The Exact Right Things To Say To A Man, According To A Flirting Pro

How to know the right things to say to men.

Two people flirting leaning over balcony Crook & Marker | Unsplash

Even the shyest of women can learn how to open up and find love. Eve Marx, the author of Read My Hips: The Art of Flirtation, has outrageous pickup lines that will help any woman land a date, and at least get out of her shell. Flirting is more than just corny pickup lines, it's also about reading body language and knowing what men like. Here are some pointers from the author herself.

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YourTango: Did you ever question that you were qualified to write a flirting guide?

Eve: No, not at all. There are a lot of other books that I would feel nervous about writing, but not the flirting book. I am a flirt. I've been a flirt my whole life. You could say I wrote the book just from my everyday existence.



YT: When I was reading the book, I felt like you were cataloging all my secrets. I was thinking Don't write them down!


It is the kind of book that might be dangerous if it falls into the enemy's hands. You can't give away the whole female love arsenal.

YT: What tips would you give to someone who is just starting to flirt, or wants to become a better flirt?

E: She has to determine what her flirt style is going to be. It should initially gel with her personality: Is she shy? Is she a comedian? Is she an interrogator type? There's also a flirt I call the refusal flirt — a lot of guys are very curious about the girl who won't flirt. If you're a flirt expert, then you're versatile in many styles. But if you've only got one good thing, then stick with that.

YT: Is there a key move that works across styles?


E: Put your hand on his arm. Touch a guy. If you are making a connection, electricity happens. You also find out fast if he's interested in you. You shouldn't be flirting up the wrong tree; it's a waste of your energy.

YT: Anything else?

E: If you're sitting next to someone, at first I like to sit so that I'm giving him the full display. You know: "Look at me." Then, just when they get warmed up, I like to turn away. Then it's up to them to say something or do something that makes me turn to them again. Certain elements of this will seem a little actress — and there's nothing wrong with that.

YT: Is the best flirt in the room the one that's dancing on the bar?


E: No, if your eye is a moving camera and you scan the whole bar, the one who's winning is the one who is having a one-on-one conversation with a guy.

YT: Do you think that good-looking people are the best flirts?

E: No. Sometimes I think that good-looking people are the worst flirts because they don't have to learn any skills. I think the best flirts are people who are smart and have developed a personality.

RELATED: 2 Reasons Some People Are Just Way Better At Flirting Than You

YT: In the book you talk a lot about flirty dressing; are you a flirty dresser?

E: Yes. I went to a cocktail party the other day and I had to say to a friend of mine, "Too much cleavage?" But it's not just about the breasts. If you don't have them, that's fine. I know a lot of guys that like that look. There's always somebody out there. But I have a very flirty dressing style, which is: low-cut jeans and cowboy boots. You feel really powerful in cowboy boots. And you're going to do your best flirting if you feel confident.




YT: Looking back on your flirting hall of fame, what stands out as your best flirtation?

E: I remember I was flirting with this guy who was selling produce off the back of his truck. I would see him a couple of times a week. He was always at just the same place. We made eye contact. Then one day he was wiggling his finger, beckoning me. He was holding the most perfect strawberry in his hand. I just came up, and he thought I was going to take it with my fingers. I didn't. I ate it out of his hand. Well, we went out for about eight months.

YT: Oh my. What's the latest innovation in flirting?


E: Typing flirtation is the newest thing that is happening. It takes away that element of who's attractive and who's not attractive. You can't see.

YT: Are there any IM moves you'd like to pass on?

E: I don't like to rely on those little smileys. I like to sign off or go away before it gets too hot and heavy. I like to leave it hanging.

YT: And what did your husband think about you flirting with strangers to research the book?

E: Well, my husband is a major flirt himself. That's how I met him. He and I had a big flirt going.

YT: Has flirting ever complicated your marriage?

E: Sometimes, but I also think that it enriches it. I think married couples should flirt with each other for starters. Especially when you have children, you have to work harder to remember what you saw in each other. That can mean playing a game — driving in separate cars and meeting somewhere and pretending like you don't know each other. But also I like watching my husband flirt with other women because I know it makes him feel attractive.


YT: What about couples who aren't married? Should they be allowed to flirt with other people?

E: Usually, when women get into a serious relationship, two things happen to their flirtability quotient. They either drop flirting because they feel it would be wrong to flirt or they feel really relaxed and liberated because they have the safety of the relationship. Now they can flirt with impunity.

RELATED: 4 Big Mistakes You Make When Reading Someone's Body Language

YT: Which celebrities are good flirts?

E: Cameron Diaz, Debra Messing.

YT: What about guys?

E: Matthew McConaughey, Ashton Kutcher. 

YT: Why do you think flirters have a bad reputation?

E: Because we live in a culture that has a love/hate relationship with anything intimate. We love it, we love it, we love it. We condemn it, condemn it, condemn it.


YT: What makes a bad flirt?

E: A bad flirt is somebody who really puts out a heavy message and then doesn't deliver. You shouldn't promise more than you can deliver. First, do no harm.

YT: So, do you believe in playing hard to get?

E: I think it can help. It is true, all of those things your mother said to you: "Don't wear your heart on your sleeve." I am also a big believer in: "Chase him until he catches you." My mother said that to me. Her idea was: Set your sights on some guy and chase him, but somehow make it seem to him like he's doing the pursuing.


YT: That is a very Southern idea!

E: Oh, Southerners can flirt circles around the girls in the Northeast. Northern women are like the anti-flirt, like Ali McGraw's character in Love Story. But that's a kind of flirting.

YT: Who taught you to flirt?

E: When I was still little and my mother was washing my hair she'd sing, "Diamonds are a girl's best friend." She was very flirty. My mother was married four times.

YT: Wow, so you inherited it.

E: She always married rich, older guys. They would get sick and die and she would just find another one. She was a major flirt.

YT: Do you think that anyone can learn how to flirt?

E: Yes, if they want to. It's one of those things people say they want to do. People say they want to quit smoking; they say they want to lose weight; they say they want to learn to flirt. You gotta apply yourself. Some people are more genetically gifted than others.


I sense that a lot of flirting is intuitive. It's just believing that you are a catch; you are the one who's going walk away; you're the one in control.

It comes down to a confidence issue. So much of your day-to-day life works to erode your confidence and that's another reason you need to flirt, to build up your confidence.

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Samantha Lagoon is a freelance writer and former contributor to YourTango.