Monday, April 26, 2010

About to Overuse a Term

I originally wrote this one in June of 2008. And I don't think my views on the topic have really changed much since then. I've heard about how we can have fun flirting even though we're asexual, but I just have to admit that I'm not, and probably never will be, a flirty person, especially with folks I don't know well. I'll see you all again in the second week of May!

This question has come up: Do asexuals flirt? What's it like? Well, I've found my own personal answer. I used to think that no one ever flirted with me because I'm unattractive (thanks, American culture) or because people have some kind of A-dar. But, I had a realization over the weekend: It's not that no one flirts with me; it's that I don't enjoy it when people do. Since flirting always made me feel uncomfortable and threatened, I never noticed it as the fun, lighthearted activity of myth and legend. I see flirting as being unwanted, and usually perpetrated by skeezy, awkward people. When someone does talk to me "when no talking is necessary" (apparently one definition of flirting) and I enjoy the interaction, I just consider it to be a friendly conversation. When someone I might like is flirting with me, I seem totally incapable of identifying it as such. If I start interpreting every unnecessary conversation as flirting, then that way madness lies. I know some asexuals do enjoy flirting. But it can be hard to distinguish from hitting on someone, which most of us aces would probably try to avoid. No, I don't like social exchanges with strangers. But maybe flirting is the kind of silly fun I need more of in my life.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reading this was actually pretty comforting to me. I'm kind of floating about in this miasma of thoughts on the subject: wondering whether I know 'how' to flirt, if I liked it, or if I cared about it all! I have no problem talking to people, but like you, I think when other people try to actively 'flirt' with me I get scheezoid vibes. I feel like I have the same problem with compliments; half the time I don't understand why they're saying anything to me at all and if not that, they're still creepy and I would just like them to go away. In general, the more and more I read thoughts from people who identify as asexual the much less weird I feel.

--DW

Ily said...

I'm glad to hear that! :-)

I think flirting is definitely a two-way street, like telling a joke. For it to be successful, you have to gauge the other person's interest. Maybe that only awkward people flirt with me is more than my perception-- because people who are better at it can tell I'm not interested.

Lanafactrix said...

Heck, I'm sexual, and I'm usually very uncomfortable with flirting. That is, if I realize it's even going on . . .

Ily said...

Good point...whether or not people flirt doesn't really relate to orientation. While I think a lot of aces probably don't flirt much, there are some who do, and obviously there are people of other orientations who aren't into random flirting.

Ily said...

...and wow, just overused another term ;-)

notthemarimba said...

I was just thinking about this today. I am incapable of telling when someone is flirting with me, which makes dating really difficult. And then I'm not really even sure if I want to date people. Gaaaaaah.

Noskcaj Llahsram said...

I have to say I'm with Not o this one, apparently I'm quite the flirt, if you talk to me about the right subject, and still don't have a clue if if its going on. It's awfully frustrating when flirting seems to be the only way for people to show interest in one another.

Level Best said...

I certainly haven't flirted; I think of flirtation as an act that's a prelude to expectations of sex. And, eww, no.

Forester said...

Wait, what? "Talking when talking isn't necessary" is flirting?

If that's the case, I've flirted with 3/4 of all the people I've ever met! I start conversations all the time. Sometimes with creepy old women and ugly dudes. AM I FLIRTING WITH THEM!???? Egads!! O_o

(^ sarcasm intended above)

But seriously, that's such a vague definition of flirting. Can no one just be friendly? I'm a chatterbox and I get lonely, thus I start conversation everywhere I go. It's not flirting at all!

RavenScholar said...

Yes.

Flirting never fails to come across as creepy to me. Like someone is trying to be "to friendly".