Here's the thing about flirting - having an agenda is not mandatory in order to flirt. You can flirt to just have a good time and a pleasant conversation with another soul. It gives you a happy high, something to smile about, and just a generally good feeling about yourself and life. Of course that does not mean that you cannot have an agenda in place when you go about indulging in some decadent coquetry. However, the thing to keep in mind is that whether you have intentions for just a night or for the rest of your life, you must refrain from being cheesy. It absolutely murders the art and leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Flirting is not about appearing needy, desperate, predator-like, or being a cling-on. It has to be classy, subtle, and very sophisticated. It should make a person want to come back to you, not induce repulsion. So basically, the trick is to not toe the thin line between being a charmer and seeming to be a stalker. How? Well, there is a way to do everything and it is true even when it comes to flirting. You have to instinctively know the exact duration for which you can gaze into someone's eyes before looking down at the ground and then smiling. Keep looking for too long and you'll be pigeon-holed as creepy. Something as seemingly slight as the difference between "gazing" and "staring" can make or mar your chances.
So, it all boils down to what you express, how you express it, and where you express it, the correct words accompanied by the correct body language at the right place. Nail that and your boat will sail off smoothly. Example? Gladly.
Say, you're hosting a cocktail party at your place and you see the cute neighbor (who you wished upon a star) standing alone at the bar. You guys are relatively attracted and have smiled bloomingly at each other while crossing ways in the corridor, but no one has expressly said anything yet. But tonight seems to be a good night to break that ice that itself is dying to be broken. You walk up to him, smile, lean against the counter, and ask softly, "Can I get you some coffee?" It is a cocktail party, so he WILL say no. "Some tea then?" No again, accompanied by a bemused look from him. Finish it off with, "So just "me" then?" Gangbusters! Precisely how a super corny pickup line can be converted into something so warm and light-hearted.
So evidently, it is all a matter of judgment. Of course you have to make use of your natural style and work on your ways as per the situation. For instance, when you are flirting over text messages or e-mails, understand that it is very hard to convey tone, so even the simplest of jokes can end up offending the person reading it. Avoid sending overtly suggestive messages in such cases for they may boomerang and hit you hard. Here are a few other questions (which can sometimes be rendered rhetorical owing to their intent) that you may ask coquettishly without stepping on the wrong foot.
Scene One: Well, the first instance that I shall give you is right out of the 2001 movie called "American Desi". It is super classy and so smooth that it will at least elicit a smile from your object of desire, if you do it right that is.
Krishna: Hi, buy me a pizza?
Nina: Excuse me?
Krishna: Buy me a pizza.
Nina: Buy you a pizza?
Krishna: Yeah, I'm really hungry and I'm totally tapped out of cash and I know this great pizza place around the corner. And I was wondering if you'd buy me a pizza?
Nina: No! Are you crazy? I'm not gonna buy you a pizza. I don't know if you know how this works, but you're the one buying me a pizza.
Nina: Okay what?
Krishna: Okay, I'll buy you a pizza. All you had to do was ask.
Nina: Wait a minute, you just said that you were tapped out of cash.
Krishna: I am, but it's not everyday that a beautiful girl, like yourself, asks a guy like me out to pizza. Trust me, I'll find a way to scrap up the money.
Nina: Cute. Very cute. I never heard a pickup line that devious before. I may have to try it myself sometime.
I recommend that you check this scene out before trying anything. Watch and learn.
Scene Two: You are at a party and adore the host/hostess (who must be a wordplay enthusiast for this to work), cannot tear your eyes away from him/her, and all that jazz. Wait for the apple of your eye to come near the food counter. Once he/she is around, walk up to the counter yourself and pretend to frantically look for something that you just can't seem to locate. At this point, the host will definitely ask you what you are looking for. Ask very casually with a straight face, "Do you have any raisins around here?" Two things can happen from here on.
a. The person says no. Flash your most charming smile and say, "Well, then how about a date?"
b. The person says yes. Again, smile charmingly (not in a lewd and creepy manner) and say, "So am guessing I can also get a date?"
A variation of this could be walking up to that attractive person standing at the bar who has been smiling flirtingly at you across the room for a while, starting off with small talk, picking up a drink, and asking,
"Do you need raisins to go with this drink? No? Then how about a date?"
There has to be an element of surprise that will have to be incorporated in these questions. It can be achieved by suddenly slipping the line in while talking about something completely different so that the person in front is totally unprepared and is caught off guard.
Again, being corny is not an option.
Scene Three: You are out on a first date and the chemistry is crackling. The person in front of you is interesting enough to have held your attention for 45 minutes (or whatever is your personal time limit for labeling a person "worth it") and you still want more. Here's what you do next: Start talking about something. Anything. Something like,
"Yes, I do love reading nonfiction once in a while and it invariably turns out to be morbid and just a tad sad. By the way, where have you been all my life??" and then smile.
The smile will act as the punch here. Work it to bring out the intent of your line.
Scene Four: Boring party. Very hot and arm-able candy (that should be a coinage!) standing next to you. Liked the initial exchange - verbal or otherwise. Want to be alone with him/her now. Flirting question to be asked:
"I'm craving a burrito. Wanna leave this boring party and get one with me?"
*Please make sure that there are no burritos being served at the given party before you pop the question.
Scene Five: This move needs to be handled very confidently and with extreme charm. It will blow up in your face if done sloppily. Also, I would rather that a guy tries it. So, you are at this place where that cute girl is driving you crazy and all you want to do is talk to her. Your friends do not know her, so getting an introduction seems to be a problem. Wait for her companions to leave her alone for a bit and that's when you swoop in. Take an ice cube, stand in front of where she is sitting, make sure she is watching you, throw the cube on the floor, and smash it to smithereens with your shoe. She will be surprised at your action (if she doesn't know about this move already). Now walk right up to her suavely and say,
"Now that I have broken the ice, can I buy you a drink?" and smile.
If she is a sport, she will see your confidence and sense of humor.
Scene Six: So your intentions are slightly more risqué and adventurous than usual and you cannot look away from that demigod of a guy standing at the corner. He seems to be totally worth whatever should transpire afterwards. Walk up to him and start talking. At the opportune moment, steer the conversation towards bikes and cars. Grand if you already know where this is going, but I shall continue for the sake of those who do not. Guys dig vehicles (90% of them at least) and they will tell you eventually whether they like a car more or a bike. This is your cue to flash that super sexy (not salacious), suggestive, and yet classy smile and risk the question,
"So you're a car/bike guy? Hmmmmmm..."
If you deliver it right, the tension in the air will catch fire and you can write "mission accomplished" in your journal that night.
So, the success of all these questions depends on how you present them, as I have already said a million times before this. A line as cheesy and clichéd as "Do you believe in love at first sight or should I pass you by once more?" can still do magic if you know how to deliver it. I mean, Joey worked his way through the ladies for 10 whole years with just "How you doin'?"!!! Keep it simple. Do not attempt to pull off a Barney Stinson or Samantha Jones because well, not everyone can pull such awesomeness off. If you like someone enough to want to spend some time with him/her, these babies are worth a try. And the cherry on the cake? They will act as grand ego boosters once you pull them off.