Easing back into the dating pool after a substantial absence can be tough. Not only am I a little rusty when it comes to the complicated dance of getting to know someone new, but apparently the rules of engagement have changed as well.

In an attempt to broaden my social circle and meet people that haven’t 1) dated any of my friends, 2) thought about it, or 3) I already know too much about, I decided to try something new and sign up for OkCupid, an online dating site (and at the very least, I’d get a story or two out of it!).

Although the reputation of online dating sites can be a little shaky, I cannot dismiss the ability of the interwebs to introduce you to cool people. As an avid Twitter user, I have met an incredible group of new people through the ‘net. I have hooked up with like-minded individuals, met and interviewed some of my favorite writers and artists, cultivated a wonderful group of sisteren, and even met a few cool guys as well. So the ‘net has definitely been good to me. But dipping my toe into the world of online dating has been very interesting to say the least.

In the week since my profile has been live, I’ve heard from a mixture of (what seems to be) decent guys and a few pervs—which I totally expected. One man (who happens to be WHITE *gasp,* told y’all I was experimenting) gave me his number and we began texting back and forth. In the beginning he seemed cool. He was born and raised in California, he works as a project manager, loves hip-hop and expensive liquor. Cool. Aside from his incessant love to ask “truth or dare” type questions, he seemed to be a good person to get to know.

But how quickly things change.

After inquiring about the basics—what I like to do for fun, what do I do for a living, what is the craziest thing I’ve ever done (bungee jumping, btw)—the talk turned to sex, and I knew it was about to go down hill. Fast.

While I’m certainly not a prude, I do think talking about sex too soon can put the kibosh on getting to know someone. Instead of it being sensual, it can signal that you’re just looking for a booty call, not to genuinely learn about the other person.

So when ol’ boy asked if I liked oral sex, I knew this wasn’t going to end well.

After explaining that I’ve been celibate for over a year, he seemed shocked. And then preceded to offer up his services, texting, “Too bad I’m not there. I would have gone down on you slow and deep.”

Say what?

When I called him on his crassness and told him that I felt he was being a little too forward considering we just met, he brushed it off. As a matter of fact, he got snippy because I didn’t fall all over myself at his proposal and said, “It’s called flirting.”

Word?

Maybe I’ve been out of the scene for too long, but if I remember correctly flirting is all about mystery—about exploring the possibilities about what’s to come. A smile, a dope conversation, a well-placed hand, a sly joke, a dance, an embrace—that’s the type of flirting I remember (and enjoy). But talking about giving and receiving head even before you’ve gone out on a date? Definitely not a good look.

Although some may blame his lack of couth on the fact that we met alone, I’ve had similar conversations with men I’ve met in “real” life. I can’t tell you how many men I’ve met while out and about and the first time we’ve talked, one of their first questions is, “When can I come to the house?”

The breakdown of proper flirting and courting is something that has been happening for years now. With the proliferation of sex and misogyny throughout our culture it’s no wonder that men (and women) have lost the ability to get to know each other respectfully.

Despite the inability of some to flirt properly, I still expect men to step up to the plate and be respectful. Although the frogs sometimes outnumber the princes, I know that the art if flirting is not dead…even if it’s harder to find.

What do you think? Is flirting a lost art?

 

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  • Indigowaters

    It’s dead. Within the first day of conversing with someone that I already had a red flag up about, he asked the dreaded question: “When was the last time you were in a relationship?” code for: “When’s the last time you got some?”. I tried to divert the question with some “What do you like to do?” questions, and he just came right out and asked if he could give me oral. Scared the crap out of me! First, I don’t know you . Second, I don’t know where your lips have been. Needless to say, I blocked him and eventually deleted my account from that site. I’m an attractive woman but I’ve haven’t been approached by a real gentleman in a long time. Guess that’s why I’m still single. :-/

    • “A smile, a dope conversation, a well-placed hand, a sly joke, a dance, an embrace—that’s the type of flirting I remember (and enjoy).”
      I want to vomit… girl what kind of panties are you wearing.. that’s what I want to know

  • Rastaman

    Am I the only one who is confused by this article. Flirting is defined as “… is a playful, romantic or sexual overture by one person to another subtly indicating an interest in a deeper relationship with the other person, and can involve verbal comunications as well as body language. Body language can include flicking the hair, eye contact, brief touching, open stances, proximity etc. Verbal communication of interest can include the vocal tone, such as pace, volume, intonation. Challenges (teasing, questions, qualifying, feigned disinterest) serve to increase tension, test intention and congruity.”

    What the author and many of the women are complaining about is that they did not like how these men flirted but it is being advanced as there is no flirting anymore. You all need to do a better job of articulating exactly what you mean and stop all the propoganda. One thing I know about men is that when it comes to women our behavior is dictated by what works for us before. So obviously there are women who find blatant sex talk and implied home invites appealing.

    I am no Adonis but i have gotten early invites to women’s homes and risque sex talk. I for one thinks it is amusing because it is obvious these women are comfortable with that or had it work with some men earlier. I am not shocked at all because i undertsand it takes all kinds.

    • Todd

      I agree! Men do what works! It looks like the author is the exception in this case, and not the rule. Which isnt a bad thing, by the way!

    • African Mami

      @ Rastaman

      “You all need to do a better job of articulating exactly what you mean and stop all the propaganda.

      The essence of flirting is mystery, not bluntism, well at least to me.

  • To meet someone online is flirting to begin with and for a black female to meet a white guy online seem to indicate that she is open to almost anything.

    • Clnmike

      @Kemwer,

      It sounds like your suggesting that because she is black and he is white that he is justified in being forward and blunt with her. Which only suggest that because she is black talking to a white dude she is a ho.

    • Indigowaters

      That’s what I gathered too. While I don’t date white men, her being open to it has nothing to do with not wanting to be approached in a disrespectful way. If that were the case, what are black men? They started dating white women before we were open to going across the color lines. And to answer Rastaman, just because a female invites you in and is open casual sex or talking about it, doesn’t mean a lady wants the same thing. Learn the difference.

    • BeautyIAM

      Kemwer, can you please elaborate?

  • Flirting isn’t dead. People are just bad at it. my definition of flirting meets yours but some of these dudes out here don’t know the line that makes it inappropriate. Personally, I don’t think a man should bring up anything sexual unless the conversation comfortably flows there. Other than that, I’d say it’s borderline disrespectful and an early indication that he isn’t interested in much more than sex. Great read!

    • miss white what are you wearing?

  • A Lo

    Yes, flirting and dating is a lost art. After complaining about a date I went on with a man, my beloved mother said to me ” We don’t know how to get to know one another.” I found her statement to be true. Some men are not interested in getting to know you they just want sex. A guy that I had only three social interactions with had the nerve to ask, “When will we share a bed together?” Are you serious? I’m not a prude by no means but these frogs are too bold.