What Kind of Flirt Are You? Top or Bottom?
[quote]A Top Flirt makes the first move, the one who approaches, etc.
A Bottom Flirt makes eye contact, is often responsible for getting the Top to approach, etc.[/quote]
Except, unlike sex, I believe being a flirt “switch” is a bit more difficult. I interviewed a handful of queers to see if they agreed with me, and here’s what I’ve discovered.
Of the people interviewed 88% agreed that there are flirt “predators and prey.” However, people had mixed reactions about Flirt Switching being more difficult. 25% adamantly disagreed: “The key to being a good flirt is identifying when to top and when to bottom,” says a 30yr old Femme who considers herself a Top Flirt with Bottom Tendencies. James, a 26yr old trans guy elaborates, “It’s easy to make eye contact, easy to smile, bat eyes.”
James says he’s a Top Flirt, but there are moments when he unintentionally bottoms. But Deb, who defines herself as a respectful Top Flirt, argues that it’s “very difficult to change how you interact with a smooch interest.” Only one person interviewed actually defined herself as a switch. “I’m a former top,” she—a 26yr old High Femme—explains. “But, as I’ve come into my Femme identity I’ve been experimenting with bottom flirting.”
So can two people with the same flirting styles flirt well with one another? Everyone seems to be in agreement that two top flirts work well together “Two tops can be very explosive and sexy,” says a 26yr old Hard Femme, but Deb adds in a disclaimer “IF the power dynamic doesn't piss one of us off first.” Most people also agree that two bottoms flirts will have a harder time. “Usually nothing ends up happening because we're both too shy,” says this self-described “In Between” (meaning not femme or butch) Bottom Flirt. As one 27yr old queer creature puts it “I imagine flirting can work between any two people. Now, as far as working smoothly, that's another story.”
In the Straight community males are often expected to make the first (Top) move, but do homos have expectations on who should act first based on the way we look? 50% of the gays interviewed said yes. The High Femme says that even though she’s out-going and aggressive “from across a room people probably assume I’m a bottom flirt.”
“I’m somewhere between andro and butch,” says Deb. “Based on that, people definitely expect me to make the first move. In the past that's actually been a problem—I like to be respectful of people, but that respect—especially towards folks in open relationships or poly—can translate into me making no moves and the person assumes I'm not interested. Sometimes I think, ‘My kingdom for a neon GO sign!’”
“People assume different things based on how I am dressed,” explains the 26yr old In-Between. “When I was more ‘boyish’ looking I got a lot more attention from femmes who assumed I was butch. I ended up dating a few girls who really wanted to put me in that box, they were almost in denial about my gender.”
A 29yr old lesbian, who doesn’t consider herself “uber-butch or femme,” says most people assume she’s attracted to butch girls. “They’re usually surprised when I'm like ‘yeah I like blondes with big boobs.’” She also feels that her size affects her position in flirting. “I got approached more when I was thinner. But now, I’m not approached as much. I’ve noticed that girls who are more my size and natural aggressors are successful with dating, but since I'm not an aggressor, it's harder for me.”
Flirting is complicated. “I am adept at neither approaching, nor making eye contact,” says the 27yr old creature. “But maybe that just makes me a bad bottom flirt.” Switching roles doesn’t come naturally to some and others are pros. As one femme put it “flirtation is an art form.” But nearly everyone interviewed was happy with their flirting style, because—apparently—it just comes naturally.