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Fine Art of Flirting Paperback – March 2, 1986


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Fine Art of Flirting + How to Attract Anyone, Anytime, Anyplace: The Smart Guide to Flirting + The Flirting Bible: Your Ultimate Photo Guide to Reading Body Language, Getting Noticed, and Meeting More People Than You Ever Thought Possible
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 169 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Fireside ed edition (March 2, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067162752X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671627522
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,646,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A natural-born flirt, Joyce Jillson is the author of Real Women Don't Pump Gas and Joyce Jillson's Lifesigns. With her characteristic flair, she is currently making headlines by reporting the entertainment news on the new hit T.V. show "Break Away." Joyce lives in Los Angeles where she practices astrology and flirting with the stars.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Flirting 101

Recently, I Ran into a friend or mine, a thirty-two-year-old divorcée who is average looking, moderately successful, and a mother of four kids. She was just coming home from a weekend business seminar, with three great-looking men pestering her for more of her time. Most of my other friends are pining for ways to find one new man, and here was Cheryl with three.

Did she have a secret?

"I do what every woman thinks she's doing, but which she usually botches up. I flirt."

Come on, I thought. I know Cheryl. She's bright, funny, a good tennis player, but a flirt -- never.

But Cheryl told me something other successful flirts later confirmed. "Flirting isn't flirting if it's obvious. If you or any third person can tell, then I'm off target. The men and women who flirt the way they do in the movies are so off base that it leaves the field open for everyday, average people like me who care enough to have perfected the craft.

"Flirting really is a skill like anything else."

Yes, a skill. I learned it and you can too. And once you know the basic moves, your personal refinements will turn this skill into a fine art.

Because I have worked since age sixteen, I missed out on some of the social niceties. The proms, the dating, the parties. But I was lucky. An older friend, Lianne, an outrageous seventy-three-year-old flirt, took me under her wing. She had lived a fascinating life in Europe and was now married, but she still went out of her way to decry the erosion of romance in America.

I met her through her husband, a courtly patrician in his late seventies, who offered to play chess with me. Actually Laurence wasn't playing chess with me, he was teaching me, although he was always too courteous to call it that. I got progressively better, but never half as good as necessary to beat Laurence.

Then one day, Laurence was out of town, and Lianne and I got a chance to chat. She told me that she and Laurence thought I was improving. Then half in jest, half serious, I said, "He'll never let me get good enough to beat him."

Lianne was startled. "You know you have already surpassed him. He has never spent as much time playing with anyone, man or woman. And you could even beat him, if you would pamper him a little."

That was silly, I thought. Was it really an achievement if I had to use this kind of strategy?

Lianne said, "Life is strategy. You can destroy a building with a bulldozer, or you can be that rare individual who knows how to make a flute resonate so perfectly with the building that the windows crack and the foundations are undermined. You, my dear, are driving a bulldozer; but if you want I will teach you to play the flute."

What Lianne really meant by flute-playing was flirting. She thought people should flirt all the time -- with friends, with youngsters, and especially with the opposite sex. "How do you think I got Laurence?" (Laurence being a Boston Brahmin of some repute), she would brag. And the way she approached teaching me to flirt showed her consummate skill. She never called it "flirting" within my earshot, she called it "European charm."

So one rainy Saturday afternoon when I'd just found out my boyfriend was marching in a peace demonstration with another girl, my basic training in flirting began.ar

Though I learned, even took notes, about flirting, and thought it was fun, I had no idea how necessary it would become. Then I moved to Los Angeles to work.

Friends told me I would never meet anyone there because people never get out of their cars. Which turned out to be true. For the first couple of months I just worked, and met no one. But the gloom lifted when, in unpacking, I noticed Lianne's notes.

Could they work for me? On a whim, I decided to try them out. (I had nothing to lose, since I didn't know anyone.) But there were several obstacles. I didn't have a car. (I believe this is now against the law for singles in Los Angeles.) And, I don't happen to like the California look in men -- muscles, chains, tans, and sushi-breath. This ruled out a lot of eligible men. (In California, eligible is defined as any man whose wife doesn't live with him or whose wife or girl friend lets him have his own private telephone number.)

As a result, I greatly restricted my choice of flirting partners -- which you shouldn't do. (I now know that, on the right person, a tan can be very appealing!) Yet...I had phenomenal luck. I had so much luck that I would give out my best girl friend's number instead of my own to men, so she could share in the fun. Of course, the fun didn't last long...I fell in love. And my women friends took this as evidence of my stinginess, because the phone calls to their numbers ceased.

Lianne has passed away, and her secrets might have been lost if I hadn't been talking with my friend and editor, Barbara Gess, one day. Yes...about life and love and romance and...flirting.

Barbara asked me to jot down my notes about flirting. But I wanted this book to be a compilation of many different flirting styles, and I wanted this book to be not for women only. So I asked the men and women who are always surrounded by members of the opposite sex for their secrets. Not love secrets or sexual secrets, but flirting secrets. I found that between Lianne's old-world charm and the modem-day style of these flirts, there were many similarities. Perhaps, the essence of flirting could, indeed, be set down in writing.

Learning to flirt should be a basic social skill that can be called up when needed. As my friend Cheryl said, "Getting ready for a social event without thinking about how you're going to flirt or if you're going to flirt, is like ironing a dress and then not wearing it. What's the use?"

