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Written in Robert Greene’s typical style of demonstrating universal principles via historical examples, this book is both entertaining and informative.
Not only a book about sexual seduction, but rather a universal guide on seduction in the most general terms - whether it be politically, socially, or otherwise - it’s a book that should be read by all.
You will better understand both yourself and your relationships, and applying the principles will help you across your personal and professional lives. Highly recommend.
Seduction is a game of psychology, not beauty, and it is within the grasp of any person to become a master at the game.
A seducer does not turn the power off and on—every social and personal interaction is seen as a potential seduction. There is never a moment to waste.
Seducers are never self-absorbed. Their gaze is directed outward, not inward.
Pleasure is a feeling of being taken past our limits, of being overwhelmed—by another person, by an experience.
Finally, seducers are completely amoral in their approach to life.
Every seduction has two elements that you must analyze and understand: first, yourself and what is seductive about you; and second, your target and the actions that will penetrate their defenses and create surrender.
"Most virtue is a demand for greater seduction." —Natalie Barney
Part One - the Seductive Character
Successful seductions begin with your character, your ability to radiate some quality that attracts people and stirs their emotions in a way that is beyond their control.
A man grows bored with a woman, no matter how beautiful; he yearns for different pleasures, and for adventure.
All a woman needs to turn this around is to create the illusion that she offers such variety and adventure.
Create the physical presence of a Siren (heightened sexual allure mixed with a regal and theatrical manner) and he is trapped.
Her time never seems to be taken up by work or chores; she gives the impression that she lives for pleasure and is always available.
While one part of you seems to scream sex, the other part is coy and naive, as if you were incapable of understanding the effect you are having.
Keys to the Character:
She represents a powerful male fantasy of a highly sexual, supremely confident, alluring female offering endless pleasure and a bit of danger.
Once the Siren has made herself stand out from others, she must have two other critical qualities: the ability to get the male to pursue her so feverishly that he loses control; and a touch of the dangerous.
Sirens are often fantastically irrational, which is immensely attractive to men who are oppressed by their own reasonableness.
Physical qualities—a scent, a heightened femininity evoked through makeup or through elaborate or seductive clothing.
The voice. Clearly a critical quality, as the legend indicates, the Siren’s voice has an immediate animal presence with incredible suggestive power.
The Siren must have an insinuating voice that hints at the erotic, more often subliminally than overtly.
Her voice is calm and unhurried, as if she had never quite woken up—or left her bed.
Body and adornment. If the voice must lull, the body and its adornment must dazzle.
The key: everything must dazzle, but must also be harmonious, so that no single ornament draws attention. Your presence must be charged, larger than life, a fantasy come true. Ornament is used to cast a spell and distract.
Movement and demeanor: The Siren moves gracefully and unhurriedly.
No matter how enlightened the age, no woman can maintain the image of being devoted to pleasure completely comfortably. And no matter how hard she tries to distance herself from it, the taint of being easy always follows the Siren.
The Rake is a great female fantasy figure—when he desires a woman, brief though that moment may be, he will go to the ends of the earth for her.
The Ardent Rake teaches us a simple lesson: intense desire has a distracting power on a woman, just as the Siren’s physical presence does on a man.
The key is to show no hesitation, to abandon all restraint, to let yourself go, to show that you cannot control yourself and are fundamentally weak.
Do not worry about inspiring mistrust; as long as you are the slave to her charms, she will not think of the aftermath.
The male is traditionally vulnerable to the visual.
For women the weakness is language and words.
He chooses words for their ability to suggest, insinuate, hypnotize, elevate, infect.
Remember: it is the form that matters, not the content. The less your targets focus on what you say, and the more on how it makes them feel, the more seductive your effect. Give your words a lofty, spiritual, literary flavor the better to insinuate desire in your unwitting victims
Keys to the Character: Do not imagine that women are the tender creatures that some people would like them to be. Like men, they are deeply attracted to the forbidden, the dangerous, even the slightly evil.
Always remember: if you are to play the Rake, you must convey a sense of risk and darkness, suggesting to your victim that she is participating in something rare and thrilling.
To play the Rake, the most obvious requirement is the ability to let yourself go, to draw a woman into the kind of purely sensual moment in which past and future lose meaning.
Finally, a Rake’s greatest asset is his reputation. Never downplay your bad name, or seem to apologize for it. Instead, embrace it, enhance it. It is what draws women to you.
There are several things you must be known for: your irresistible attractiveness to women; your uncontrollable devotion to pleasure (this will make you seem weak, but also exciting to be around); your disdain for convention; a rebellious streak that makes you seem dangerous.
This last element can be slightly hidden; on the surface, be polite and civil, while letting it be known that behind the scenes you are incorrigible.
Like the Siren, the Rake faces the most danger from members of his own sex.
Today, only stars and the very wealthy can play the Rake with impunity; the rest of us need to be careful.
The Ideal Lover
You long for romance? Adventure? Lofty spiritual communion? The Ideal Lover reflects your fantasy. He or she is an artist in creating the illusion you require, idealizing your portrait.
Indeed, one’s attachment to a man depends largely on the elegance of his leave-taking.
Casanova was perhaps the most successful seducer in history; few women could resist him. His method was simple: on meeting a woman, he would study her, go along with her moods, find out what was missing in her life, and provide it. He made himself the Ideal Lover.
The Ideal Lover is rare in the modern world, for the role takes effort. You will have to focus intensely on the other person, fathom what she is missing, what he is disappointed by. People will often reveal this in subtle ways: through gesture, tone of voice, a look in the eye.
Let that be a source of infinite opportunity. Be an oasis in the desert of the self-absorbed; few can resist the temptation of following a person who seems so attuned to their desires, to bringing to life their fantasies.
Keys to the Character
Each of us carries inside us an ideal, either of what we would like to become, or of what we want another person to be for us.
Our ideal is something we feel is missing inside us. Our ideal may be buried in disappointment, but it lurks underneath, waiting to be sparked. If another person seems to have that ideal quality, or to have the ability to bring it out in us, we fall in love.
The key to following the path of the Ideal Lover is the ability to observe. Ignore your targets’ words and conscious behavior; focus on the tone of their voice, a blush here, a look there—those signs that betray what their words won’t say. Often the ideal is expressed in contradiction.
The main dangers in the role of the Ideal Lover are the consequences that arise if you let reality creep in. When reality intrudes, distance is often a solution. Still, it is always wise to be prudent, and to keep people from glimpsing the less-than-ideal side of your character.
Most of us feel trapped within the limited roles that the world expects us to play. We are instantly attracted to those who are more fluid, more ambiguous, than we are—those who create their own persona. Dandies excite us because they cannot be categorized, and hint at a freedom we want for ourselves.
Keys to the Character
The Dandy displays a true and radical difference from other people, a difference of appearance and manner.
Dandies seduce socially as well as sexually; groups form around them, their style is wildly imitated, an entire court or crowd will fall in love with them.
Be different in ways that are both striking and aesthetic, never vulgar; poke fun at current trends and styles, go in a novel direction, and be supremely uninterested in what anyone else is doing.
The nonconformity of Dandies, however, goes far beyond appearances. It is an attitude toward life that sets them apart; adopt that attitude and a circle of followers will form around you.
