Quite often, it is the best available alternative to—rather than means of reaching—intercourse.
Explicit sexual activities and orgasms are secondary in flirting, but they are always possible.
' It's teasing, playing, innuendos—it's about making someone feel special, it's about being attentive, it's about walking on the edge of danger & getting caught. Flirting has its own intrinsic value, but it also has certain personal and social benefits (as well as disadvantages).
Flirting may help to reduce loneliness and boost one's ego and self-confidence.
This site, whose motto is "Married Not Dead," offers the following guide to flirting: Flirting encompasses seemingly contradictory notions: Honesty, with an element of innocence, as well as a mild level of deception (expressed through flattery); caring for others—by listening to and showing interest in them—while not taking them too seriously; being confident and feeling good about yourself, while not attaching too much importance to yourself; and intelligence, flavored by an emotional tone.