I like to watch you flirt

Image by the brilliant Stuart F Taylor

“I think the barista fancies me,” he explained as we wandered towards the coffee shop. “She’s quite flirty, you know?”

Yeah. I know. I know a million guys who are convinced that the barista in their regular coffee shop fancies them. They pop in of a morning, freshly showered and ready for work, and order their usual from someone who knows how to make it. That loving ritual of giving and receiving hot drink adds an extra tinge of flirtiness to an otherwise mundane transaction. A simple ‘how are you?’ can be transformed into a declaration of playful lust.

“No, she doesn’t fancy you,” I told him, twattishly. “Everyone thinks the barista is flirting with them – they teach them how to do it in barista school.”

“Yeah,” a twitch of something that looks like relief on his face. “You’re probably right.”

Flirting with strangers

He’s quite flirty. Good at hugs, and not afraid to use them when they’re wanted. Cutely nerdly and smiley in the right places, with occasional bursts of whimsical humour that really hit the mark. He’s kind and flattering and warm. Of course people fancy him. Of course they flirt back.

I used to hate the idea of other people flirting with ‘my’ dude. Every sideways glance and giggle felt like a calculated gesture to steal him away – as if I had some kind of ownership. Like I’d pissed round him in a circle and anyone who stepped into that circle was a fair target. I’d scowl and worry, feeling like every nice interaction with someone else was somehow a minus point to me. As if flirting with someone else is the next step in something significant rather than a fun way to pass the time.

I flirt. I probably do more than flirt, to be honest. I don’t just toss my hair and laugh, or place a playful hand on a guy’s knee when we’re sitting close – I make innuendos and I whisper dirty stories, and everything has a vague undercurrent that says ‘I want to. I need to. I promise I would if I could.’ It’s flattering when guys do it back, and I feel simultaneously buoyed by it and degraded. Like I’m sexy enough to fuck but pathetic enough that I’ll judge my success by a tickbox list of who would and wouldn’t go for it. For me, flirting is often about that ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – that ‘would you?’ which seems so important.

I can see why people love flirting just for the fun of it, though. Being complimentary, friendly and warm with no need to consider whether something will happen. And there’s joy in watching other people flirt too. Watching him being playful with other people, and feeling that glow when someone else catches on to just what it is that makes him spectacular. There’s a spark there, and it doesn’t feel like jealousy – it feels more like pride. An affirmation that, yes, I’m right, and he’s exactly as good as I think he is.

Please don’t stop flirting

Back to the coffee shop, and our barista. After his tentative build-up, I’d expected a very particular kind of flirt: the ‘how are you/how’s your day/the usual?’ interaction during which he’d shuffle his feet and mumble replies and be a bit socially awkward. It wasn’t like that at all, though. It wasn’t forced or obvious, and you could have knocked me down with one of those flimsy plastic coffee-stirrers when I realised it was true: the barista actually fancied him.

I’m not an expert – she may just have been a really good actor, but this was top-quality flirting of the kind I’d only bring out if I really cared about the outcome. If I wanted a phone number or a fuck, or at the very least a shared connection and sizzle of lust as our hands touched when money was passed over.

Ten years ago, this kind of thing would make me wild with jealousy. It’d have me biting back sarcastic comments or storming out in a huff. I’d be worried that this girl’s lust would demean the lust that I felt for him – that she was stepping into the circle and pushing me out.

This time, though? I got sad for a really different reason. Not because he had a flirty connection with someone else, but because the moment he turned and offered me a coffee, her face fell as she realised we were together. It wasn’t a case of her stepping into my circle, but me into hers. I’d ruined their fun, and taken a nice thing away from them both.

I hadn’t pissed around him, or told her to back off, or worn a t-shirt that said ‘this guy’s my boyfriend so keep your hands off‘ – I’d just turned up and been real, and added practicality into an otherwise lovely fantasy.

I’ve read a lot of stuff that tells people to beware a flirt. That I’ll never feel secure, because I’ll always wonder if he’s planning for that moment when he leaves me behind. And I genuinely used to believe it. More recently, though, I’ve realised I’d be sad if he never flirted with anyone – if he responded to women’s advances with a swift and decisive ‘no’, or a panicked, half-shouted “I’ve got a girlfriend!” He’d miss out on that spark of warm delight when you realise someone else fancies you, and I’d miss out on the opportunity to discover his best bits all over again through someone else’s eyes.