Dandies are supremely impudent. They don’t give a damn about other people, and never try to please.
Dandies are masters of the art of living. They live for pleasure, not for work; they surround themselves with beautiful objects and eat and drink with the same relish they show for their clothes.
The Dandy’s strength, but also the Dandy’s problem, is that he or she often works through transgressive feelings relating to sex roles. Although this activity is highly charged and seductive, it is also dangerous, since it touches on a source of great anxiety and insecurity.
Even a Dandy, then, must measure out his impudence. A true Dandy knows the difference between a theatrically staged teasing of the powerful and a remark that will truly hurt, offend, or insult.
It is particularly important to avoid insulting those in a position to injure you.
The Natural embodies the longed- for qualities of childhood—spontaneity, sincerity, unpretentiousness.
Naturals also make a virtue out of weakness, eliciting our sympathy for their trials, making us want to protect them and help them.
Remember who you were before you became so polite and self-effacing.
The following are the main types of the adult Natural. Keep in mind that the greatest natural seducers are often a blend of more than one of these qualities
The innocent: The primary qualities of innocence are weakness and misunderstanding of the world
They act like they still see the world through innocent eyes, which in an adult proves doubly humorous.
The imp: Impish children have a fearlessness that we adults have lost. That is because they do not see the possible consequences of their actions—how some people might be offended, how they might physically hurt themselves in the process.
Just don’t apologize or look contrite, for that would break the spell.
The wonder: A wonder child has a special, inexplicable talent: a gift for music, for mathematics, for chess, for sport.
At work in the field in which they have such prodigal skill, these children seem possessed, and their actions effortless.
If it is a physical talent that they have, they are blessed with unusual energy, dexterity, and spontaneity.
Adult wonders are often former wonder children who have managed, remarkably, to retain their youthful impulsiveness and improvisational skills.
To play the wonder you need some skill that seems easy and natural, along with the ability to improvise.
If in fact your skill takes practice, you must hide this and learn to make your work appear effortless.
The undefensive lover: As people get older, they protect themselves against painful experiences by closing themselves off. The price for this is that they grow rigid, physically and mentally. But children are by nature unprotected and open to experience, and this receptiveness is extremely attractive.
They often manifest this spirit physically: they are graceful, and seem to age less rapidly than other people.
People are drawn to those who expect a lot out of life, whereas they tend to disrespect those who are fearful and undemanding.
Wild independence has a provocative effect on us: it appeals to us, while also presenting us with a challenge—we want to be the one to tame it, to make the spirited person dependent on us. Half of seduction is stirring such competitive desires.
The more absorbed you seem in your own joy-filled world, the more seductive you become. Do not go halfway: make the fantasy you inhabit as radical and exotic as possible, and you will attract attention like a magnet.
Human beings are immensely suggestible; their moods will easily spread to the people around them. In fact seduction depends on mimesis, on the conscious creation of a mood or feeling that is then reproduced by the other person. But hesitation and awkwardness are also contagious, and are deadly to seduction.
If in a key moment you seem indecisive or self-conscious, the other person will sense that you are thinking of yourself, instead of being overwhelmed by his or her charms.
As an undefensive lover, though, you produce the opposite effect: your victim might be hesitant or worried, but confronted with someone so sure and natural, he or she will be caught up in the mood. Like dancing with someone you lead effortlessly across the dance floor, it is a skill you can learn.
It is a matter of rooting out the fear and awkwardness that have built up in you over the years, of becoming more graceful with your approach, less defensive when others seem to resist.
A childish quality can be charming but it can also be irritating; the innocent have no experience of the world, and their sweetness can prove cloying.
Because total childishness can quickly grate, the most seductive Naturals are those who, like Josephine Baker, combine adult experience and wisdom with a childlike manner.
In any case it is usually only artists, or people with abundant leisure time, who can afford to go all the way.
Similarly, the seductive traits of the Natural work best in one who is still young enough for them to seem natural.
The ability to delay satisfaction is the ultimate art of seduction—while waiting, the victim is held in thrall. Coquettes are the grand masters of this game, orchestrating a back-and-forth movement between hope and frustration.
They bait with the promise of reward—the hope of physical pleasure, happiness, fame by association, power—all of which, however, proves elusive; yet this only makes their targets pursue them the more.
Coquettes seem totally self-sufficient: they do not need you, they seem to say, and their narcissism proves devilishly attractive. You want to conquer them but they hold the cards. The strategy of the Coquette is never to offer total satisfaction. Imitate the alternating heat and coolness of the Coquette and you will keep the seduced at your heels.
People are inherently perverse. An easy conquest has a lower value than a difficult one; we are only really excited by what is denied us, by what we cannot possess in full.
Your greatest power in seduction is your ability to turn away, to make others come after you, delaying their satisfaction.
The world is full of people who try, people who impose themselves aggressively. They may gain temporary victories, but the longer they are around, the more people want to confound them. They leave no space around themselves, and without space there can be no seduction.
Cold Coquettes create space by remaining elusive and making others pursue them. Their coolness suggests a comfortable confidence that is exciting to be around, even though it may not actually exist; their silence makes you want to talk. Their self-containment, their appearance of having no need for other people, only makes us want to do things for them, hungry for the slightest sign of recognition and favor.
Keys to the Character
Remember: the essence of the Coquette lies not in the tease and temptation but in the subsequent step back.
The Coquette must first and foremost be able to excite the target of his or her attention. The attraction can be sexual, the lure of celebrity, whatever it takes. At the same time, the Coquette sends contrary signals that stimulate contrary responses, plunging the victim into confusion.
Remember: obvious flirting will reveal your intentions too clearly. Better to be ambiguous and even contradictory, frustrating at the same time that you stimulate.
Coquetry depends on developing a pattern to keep the other person off balance.
Coquettes face an obvious danger: they play with volatile emotions. Every time the pendulum swings, love shifts to hate. So they must orchestrate everything carefully. Their absences cannot be too long, their bouts of anger must be quickly followed by smiles.
Charm is seduction without sex. Charmers are consummate manipulators, masking their cleverness by creating a mood of pleasure and comfort. Their method is simple: they deflect attention from themselves and focus it on their target. They understand your spirit, feel your pain, adapt to your moods. In the presence of a Charmer you feel better about yourself. Charmers do not argue or fight, complain, or pester—what could be more seductive?
The Laws of Charm:
Make your target the center of attention.
Charmers fade into the background; their targets become the subject of their interest.
Make them the star of the show and they will become addicted to you and grow dependent on you. On a mass level, make gestures of self-sacrifice (no matter how fake) to show the public that you share their pain and are working in their interest.
Be a source of pleasure.
No one wants to hear about your problems and troubles. Listen to your targets’ complaints, but more important, distract them from their problems by giving them pleasure.
Being lighthearted and fun is always more charming than being serious and critical.
An energetic presence is likewise more charming than lethargy, which hints at boredom, an enormous social taboo; and elegance and style will usually win out over vulgarity, since most people like to associate themselves with whatever they think elevated and cultured.
Bring antagonism into harmony.
The Charmer knows how to smooth out conflict. Never stir up antagonisms that will prove immune to your charm; in the face of those who are aggressive, retreat, let them have their little victories.
