Saturday, October 29, 2011

If You Don't flirt Back, It's Sexual Harassment

Weeks ago, I started writing this post. Working and re-working the text, the concepts, the content. Finally, I realized it was definitely all of the above. The old version of this post pitted trim, thin, and skinny women against their curvy, filled out fleshy counterparts. And I didn't want to add to the body hype. And since my message has implication across the spectrum of bodies, it made sense to put everyone on the same time against anger, loneliness and other such ethereal concepts. So here's my deal...or the deal...or one of a host of deals out there to be addresed as they relate to the getting together of guys and girls.

I'm in a Facebook community called, "if guys like 'curvy' girls then why do all the skinny ones have boyfriends?" Now, being a self proclaimed lover of curvy women and knowing that I'm by no means, the only one of my kind, this group is an affront to my sensibilities. Not that it exists...but that it needs to. I spoke a bit with the groups creator who expressed personal and observed frustration at a common singleness among the soft, sloping ranks of the curvy.

   There's a great scene in the film, Spanglish, in which the narrator ruminates on the nature of body image:

     American women, I believe actually feel the same as Hispanic 
     women about weight. A desire for the comfort of fullness. 
     And when that desire is suppressed for style, and deprivation 
     allowed to rule, dieting, exercising American women become 
     afraid of everything associated with being curvaceous, such 
     as wantonness, lustfulness, sex, food, motherhood, 
     all that is best in life.
I think she makes some interesting points. And I think that she's mostly right. There is a degree of internal comfort in the natural contours of one's body. Internal confidence engenders a high degree of self awareness and introspection. People with high self awareness and introspective natures make excellent partners. Healthy concerns, expressive emotionally, but not co-dependent. So, to all the self-sustained women living in the comfort of fullness; I want to date you.

   Here's the rub.
   In some way shape or form, before "happy couple", comes "flirting strangers." There seem to be a phenomenon wherein lots of people don't like to flirt. But, like that group is based on individual experiences, so is this post. But hopefully, this is more of a call to action, than pure lament. I am an insatiable flirt. Sometimes I even flirt when I don't want to. I do it for fun. I do it for profit. I do it to get places. I do it to kill time. It's a little like shopping.

But, it's more like a dance. It's give and take. It's compromise. And, as much as it pains me to say, in my experience, some girls do the dance like Blackpool Champions. While a lot of others act like they don't even like to dance, much less be in a dance club. 

   There's much fun to be had in flirting. I don't know why everyone doesn't do it all the time. Work. School. The mall. For a challenge flirt at the DMV. But even if my flirt radar is always up, it takes two to tango. Rapport building? Chatting up? Flirting? All of this has to start somewhere. A stranger says "Hi" on the street. A guy who uses the machine near you in the gym nods to you. The smiling cart pusher in the produce asile. No matter what something becomes, it usually starts as something else. Most experts identify flirting as a means or an end. If I sound a little obsessed, I don't always flirt...Sometimes I sleep. 

  A few women, in my experience, are on board with the anytime flirt mentality. At the gym, she's the girl who nods back, and may even remove an earbud for a chat. When you ask to sit next to her at Starbucks, she'll eye you up and may or may not offer you the seat. But, you got the once over. And that's all I wanted, a shot. 

   Before you decide that ALL guys are horrible, that they only date skinny girls, that they only date ______, make sure you are a little more comfortable with you, and that your flirt radar is pinging.

Flirting Sunset by ~krisagon on deviantART