Flirting is often a game of innuendo and reading between the lines. It can be exciting, fun, embarrassing, and confusing.
For example, two college students are at a party or on a date. They are attracted to each other, they flirt a little, and go home together. What does each person expect will happen next? Do they expect the same thing? Since flirting is often full of reading between the lines and under communicating, people often rely on unspoken rules and their own beliefs about what will happen next. Is agreeing to go home with someone considered an unspoken sign that something is going to happen? If so, what exactly?
At Flare, we know that college students find themselves in these situations all of the time and that they can be very difficult to navigate when you know the other person and like them. Sometimes you’re on different pages when it comes to hooking up or sex.
According to research conducted by our friends at Confi, 66% of college students who go home together expect to have sex, but 30% think it is extremely unlikely that they will have sex. Clearly students have very different sexpectations.
So, what happens if two students don’t talk about their wants or expectations because it’s hard to find the right words, it’s uncomfortable, or embarrassing? What if one of the 66% of students who expect to have sex goes home with one of the 30% who thinks it’s extremely unlikely?
Across gender lines, there is a disconnect as well. 45% of male students expect vaginal sex if they go home with someone after a party vs. only 31% of female students.
These mismatched expectations about what it means to go home with someone increases the likelihood of misread cues, misreading the signs, misunderstandings, conflict, or in the worst cases, sexual assault. That’s especially true when flirting, shyness, embarrassment, and drinking are involved, and communication becomes less clear.
31% of female students experienced unwanted sex because the other person “persistently tried to make moves even after they said ‘no’.” 24% of male students in the study said that “women usually have to be convinced to have sex.
Communication is such a critical part of getting to know someone, dating, and sex, but it’s not at all surprising that clear communication can be difficult in these intimate situations. Sometimes communicating what you want and what you don’t want is the most important thing that you can do for you or your sexual partner’s personal wellbeing and safety. But when communication breaks down or you’re worried that speaking up will put yourself in further danger, Flare gives you options that help you change the direction things are moving in or get yourself out of the situation.