Lull your victims into ease and comfort.
The key to making your victims feel comfortable is to mirror them, adapt to their moods. People are narcissists—they are drawn to those most similar to themselves.
Show calm and self-possession in the face of adversity.
Adversity and setbacks actually provide the perfect setting for charm. Showing a calm, unruffled exterior in the face of unpleasantness puts people at ease.
Never whine, never complain, never try to justify yourself.
Make yourself useful. If done subtly, your ability to enhance the lives of others will be devilishly seductive.
Follow-through is key: so many people will charm by promising a person great things—a better job, a new contact, a big favor—but if they do not follow through they make enemies instead of friends.
The Art of Charm
A gruff exterior may hide a person dying for warmth; a repressed, sober-looking type may actually be struggling to conceal uncontrollable emotions. That is the key to charm—feeding what has been repressed or denied.
First, they don’t talk much about themselves, which heightens their mystery and disguises their limitations.
Second, they seem to be interested in us, and their interest is so delightfully focused that we relax and open up to them.
Finally Charmers are pleasant to be around. They have none of most people’s ugly qualities—nagging, complaining, self-assertion.
Time is the greatest weapon you have. Patiently keep in mind a long-term goal and neither person nor army can resist you. And charm is the best way of playing for time, of widening your options in any situation.
There are those who are immune to a Charmer; particularly cynics, and confident types who do not need validation. These people tend to view Charmers as slippery and deceitful, and they can make problems for you. The solution is to do what most Charmers do by nature: befriend and charm as many people as possible. Secure your power through numbers and you will not have to worry about the few you cannot seduce.
Charisma is a presence that excites us. It comes from an inner quality—self-confidence, sexual energy, sense of purpose, contentment—that most people lack and want. This quality radiates outward, permeating the gestures of Charismatics, making them seem extraordinary and superior, and making us imagine there is more to them than meets the eye: they are gods, saints, stars. Charismatics can learn to heighten their charisma with a piercing gaze, fiery oratory, an air of mystery. They can seduce on a grand scale.
Learn to create the charismatic illusion by radiating intensity while remaining detached.
Charisma is seduction on a mass level. Charismatics make crowds of people fall in love with them, then lead them along.
They do not explain where their confidence or contentment comes from, but it can be felt by everyone; it radiates outward, without the appearance of conscious effort. The face of the Charismatic is usually animated, full of energy, desire, alertness-the look of a lover, one that is instantly appealing, even vaguely sexual.
The following are basic qualities that will help create the illusion of charisma:
Purpose. If people believe you have a plan, that you know where you are going, they will follow you instinctively. The direction does not matter: pick a cause, an ideal, a vision and show that you will not sway from your goal.
Mystery. Mystery lies at charisma’s heart, but it is a particular kind of mystery—a mystery expressed by contradiction. Since most people are predictable, the effect of these contradictions is devastatingly charismatic.
Saintliness. Most of us must compromise constantly to survive; saints do not. They must live out their ideals without caring about the consequences.
Eloquence. A Charismatic relies on the power of words. The reason is simple: words are the quickest way to create emotional disturbance.
To bring off this kind of eloquence, it helps if the speaker is as emotional, as caught up in words, as the audience is.
Yet eloquence can be learned: the devices La Pasionaria used— catchwords, slogans, rhythmic repetitions, phrases for the audience to repeat—can easily be acquired.
Theatricality. A Charismatic is larger than life, has extra presence. Actors have studied this kind of presence for centuries; they know how to stand on a crowded stage and command attention.
Uninhibitedness. Most people are repressed, and have little access to their unconscious.
You will first have to show that you are less inhibited than your audience—that you radiate a dangerous sexuality, have no fear of death, are delightfully spontaneous.
Fervency. You need to believe in something, and to believe in it strongly enough for it to animate all your gestures and make your eyes light up.
A prerequisite for fiery belief is some great cause to rally around—a crusade.
Vulnerability. Charismatics display a need for love and affection.
Adventurousness. Charismatics are unconventional. They have an air of adventure and risk that attracts the bored. Be brazen and courageous in your actions—be seen taking risks for the good of others.
Magnetism. If any physical attribute is crucial in seduction, it is the eyes. They reveal excitement, tension, detachment, without a word being spoken. The demeanor of Charismatics may be poised and calm, but their eyes are magnetic; they have a piercing gaze that disturbs their targets’ emotions, exerting force without words or action.
All of these skills are acquirable.
Practice the effect you desire.
Do not apologize or go halfway. The more unbridled you seem, the more magnetic the effect.
Believe it or not, a plain-looking man or woman with a clear vision, a quality of single-mindedness, and practical skills can be devastatingly charismatic, provided it is matched with some success. Never underestimate the power of success in enhancing one’s aura.
That is the appearance you want: you do not need anything or anyone, you are fulfilled.
The less obvious you are, the better: let people conclude that you are happy, rather than hearing it from you. Let them see it in your unhurried manner, your gentle smile, your ease and comfort.
Remember: being aloof and distant only stimulates the effect. People will fight for the slightest sign of your interest.
Psychologists talk of “erotic fatigue”—the moments after love in which you feel tired of it, resentful. Reality creeps in, love turns to hate. Erotic fatigue is a threat to all Charismatics.
The only defense is to master your charisma.
The better kind of charisma is created consciously and is kept under control.
Remember: charisma depends on success, and the best way to maintain success, after the initial charismatic rush, is to be practical and even cautious.
Finally, there is nothing more dangerous than succeeding a Charismatic.
They miss their inspirer and blame the successor. Avoid this situation at all costs. If it is unavoidable, do not try to continue what the Charismatic started; go in a new direction.
Daily life is harsh, and most of us constantly seek escape from it in fantasies and dreams. Stars feed on this weakness; standing out from others through a distinctive and appealing style, they make us want to watch them.
At the same time, they are vague and ethereal, keeping their distance, and letting us imagine more than is there.
Its principal requirement is self-distance. If you see yourself as an object, then others will too. An ethereal, dreamlike air will heighten the effect.
You are a blank screen. Float through life noncommittally and people will want to seize you and consume you.
And keep your distance—let people identify with you without being able to touch you.
Keys to the Character
First, you must have such a large presence that you can fill your target’s mind the way a close-up fills the screen. You must have a style or presence that makes you stand out from everyone else.
Second, cultivate a blank, mysterious face, the center that radiates Starness. This allows people to read into you whatever they want to, imagining they can see your character, even your soul.
Stars make us want to know more about them. You must learn to stir people’s curiosity by letting them glimpse something in your private life, something that seems to reveal an element of your personality.
Let them fantasize and imagine. A trait that often triggers this reaction is a hint of spirituality, which can be devilishly seductive, like James Dean’s interest in Eastern philosophy and the occult.
Hints of goodness and big-heartedness can have a similar effect.
The things you love—people, hobbies, animals—reveal the kind of moral beauty that people like to see in a Star. Exploit this desire by showing people peeks of your private life, the causes you fight for, the person you are in love with (for the moment).
Remember: everyone is a public performer. People never know exactly what you think or feel; they judge you on your appearance.
