I’ve been thinking about the ideas, concepts and norms of flirting/hooking-up a lot lately. I realized that not I only I never learned the social behavior behind these concepts, nor did I really learn about them in a way that is not r*p*-cultural, hetero- and mononormative and also very Western! That mostly comes from a hegemonial perspective where desirability is taken for granted. That does not ask for drama, playing-hard-to-get-games, assuming consent rather than asking. That is not built upon masculine and invasive behavior. Where communication is key and respect and honesty rather than insecurity or inferiority. Where vulnerability is appreciated and cherished rather than abused. Where you can actually be open about your intentions rather than manipulating people into thinking you are on the same page without knowing what this page is.
Dichotomies like strength/weakness, active/passive, rational/emotional, knowing the game/being a loser, hardness/softness, dominant/submissive, 200% committed/very superficial will never include our realities. Why can’t casual be soft? Why can’t emotional be fierce? Why does devotion have to be weak? Why can’t awkwardness stand next to knowing the game and commitment? Why does commitment have to be exclusive? Why is there so little space for open communication about anxieties, fierce and trauma? Why do relationships crave labels or definitions rather than real talk or deals? Why can’t flirting/hooking-up be as different as people and relationships are?
(And why do people never call out their friends‘ abusive behavior towards others?)