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With contributions by Nika Ferlinghetti. - Thanks!

Flirting is the art of seeming to offer or be interested in some form of sexual activity.  It can be practiced by either gender, but generally only women are referred to as 'flirts'.

Nika Ferlinghetti's Guide to Flirting

Flirting begins by gaining the attention of your intended target.  The key here is to gain the attention without seeming to try to do so.  This is often accomplished non-verbally.  Perhaps you allow a stilettoed heel to dangle from your foot, and sway gently back and forth to the music in the room.  Or, your tongue my darts over your lips, leaving them glistening.  Women, it would seem have more tools at their disposal for non-verbally flirting.  Even the act of applying lipstick can be flirting if done overtly in a public place.

Eye contact is essential at this stage.  There needs to be enough to lure the target, but not enough to appear to need their attention.

Flirting then moves to the verbal stage.  This must be done with great delicacy.  Overt sexual references or even innuendo are verboten.  And when your target is at close range, the non-verbal cues are even more important.  Running a manicured finger around the rim of a cocktail glass maybe sufficient to hold their attention.

Now, it is key, to also maintain a distance in this exchange.  Flirting is not a sexual come on.  It is the hint of one.  And if your target takes too eagerly to the bait, then they must be set back with a dismissive comment or even better a laugh and look around the room to see what other opportunities there are.