Is Playing Games With Another Man REALLY Flirting?

Love & Sex 15

Until recently I would have answered that question, "No way, playing games against anyone, men included, is innocent fun." But now I’m not so sure. What happened? The other day, after scoring 72 points with Q-A-T-S (yes, it’s a word) while playing Words With Friends, I got a chat IM asking me to text a sexy picture of myself. WHAT?

Look, I haven’t been hit on in quite some time, but that’s flirting, right? Horrible, letchy, uninvited flirting. Couldn’t he have gone with "Nice word"? Seriously, I have a rule that word games should never make you feel like you need a shower.

Here’s the thing: many of us enjoy playing games on our smartphones and tablets. Okay, many of us are addicted to these games. We’re playing them with more than a handful of friends, as well as random Facebook connections we couldn't pick out of a lineup. So, where's the harm? They’re just games, right?  
Or are they?

One time, after beating an old high school acquaintance at Scramble With Friends, I got this message, "Hey, how come we never dated?" Um, I don’t know, because you’re four inches shorter than I am? (Sheesh, why do men always assume it’s their choice?)

Now I don’t want to sound too self-righteous. If a hottie from college had written something similar, I may have gotten butterflies. Oh, stop judging! I don’t care how old you are, or how bald and fat said hottie has become, it still makes you giddy when he suggests you should have dated. Even if it’s 20 years too late.

So I'll admit, there have been a few blips on the radar that suggest playing games with the opposite sex encourages innuendo. Recently, I was challenged to WWF by what I call a "power player." We played -- I won, he won, I won ... you get the picture. We never messaged other than to say "Good one" or "I have no vowels."

We were still playing at 11 p.m. on Saturday night, when suddenly I got this message: "Text me a pic, I want to see how you look tonight, sexy." I stared at my screen in shock. I’m surprised my laptop lid didn’t slide under my chin and close my slack jaw.  

Apparently when he said he "had no vowels," he meant he "took no vows very seriously." I was in an awkward position, and I don’t mean the kind where you decide whether you have enough points on a double-double to leave a triple open.  

The next morning, I told my husband and he was mad -- but not at my inappropriate acquaintance. At me. 

"Why are you pissed at me?" I said. "I haven’t done anything other than reinforce the intelligence associated with our family name!"

"Are you that naive? You think he challenged you because tales of your Words With Friends acumen have traveled across the land?" my husband said mockingly.

"First, will you stop talking in Old English? Second, everyone plays games with random acquaintances!" (Don’t they?)

But I had to admit, it did appear that this guy and I weren’t exactly playing the same game. Should I have known that, as my hubby suggested? I don’t know, I may have been married for a decade or so, but looking back, I don’t recall phrases like "Can you use that word in a sentence?" implying anything sexual.

Is playing games on your phone opening a door to flirting? Do you play games with random people? Was this all my fault?


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MamaD... MamaDV1012

According to my husband all men would have sex with any woman given the opportunity so to a man there is no such thing as an innocent game or friendship.  I steer clear of any sort of relationship with men on FB unless they are gay.  I do have some male friends on FB but we don't comment much or "like" much or anything.  If I start noticing a male friend commenting/liking EVERYTHING I post, I promptly remove them.  Maybe I'm weird but I am trying to look at it how I would feel if I saw the same female name popping up all over my hubby's FB and I wouldn't like it no matter how innocent it really is.  I hope this makes sense and I don't sound like a total freak.  But you really do have to be careful with how you interact with men sometimes just being nice and not telling them to directly eff off is an open invitation.  Yes it's sad.  I have always had male friends and most of them I've never had any awkward exchanges like this one.  My guess is that with this game in particular any man is just hoping to get letters to make dirty/sexual words.  I don't play any online games but this would probably be my goal too in all honesty and that would definitely invite unwanted attention because you can't joke around like that and not have someone take it as a flirt/advance/come-on. 

nonmember avatar Cass

Or maybe you should avoid marrying men who are so insecure that you feel you have to give up something you enjoy to avoid his wrath? As long as you don't respond to the flirting, it's harmless. They're victim blaming.

nonmember avatar Carmen

No, it wasn't your fault. Pervs make a conscious choice to be pervs. You don't invite innapropriate comments or requests simply by engaging in a social activity with a man.

Carmen Martin

No, it wasn't your fault. Pervs make a conscious choice to be pervs. You don't invite innapropriate comments or requests simply by engaging in a social activity with a man.

Kristen Andrews

Forgive me, but your husband sounds as though he doesn't trust you very much. It really doesn't matter that 'dude' asked for a sexy pic. Your reaction is what matters. You told your hubby and, I assume, are now disengaging from the friendship so there should be no problem. Guys are going to hit on you, whether it's by internet or in the store, or in a passing car. As long as you are not 'inuendo-ing' back there shouldn't be an issue. You shouldn't have to avoid playing games with people online for fear that one of them might hit on you.

nonmember avatar Pookie

Really? I had friends that were male, long before I met my husband, as did he have female friends before we met. Neither of us would expect the other to cut ties with those people or alter our relationships in any way. Yes I play WWF with male friends of mine, as do I "like" their FB photos or status' as I find them interesting. Same goes for my husband. Last time I checked, we were all adults and capable of making appropriate decisions. Had a random opponent messaged me with such a request, I am well aware of where to find the resign game button in WWF and that would have been the end of it. Also, did you know that if the random opponent tried to stalk you, you can change your Zynga ID personally to something new that they would not be able to guess? Competent knowledge of your technology is important in this day and age. And just in case you are wondering, yes, both my husband and I are guilty of sending the message "nice word ;)" should one of our known friends or each other plays a dirty word for lack of anything else to play. Am I offended when my sister in law sends me that message after I play the word boobs? No, I'm a grown up with a sence of humour.

nonmember avatar edmlisa

It's the man's way of having you end the game unfinished so that it doesn't mess up his stats. It's slimy and sleazy, but men just hate to lose and they hate to lose more when it's a woman they are playing against.

LadyRabbit White

dont let your husband guilt trip you .thats a long leap to assume a man is going to hit on  you just because you played facebook style games together. its reinforces the idea that every male is a threat and a creep.

nonmember avatar Elizabeth

I don't think so. I've had the same thing happen, and I just stopped playing the dude. You're not inviting anything, that guy was just a pig

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