A couple of years ago there was the Goldman Sachs List. Do you remember that? It had its moment of notoriety on the web--- a list of things "Real Men" needed to know. I may have printed the list off just as a diversion one day at work. Memory says that some of the list was vaguely silly, but there were some things that were useful enough. Some fashion things made perfect sense, and so did some household directives. (Yes, you should have a bottle of very good whiskey somewhere; yes, you do need a small toolkit, even if you're as hopelessly unmechanical as I am) There was one piece of advice that I'd have agreed with for most of my life: When in doubt, kiss her.
I've always thought that was good advice in any affair, or on any date, in any flirtation at a party or club. When in doubt, just...kiss her. Better to do it and be turned down than to hate yourself later for never having tried. I suppose that nowadays we're to assume that all kisses are unwanted.
We're supposed to make other assumptions as well. It's not just that you don't just kiss her, it's that you don't ask her out. The social default is now assumed to be that she doesn't want you to ask her out, and that she doesn't want to go out with you. Also that a date is not a mating ritual.
One of the things I've always liked best is sitting across a table from a lovely Young Companion and flirting over drinks and dinner. Eye contact, a chance to touch glasses, a chance to touch fingertips and hold hands--- all those things are there. Always across a table. It's just perfectly intimate. I've always disliked 1950s-style banquette seating, where you end up side-by-side with your date. I've been in "classic" French restaurants where that was done--- being seated side-by-side down the wall. No romance there. I want to be across from a lovely girl, able to make eye contact, able to flirt face-to-face.
I suppose we're not supposed to want that any more, either. Eye contact is...demanding attention, after all. That's become a grave sin in the era of the gender wars. Banquette seating may say that what you're on isn't a date, that it's just two people having dinner in the same location at the same time, and that the food is what matters, not flirtation---- so side-by-side is more in keeping with gender warriors' ideas. Still, banquette seating may be a micro-aggression. After all, it recalls the "Mad Men" era--- white male privilege and all that.
If you want to avoid being "called out" as"problematic", the best thing may be...right angles. Sit across the table from her, but turn at right angles. You can still drink; it'll be there at your left hand. But you aren't looking at her, and you can't be accused of either demanding attention or leering. The seating arrangement obviously doesn't suggest flirtation or seduction, so you can't be accused of "sexualising" the situation. You certainly can't kiss her from a right-angled position.
Right angles, then. Not that you should be asking anyone out in any case. But if you somehow find yourself sitting at a table with an attractive girl, sit across the table and turn your chair at right angles. (Not speaking helps, too) It's a good way to avoid ever being "called out" and becoming a casualty of the gender wars. Geometry is everything. That's worth remembering. Geometry is everything. I suppose it takes the place of when in doubt, kiss her.