I love flirting. I love the word play, banter, verbal teasing, and innuendo. It's a fun game.
When I'm romantically interested in someone I tend to be a lot more direct, although I do occasionally flirt to get a read on their interest levels before going with the direct approach.
Generally though, flirting is something I tend to do with people who are "safe" - where for whatever reason there is no real chance of a relationship or dating scenario. It's usually a co-worker, another woman, a male friend with whom there is no romantic interest, or someone who is substantially older/younger to the point where a relationship is impractical.
Absolutely - Its some socially sanctioned fun, probably even required in some circumstances. Though, I am of the sort where I wouldn't know if someone was flirting with me if there was a huge bag of it burning on my front porch, and I often don't realize it until later. Much later. On the order of years. And that's only if it comes up in conversation:
Me: "That was a good party..."
Wife: "Yeah it was! Remember when K____ was putting the moves on you? I was laughing so hard...(snicker, snicker)"
Me (confused): "...wut?"
Wife (kinda confused, mostly amused): "Remember? K____ was following you around all night...kept grabbing you by the back pocket on your pants... R____ kept butting in so she could try and get in on the action... There was even a pool going to see who was going to get some lip action first - that's how I got that fifty bucks..."
Me (more confused): "...wut?"
Wife (more amused): "You really didn't see that? Any of it? At all?"
Me (increasingly confused): "...wut?"
Wife (increasingly amused): "So, riddle me this - did you ever know that I was flirting with you when we met?"
Me (ridiculously confused): "...wut?"
Wife (walking out of the room, ridiculously amused): "I love you..."
Me (just confused): "...wut?"
You take your time and probe each other. There's no hurry.
I have about a hundred responses to this - and yet, just cannot find the words...