Is it Flirting?

Lately, not a day goes by that we don't hear about a man being ousted for his years of sexual harassment against women (or men, or both). It’s not just famous men who do this, but men you might know personally, even ones in your circle of friends. All over the world, accounts are surfacing of bad men doing bad things  - from sending unsolicited dick pics to repeated physical violence,  and it’s making everyone pay attention. Men who have long abused their power to gain access to women's bodies are finally getting their due. But while some see the current climate as an important step toward protecting women in the workplace, others have voiced concerns that all of this sexual misconduct will make it impossible to Flirt at work.

This is really a non-issue - Flirting & Harassment are NOT one and the same!

One is the act of being coy and charming with someone you are romantically keen on, the other is an act of intimidation and unsolicited contact. Flirting is a prolonged smile or a cheeky text shared with someone who has signaled in some way that he/she is interested in you. Harassment is the imposition of verbal or physical contact without any cue that it may be welcome. Harassment is not even truly a sexual act; it is a powerful gesture of entitlement and the perpetrator knows precisely what he is doing at the time. Accidental harassment is rare because the act depends, on the perpetrator thinking that he's entitled to a woman’s affections, regardless of whether she has indicated that she would does not want to be included.

The difference between flirtation and sexual harassment - is the INTENT. 

Touching Is Different from Groping
Physical touch can definitely be romantic and exciting  -  that is, if you’re both vibing off each other. Be wary, however, of not crossing the line and getting into groping territory. I don’t want my breast squeezed in the middle of a club by a man I hardly know, no matter how cute he may be. The more intimate you get with one another over time, the more you two can figure out the barometer of how much you can grab at one another in public.

No Means No, Duh!
Bargaining isn’t something that should be going down during a sexual encounter. Just completely let go of the thought that we women can be persuaded into sex. Consent doesn’t only need to be present, it needs to be wholehearted and earnest. If he is negotiating to change a “no” to a “yes,” chances are it’s still a “NO.”

Is he just Friendly or his he Flirting?
It's been a minute since I flirted with someone. But, you don't have to be experienced to know when the flirtation is going on. When a man is attracted to you, he'll make you feel special.  In a way that only You will know.  When he is just being Friendly he is always looking elsewhere and you are not the object of his attraction. It's important to realize that guys don't all flirt the same way.  Just watch how he interacts with other people. The difference between flirty and friendly is difficult at times, so trust your gut - it usually knows which one is right.

So, How much flirting is too much?
If you are single and available there is no such thing as too much flirting. But, if you have been flirting with the same person for awhile and he/she does not reciprocate, then you are just wasting precious time.  If you are married or in a committed relationship, then you are NO longer in the dating game and you should not pretend to be. Sending mixed signals to work buddies and new friends of the opposite sex can be fatal. In a relationship it's important to establish boundaries and know what is acceptable. Keep in mind that this is a two way street. If you are already in a committed relationship and you are seriously flirting, suspicions will arise and you should get ready for confrontation because it is coming. If you want a life with your partner then Flirting is not a game you should try to win.

Men should not be frightened of offending a woman or incriminating themselves as long as they are not trying to force her into paying him attention, talking to him, answering calls, touching him or sleeping with him. Any man who recognizes that a woman is a human being with her own agenda and treats her with respect, should be relatively safe.  So let the Flirtation begin. . .