Georg Simmel emphasizes his concepts on the social interaction between individuals. The duality of interaction intrigued Simmel, duality meaning the “existence of one presupposes the existence of the other” (pp.270) He believed that when an individual engages in social interaction, the “individuality” is created out of two contradictory forces”(pp.271) Therefore within all interaction there will always be some type of duality, for example, conflict, fashion and flirtation.
Sociability (1910) is the act of interaction for pure pleasure. Simmel defines Sociability as the “play form of association, driven by amicability, breeding, cordiality and attractiveness of all kinds”(pp.297) One type of sociability Simmel mentions is Coquetry or as we may be more familiar with, flirtation. The interaction of flirtation between a man and woman, creates a pull between denial and consent. The woman, “coquette” pulls in the man with her attractiveness, but never really giving the man what he really wants, she playfully swings back and forth between the “erotic decision” yes and no, but “without stopping at one or the other” (pp.299) For Simmel, the duality of flirtation is a game of possibilities.
To Simmel, sociability interactions are the most significant and meaningful ,due to the fact that they are out of pure pleasure and not goal oriented. In modern day, we make sense of Simmel’s concept of Sociability, for me, I now understand the duality and contradictory forces within an interaction, coquetry being one of them.