Stars create illusions that are pleasurable to see. The danger is that people tire of them—the illusion no longer fascinates—and turn to another Star.
You must keep all eyes on you at any cost.
Do not worry about notoriety, or about slurs on your image; we are remarkably forgiving of our Stars.
Seducers draw you in by the focused, individualized attention they pay to you. Anti-Seducers are the opposite: insecure, self-absorbed, and unable to grasp the psychology of another person, they literally repel. Anti-Seducers have no self-awareness, and never realize when they are pestering, imposing, talking too much. They lack the subtlety to create the promise of pleasure that seduction requires. Root out anti-seductive qualities in yourself, and recognize them in others—there is no pleasure or profit in dealing with the Anti-Seducer.
Anti-Seducers come in many shapes and kinds, but almost all of them share a single attribute, the source of their repellence: insecurity.
Stamp ungenerosity out. It is an impediment to power and a gross sin in seduction.
Types of Anti-Seducer
If seduction is a kind of ceremony or ritual, part of the pleasure is its duration—the time it takes, the waiting that increases anticipation. Brutes have no patience for such things; they are concerned only with their own pleasure, never with yours.
Suffocators fall in love with you before you are even half-aware of their existence.
A subvariant of the Suffocator is the Doormat, a person who slavishly imitates you.
Seduction is a game, and should be undertaken with a light heart. All is fair in love and seduction; morality never enters the picture. The character of the Moralizer, however, is rigid. These are people who follow fixed ideas and try to make you bend to their standards.
Cheapness signals more than a problem with money. It is a sign of something constricted in a person’s character—something that keeps them from letting go or taking a risk. It is the most anti-seductive trait of all, and you cannot allow yourself to give in to it.
Bumblers are self-conscious, and their self-consciousness heightens your own.
In seduction, the key weapon is boldness, refusing the target the time to stop and think. Bumblers have no sense of timing.
The most effective seductions are driven by looks, indirect actions, physical lures. Words have a place, but too much talk will generally break the spell, heightening surface differences and weighing things down.
Reactors are far too sensitive, not to you but to their own egos. They comb your every word and action for signs of a slight to their vanity.
Vulgarians are inattentive to the details that are so important in seduction. You can see this in their personal appearance—their clothes are tasteless by any standard—and in their actions: they do not know that it is sometimes better to control oneself and refuse to give in to one’s impulses.
There is nothing more anti-seductive than feeling that someone has assumed that you are theirs, that you cannot possibly resist them. The slightest appearance of this kind of conceit is deadly to seduction; you must prove yourself, take your time, win your target’s heart.
Excessive pride, without anything to justify it, is highly anti-seductive.
The person who is obviously angling for money or other material reward can only repel. If that is your intention, if you are looking for something other than pleasure—for money, for power—never show it.
The best way to avoid entanglements with Anti-Seducers is to recognize them right away and give them a wide berth, but they often deceive us.
Do not get angry—that may only encourage them or exacerbate their anti-seductive tendencies. Instead, act distant and indifferent, pay no attention to them, make them feel how little they matter to you. The best antidote to an Anti-Seducer is often to be anti-seductive yourself
Remember: seduction is a game of attention, of slowly filling the other person’s mind with your presence. Distance and inattention will create the opposite effect, and can be used as a tactic when the need arises.
The Seducer’s Victims - the Eighteen Types
Victims are categorized by that they feel they are missing in life—adventure, attention, romance, a, naughty experience, mental or physical stimulation, etc.. Once you identify their type, you have the necessary ingredients for a seduction: you will be the one to give them what they lack and cannot get on their own.
In studying potential victims, learn to see the reality behind the appearance. A timid person may yearn to play the star; a prude may long for a transgressive thrill.
Never try to seduce your own type.
Nobody in this world feels whole and complete. We all sense some gap in our character something we need or want but cannot get on our own. When we fall in love, it is often with someone who seems to fill that gap.
Look at the people around you. Forget their social, exterior, their obvious character traits: look behind all of that, focusing on the gaps, the missing pieces in their psyche. That is the raw material of any seduction. Pay close attention to their clothes; their gestures, their offhand comments, the things in their house certain looks in their eyes get them to talk about their past, particularly past romances. And slowly the outline of those missing pieces will come into view.
Understand: people are constantly giving out signals as to what they lack. They long for completeness, whether the illusion of it or the reality, and if it has to come from another person, that person has tremendous power over them.
Both deliberately and unconsciously, we often develop, a social exterior designed specifically to disguise our weaknesses and lacks.
Most importantly, expunge the nasty habit of thinking that other people have the same lacks you do.
Never try to seduce someone who is of your own type. You will be like two puzzles missing the same parts.
The Reformed Rake or Siren.
People of this type were once happy-go-lucky seducers who had their way with the opposite sex. But the day came when they were forced to give this up.
These types are ripe for the picking: all that is required is that you cross their path and offer them the opportunity to resume their rakish or siren ways. Their blood will stir and the call of their youth will overwhelm them.
It is critical, though, to give these types the illusion that they are the ones doing the seducing.
Do not be put off if they are in a relationship; a preexisting commitment is often the perfect foil.
The Disappointed Dreamer.
As children, these types probably spent a lot of time alone. To entertain themselves they developed a powerful fantasy life, fed by books and films and other kinds of popular culture.
You can recognize this type by the books they read and films they go to, the way their ears prick up when told of the real-life adventures some people manage to live out.
These types make for excellent and satisfying victims. First they usually have a great deal of pent-up passion and energy, which, you can release and focus on yourself. They also have great imaginations and will, respond to anything vaguely mysterious or romantic that you offer them.
If you give them a part of what they want they will imagine the rest. At All cost, do not let reality break the illusion you are creating.
The Pampered Royal.
These people were the classic spoiled children.
But their ceaseless search for variety is tiring for them and comes with a price: work problems, string of unsatisfying romances, friends scattered across the globe.
What the Pampered Prince or Princess is really looking for is one person, that parental figure, who will give them the spoiling they crave.
To seduce this type be ready to provide a lot of distraction—new places to visit, novel experiences, color, spectacle.
Recognize these types by the turmoil in their past—job changes, travel, short-term relationships—and by the air of aristocracy no matter their social class.
The New Prude
Sexual prudery still exists but it is less common than it was Prudery, however is never just about sex; a prude someone who is excessively concerned with appearances, with what society considers appropriate and acceptable behavior.
The New Prude excessively concerned with standards of goodness, fairness, political sensitivity, tastefulness, etc. What marks the New Prude, though, as well as the old one, is that deep down they are actually excited and intrigued by guilty, transgressive pleasures.
They tend to wear drab colors; they certainly never take fashion risks. They can be very judgmental and critical of people who do take risks and are less correct. They are also addicted to routine, which gives them a way to tamp down their inner turmoil.
The New Prude will often be most tempted by someone with dangerous or naughty side.
You can often draw a New Prude into a seduction, in fact by giving them the chance to criticize you on even try to reform you.
The Crushed Star
The problem with Crushed Stars is that at one point in their lives they did find themselves the center of attention—perhaps they were beautiful, charming and effervescent, perhaps they were athletes, or had some other talent—but those days are gone.
