In the last decade, text messaging has become the most popular communication tool in an individual’s arsenal. Americans now send and receive texts more often than they talk on the phone. In 2008, mobile phone subscribers in the U.S. received and sent on average of 357 texts each month.
By comparison, the same phone mobile phone users made and received an average of only 204 phone calls per user each month. These numbers were compiled by the Nielsen survey and rating company. In the month of June 1997, at the beginning of the texting revolution, it was estimated that 1.2 million text messages were sent and received in the United States. In June of 2012, that number had increased to 184.3 billion!
Annualized, that amounts to a rate of 2.3 trillion text messages per year. By 2011, more than three-quarters of Americans were using text messaging and that number continues to grow today. It’s no wonder that many Americans use text messaging as a tool for socializing and, of course, flirting. However, since texting is just words on a screen, how does one sound sexy using texts?
Flirtexting vs. Sexting
Let’s not confuse flirting, Flirtexting, with Sexting, the communication of more overtly sexualized thoughts and ideas by exchanging text messages and/or explicit photos with other consenting adults. Sexting is generally more direct and to the point―the text message version of the guy in the bar walking up to a strange woman and asking bluntly, “Would you like to fuck?”
That kind of direct and somewhat boorish behavior could never be construed as flirting. Flirting is defined as the act of courting someone in a trifling manner or acting in an amorous way without having any serious intentions; in other words toying with someone as a coquette or playing at love.
Flirting is generally meant to be lighthearted, testing the waters for potential flames by seeing if there are smoking embers when the ashes of a new encounter are stirred. Flirtatious messages are most often double-edged, having a secondary or other hidden meaning. Sexting, on the other hand, has a single focus and a “let’s get it on” kind of attitude.
Flirting Is a Multi-Dimensional Form of Communication
Flirting, as defined above, has mostly been an in-person form of communicating wants, needs, or desires. Flirting doesn’t require words. A simple glance or gesture can communicate volumes from across a crowded room. A well-placed smile or a single motion or movement can cause elation or despair in the twinkling of an eye.
By using words, however, flirting takes on a more definite and distinctive pattern. Words alone will never convey the same sense of flirtatiousness that a coy smile or wink can transmit, but words can work miracles if used appropriately.
Keep Them Guessing
Does she or doesn’t she? This was the slogan for a long-lived Clairol hair color commercial in the 1950s and early 1960s. The televised response to this question was that only her hair dresser knows for sure! This campaign was so successful that, 11 years after its inception, the number of women who colored their hair in the U.S. increased from less than 7% to 50%!
Flirtatious texts should be short and sweet, leaving the recipient unsure of exactly what the intent of the sender was. Sounding sexy means saying almost anything that doesn’t include the word sex. Many words and phrases have a double meaning, one mundane and the other potentially sexual. These are perfect for flirtexting.
You’ve been on my mind or in my thoughts can have a variety of meanings. Do you like oysters or hot coffee on a cold morning? These could be probing questions of sexual potency and intimacy, or simply question about food choices and dietary habits. Song, book, and film titles can be used in the same way.
An example might be: Have you ever seen “Some Like it Hot?” It could be a Marilyn Monroe reference that is sexy in itself, or an indication of sexual preferences or a possible invitation. While texting can only utilize words and symbols, texters have created a fairly large lexicon of symbols, emoticons, and shortcuts that can bring added meaning to any text.
I’m cuddling with my cat under a warm blanket, WYWH 😉 (WYWH means I wish you were here, followed by a wink). Flirting is all about anticipation, creating a sense of mystery and excitement, a sort of verbal foreplay with only a hint of what might is to come, (if you catch the double meaning in that statement, LOL).
Follow a Few Simple Rules
Let someone know you want to exchange texts, but when you do, say something besides “Hi.” After you receive a text, make sure you text back promptly. It’s okay to ask someone out via text message, but keep it light and non-committal with something like “I could sure use a drink after the day I’ve had, how about you?”
Don’t flirtext late at night or when you’ve been drinking and your resistance is low. That might lead to more than you had meant to get involved in. While abbreviations and other texting signs can be helpful, it’s important not to use too many with new contacts.
Most importantly, don’t start sending sexual messages before you’re involved in a committed relationship. Once again, flirting and flirtexting are meant to be used to get to know someone and are generally meant to be lighthearted and not taken too seriously.