  • RB says:

    You two are always lovely. x

  • phil says:

    GOTN you old romantic! :) Really lovely writing as always

  • Elliot says:

    This is great. You have captured what’s been in my head and heart for a long time. Exactly that.

  • Paul says:

    Careful GOTN,,,,, sounds like your on the way to being a cuckquean. Lol

    Your story reads along the same lines as my partner, 9 years ago when we met she would get jealous of other women flirting with me and I would get jealous of other men flirting with her.
    7 years on after going through many a relationship building and strengthening crisis we were both secure enough to realise we had nothing to worry about and like yourself actually enjoy watching the pleasures the other gets from the casual flirt.
    I say 7 years as that was when partner decided that she enjoyed watching me so much that she would like to take it further,,,,, actively encouraging me to push the boundaries and flirt with who ever and how ever I wanted as long as she was there to watch or I could describe it to her in detail later.
    This was fine for a few months until she realised she wanted to take it further and wanted to watch me pick a girl up, take her home to their bed or to our bed and have as much sex as I could get.
    This has progressed to full on partner sat in the room watching me to partner watches until dripping with excitment then joining us for a full MFF threesome.

    I never understood why a man would ever want to watch his partner being fucked by another man while he watched but now I am starting to understand what I believe to be one of the more complicated fetishes.

    I don’t think I could ever watch her with another man,,,, this I know is down to my personal insecurities and although she tells me that she wouldn’t want to be with another man I do feel bad and a little guilty that she is missing out on the opportunities.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hot – although I’m pretty sure cuckqueaning isn’t my thing (how on earth am I supposed to spell that?! Chrome keeps trying to correct it and I have no idea so… yeah). I’ve tried threesomes etc, as well as open relationships. Basically the thing that turns me on about threesomes is the shared adventure – doing something with someone we both fancy. While I can be all romantic and cute about loving the flirting, I’m not entirely sure I’d sexually get off on someone doing something that’s so without me. I wish I could though – it sounds super hot when it works out for everyone involved =)

      • Paul says:

        I’m the same,,, I couldn’t do what she does and just hear about what happened or even bare to watch as its happening. The green monster would take over and I would be far from turned on.
        It does have its advantages from my side as I’m sure you can imagine. For one, any time I want to start some fore play all I need to do is recall a particular experianc and just discribe it to my partner as I’m thinking about it. A couple of min’s later I know my trousers would be being un done as she’s asking me to tell her more and discribe in more detail as she takes me in her mouth.
        Another scenario is I have her tied up and instead of the orgasm denial with manual stimulation all I’m doing is whispering in her ear as I discribe past experiances or even ex girlfriends and I together.
        The most extreme is she’s tied to a chair and has to watch another woman with me in our bed.
        Trust me it all sounds like fun and games and it really is but it has had its ups and downs along the way to get to this point but we are here now and both reaping the rewards.
        I must admit its very liberating, as a man your natural reaction is to look no matter how much you try not to, and now istead of ‘ what you looking at her for? ‘ I get ‘ what turns you on about her? Tell me how you would like to have her’.

        Now all I need to do is write a book a little like yours for her then she could have my thoughts any time she needed lol
        ( ps we both love your book ) :)

  • I quite encourage my man to flirt – he never flirted until after we became involved. And while it doesn’t come natural or easy to him, he’s a gorgeous man who is very humble and sweet – a combination that people are drawn towards even if he won’t speak up first.
    I like to know that I am with a man who is desirable – to see him through (re)new(ed) eyes. I appreciate him all the more and am grateful that he is mine.
    Love your topics, you are always so reflective and come up with a wide variety of topics.

  • Kinky Lad says:

    I’m usually so blind to flirting don’t even realise it happened. I know once my then partner/wife told me the female clerk had been flirting with me that was many years ago I just thought the clerk and I were talking. I’ve always had a jealous streak but got to see my current gf kiss another girl in the pub one night. Had been a big night up to that point so maybe alcohol dulled my jealousy but was interesting to watch.
    I am better now at recognising it I believe, makes me feel good to know I still have some desirability to opposite sex.

  • I flirt with almost every girl I meet. Flirting is very healthy. It gives you dreams and the hope of happy life.

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