The Chinese New Year starts this weekend. It’s the biggest celebration in China’s calendar and a bit like Thanksgiving in the U.S., the entire country shuts down for a long weekend of food, fireworks and family time. Millions of single people have to endure endless questioning from their family as to why they’re not yet hitched.
Darren wanted desperately to have sex with this really cute, really hot girl in his office, but she was dating someone else.
One day Darren got so frustrated that he went to her and said: “I’ll give you $100 if you let me have sex with you.” The girl looked at him and then said, “NO!”
Darren said, “I’ll be real fast. I’ll throw the money on the floor, you bend down and I’ll finish by the time you’ve picked it up.” She thought for a moment and said that she would consult with her boyfriend. So she called him and explained the situation. Her boy friend says, “Ask him for $200 and pick up the money really fast. He won’t even be able to get his pants down. Then give me a call.”
She agreed and accepts the proposal.
Over half an hour goes by and the boyfriend is still waiting for his girlfriend’s call. Finally, after 45 minutes the boyfriend calls and asks, “What happened?” Still breathing hard, she managed to reply, “The bastard had all quarters!”
Some people are born flirts. For everyone else, a pocket-size Cyrano de Bergerac awaits.
Browse all the mobile app coverage that has appeared in The New York Times by category, and see what Times writers have on their phones and tablets.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, more apps to help singles flirt their way to romantic attachment are popping up on mobile devices.
The Web abounds with matchmaking sites like Match.com, eHarmony, Jazzed and Grindr, and all those services have apps for people who want to arrange dates remotely.
But flirting apps are different. Some are meant to solve the so-called last yard problem, in which a prospective flirter might lose the nerve to say hello, while other apps help people engage more with people they’ve already met.
IFlirt4U ($1 on Apple) is for the first-time encounter. It’s for across-the-room flirtations, presumably in dark and loud nightclubs. The app displays short, flirty phrases on the screen, one word at a time, in extra-large white type against a black background.
Just point the phone at your crush and let it do the work.
It has seven phrases to choose from, including the traditional lines like “you are cute,” “you are hot” and “can I buy you a drink?” (Given the huge value of many free apps, it’s a little disconcerting to see only seven phrases in this app for $1. But if it manages to help someone secure a date, it’s arguably worth the buck.)
The phrases appear slowly on the screen, and in a typeface big enough that recipients could understand them from 10 yards away — plus or minus a couple of yards, depending on the recipient’s blood alcohol content and visual acuity.
Sometimes there is a second helpful step. The “Can I get your number?” screen includes small yes and no buttons. The no button yields a “too bad!” message, but the yes button opens the phone’s contact list to a new page.
If you don’t want your phone to do more than provide specific lines, you can turn to apps meant to help with flirting strategies. Of the ones I tested, How to Flirt - wikiHow (free on Apple) was the most useful.
The content is divided into three main categories — steps, tips and warnings — with concise and generally useful tips on how to start and sustain a conversation with a stranger.
In the “steps” section, for instance, users are walked through its nine phases of a successful flirtation, from the initial approach to asking for a person’s phone number. (Step 5, on initiating a conversation: “What you say isn’t important. You are simply inviting the person to talk with you.”)
The app includes a two-minute video, as well, with more specific advice.
It features a more professional design than many others in this genre, but the layout is marred by ads, and the advice is occasionally strange. “If the person seems unresponsive, there’s the possibility that they are on the autism spectrum,” it suggests at one point. At another, it characterizes funerals as “generally not good places to flirt.”
Both the iTunes App Store and the Android Market feature multiple apps that carry the flirting banner, but the apps mostly perform like dating services.
FlirtMaps, Flirtomatic and Speed Flirt, for instance, allow you to post profiles and photos quickly and scroll through those posted by others. You can send “winks” or invite strangers to chat. This is also the approach of better-known apps and online services like Skout, Flurv and Grindr. These are not the user-friendliest pieces of technology, though. Many don’t let you sort people according to geographic distance, for instance, so it’s easy to waste time flipping through poor matches.
FlirtMaps (free on Apple and Android) shows the actual neighborhood of the people profiled. Indeed, in an unsettling bit of disclosure, the app’s mapping feature appears to show each person’s precise location. (The company says the locations shown are just an approximation.)
Some people have little trouble connecting with strangers, face to face or otherwise. For them, the bigger problem is simply managing all their romantic ambitions.
Auto Romeo prompts you to make a “flirt list” by choosing names from the phone’s contact list, and then asks for the contact’s first name, hair and eye color, best feature, the place and date you met, and birthday. (It sends a reminder for birthdays.)
After selecting someone from your flirt list, you then choose whether your communications should be “warm,” “hot” or “steamy,” and select a one-liner to send. The app then opens a chat window with the flirty text ready and waiting to send.
Among the “warm” texts are lines like these: “I could lose myself in your sparkling green eyes” and “Is it hot today or is it you?”
The “hot” selections include: “I spend hours daydreaming about your dimples” and “Your green eyes seem to hypnotize!”
The “steamy” texts include a few extremely off-color ones, and tamer fare like these:: “When I look into your blue eyes, I see a better place I want to be a part of” and “I think I could fall madly in bed with you.”
It’s an uneven mix, clearly.
Given that most of these messages are gender-neutral and devoid of specifically heterosexual references, the app’s branding unnecessarily confines it to men who flirt with women.
But others may also wish to download the app, if only for sniffing out the flirts on their list who use it.