Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Flirt speaks

Recently, I've been assistant stage manager on a show at college in London. The show ran a week of performances and then closed. I've been working on it since the beginning of rehearsals, and so have gotten to know the 25-strong mixed cast rather well.

Part of the course I'm on involves regular meetings with tutors to discuss how the allocation is going, and because of this self-evaluation (we are encouraged to record 'learning logs') I have realised just how much I flirt. With pretty much everyone.

And today, as I was contemplating my bisexuality after reading an article on HuffPost Gay Voices ( these two thoughts collided and I hit upon the question - am I A Flirt because I am bisexual?

My first reaction was horror at my own stereotyping and prejudice. One should not make generalisations about a group of people based on the actions of one member. My second was of sadness, that the biphobia in society is so wide-spread that even bisexuals themselves are vulnerable to believing it.

And my third was to reconsider my idea again, and find some merit in it, though not in a way to come to the conclusion that because someone is bisexual, they must be flirtatious (or because someone is flirtatious, they must be bisexual), but in a way that sees a link between the two in me as an individual.

I do think that being bisexual has influenced my flirting practices. It affects who I flirt with - both men and women. But here's the thing - I flirt not just with people in whom I'm interested, but people I'm not so interested in too. I came to a conundrum when I realised that though I have been flirting with many of the cast in the show, I found it hard to actually know which of them I was truly attracted to. Having a wider pool of possible attractions has triggered a larger number of targets for flirting with subconsciously, leading to many working relationships that involve flirting.

I don't think the quantity of people I flirt with affects the quality of the flirting, but I do think it clouds my ability to know how I feel about the individuals I flirt with. I do not know if I prefer the tall man with a temper, the svelte man with a fondness for tickling, the girl who elicits a sigh of longing from me every time I see her, the girl with big brown eyes and a tender smile, the muscular gentleman with a heart-melting Celtic accent, the cute musical girl, or the young charmer with secrets.

I flirt with all of them, and get a mix of responses, and it's fun, because any one of them is potential love interest to me, because I'm bisexual. You see? My bisexuality influences how I interact with people because they're all possible girl/boyfriends to me! How's that for a bit of psychoanalysis?

But of course it is not just my bisexuality that is to blame, far from it. I am self-confident, loud, provocative, obsessed with romance, and fixated on finding love. I flirt because I can, and it's entertaining, and other people enjoy it. So I am A Flirt for many reasons, being bi being one of them. It's neither good or bad. It's got pros and cons.

Overall it just makes me grin as yet again I revel in the fun of being bi.