Email as the new foreplay
January 22, 2003 6:23 AM   Subscribe

Email as the new foreplay E-mail conversations between men and women have a way of turning flirtatious far more rapidly than do their telephonic equivalents. People are less inhibited in e-mail: It's why flameouts happen so quickly. One cannot temper anger or dismay with tone and body language (and those awful emoticons don't come close to substituting for the human face). It's easier to be brave when talking to a screen. Not that we MeFiers would know anything about flameouts.
posted by orange swan (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hm... I find the opposite to be true. When I write email I don't care as much, and it's a lot more akward for me (because I can't guage reaction) to write someone I know poorly then to talk to them. So I come off less polished, less confident. Hell, I haven't had an email 'flirt' in my life.

IMs are something else though.
posted by jedrek at 6:37 AM on January 22, 2003

From the article: And your computer is far more private than a phone you share with your family or roommates.

Not if you're at work it isn't!
posted by normy at 6:39 AM on January 22, 2003


It always goes bad. And, it always gets saved.
posted by gottabefunky at 6:47 AM on January 22, 2003

E-mail conversations have led to a couple of wonderful flings for me. Often, an opening that I'd miss in a real world conversation is glaringly obvious on the screen.

If the other party meant to leave the opening, a foray on my part was quickly confirmed in her response. It then escalates almost immediately to a full-blown flirtation. That's how I went from casually e-mailing with a former co-worker to something much more intense over the span of about two days.

On the other hand, if I've misread an innocent statement, my flirtation back is either missed, ignored or glossed over. I've never lost a friend because I hit on her in an e-mail. I can't say the same for real life. That has led me to be much bolder with e-mail flirtation than I ever would be face-to-face.
posted by GreyWingnut at 6:49 AM on January 22, 2003

I found the FPP made me enraged and yet at the same time strangely aroused. Hmm... maybe there's something to it after all.
posted by RokkitNite at 6:49 AM on January 22, 2003

You can spend hours constructing an e-mail a Metafilter comment that looks casual. And there's a narcissism in this, in seeing your own cleverness on the screen.
posted by gottabefunky at 6:50 AM on January 22, 2003

Couldn't agree more, gottabefunky!!!

I find email to be THE medium for me. I'm a better writer than conversationalist, it's fast enough to suit my impatient nature, and I can archive things if I wish, unlike say, a phone call or actual in person experience. And - I have had a romantic relationship that I know I NEVER would have had if we hadn't begun by emailing.

To people who rant that email is impersonal and replaces contact, I respond that although yes, email does eliminate some in person contacts, it also builds bridges to and necessitates others. I have a close, out-of-town friend whom I seldom saw before we starting emailing. We now email each other about every detail of our lives on a daily basis, and make time to see each other more frequently.
posted by orange swan at 6:53 AM on January 22, 2003

So its the new danger of email flirting this week is it?
i seem to remember all these half -assed journos warning us that we were all going to be continually stalked the minute we emailed a hello to someone.
Despite the journos best efforts , people are actually getting together and having some fun times with each other instead of sitting on there ownsome with some womans magazine hoping some new action liposomed beauty product will change their life.
So i think we've gone down to defcon 3 on emailing each other and it really was nice of the writer to let us know how we can behave this week , although we all better watch out in case something bad happens of course.
Heres a tip from the sarge:
If you are ever asked to prove you are a nice person etc
continually in an email exchange , end it.
anyone who asks you to prove you are not a psycho,
is in fact , a psycho themselves.
funky- i leave spelling errors in to make it look like i just drummed it up hehe
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:59 AM on January 22, 2003

and i like a man with a sense of humour ;)
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:00 AM on January 22, 2003

Email flirting can get you in trouble
posted by jazon at 7:11 AM on January 22, 2003

I find the e-cards to be especially romantic.
posted by four panels at 7:29 AM on January 22, 2003

yeah i know , i ended up in a long term relationship with a beautiful lassie (still friends) have been warned.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:36 AM on January 22, 2003

Gotten into trouble AND had alot of fun with it. I'm for it!
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:51 AM on January 22, 2003

Hi Orange -

You've been flirting in your emails?!?! Why you, dirty, dirty boy!

me ;)

(PS I blame emoticons for email flirting. Emoticons will be our ruin)
posted by Salmonberry at 10:14 AM on January 22, 2003

Salmonberry makes me :'-(
posted by riffola at 11:06 AM on January 22, 2003

Misdirected email flirting can send your family members into therapy. Since there is a one letter difference between my Hotmail address and my father's, I recently received an e-card intended for my father, sent by his newest girlfriend. Innuendo only, but still....*shudder* (full freak out here. warning: Self link and slow loading free hosting)
posted by romakimmy at 12:05 PM on January 22, 2003

Emoticons will be our ruin

They will indeed.
posted by gsteff at 12:47 PM on January 22, 2003


Yes, I've been flirting. I'm actually a woman, but yes, it was dirty. And yes, I'm still doing it only now I refrain from e-flirting with totally inappropriate people.

And I've never in my life used an emoticon. Risque haikus yes, emoticons no.

[see username]
posted by orange swan at 2:12 PM on January 22, 2003

Also, it's a helluva lot easier to flirt with other guys in the electronic soup than it is in meatspace. A lot of men are outrageous flirts, and will flirt with just about everyone, in here. Not out there. Just sayin'.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:56 PM on January 22, 2003

It took me a few lessons to learn: DON'T DISCUSS SENSITIVE RELATIONSHIP STUFF OVER EMAIL. It always goes bad. And, it always gets saved.
... and forwarded.

WolfDaddy, have you been lurking on #mefi?
posted by dg at 3:10 PM on January 22, 2003

And, it always gets saved. ...and forwarded.
And run through a text-to-speech synthesizer. Flame mail processed thusly is truly hilarious to the uninvolved.

dg, I never lurk. If I habituated #mefi, you'd definitely know. Unless I'm not pinching hard enough, that is.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:15 PM on January 22, 2003

« Older ...then the conversational terrorists have already...   |   95-year old WTC concept Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments