“Flirt” redirects here. For other uses, see Flirt (disambiguation) Flirting or coquetry is a social and sometimes sexual activity involving verbal or written communication as well as body language by one person to another, suggesting an interest in a deeper relationship with the other person. In most cultures, it is socially disapproved for a person to make explicitly sexual advances, but indirect or suggestive advances (i.e., flirting) may at times be considered acceptable. On the other hand, some people flirt playfully, for amusement. Flirting usually involves speaking and behaving in a way that suggests a mildly greater intimacy than the actual relationship between the parties would justify, though within the rules of social etiquette, which generally disapproves of a direct expression of sexual interest. This may be accomplished by communicating a sense of playfulness or irony. Double entendres, with one meaning more formally appropriate and another more suggestive, may be used. Body language can include flicking the hair, eye contact, brief touching, open stances, proximity etc. Verbal communication of interest can include the vocal tone, such as pace, volume, intonation. Challenges (teasing, questions, qualifying, feigned disinterest) serve to increase tension, test intention and congruity. Flirting behavior varies across cultures due to different modes of social etiquette such as how closely people should stand (proxemics), how long to hold eye contact, how much touching is appropriate and so forth. However, ethologist Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt found that in places as different as Africa and North America, women exhibit similar flirting behavior: prolonged stare followed by a head tilt away with a little smile.