If we were in the 18th century then I am sure that my flirtation skills may have caused public outrage but in 2012, it seems that my expertise is woefully inadequate.
I am a bit shell shocked by the revelation that I am so rubbish and frankly, more than a little grateful. After the most entertaining night out in town, one in which every man I came across was carted and I appeared to be the only person in Bath that was actually sober - it became more than apparent that flirting is no longer a subtle art, but a blatant precursor to sex.
In fact, it seems that every interaction between male and female is simply about sex. Flirting has become no more than a superfast highway to the inevitable, one in which you decide if you like someone after you have slept with them and not before.
Now I get a fair amount of flack for my old fashioned views and the assumption that this somehow makes me uptight. I love sex, but like the best things in life - I think it is better when valued. Think fast food versus good restaurant: one is readily available, everyone knows where to get it, what to expect and knows they will probably feel a bit unfulfilled afterwards. A great restaurant on the other hand, one you have researched, considered, chosen carefully from - far more likely to be a memorable evening, to be savoured, to remembered. Sex isn't so different.
And if sex is the main course, then flirting is the appetiser and this is the bit in which I am apparently hopeless. And I admit that I didn't find anything appealing about the mating dance of drunk men and I found it equally sleazy that some carted idiot thinks he's in with a chance by ordering a drink I didn't ask for. The only man that managed to have a vaguely intelligent conversation, plummeted in my opinion when he saw fit to but his arm around me. Frankly, after 20 min's conversation I felt it more than a little forward.
And when you miss sex as much as I do, it's odd that there is not one single cell in my body that hankers after meaningless sex with a man that values me no more than the next girl. It seems that my the reason my flirting skills are more than a little outdated is because flirting is all too often little more than an evening long with some pretty descriptive language.
Is this such a good thing? The more old fashioned approach in which two people play a protracted game that is far sexier, inevitably building intrigue and sexual tension. In old fashioned flirting- your not stating 'I want to have sex' but 'I'd probably like to have sex with you, let's see' It's not perfect but it is sexy. Old fashioned flirting isn't a promise of sex, it's showing an interest, it's about the potential and the build up of anticipation. A flirty conversation leaves you smiling like a moron and the further down that road it goes, those little flutters of excitement that are simply priceless.
So you dispense with the intrigue and the build up with a slightly more brutal version of "Your hot, shall we have sex?" Granted, the more blatant contemporary version is less fraught with error and making ones thought process so abundantly clear does leave less margin for misinterpretation.
With my method of flirting there is so much margin for error, and it seems I am simply rubbish. Admittedly, when there is no possibility for further venture I can flirt like a pro. It all goes a little awry when I actually like the person I am flirting with. Then I flirt like the march of a Russian soldier, two steps forward, one back. I flirt a little, a little more - then I panic in fear that my flirting my appear to forward and I may be judged for being, well - too forward.
So I flirt, I retreat, then I complain that the men I flirt with aren't being forthcoming enough. I recently had a conversation with ex- man in my life on my hopeless inadequacies in interpreting flirting. Sometimes, I struggle to tell the difference between someone being friendly or flirty. I think they are flirting, so I flirt back. Then I think they are just being friendly and I have misinterpreted and have made an arse of myself. According to ex-man in life I am in fact a quite unique combination of intimidating and contemporary version of Mother Theresa. It seems that whilst flirting used to be about subtlety, using me as a benchmark results in a fair sum number of mixed messages.
I fear it may be a long time before I ever have sex again
For an indispensible guide to the not so subtle art, click here
The non subtle art of flirting