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tongue poke flirting

Flirty Conversation Series: The Tongue Poke

Flirty Conversation Series

This article is part of the Flirty Conversation Series, designed to teach you techniques for flirting successfully with anyone you talk to. This series is written to help men and women. He/She pronouns are interchangeable, and often one is chosen purely for simplicity of writing.

What is The Tongue Poke?

The Tongue Poke is a tongue-in-cheek (well, technically a tongue-out-of-cheek) facial gesture which can be used to flirt. Quite simply you stick the tip of your tongue out of your mouth a centimeter or two.

tongue poke flirting

Another variation is using a flatter tongue, sticking it further out, and downwards towards your chin (as shown by the image at the top of this article).

I’m NOT talking about using the tongue to mimic a sexual act, but instead the innocent way a child would do it.

Why does it work?

The Tongue Poke can be used to convey many emotions, but in this context it’s a way of being cute, or as a comical retort, because of it’s association with childlike behaviour.

This flirting technique is even more powerful now due to the prolific use of emoticons (:P, ;-P) in text messages.

Tongue poke emoticon

It is common knowledge if you’re under the age of 40 this emoticon is used to:

  • indicate you are being cheeky
  • signal an innuendo has just been made
  • absorb and retort to teasing by someone else

Like many of the teasing techniques in the Flirty Conversation Series, the aim is bring your light-hearted, playful personality into a conversation. Playing as kids do takes us back to the days when the most we had to worry about was whether we were going to get wedgied or not by the older kids.

How to use The Tongue Poke

There are three situations in which The Tongue Poke works superbly.

  • As a comical retort
  • To attract attention non-verbally
  • To indicate you are being cheeky

All tongue pokes are best accompanied by a head tilt to one side.

1. The comical retort

Someone has teased you and rather than respond verbally you want to acknowledge their quick wit and light-heartedly act hurt. You are non-verbally communicating “You may be right but screw you anyway :)”.


  • Woman: “You’re such a dick! 🙂 ”
  • Man: 😛 (tongue poke)
  • Woman: (laughs)

2. To attract attention non-verbally

The most difficult use of the tongue poke.

Used to re-engage with someone you were flirting with earlier, and who has no moved to another part of the room, or is standing in a group with you, but neither of you are the speaker.

Catch her or his eye across the distance, and stick your tongue out, before cheekily smiling, then returning your focus to whatever you were concentrating on before.

The impression should be you were glancing around the room, happened to notice the other person looking at you, and responded with a tongue poke, as if communicating “I remember you from earlier. You were fun”. It maintains a level of rapport, even when you are not together.

A smiling response from the recipient indicates they are open to being re-approached later in the night, or will seek you out themselves.

Don’t use this technique if you are in a small group, otherwise you will appear rude to the speaker to whom you should be listening. Only use it when you are alone, or in a big enough group that a moment of distraction won’t be noticed.


  • Woman: (Sitting with friends, but catches the eye of man coming back from bar, who she flirted with earlier in the night. Performs tongue poke) 😛
  • Man: 😛 (tongue pokes back)
  • Woman: (Returns attention to friends as man returns to his friends)

3. To indicate cheekiness

The final use of the tongue poke is after you have teased someone, delivered an innuendo, or said something mildly inappropriate, and is done to signal you mean no harm by it.

The tongue poke is an excellent way to finish any of the playful teasing techniques described in this flirting series.


  • Woman: “You’re such a player. I bet you’ve been hitting on every girl in here haven’t you 😛 ” (tongue poke) <- An example of the Perv Callout flirting technique.
  • Man: (laughs) “Yeah of course!”

Where people go wrong

This is not a sexual move. Don’t try and act seductively as you do it. This is a quick move, lasting no longer than a second or two. It’s cheeky and fun.

Next steps

Use the Tongue Poke flirting technique at least once during your next night out.

Flirty Conversation Series

Take me back to the Flirty Conversation Series page so I can learn more fantastic flirting techniques to use in every day conversation.

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