You can recognize. Crushed Stars by certain unguarded moments: they suddenly receive some attention in a social setting, and it makes them glow; they mention their glory days, and there is a little glint in the eye; a little wine in the system and they become effervesce.
Seducing this type is simple: just make them the center of attention.
When you are with them act as if they were stars and you were basking in their glow.
Get them to talk; particularly about themselves.
What separates Novices from ordinary innocent young people is that they are fatally curious.
Seducing a Novice is easy. To do it well, however, requires bit of art. Novices are interested in people with experience, particularly people with a touch of corruption and evil. Make that touch too strong, though, and it will intimidate and frighten them. What works best with at Novice is a mix of qualities. You are somewhat childlike yourself, with playful spirit. At the same time, it is clear that you have hidden depths, even sinister ones.
Everything must be romantic, even including the evil and dark side of life.
Seductive language works wonders on Novice as does attention to detail. Spectacles and colorful, events appeal to their sensitive senses
These types have an unusual amount of energy, which they find difficult to control. They are always on the prowl for people to conquer, obstacles to surmount.
You will not always recognize. Conquerors by their exterior—they can seem a little shy in social situation and can have a degree of reserve. Look not at their words or appearance but at their actions, in work and in relationships.
You want to give them a good chase. Being a little difficult or moody, using coquetry, will often do the trick.
To break them in, keep them charging back and forth like a bull.
The Conqueror is generally male but there are plenty of female Conquerors out there.
The Exotic Fetishist.
Most of us are excited and intrigued by the exotic. What separates Exotic Fetishists from the rest of us is the degree of this interest, which seems to govern all their choices in life.
These types are easy to recognize. They like to travel; their houses are filled with objects from faraway places, they fetishize the music or art of this or that foreign culture. They often have a strong rebellious streak.
Clearly the way to seduce them is to position yourself as exotic—if you do not at least appear to come from a different background or race, or to have some alien aura, you should not even bother.
One variation on this type is the man or woman who is trapped in a stultifying relationship, a banal occupation, a dead-end town.
These Exotic Fetishists are better victims than the self-loathing kind, because you can offer them a temporary escape from whatever oppresses them.
The Drama Queen.
There are people who cannot do without some constant drama in their lives—it is their way of deflecting boredom.
With this type you have to be willing and able to give them the mental rough treatment they desire.
You will recognize Drama Queens by the number of people who have hurt them, the tragedies and traumas that have befallen them.
These types cannot get out of the trap of analyzing and criticizing everything that crosses their path. Their mind are overdeveloped and overstimulated. Even when they talk about love or sex, it is with great thought and analysis.
They would like to escape their mental prisons, they would like pure physicality, without any analysis, but they cannot get there on their own.
Deep down they long to be overwhelmed by someone with physical presence—a Rake or a Siren, for instance.
Let your Professors keep their sense of mental superiority; let them judge you.
You are giving them what no one else can give them—physical stimulation.
From early on in life, the Beauty is gazed at by others. Their desire to look at her is the source of her power, but also the source of much unhappiness: she constantly worries that her powers are waning that she is no longer attracting attention.
Most important in this seduction is to validate those parts of the Beauty that no one else appreciates—her intelligence (generally higher than people imagine), her skills, her character.
Intellectual stimulation will work well on the Beauty, distracting her from her doubts and insecurities, and making it seem that you value that side of her personality.
The Beauty would love to be more active and to actually do some chasing of her own. A little coquettishness can work well here: at some point in all your worshipping, you might go a little cold, inviting her to come after you.
The Aging Baby.
Some people refuse to grow up.
In their twenties they can be charming, in their thirties interesting, but by the time they reach their forties they are beginning to wear thin.
The Aging Baby does not want competition, but an adult figure. If you desire to seduce this type, you must be prepared to be responsible, staid one.
Act the loving adult to the hilt, never judging on criticizing their behavior, and a strong attachment will form.
You will recognize these types by their empathy—they listen well and try to get you to open up an talk. You will also notice they have histories of relationships with dependent and troubled people.
Rescuers can make excellent victims, particularly if you enjoy chivalrous or maternal attention.
If you are a man, play the boy who cannot deal with this harsh world; a female Rescuer will envelop you in maternal attention, gaining for herself the added satisfaction of feeling more powerful and in control than a man.
Exaggerate your weaknesses, but not through overt words or gestures—let them sense that you have had too little love, that you have had a string of bad relationships, that you have gotten a raw deal in life.
You can also invite moral rescue: you are bad. You have done bad things. You need a stern yet loving hand.
These types have lived the good life and experienced many pleasures. They probably have, or once had, a good deal of money to finance their hedonistic lives.
Roués are consummate seducers, but there is one type that can easily seduce them—the young and the innocent.
If you should want to seduce them, you will probably have to be somewhat young and to have retained at least the appearance of innocence.
It is also good to seem to resist their advances: Roués will think it lively and exciting to chase you. You can even seem to dislike or distrust them—that will really spur them on. By being the one who resists, you control the dynamic.
The Idol Worshiper.
Everyone feels an inner lack but Idol Worshipers have a bigger emptiness than most people. They cannot be satisfied with themselves, so they search the world for something to worship, something to fill their inner void.
Idol Worshipers are easy to spot—they are the ones pouring their energies into some cause or religion.
The way to seduce these types is to simply become their object of worship, to take the place of the cause or religion to which they are so dedicated. At first you may have to seem to share their spiritual interests, joining them in their worship, or perhaps exposing them to a new cause; eventually you will displace.
Keep two things in mind when seducing this type.
First, they tend to have overactive minds, which can make them quite suspicious. Because they often lack physical stimulation, and because physical stimulation will distract them, give them some: a mountain trek, a boat trip or sex will do the trick.
Second, they often suffer from low self-esteem. Do not try to raise it; they will see through you, and your efforts at praising them will clash with their own self-image. They are to worship you; you are not to worship them.
What marks these types is not their love of pleasure but their overactive senses. Sometimes they show this quality in their appearance—their interest in fashion, color, style. But sometimes it is more subtle: because they are so sensitive, they are often quite shy, and they will shrink from standing out or being flamboyant.
You will recognize them by how responsive they are to their environment, how they cannot stand a room without sunlight, are depressed by certain colors, or excited by certain smells.
The key to seducing them is to aim for their senses, to take them to beautiful places, pay attention to detail, envelop them in spectacle, and of course use plenty of physical lures.
Sensualists, like animals, can be baited with colors and smells. Appeal to as many senses as possible, keeping your targets distracted and weak.
The Lonely Leader.
Powerful people are not necessarily different from everyone else, but they are treated differently, and this has a big effect on their personalities.
Lonely Leaders long to be seduced, to have someone break through their isolation and overwhelm them.
To seduce such types, it is better to act like their equal or even their superior—the kind of treatment they never get. If you are blunt with them you will seem genuine, and they will be touched.
Lonely Leaders can be made emotional by inflicting some pain, followed by tenderness.
This is one of the hardest types to seduce, not only because they are suspicious but because their minds are burdened with cares and responsibilities. They have less mental space for a seduction. You will have to be patient and clever, slowly filling their minds with thoughts of you.
The Floating Gender
People of the Floating Gender type feel that the separation of the sexes into such distinct genders is a burden.
