We certainly do it when we're young, because we haven't really progressed very far beyond pushing the girl we like onto the ground at recess, or pulling her pig tails and telling her she smells funny.
I know when I was in college, I used to tease girls a lot, but I'd also use self-deprecating humour to balance things out. It worked for me. In addition to making girls laugh (usually in horrified surprise) it gave them the impression that I was not afraid to make them mad at me. It was like basic flirting behavior .
A typical exchange might go something like this :
1) I look at her belly in a very obvious way. Then go "Hmm that reminds me, I should go to the gym"
2) She gets a WTF? look on her face, while her friend laughs.
3) She slaps me in the belly
4) I laugh and go "Ow" so she slaps harder.
5) I go "Oooo yes... " put on a Jim Carey like stupid face, and shudder as if I've just cum.
6) She alternates between looking disgusted and laughing, while holding her hand as if it's a dirty object now. Makes a show out of trying to ignore me, while her friend is still laughing.
7) I'll say something like "Oh come on, tubby. I paid for the full hour!"
Lather, rinse, repeat.