By high school, I'd begun to cast a wider net. Growing bored with the boys (and girls) my own age, I began flirting with grown men. While the other girls came to sleepovers with boxer shorts and T-shirts, I'd show up in my mom's lingerie sleep set and silk robe. I'd go upstairs "for a diet coke" and corner the hostess's father or older brother in the kitchen, leaning seductively against the counter, winding a lock of hair around my finger. When out in public, I'd blow kisses to passersby, wantonly stare at men until they looked away and sometimes let the wind "accidentally" blow up my skirt. Essential (Obvious) Flirting Tips
By my senior year, I had become a full-grown exhibitionist. One time, I rounded up a group of a dozen students during an after-school event so they could watch me do a choreographed strip tease on the school track. I'd gotten down to my underwear and Steve Madden platform shoes when the appointed lookout screamed that a chaperone was coming.
Over time, my flirting just became me. People expected me to be salacious and outrageous. They knew better than to bring their fathers, boyfriends or girlfriends around me, not because I'd steal them—I wouldn't and didn't—but because my flirtatious behavior garnered their attention, attention that should have been focused on them, not me. Thankfully, by the time my peers had grown tired of the person I'd become, I was off to college.
The people I'm close to now—my friends, coworkers, grad school professors, even my editors—know me as I have grown to know myself: as a harmless flirt. I address people as "beauty" and "gorgeous" and "daddy" and "sugar." I drop sexual innuendos without restraint, wink a lot and lift my shirt to show my "cute new bra" to the masses. I poll everyone I know (and people I don't know so well) before purchasing a new sex toy in order to determine its effectiveness. I regularly discuss masturbatory techniques with guy friends. None of my friends takes it personally; everyone knows it's just who I am.