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Does It Hurt to Flirt?

There are many different perspectives on the act of flirting. I would like to offer mine in this quick and dirty post.

Flirting is a lost art form, tucked away in the back of our closets by conventional worldviews that purport such judgments as, “If you are in an intimate relationship you should not flirt with other people. “If you like to flirt with someone other than your intimate partner, you are bad”. And to that I reply, “Why?”

Flirting, or as I like to call it, the act of non-sexual seduction, is nothing more than a dynamic energetic exchange. While it is true that intention, awareness and impact play an important role here, I’m assuming in this piece that those things are already accounted for and are correctly situated within this equation, meaning — in the act of flirting our intentions are good, we are aware that we are flirting, and that the impact is well received by the other person, without any hidden desires for this flirting to extend into other arenas (a.k.a the bedroom, the couch, the kitchen table).

Why not flirt if the moment moves you? Does it really hurt to flirt? In fact, I am proposing that it actually hurts more if you don’t flirt. And here’s why….

Flirting is a dynamic exchange of energy between two bodies. By denying or repressing that energetic exchange, in moments that you feel so moved, not only neutralizes your masculine/feminine essence or energy, but you also begin to lose life force.

If by flirting, I can increase the life force for both myself and another person, I say,”kick it!” If by denying the act of flirting, I also deny life force for both myself and the other person, I say, “that sucks!”

So, does it hurt to flirt? What’s your perspective?

Wink, wink!

Author Bio:

Kelly Sosan Bearer is the Co-founder of Integral Chicks. Kelly currently serves as Executive Producer for Sofia Diaz and Multimedia Producer at Buddhist Geeks. An ordained Zen monk, Kelly graduated from Naropa University with a MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology. She goes by the alter-ego DJ Sosan and has been dropping beats for the Integral scene since 2005. Follow her on Twitter @KellyBearer.

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12 Responses to “Does It Hurt to Flirt?”

  1. Susan Black
    August 1, 2010 at 3:35 am #

    I have food allergies, so I find myself craving bread, dairy, sugar…including chocolate etc. If I indulge in these foods, I find myself feeling bloated, sick and left with the feeling that the “thought” of the food was more appealing than the actual food itself.

    This is close to almost identical to how I feel about flirting outside of an intimate relationship.

    If people truly are able to view flirting simply as an exchange of dynamic energy then I see no problem with it. Unfortunately, I mostly see flirtation being used as a way to fill a need for attention which feels superficial. Even still…if that is how someone chooses to exchange energy, that is their choice.

  2. Flirty guy
    August 3, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    Well I am in a completely satisfying relationship (in every way), good conversation, friendship and sex. In the context of my minging with others Artists at shows I gave myself permission to flirt with woman whom I was attracted too, I was having a great time until one of the gals started coming on to me and the whole thing escalated too far. I had to withdraw from her, the flirting thing and fix things with the love of my life.

    Sexually attraction is hard to control and giving myself permission to flirt was a wrong choice for me!

    Now if I were single it would be a fun adventure to undertake, but in the real world women want loyalty not husbands that are risk takers.

  3. Energizer
    August 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I enjoy a sensitivity to the quality of energy being in the field with other people. Sometimes involvement in my own self (not in an egoic way, but in an I’m busy doing something that has a lot of my attention at the moment) makes me miss this awesome awareness that allows for connecting to people. In general though, I’m a we space lover because there’s so much ‘there’ I love inquiring about. Maybe we could say that it’s not so much the person I flirt with, but rather the inquiry into the encounter. Otherwise, just call me a flirt. I enjoy what I do. I get totally energized by the flirting part. I come alive with flavor. Am I dependent on another for these moments? Well, it takes two to tangle. Two to create a we space. Two to commune. You get the point.

    About the boundaries: We all make some kind of boundary. Am I always aware of what these boundaries are? No. Do I explore what they are? Yes. Do I overstep boundaries? I am sure that happens because 1) I am still learning about the signature of energy, 2) I don’t always listen, 3) I am in the process of defining and redefining my own boundaries.

    If we are talking about intentional overstepping, I don’t do that. But that’s just me.

  4. Heather
    August 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    This article was more like “Duh!” face palm moment for me. When I’m single, I’m like a flirtatious person and its not even in a sexual way either. But when I’m in a relationship, something switches – and I do exactly what you said I shouldn’t do. I repress my flirty side, and I am JUST now linking it with why I feel so shitty most of the time, along with many other feminine qualities I repress.

    But this definitely makes me step on the outside and think. I hate conforming to societies ideas on how to behave just because they think its “good” or “bad”. When it should be about, “does this serve me well?” and “does this serve others well?” (I imagine this is the direction to go). Anyways, I fall under the category of self-judging and self-hatred because of all these nonsense society rules of how to be! Working on that one, it’s a tough habit to break.