What Floating Gender types are really looking for is another person of uncertain gender, their counterpart from the opposite sex. Show them that in your presence and they can relax, express the repressed side of their character.
If you are not of the Floating Gender, leave this type alone. You will only inhibit them and create more discomfort.
Part Two - the Seductive Process
You will not seduce anyone by simply depending on your engaging personality, or by occasionally doing something noble or alluring.
Seduction is a process that occurs over time—the longer you take and the slower you go, the deeper you will penetrate into the mind of your victim.
It is an art that requires patience, focus, and strategic thinking.
You need to always be one step ahead of your victim, throwing dust in their eyes, casting a spell, keeping them off balance.
To help you move the seduction along, the chapters are arranged in four phases, each phase with a particular goal to aim for:
getting the victim to think of you;
gaining access to their emotions by creating moments of pleasure and confusion;
going deeper by working on their unconscious, stirring up repressed desires;
and finally, inducing physical surrender
At all cost, resist the temptation to hurry to the climax of your seduction, or to improvise. You are not being seductive but selfish. Everything in daily life is hurried and improvised, and you need to offer something different
Phase One: Separation - Stirring Interest and Desire
Once you have decided whom to seduce (1: Choose the right victim), your first task is to get your victims’ attention, to stir interest in you.
For those who might be more resistant or difficult, you should try a slower and more insidious approach, first winning their friendship (2: Create a false sense of security—approach indirectly); for those who are bored and less difficult to reach, a more dramatic approach will work, either fascinating them with a mysterious presence (3: Send mixed signals) or seeming to be someone who is coveted and fought over by others (4: Appear to be an object of desire).
Once the victim is properly intrigued, you need to transform their interest into something stronger—desire.
Desire is generally preceded by feelings of emptiness, of something missing inside that needs fulfillment.
You must deliberately instill such feelings, make your victims aware of the adventure and romance that are lacking in their lives (5: Create a need—stir anxiety and discontent). If they see you as the one to fill their emptiness, interest will blossom into desire.
The desire should be stoked by subtly planting ideas in their minds, hints of the seductive pleasures that await them (6: Master the art of insinuation).
Mirroring your victim’s values, indulging them in their wants and moods will charm and delight them (7: Enter their spirit).
Without realizing how it has happened, more and more of their thoughts now revolve around you.
The time has come for something stronger. Lure them with an irresistible pleasure or adventure (8: Create temptation) and they will follow your lead.
Chapter 1 - Choose the Right Victim
Everything depends on the target of your seduction. Study your prey thoroughly, and choose only those who will prove susceptible to your charms.
The right victims are those for whom you can fill a void, who see in you something exotic.
They are often isolated or at least somewhat unhappy (perhaps because of recent adverse circumstances), or can easily be made so—for the completely contented person is almost impossible to seduce.
The perfect victim has some natural quality that attracts you. The strong emotions this quality inspires will help make your seductive maneuvers seem more natural and dynamic. The perfect victim allows for the perfect chase.
The perfect victim is the person who stirs you in a way that cannot be explained in words, whose effect on you has nothing to do with superficialities. He or she often has a quality that you yourself lack, and may even secretly envy.
There should be a little bit of tension—the victim may fear you a little, even slightly dislike you.
Be more creative in choosing your prey and you will be rewarded with a more exciting seduction.
Of course, it means nothing if the potential victim is not open to your influence. Test the person first. Once you feel that he or she is also vulnerable to you then the hunting can begin.
Keys to Seduction
How do you recognize your victims? By the way they respond to you. You should not pay so much attention to their conscious responses.
Instead, pay greater attention to those responses outside conscious control—a blush, an involuntary mirroring of some gesture of yours, an unusual shyness, even perhaps a flash of anger or resentment.
Like Valmont, you can also recognize the right targets by the effect they are having on you. Perhaps they make you uneasy.
When a person has such a deep effect on you, it transforms all of your subsequent maneuvers. Your face and gestures become more animated. You have more energy; when victims resist you (as a good victim should) you in turn will be more creative, more motivated to overcome their resistance.
Look at the types you have not considered before—that is where you will find challenge and adventure.
On the other hand, you should generally avoid people who are preoccupied with business or work—seduction demands attention, and busy people have too little space in their minds for you to occupy.
Chapter 2 - Create a False Sense of Security - Approach Indirectly
If you are too direct early on, you risk stirring up a resistance that will never be lowered.
Approach through a third party, or seem to cultivate a relatively neutral relationship, moving gradually from friend to lover.
Arrange an occasional “chance” encounter, as if you and your target were destined to become acquainted—nothing is more seductive than a sense of destiny. Lull the target into feeling secure, then strike.
First, your friendly conversations with your targets will bring you valuable information about their characters, their tastes, their weaknesses, the childhood yearnings that govern their adult behavior.
Second, by spending time with your targets you can make them comfortable with you. Believing you are interested only in their thoughts, in their company, they will lower their resistance, dissipating the usual tension between the sexes.
At this point any offhand comment, any slight physical contact, will spark a different thought, which will catch them off-guard: perhaps there could be something else between you.
Once that feeling has stirred, they will wonder why you haven’t made a move, and will take the initiative themselves, enjoying the illusion that they are in control. There is nothing more effective in seduction than making the seduced think that they are the ones doing the seducing.
The first move to master is simple: once you have chosen the right person, you must make the target come to you. If, in the opening stages, you can make your targets think that they are the ones making the first approach, you have won the game.
You can also play cat and mouse with them, first seeming interested, then stepping back—actively luring them to follow you into your web.
Banal conversation can be a brilliant tactic; it hypnotizes the target. The dullness of your front gives the subtlest suggestive word, the slightest look, an amplified power.
Never mention love and you make its absence speak volumes—your victims will wonder why you never discuss your emotions.
Learn to disguise your feelings and let people figure out what is happening for themselves.
In all arenas of life, you should never give the impression that you are angling for something—that will raise a resistance that you will never lower. Learn to approach people from the side.
The indirect, carefully constructed seduction may reduce the number of your conquests, but more than compensate by their quality.
Chapter 3 - Send Mixed Signals
Once people are aware of your presence, and perhaps vaguely intrigued, you need to stir their interest before it settles on someone else.
What is obvious and striking may attract their attention at first, but that attention is often short-lived; in the long run, ambiguity is much more potent.
Most of us are much too obvious —instead, be hard to figure out. Send mixed signals: both tough and tender, both spiritual and earthy, both innocent and cunning. A mix of qualities suggests depth, which fascinates even as it confuses.
An elusive, enigmatic aura will make people want to know more, drawing them into your circle. Create such a power by hinting at something contradictory within you.
To deepen their interest, you must hint at a complexity that cannot be grasped in a week or two. You are an elusive mystery, an irresistible lure, promising great pleasure if only it can be possessed.
The key to both attracting and holding attention is to radiate mystery. And no one is naturally mysterious, at least not for long; mystery is something you have to work at, a ploy on your part, and something that must be used early on in the seduction.
Let one part of your character show, so everyone notices it.
But also send out a mixed signal—some sign that you are not what you seem, a paradox. Do not worry if this underquality is a negative one, like danger, cruelty, or amorality; people will be drawn to the enigma anyway, and pure goodness is rarely seductive.
