Woo Or Pounce?

Cover of "Gone with the Wind"
Cover of Gone with the Wind

We watched “Gone With The Wind” recently — all four glorious hours of it.

I had forgotten Clark Gable, as Rhett Butler, snapping at spoiled little Scarlett O’Hara — “You need to be kissed, and often, by someone who knows how.” How deliciously assertive!

And then he did.


Which raises the larger question — when it comes to kissing, and whatever comes after that, do you prefer to be wooed or pounced upon?

Does it matter if, like me, you’ve been with your partner or spouse for many years? Does first or fourth date behavior need to change to something more subtle — or perhaps more assertive — with the passage of time and the growth of familiarity?

I admit to preferring the pounce, personally. I’m one of these laser-focused people who’s always doing something and hates being interrupted, whether cooking or reading or writing. Sex, romance, smooching — it all takes uninterrupted, undistracted time. And undivided attention.

Which, in college, I and my beaux had a lot of. I remember many long, lovely afternoons devoted to….not attending class!

But as I get older — sigh — I find my libido mugged by any number of determined assailants, from fatigue to a painful arthritic hip to worry about my mom with dementia in a nursing home far away to insecurity about my body to….you name it!

Pouncing, which sort of forces my poor sweetie to be a little leopard-leaping-from-a-tree-esque (decidedly not his nature), relieves me, I confess, of the need to initiate and squelches any ambivalence I might be feeling. On with it, then!

Which do you like best — to be wooed or pounced upon?

Learning How To Flirt — Remember AEIOU, Ladies!

Book cover of The Game: Penetrating the Secret...
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London women are taking flirting lessons — using the vowels AEIOU to help them remember what to do:

Sue Ostler, a flirt coach and the author of four relationship manuals, has started a weekly learn-on-the-job flirting tour of the heaving bars of London’s West End.

During our briefing, we are warned of our male rivals who operate in the same territory. The so-called Pick-Up Artists crawl Friday night bars in small tuition groups with a guide to talk them through pulling tactics. The phenomenon caught on in the UK after the success of Neil Strauss’s memoir, The Game.

“You can smell them when you enter a bar,” Ostler says. “They home in on anyone without a male by their side and come up with cringeworthy lines. We won’t do that. We are focusing on our personalities and developing a sense of warmth and likeability.”

Her guide to flirting well is so complicated I couldn’t possibly remember it without writing it — Palinesque-ly — on my sweaty little palm:

Ostler has a formula for the conversation stage: A-E-I-O-U. A is for ask lots of questions. E is for ears to listen, rather than talk. I is for the essence of ‘I’ – making sure your personality oozes out. O is for Oh my God – showing some animation and a human side. U is for you – the person you are talking to – making them the focus of conversation.

If you need to be taught to “show some animation and a human side,” good luck to you, darlin’. To be fair, though, British culture (which many Canadians imbibe culturally) is considerably more buttoned-up than American. If you say “Hey!” to a Londoner, a pretty standard, friendly, all-purpose American greeting, he might wonder where your horse is; I’d never heard it, or used it, before I moved to the U.S.

Although I’m off the market, so to speak, I still love to flirt. At its best, it’s fun and friendly. But I find that few men, or women, do it well and easily. I think the key ingredient is a playful confidence.

Do you like to flirt? Be flirted with? What works for you?