Rants & Essays

Tarting For Beginners - Part 2

By Jennie Kermode

On with the show. Some of the topics covered in this episode are rather specific. If you don't feel you're covered, look out for future episodes in which you may find something more useful.

(5) Tarting According to Body Type

The art of tarting always requires a balance between getting what you want and getting what you can. Some of you out there will want anything with a pulse (or even without), in which case it's pretty straightforward for you. Others will want to rule out certain personality types, for instance, even if they find their physical exteriors appealing.

When posing during tarting, one should bear in mind not only one's own personality and preferences, but also those (as best one can determine) of one's target. One needs to observe _how_ one is looked at in return. For instance, you may think your legs are your best feature, but there's no point in showing them off when your target is busy staring at your chest; in that instance, alter your pose to give your target more of what sie actually seems to want, not just more of what you think sie should want. This applies just as strongly to features which you may be shy about. You might think, for instance, that your arms look unpleasantly fat, but if your target is looking at them appreciatively then don't be paranoid about that - understand that different people have different ideas about what's sexy.

It's also important to be aware of the archetypes which you might fit into. Looking to some extent archetypal will usually attract much more attention than looking ordinary, even if it's less directly flattering to you. Especially in a crowded place, getting that initial attention can be half the battle. If you can look striking silhouetted in a trenchcoat and trilby, for instance, go with that - it's true that some people might prefer you if you were little and cuddly, but where you don't know who you're aiming at, your best chance is to look striking. People really do flock to that.

Of course, if you're really a little cuddly person, and wish to filter out people who would want something different of you, then it's better just to dress the way you feel.

A lot of people who are out vaguely looking for someone to flirt with are distinctly interested in taking either an active or a passive role in a relationship; this can extend to BDSM, but it applies in many other situations too. It's worth adapting one's posing in accordance with this. Observe your target and sie who else hir attention is attracted by. Observe the body language given off by those people. Do they carry themselves tall, looking confident and even slightly arrogant? Or do they behave in a more meek and delicate way? If you wish to, you can adapt your own body language accordingly. Don't let your physical shape deter you from this. A small, delicate person can still look imperious and imposing if sufficiently determined. Sit high up where possible, and look downwards, directly at your target. Keep your shoulders high and firm, and don't fidget. A large, plump or muscular person can still look vulnerable and/or slightly masochistic. Lean back a little where you're sitting or standing to create a more passive, accessible aspect. Show off any more fragile looking features (like wrists and ankles). Let yourself look slightly dazed. People don't see you simply as a shape of flesh - they see a mixture of the image determined by your physique and the image which you intentionally project. If the latter signals are strong enough, the former becomes less relevant.

Never be ashamed of how you look or assume that people won't like you because of it. Even if you seem to be quite opposite to that person's type, successful tarting is still possible. Always carry yourself as if you are very comfortable with your physique. There are numerous role models out there for people of all different shapes and sizes. You may find them in other cultures, but observe them closely, wherever you find them - see how they move with confidence, and copy those moves until they happen so easily that you don't have to think about it, until your body will do that even if your brain is very nervous indeed.

If you're reading this, I assume that you have eyes. Eyes are almost always attractive (and can be made more so with the right make-up); so if you feel unsure about the rest of your body, concentrate on your eyes first. Arrange the rest of your body around them, to make them appear more prominent. Let any useful passive or dominant feelings be expressed through your eyes directly. People's attention is usually drawn to eyes, so that once you've captured them that way you don't need to bother so much about what they might think of the rest of you.

(6) Lesbian Tarting in the Ladies' Toilets

This is one of our more specialist topics, but may also be of use to transvestites and to men who, for whatever reason, are a regular fixture in the ladies' toilets at their local pub/club to the point where no-one thinks it's a big deal for them to be there.

I feel, sadly, that I am underqualified to write on the subject of picking up men in men's toilets. If anyone else would volunteer to undertake that topic, I should be delighted.

In most women's toilets there is an area outwith the stalls where people hang about to wash hands, put on make-up etc. This is the most useful area for tarting activities (though don't forget that the stalls in many such places are full of lesbian graffiti whereby it's possible to arrange private meetings). It's easy to hang about in the outside area, but don't spend the whole time washing your hands - it gives the impression that you're just about to leave, and no-one's going to waste energy flirting with you then. It's better to spend awhile fiddling with make-up, especially if you look as if some small detail keeps going wrong, and you come across as being annoyed about that, but also amused; this attracts sympathy and makes you look approachable.

Other useful tricks include lacing up boots, especially taller boots, and giving the impression that you're having difficulty doing it yourself. Many women are glad to help in these instances, and it can bring you into close physical contact. This is a good time for exchanging clothing related or make-up and hair related compliments, and smiling at each other, and taking it from there as described in previous episodes.

If you don't pull in a hurry, don't be afraid to hang around. You may find a friend whom you can chat to while posing at passers by, or you may be best advised to sit beside the sinks - up high where people going to wash their hands will find their eyes drawn to your legs, groin or breasts, depending on how you position yourself - and saying, if asked, that you're waiting for a friend, or that you've had an argument with someone, or are too hot, and are taking a break to cool down. If you look slightly bored, people will often start talking to you.

Since you are in a single-sex environment, remember that it is not unreasonable for you to do things like hitching up stockings within the view of others. It's usually most effective to be slightly subtle here (i.e.: don't just pull your top off) in order to avoid people turning away to be polite.

(7) Tarting while Attached

This section is intended for people in non-monogamous relationships (of various types), where tarting with others is allowed. If you are looking for tips on how to cheat on your partner and get away with it, may I please redirect you to the nearest railway line, where you might enjoy taking a nap.

Tarting while attached presents problems all of its own, on more levels than the obvious (i.e.: when do you explain your situation to your target, and how?) First of all, if you have another partner present whilst you are working on your target, what do you do when that partner is visibly affectionate with you? Many people will read this as a sign that they should cease to take an interest in you, and this includes many people who are open to getting involved in poly situations (to whatever degree), as it's still common for them to assume that everyone else is monogamous.

The best way to explain a poly situation without making an issue of it is to be seen being affectionate with more than one person (ideally where those people can be seen to be able to see each other, so it doesn't look like you're keeping one secret from another), or to drop it into conversation, i.e.: "Have you seen [name of partner, description if necessary]? The last time I noticed sie was snogging that guy over there; I don't mind, but sie has my beer money." Demonstrating (where it is the case) that one's partner is involved with other people tends to make people a lot more relaxed and comfortable about flirting with you, especially if that aspect of the situation is obviously not a big deal to you.

There are few pick-up lines on Earth that beat "My girlfriend fancies you." (coming from a woman, and stressed so that the nature of the 'girlfriend' relationship is clearly sexual); but be careful who you use it on. While some people will jump at the chance (regardless of whether they would fancy you otherwise), others will be quite intimidated. Most people expect the average woman to be a little intimidated in this situation, but don't forget that men, for all the myths, are often similarly nervous. If you're picking someone up as a team, your chances of success are usually better if you take it slowly and start with just casual conversation. Sitting on either side of your target and occasionally reaching over to (casually) pet one another, and smiling at each other a lot, is usually quite effective. Most people will not run away from this because they'll enjoy the attention, even just on a conversational level.

If your existing partner is of the opposite sex from you then it is, naturally, harder to find people interested in threesomes, but it is still possible. In any of these situations, though, you should work out first what you will do if your target is only interested in one of you, so as to avoid unpleasant feelings (and awkward discussions) between you in the event of that happening.