Keys to Seduction
It is actually quite easy to create that first stir—an alluring style of dress, a suggestive glance, something extreme about you. But what happens next?
Your attractiveness will pass unless you spark the more enduring kind of spell that makes people think of you in your absence. That means engaging their imaginations, making them think there is more to you than what they see. Once they start embellishing your image with their fantasies, they are hooked.
This must, however, be done early on, before your targets know too much and their impressions of you are set. It should occur the moment they lay eyes on you. By sending mixed signals in that first encounter, you create a little surprise, a little tension: you seem to be one thing (innocent, brash, intellectual, witty), but you also throw them a glimpse of something else (devilish, shy, spontaneous, sad). Keep things subtle: if the second quality is too strong, you will seem schizophrenic.
To capture and hold attention, you need to show attributes that go against your physical appearance, creating depth and mystery. If you have a sweet face and an innocent air, let out hints of something dark, even vaguely cruel in your character. It.
A potent variation on this theme is the blending of physical heat and emotional coldness.
Remember: that first impression, that entrance, is critical. To show too much desire for attention is to signal insecurity, and will often drive people away; play it too cold and disinterested, on the other hand, and no one will bother coming near. The trick is to combine the two attitudes at the same moment. It is the essence of coquetry.
These principles have applications far beyond sexual seduction. To hold the attention of a broad public, to seduce them into thinking about you, you need to mix your signals. Display too much of one quality—even if it is a noble one, like knowledge or efficiency—and people will feel that you lack humanity. We are all complex and ambiguous, full of contradictory impulses; if you show only one side, even if it is your good side, you will wear on people’s nerves.
The complexity you signal to other people will only affect them properly if they have the capacity to enjoy a mystery. Some people like things simple, and lack the patience to pursue a person who confuses them. They prefer to be dazzled and overwhelmed.
Everything depends on your target: do not bother creating depth for people who are insensitive to it, or who may even be put off or disturbed by it. You can recognize such types by their preference for the simpler pleasures in life, their lack of patience for a more nuanced story. With them, keep it simple.
Chapter 4 - Appear to Be an Object of Desire - Create Triangles
We want what other people want. To draw your victims closer and make them hungry to possess you, you must create an aura of desirability—of being wanted and courted by many. It will become a point of vanity for them to be the preferred object of your attention, to win you away from a crowd of admirers.
Manufacture the illusion of popularity by surrounding yourself with members of the opposite sex—friends, former lovers, present suitors. Create triangles that stimulate rivalry and raise your value. Build a reputation that precedes you: if many have succumbed to your charms, there must be a reason.
Our desire for another person almost always involves social considerations: we are attracted to those who are attractive to other people.
And the most effective way to create that illusion is to create a triangle: impose another person between you and your victim, and subtly make your victim aware of how much this other person wants you.
The third point on the triangle does not have to be just one person: surround yourself with admirers, reveal your past conquests—in other words, envelop yourself in an aura of desirability.
Keys to Seduction
Desirability is a social illusion.
Make people compete for your attention, make them see you as sought after by everyone else. The aura of desirability will envelop you.
Your reputation—your illustrious past as a seducer—is an effective way of creating an aura of desirability.
Men who believe that a rakish reputation will make women fear or distrust them, and should be played down, are quite wrong. On the contrary, it makes them more attractive.
Your own reputation may not be so alluring, but you must find a way to suggest to your victim that others, many others, have found you desirable. There is nothing like a restaurant full of empty tables to persuade you not to go in.
A variation on the triangle strategy is the use of contrasts: careful exploitation of people who are dull or unattractive may enhance your desirability by comparison. At a social affair, for instance, make sure that your target has to chat with the most boring person available.
The use of contrasts has vast political ramifications, for a political figure must also seduce and seem desirable. Learn to play up the qualities that your rivals lack.
Finally, appearing to be desired by others will raise your value, but often how you carry yourself can influence this as well. Do not let your targets see you so often; keep your distance, seem unattainable, out of their reach. An object that is rare and hard to obtain is generally more prized.
Chapter 5 - Create a Need-Stir Anxiety and Discontent
A perfectly satisfied person cannot be seduced. Tension and disharmony must be instilled in your targets’ minds. Stir within them feelings of discontent, an unhappiness with their circumstances and with themselves: their life lacks adventure, they have strayed from the ideals of their youth, they have become boring.
The feelings of inadequacy that you create will give you space to insinuate yourself, to make them see you as the answer to their problems. Pain and anxiety are the proper precursors to pleasure. Learn to manufacture the need that you can fill.
Although Lawrence had great success with his frontal approach, it is often better to stir thoughts of inadequacy and uncertainty indirectly, by hinting at comparisons to yourself or to others, and by insinuating somehow that your victims’ lives are less grand than they had imagined. You want them to feel at war with themselves, torn in two directions, and anxious about it.
Keys to Seduction
As a seducer, you must never mistake a person’s appearance for the reality. People are always susceptible to being seduced, because in fact everyone lacks a sense of completeness, feels something missing deep inside.
Remember: most of us are lazy. To relieve our feelings of boredom or inadequacy on our own takes too much effort; letting someone else do the job is both easier and more exciting.
If they are stuck in a rut, make them feel it more deeply, “innocently” bringing it up and talking about it. What you want is a wound, an insecurity you can expand a little, an anxiety that can best be relieved by involvement with another person, namely you. They must feel the wound before they fall in love.
Lawrence made his targets feel personally inadequate; if you find it hard to be so brutal, concentrate on their friends, their circumstances, the externals of their lives.
Corporations and politicians know that they cannot seduce their public into buying what they want them to buy, or doing what they want them to do, unless they first awaken a sense of need and discontent. Make the masses uncertain about their identity and you can help define it for them.
It is as true of groups or nations as it is of individuals: they cannot be seduced without being made to feel some lack.
Charm is often a subtler and more effective route to seduction.
This is a kind of diffused seduction, lacking in tension and in the deep emotions that the sexual variety stirs.
But if you are subtle and clever, it can be a way of lowering their defenses, creating an unthreatening friendship.
Once they are under your spell in this way, you can then open the wound.
Chapter 6 - Master the Art of Insinuation
Making your targets feel dissatisfied and in need of your attention is essential, but if you are too obvious, they will see through you and grow defensive. There is no known defense, however, against insinuation—the art of planting ideas in people’s minds by dropping elusive hints that take root days later, even appearing to them as their own idea.
Insinuation is the supreme means of influencing people. Create a sublanguage—bold statements followed by retraction and apology, ambiguous comments, banal talk combined with alluring glances—that enters the target’s unconscious to convey your real meaning. Make everything suggestive.
Slight physical contact insinuates desire, as does a fleeting but memorable look, or an unusually warm tone of voice, both for the briefest of moments. A passing comment suggests that something about the victim interests you; but keep it subtle, your words revealing a possibility, creating a doubt.
Keys to Seduction
Remember: to sow a seductive idea you must engage people’s imaginations, their fantasies, their deepest yearnings. What sets the wheels spinning is suggesting things that people already want to hear—the possibility of pleasure, wealth, health, adventure. In the end, these good things turn out to be precisely what you seem to offer them.
