there are even code words to alert bartenders that you need them to intervene or need an escort to your car. 
How to flirt with a woman
  • If you are in a long-term relationship, you might be afraid to flirt because it could feel like a promise for sex. Why not say “I want to flirt with you, but I’m not feeling in the mood for sex right now.”
  • Blocks also happen when you are in a monogamous relationship, and worry that it’s not ok to flirt anymore. Unfortunately, cutting yourself off from flirting with anyone besides your partner can sometimes shut down your sexuality. It might stop your flow of playfulness and desire and make you less interested in connecting with your partner.

    There’s a great quote from Mae West that totally applies here: “It doesn’t matter where you get your appetite as long as you eat at home.” This introduces the idea that you can keep your agreements – and still flirt. Sometimes partners make agreements about flirting and when it feels ok or not ok.

Once you feel empowered that it’s ok to get out there (while keeping your boundaries intact), you are ready to get your flirt on!

Pump Yourself Up

Before learning how to flirt with a guy or with a woman, you need to figure out how to flirt with yourself. Celebrate your sexiness, and walk with confidence in the world! So prior to going out to meet someone, take a moment in the mirror and flirt with yourself!

You can start out by closing your eyes, and taking some nice, deep breaths into your pelvic floor. This lets you connect with your erotic energy and feel fully in your body. You might want to touch your body or move your body in a sensual way (with eyes open or closed) to help you feel even more connected and embodied in your sensuality. Once you feel like you are inside your body, open your eyes and look at your sexy self in the mirror. Give yourself a good, sexy wink and tell yourself: 

“Mmmmmm, you are so sexy.”

“Mmmm, hmmmm, everybody wants you.”

“Oh yes, you are an awesome person, and you are open and ready for connection.”

Let yourself be playful and exuberant, and don’t hold back – no one is watching 😉
Watch the video below to learn how to do it from the best:

The Perfect Flirting Attitude

The perfect flirting attitude is laid back, open, and spacious in both your body language and words.

You want to have a naughty twinkle in your eye for playful flirting. While being fully connected to your body and erotic energy, you also want to flow it through your own body in an unobtrusive way. Then, no matter what you are talking about, you can make it sexy with a change of tone, a wink, or a naughty smile. 

To be fully inviting, you want to strike that delicate balance between spilling your sexual energy all over the other person, and being too pulled back. Show up with an attitude of in-the-moment curiosity, no expectations, and no pressure to make something more happen. Flirting is about getting to know someone more deeply, even if you’ve known them for a long time. 

How to flirtwith a guy

Flirting Examples – Body Language

In order to flirt with your body language, make sure you find the right distance. Pay attention to your flirting partner’s breathing and enjoyment. If they are inhaling deeply, smiling or laughing, and moving their body freely, you are probably at the right distance. 

Once you are at the right distance, playful body language can be touching someone on the arm or leg for just a moment. Or you might lean in for a conspiratorial whisper. If you are wanting to move into a more intimate flirt, you might even brush someone’s hair out of their eyes, or feel how scratchy their beard is. Fling a flirty smile or side glance in the conversational pauses for full effect.

Flirting Examples – Flirting with Words

To flirt with words, you can start your conversation about literally anything. For example, you might be casually chatting about how the weather has been this summer in your town. Then bring it into a more embodied, sensual interaction. “It’s been such a chilly summer. That’s why I’m so happy it’s warm today. The sun feels incredibly good on my skin.” This brings body awareness through words. 

Or, if you want to weave in a subtle compliment, you could say, “This weather seems to be making you glow.” Make sure you combine this with an appreciative look in their direction. Take pleasure in them and their pleasure, as it creates a circuit of energy.

Find Your Personal Flirting Style 

Take a moment to figure out what kind of flirt you are. Are you…

  • A shy flirt – do you avert your eyes and blush? 
  • An intellectual flirt – do you like witty banter or get turned on by intellectual conversation? 
  • A teasing flirt – do you like to make people feel a little embarrassed and uncomfortable? 
  • A body-centered flirt – do you flaunt your body or touch the other person to indicate attraction? 
  • A combination of some or all of these? 

What If Your Flirting Styles Are Different?

What do you do if you find yourself in a momentary connection or a long-term relationship where your flirting styles are different?

In long-term relationships, just like when sexual styles are different, you may be able to bridge your styles or take turns. When meeting someone new or going on a first date, pay attention to your partner’s style. See if you can bring some of their style even as you are offering your own.

How to flirt with a girl

How A Sex Coach Can Help

When you are first practicing flirting it can feel pretty awkward, and you will likely get little feedback from the world at large. If you do it poorly, you will probably experience the sting of rejection. Very few people will tell you why, or teach you how to do it better. This is where a sex coach comes in.

A sex coach shows you how to flirt properly and helps you practice, while giving valuable feedback along the way. They will help you with all aspects of flirting so you can get your style, words, and body language down before practicing in the wild. 

In particular, Somatica Sex and Relationships Coaches bring a flirtatious energy to their practice to assist you move beyond shame and feel welcomed. Also, they are connected to their own sexual energy which invites you into a relaxed, playful environment where it is fun and easier to learn. Listen to this webinar by Somatica sex coaches Danielle Harel and Celeste Hirschman:

If you’re having trouble flirting with your partner in a long-term relationship, there may be other underlying reasons. It can be helpful to have a relationship coach help you sort them out. Your coach can also teach you about each other’s styles and come up with ways that the two of you can bring your best flirt game to one another.

Find the perfect Sex Coach for you – Online or Near You!

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Celeste Hirschman
Celeste Hirschman
Celeste Hirschman is the is the co-creator of the Somatica® Method and the co-founder of the Somatica® Institute. She received an MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University, and a BA in Women’s Students from UCSC.

In her teaching and coaching, Celeste routinely draws on her extensive training in attachment psychology, sociology, gender studies, and body-based modalities like Hakomi. She uses these embodied learning principles to help students and clients tap into their own somatic wisdom, deepen their experiences of pleasure, and realize their full personal and professional potential.

A prolific writer, Celeste researched and published a defining paper on adolescent sexuality development in 2006, during her tenure at SFSU’s Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality.

Since then, she has co-authored 3 books with Danielle Harel: Cockfidence, Making Love Real, and Coming Together. She writes frequently and is generally the first expert journalists turn to for quotes and information on sex, dating, and relationships.

No matter what she does – whether she is co-producing the sex-coaching-based TV series Here She Comes, or teaching at the legendary Esalen Institute – Celeste always brings her unconditional love, scintillating presence, erotic energy, and insight to every part of her work.

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