One legendary fashion plate, a woman who has flirted with every man on both sides of the Atlantic, told me the idea she keeps in the back of her mind. "It's foolish to try to impress, or to make yourself into a sexual image, or to learn the right phrases. None of these work, because what is good for one woman will disgust the next. And goodness knows, every man I've ever known has had a completely different view about what is sexy. But the enduring trait, the one thing everyone agrees on, is friendliness. If you are friendly and warm, no one sees that as anything less than perfection. Why even at my age, women tell me I am flirting with their grandsons, when all I am doing is showing an interest in them. Down deep the core of flirting is friendship. You are putting your best foot forward to encourage a new relationship."

"Then why don't people say that flirting is friendship?" I asked her.

"If we called flirting, friendship, it would be too much good, clean fun, and in romance people want to think they've been a little bit naughty. Besides, with the opposite sex, if things are too understandable and ordinary, everyone loses interest."

A successful male flirt I know says, "Maybe extending friendship is a major part of flirting, but somehow when that friendliness comes from a woman it explodes into something more special than friendship. Or maybe I'm just fantasizing. Either way, it's very pleasant."

If you're wondering why these successful male and female flirts would want to give away their secrets, I'll tell you. Some say it's a boost to their egos to be able to talk about techniques they've applied for years. Others say they aren't worried about finding the field crowded with other flirts. Why? Flirting is so easy and requires so little effort, people won't believe it works.

Copyright Text © 1984 by Joyce Jillson

Illustrations © 1984 by Lindsay Harper-duPont

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Thomas on July 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
I give this book 5stars because it is poosibly the finest book in the genre. Joyce Jillson lays it all out clear and concise...Letting you know what to do and how to do it. From emotionally not putting all of your eggs in one basket to how to carry on an enjoyable conversation. One bit of caution is advised...do not flirt with people you know to be demons and monsters in the flesh...for when you do succeed in engaging them romantically or otherwise your life may become a living hell. Choose your companions wisely to get the most out of this insightful and fun book!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Darnay, author of Dating 101 on August 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you're single, you probably know you need to date if you want to get married. But there's a lesser-known fact that's just as important. As a dating expert and author myself, I know this to be one of the universal truths of our time-you need to flirt if you want to have dates! As the book says, some people are born with it, but most people need to learn it. If you think that learning how to flirt is going to be work, you're probably right. But it's not the drudgerous 4-letter kind of work you're used to ... it's fun work. How is that possible? Just jump into Joyce Jillson's book and you'll soon find out.
An early chapter describes Flirtophobia (aka the fear of flirting). Most people who are not natural flirts will fall into this category. She then takes you completely through the A to Z's of flirting, from using flattery as a flirtatious device to the Flirter's Code of Ethics. She even describes the most flirtatious drinks! The sometimes comical illustrations keep this book in perspective, as flirting and comedy should both be light and fun.
The only part of this book that shows is age is the chapter on how to flirt at (the now-defunct) salad bars and at jazzercise classes. If you're under 18, never fear. Yoga has replaced jazzercise, and salad bars may once again come into vogue. But thankfully, flirting will never go out of style.
Bottom line-a chance meeting will only become a "close encounter" if you brush up on your flirting skills, and this is an easy-to-read manual to get you started.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By napria on June 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
My husband, who is a fairly reserved person bought this book to help him learn to flirt with me (you know, keep the flame alive). A very nice gesture, but he struggled through the entire book, reading passages to me as he went.
First of all the book was written in the 1980's and is quite dated. One of the passages says that men can't go wrong wearing light grey slacks with a navy blue blazer with brass buttons. Well in 1984 that might have been true, but today that looks like a mall security guard uniform.
Although there are tips for men, the book is written mainly for shy, unflirtatious women. Not much help for dear hubby.
Some of the suggestions are downright corny. One of the last things my husband read from the book was that flirts are wavers. They wave from a car at everyone. As my husband said, "that's not flirting, that psychotic."
Some of the suggestions were things you should know if you are intelligent enough to read the book in the first place, such as when not to flirt: "when you are sick, when you are with your children, when you are on the witness stand."
Skip the book. If you really want to learn to flirt, you'd do better going to your local bar. At least you'd observe today's flirting behaviors.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Meirav on April 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book over a decade ago and still refer to it on occasion! It's part how-to book and part just fun (lists of top flirts through the ages, etc.) It gets you over the hump and helps you believe that you, too, can flirt.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Douglas J. Kent on March 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
I first purchased this amazing book 10 years ago after a divorce
and as a direct result gained courage and found 2 redheads who filled my life up.
Well, they got old (litterally) and I was getting restless.
Doing an Amazon search for flirting I ran acress
these reviews on . - printed the first 10 pages out
and now I'm back out trolling for babes. Its great fun again
and theres this whole world opening up. Cant find my old book so I ordered another one. Get this book. It is pure magic and great fun. Joyce Jillson is a genius. send this book to friends who are worn down and watch them find the fun in life again.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "drglenn1" on February 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book thinking there might be something resembling a definition of flirting. There was, but it was in one of the latter chapters. The whole book was nothing more than a series of rambling antidotes about people who were successful at flirting. None of these stories ever really delved into the technique behind it. It reminded me of reading Amway literature; or better yet, stereo/playground equipment assembly instructions.
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By Lisa A. Wallace on December 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
some of the things to me seem outdated but if you follow most of the techniques then it is worth your money. It is great to know that flirting is not always sexual that was worth it for me to buy the book. Love it
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