I’m reading a piece of my fan fiction published by the author John Birmingham.
The collection of short stories, Demons of Butte Crack County, has gone out early to the contributors and his ‘favourite’ fans.
There’s text that’s different. I was expecting this, I thought, lets see what he changed.
“I was at a seminar when I saw my first monster. A social skills tutorial for… young adults on the (Autism) Spectrum. People like me. I was running an excercise in structured flirting when I heard the disturbance just outside the big window.”
Structured flirting… Now there was a phrase I hadn’t heard before – Could this be another rabbit hole I could explore? Another concept in social skills that, quite frankly, I knew I was lacking?
I googled the phrase and came across an article series. One article about a way of being playful, had not only an explanation of the concept, but a word by word example.
I sat back and breathed a sigh of relief. Now this was exactly what I was hoping for. I’ve known that being playful creates intimacy, but this guy gives examples of how playfulness can play out.
Flashing in my mind were feelings of hanging out with a guy, attempting to flirt. Making a fool of myself, maybe, but having guidelines how and what to say. Being able to recognise where I went wrong.
Word by Word Examples
Some of Ed Stone’s outlooks are downright misogynistic, and I shudder to think that men out there, learning how to use more women.
However, his flirting articles have been a relief. As someone on the Autism Spectrum (Aspergers), this is how I learn my social skills. By being told how things work – with real life examples. Practicing is useful and required, but I’m treading blind without explanations and examples.
Much of the social realm has a hidden curriculum, as Judy Endow explains well in Treat Others how THEY Want to be Treated.
The Heartbeat Method is one of the first articles that I read. One thing I took away from it is that you can flirt at three points in a conversation. The beginning, middle and end. That concept alone was a relief. So I wasn’t expected to be all over the guy the whole conversation. Phew.
One way of being playful is what he calls Playing Dumb. However I think of it as Acting Surprised. If a guy wants a dumb lady, I’m way out of his league.
Quote: Playing Dumb is a flirting tactic in which you deliberately act shocked, surprised or aghast when someone explains something to you that is basic or obvious.
Now this concept may be obvious for you. Before reading the article I had experienced being playful, but not known how to replicate it. Not known what I got right or wrong. I just knew what being playful felt like.
I went out the other night, met a guy and gave out my number. Due to lack of habit I forgot to flirt though. There’s always a next time.
I’m sure I will embarrass myself a lot. I’m going out tomorrow, maybe I can ply my skills then? Currently I’ve been busy with writing projects. That’s a good excuse yes?
For a women with Aspergers, this format of Article, Explanation and Example is just what I’ve been looking for.
I’m glad I submitted some fan fiction. I worked on my creative writing skills, am now published in Demons of Butte Cracke County and learned about a structure to flirting.
This is a great start to the new year.
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