I'm a flirt, I love flirting and I love being flirted with - and not just the polite version, which could be misinterpreted as being nice, nope, I'm talking good old-fashioned, shameless eye-fluttering, girlie giggling, high-heeled clopping coquetry.
At work too. I can't imagine anything worse than spending every day in an environment that didn't involve at least a degree of playful banter, isn't that what makes a working day enjoyable? Achieving ambition and reaching goals, of course, but in terms of icing a cake, flirting is essential.
Make no mistake, I flirt with women as much as I flirt with men, all be it in a slightly less apparent way - men, women, small animals, lamp posts, fax machines - you name it and I'll flirt with it. Does it get me ahead at work? Probably not. It would be hard to tell where I'd be if I hadn't, given how ingrained it is in my eyelash-fluttering psyche, but it certainly doesn't seem to have hurt and has made life's daily toil far more enjoyable over the years.
I guess I'm what you would call a natural born flirt. I remember using charm to get ahead, to get out of situations or simply, just to have fun. Flirting with teachers at school to avoid detention, bouncers on club doors to jump queues and traffic wardens to avoid £50 tickets for five minutes on a yellow line.
I flirt to get a seat on a busy train or to avoid a three deep queue at a bar, I use flirting as a way of connecting with people and yes, with my boss - because I can, it's fun, and seeing how easily men are manipulated by a double entendre about boobs never fails to amuse me.
Of course that's not the *only* way to get ahead at work - I make double entendres about willies too, (calm down, I'm joking) and it really would take a naive man to advantage a female member of staff over everyone else based on her flirting techniques alone, but if there is an opportunity where a bit of flirtatious banter can make a situation easier or a work environment more relaxed, then yes, I will take it.
Flirting has nothing to do with cheating your way to the top, far from it, I've worked hard for what I've achieved and I expect an equal playing field at work and in life, but I can't see why, if you have the ability to use charm to make life easier, you wouldn't use it - and that goes for men as well as women.
It's got nothing to do with being 'pretty' either. The good news is, if you've never tried it before, you don't have to be remotely attractive to be a good flirt, far from it, some of the least attractive people I know are the most charming.
Yes, I'm using my sexuality to take the easy route, whether it be a parking ticket or a bit more leniency on a deadline, but then don't we all to some degree or another in life? Isn't flirting just a way of sussing out how to press another person's buttons - communicating in a particular way in order to get a desired outcome?
So, whilst I wouldn't recommend interrupting a company director's board meeting to share your thoughts on last night's naked whipped cream lesbian sex dream, I do think a bit of playful banter should never be under-estimated - and is far more fun than a parking fine.