I was at a mate’s birthday last weekend chatting away with a female friend for most of the night. We were laughing and joking and generally messing about (not like that) as friends do. Later on, outside the pub having a ciggy, my mate’s sister enquired if the girl I’d been talking with and I were together. When I asked what had led her to this curious consideration, she told me in complete earnest that the sexual chemistry exuded between us was that of a couple of lifers at Wormwood Scrubs.
With this notion evilly implanted in my none too sober brain, my ego decided to collaborate with the id - after all, my friend’s incredibly attractive and I’m a randy little bugger anyway - and I return to my friend with renewed vigour. Naturally, I would need to ease this theory into the fold lest my advisor prove less than astute with her revelations. So we pick up where we had left off, kidding around and after a while I throw the idea in there with an air of absurdity. She laughs, playing along with the idea. Ah, I think, allowing my rationale to be driven further back by pervy possibility. Then drop the smile and say ‘No, seriously.’ This she finds hilarious, obviously believing it to be part of the jocularity. I laugh along too. Then again losing the smile with improved sincerity and say, ‘No, properly seriously.’ Once the penny drops, out come the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ of discomfort, prior to the ‘good-friend speech’.
Why had I allowed myself to become susceptible to suggestion?
Simple. Signals are hard enough to read in the first place. Or more poignantly, easier to misread. So I tend to leave them alone, mistrustful of so-called telltale signs of interest. If she’d stripped down to her underwear and leapt on me tearing at my jeans, then and only then might I have thought, “Hang on, is she trying to tell me something?” Otherwise it’s the cowardly road of avoiding possible rejection. At least, usually it is.
It seems that bystanders (especially those of a female persuasion) can pick up on signals or ‘chemistry’ better than the participants. I agree that taking a step back, broadening the picture will normally provide you with a greater perspective. However, a fleeting glance at two people in a potentially compromising position is not enough information to go on and formulate valid judgments with. Or at the very least not ones to then pass on to one of the drunken idiots involved.
The problem is that reason is stretched to its limit in trying to contain and control desire. And it only takes the tiniest nudge of encouragement to free the moron within. You know when you fancy someone. And you usually have a fair idea if it’s reciprocated or not, especially coming from the aforementioned assumption that without physical proof it’s best considered that it’s not. But, the male psyche, in regards to sex, is disposed to outside female influence. This is what has us sneaking peeks at magazine agony aunt columns (that, and the mild titillation at the sexual queries). A casual observation coming from a male counterpart, and we indulge it for a few seconds before thinking what the fuck would he know. From a woman however, and that stupid part of the brain (probably the feminine part which would explain the psychological link) starts dishing out delusions of grandeur.
The moral is (though it’s more obvious advice than a moral) if you too struggle to read blatant sexual signals, do nothing. Never under any circumstances listen to the advice of a casual observer. Not unless, you get a thrill out of feeling stupid.