WHGOGA (or “flirting with women, for women”) – part 2

(part one is here)

So what are these women-who-pull-women doing right? What are the rules for flirting with girls and how do you know when a girl is flirting back at you?

First off, our workshop attendees had some suggestions for checking whether a girl is interested in women themselves. You could try mentioning a well-known lesbian icon or item (such as Diva magazine) and look for flickers of recognition. You could comment on how attractive a woman was in a movie you’ve both seen (Angelina Jolie in ‘Tombraider’ was a popular choice). However this isn’t such a sure sign, since many straight women will talk about the attractiveness of other women. Clue: you’re hoping for a sigh that is wistful rather than envious. You could mention ex-partners in a gender neutral (or if you’re brave gendered) way and check out the reaction. Obviously, attending a bi/lesbian event is an easy way of maximising likelihood of interest. Or perhaps you could thrust the most recent edition of BCN under her nose and say ‘this is me’! The group all agreed that it’d all be much easier if there was a reliable signal of female-female-orientation, like a badge we could wear at all times.

The group discussed good and bad flirt techniques. Most of the ideas discussed last edition apply to female-female flirting as much as other kinds, but there are some specific things to bear in mind. I find that something many women respond to well to is me using a typically ‘male’ way of flirting, for example, acting chivalrous, kissing her hand, asking her on a date, or putting on a fake-male voice ‘hey baby, how about it?’ Keeping it light like this can also make it easier for her to turn down if she’s not interested back. Trish’s killer line, found to be successful nine times out of ten is ‘your hair smells nice’. Another tried and tested technique is inviting the object of your affection to sit and look at the stars with you. Generally it can be a good idea to ask her out on something that is traditionally a date thing to do (a movie, a one-to-one picnic).

People in the group liked the idea of telling your flirt-interest that you dreamt about her, being as explicit as you like! Ani says it’s generally a good idea to make it clear that you’re thinking about her outside of the space in which you usually see her, ‘I thought about you the other day when…’ I remember feeling the first glow of mutual interest when Ani commented that a song on her car stereo always made her think of me. Other things that have worked in the past are meals involving sexy food (strawberries, ice-cream) and giving compliments (particularly about something she has achieved since so many women find appearance compliments hard to take).


BCN 64 cover

This originally appeared in BCN issue 64, published in November 2003

To my gleeful embarrassment, one of the workshop attendees described the time that she pulled me. It’s a great example of how honesty can be the best policy. We were attending an academic conference together and obviously connected very well. She was worried that it’d just be another time when a relationship went too far down the friendship route to come back to flirtation, so, on the last night of the conference, she told me that she was made up to have made such a good new friend, but that she’d love for something to happen between us if I felt that way too. It would have been easy for me to go for the friendship option if I hadn’t been interested, but in reality we were quickly confirming every prejudice the other conference delegates had about bisexuals!

I can also tell you that the workshop that Trish and I ran was an unmitigated success. For the rest of the weekend women could be heard telling each other how nice their hair smelt, and there was a definite sense that much WHGOGA was going on in those cramped halls-of-residence bedrooms. I know that I got plenty. (Tsk, alright for some! – Ed.)

In the next edition I’ll be exploring the issue of openness in communication about sex. Feel free to email me with any suggestions, questions or particularly positive/negative experiences you’ve had on this topic.