    And I can most certainly see a difference between seducing ‘Imma get you in my bed tonight’ flirting and friendly exchange of energy flirting. Obviously the latter is not really a risk to an intimate relationship… and if it is, then why would you be in a relationship with that kind of person anyways?

  5. Brian David Vass
    August 23, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    It hurts to flirt because no one flirts back.

    It hurts to flirt because if you aren’t attractive, it’s not an option, and so the entire institution of flirting becomes unbearably painful, worse than a toothache or a migraine, and your forced exclusion from flirtation is a burden that you carry even in deep sleep.

    It hurts to flirt because sometimes it leads to sex that you don’t want to have. But you have it anyway. And then you feel bad afterwards. And sometimes you can’t leave the house, because you left your shoes at the party, and you don’t know where you are, because the object of your flirtation took you to her house, and it’s dark outside.

    Other times you’ve been driven miles away into the mountains, and have no cell phone or vehicle. And there is no electricity. It’s terrifying.

    It hurts to flirt because it leads you to make out with the object of your flirtation, but it’s just then that you realize their breath is bad. It leads you to make out with the object of your flirtation, and then their ring of boy toys gives you angry looks. It leads you to make out with someone, but their hair doesn’t smell good. Or their clothes feel starchy. Or their mouth is dry. Or their eyes close all soft, and it feels like all you are to them is the confirmation that their acne scarring has not prevented them from producing a make-out partner this late in their adult lives.

    It hurts to flirt because when I do it I get flashes of sexual imagery, vivid flashes of imagery where I am having sex with the person I’m flirting with, but if the sex actually happens, it’s usually nothing like the flashes of imagery, which are usually a lot more idealistic than the situation calls for.

    It hurts to flirt because you never know who is falling madly in love with you as you’re doing it. And then the next thing you know it’s a big thing on your hands, and on their hands too. And it’s painful, like crazy painful, like, simultaneously wishing you’d never been born and grateful to be alive kind of painful for the person who has fallen in love, and for the person who has been fallen for, maybe it’s not painful at all, maybe they don’t even know, which is another kind of pain.

    It hurts to flirt because it constitutes an extension of yourself towards an other, and an extension of their self towards you, and because it deviates from the only paradigm that guarantees a minimum of suffering, which is never leaving the house or talking to anyone, or representing your interiors at all. It hurts to flirt because flirtation bonds you to a large orb, an orb that represents all of the human interaction that you’ve had so far, and the orb, you begin to realize, is not in your control, even though you add to it daily by speaking and being spoken to, you realize the orb is rolling through a tunnel whose walls are made of embarrassment and shame, and at the bottom of the hill is a thankless death, an end whose arrival is neither a relief nor an ending at all, but a bad joke, a resumption of the same.

    Is it that bad? Of course not. But sometimes it feels like that, if the flirtation doesn’t go your way, or even if it does. I mean, those are sometimes the stakes of flirting! And yet, what? I agree with everything you’ve said. And I’m a hopeless flirt. I flirt daily. Once a week at least.

  6. Bodhibody
    August 23, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    absolutely true .. a great example of this is in cultures like italy where everyone including babies and grandparents are free to be who they are .. flirting is life affirming

  7. Korenna Reynard
    August 27, 2010 at 2:18 am #

    Amen, Kelly! I completely agree. Flirting is an art form, not only is it good for morale (yours and others) it keeps your wits sharp and helps you stay in touch with your own sensuality.

    I say flirt-away….ESPECIALLY if you are in a committed relationship! That little jolt of energy you get from the exchange will be a welcomed addition to your we-space when you return home to your partner :o)

  8. Nils
    November 5, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    I totally agree on that! I often tend to

  9. Nils
    November 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    I totally agree on that! I often tend to close down in intensive energy exchanges, whether it’s flirting or any other way of relating to another human being, and it feels like I’m cutting myself off not only from the other person but also from myself. In the end I’m actually cutting off my own power in order to be a “good man” or to not let myself be “manipulated” by the other party.

    Thank you for pointing that out, it really helps to realize this over and over again!


  1. Integral Chicks - August 23, 2010

    New post: Does it Hurt to Flirt? http://bit.ly/aq8LR3 #integral

  2. Integral Chicks - August 24, 2010

    New Post: Does it Hurt to Flirt? http://bit.ly/cWtA44
    #integral #relationships

  3. Kelly Sosan Bearer - August 24, 2010

    RT @integralchicks New Post: Does it Hurt to Flirt? http://bit.ly/cWtA44 #integral #relationships