Slips of the tongue, apparently inadvertent “sleep on it” comments, alluring references, statements for which you quickly apologize—all of these have immense insinuating power.
The key to succeeding with your insinuations is to make them when your targets are at their most relaxed or distracted, so that they are not aware of what is happening.
Polite banter is often the perfect front for this; people are thinking about what they will say next, or are absorbed in their own thoughts.
Hints, suggestions, and insinuations create a seductive atmosphere, signaling that their victim is no longer involved in the routines of daily life but has entered another realm.
The danger in insinuation is that when you leave things ambiguous your target may misread them.
There are moments, particularly later on in a seduction, when it is best to communicate your idea directly, particularly once you know the target will welcome it.
Chapter 7 - Enter Their Spirit
Most people are locked in their own worlds, making them stubborn and hard to persuade. The way to lure them out of their shell and set up your seduction is to enter their spirit. Play by their rules, enjoy what they enjoy, adapt yourself to their moods. In doing so you will stroke their deep-rooted narcissism and lower their defenses. Hypnotized by the mirror image you present, they will open up, becoming vulnerable to your subtle influence.
Soon you can shift the dynamic: once you have entered their spirit you can make them enter yours, at a point when it is too late to turn back. Indulge your targets’ every mood and whim, giving them nothing to react against or resist.
Of all the seductive tactics, entering someone’s spirit is perhaps the most devilish of all. It gives your victims the feeling that they are seducing you.
Keys to Seduction
One of the great sources of frustration in our lives is other people’s stubbornness. How hard it is to reach them, to make them see things our way.
Paradoxically, the way to entice people out of this shell is to become more like them, in fact a kind of mirror image of them.
When you are mirroring someone, do not stop at the person they have become; enter the spirit of that ideal person they wanted to be.
Never take mirroring too far, then. It is only useful in the first phase of a seduction; at some point the dynamic must be reversed.
Chapter 8 - Create Temptation
Lure the target deep into your seduction by creating the proper temptation: a glimpse of the pleasures to come.
Find that weakness of theirs, that fantasy that has yet to be realized, and hint that you can lead them toward it. It could be wealth, it could be adventure, it could be forbidden and guilty pleasures; the key is to keep it vague.
Stimulate a curiosity stronger than the doubts and anxieties that go with it, and they will follow you.
Keys to Seduction
What people want is not temptation; temptation happens every day. What people want is to give into temptation, to yield.
Your task, then, is to create a temptation that is stronger than the daily variety. It has to be focused on them, aimed at them as individuals—at their weakness.
Understand: everyone has a principal weakness, from which others stem. Find that childhood insecurity, that lack in their life, and you hold the key to tempting them.
Their weakness may be greed, vanity, boredom, some deeply repressed desire, a hunger for forbidden fruit.
Their past, and particularly their past romances, will be littered with clues.
Many such social barriers are gone today, so they have to be manufactured—it is the only way to put spice into seduction.
Taboos of any kind are a source of tension, and they are psychological now, not religious.
Search in their past; whatever they seem to fear or flee from might hold the key.
The reverse of temptation is security or satisfaction, and both are fatal to seduction. If you cannot tempt someone out of their habitual comfort, you cannot seduce them.
If you satisfy the desire you have awakened, the seduction is over. There is no reversal to temptation.
Phase Two - Lead Astray-Creating Pleasure & Confusion
Your victims are sufficiently intrigued and their desire for you is growing, but their attachment is weak and at any moment they could decide to turn back.
The goal in this phase is to lead your victims so far astray—keeping them emotional and confused, giving them pleasure but making them want more—that retreat is no longer possible.
Springing on them a pleasant surprise will make them see you as delightfully unpredictable, but will also keep them off balance (9: Keep them in suspense—what comes next?).
The artful use of soft and pleasant words will intoxicate them and stimulate fantasies (10: Use the demonic power of words to sow confusion).
Aesthetic touches and pleasant little rituals will titillate their senses, distract their minds (11: Pay attention to detail).
Your greatest danger in this phase is the mere hint of routine or familiarity. You need to maintain some mystery, to keep a little distance so that in your absence your victims become obsessed with you (12: Poeticize your presence).
They may realize they are falling for you, but they must never suspect how much of this has come from your manipulations. A well-timed display of your weakness, of how emotional you have become under their influence will help cover your tracks (13: Disarm through strategic weakness and vulnerability).
To excite your victims and make them highly emotional, you must give them the feeling that they are actually living some of the fantasies you have stirred in their imagination (14: Confuse desire and reality).
By giving them only a part of the fantasy, you will keep them coming back for more. Focusing your attention on them so that the rest of the world fades away, even taking them on a trip, will lead them far astray (15: Isolate your victim). There is no turning back.
Chapter 9 - Keep Them in Suspense - What Comes Next?
The moment people feel they know what to expect from you, your spell on them is broken. More: you have ceded them power. The only way to lead the seduced along and keep the upper hand is to create suspense, a calculated surprise.
Give the victim a thrill with a sudden change of direction.
In seduction, you need to create constant tension and suspense, a feeling that with you nothing is predictable. You are creating drama in real life, so pour your creative energies into it, have some fun.
But best of all are surprises that reveal something new about your character. This needs to be set up.
Keys to Seduction
Any sudden event has a similar effect, striking directly at our emotions before we get defensive.
Appear somewhere unexpectedly, say or do something sudden, and people will not have time to figure out that your move was calculated.
Finally, you might think it wiser to present yourself as someone reliable, not given to caprice. If so, you are in fact merely timid.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to improvise, imagining that any kind of planning or calculation is antithetical to the spirit of surprise, you are making a grave mistake.
Constant improvisation simply means you are lazy, and thinking only about yourself.
Surprise can be unsurprising if you keep doing the same thing again and again.
You need to vary the method of your surprises.
Chapter 10 - Use the Demonic Power of Words to Sow Confusion
It is hard to make people listen; they are consumed with their own thoughts and desires, and have little time for yours. The trick to making them listen is to say what they want to hear, to fill their ears with whatever is pleasant to them. This is the essence of seductive language.
Inflame people’s emotions with loaded phrases, flatter them, comfort their insecurities, envelop them in fantasies, sweet words, and promises, and not only will they listen to you, they will lose their Will to resist you.
Keep your language vague, letting them read into it what they want. Use writing to stir up fantasies and to create an idealized portrait of yourself.
Whether you are talking to a single individual or to a crowd, try a little experiment: rein in your desire to speak your mind. Before you open your mouth, ask yourself a question: what can I say that will have the most pleasant effect on my listeners? Often this entails flattering their egos, assuaging their insecurities, giving them vague hopes for the future, sympathizing with their travails (“I have understood you”).
Remember: the tone of your letters is what will get under their skin. If your language is elevated, poetic, creative in its praise, it will infect them despite themselves. Never argue, never defend yourself, never accuse them of being heartless. That would ruin the spell.
Do not waste time on real information; focus on feelings and sensations, using expressions that are ripe with connotation. Plant ideas by dropping hints, writing suggestively without explaining yourself.
Keys to Seduction
The key to seductive language is not the words you utter, or your seductive tone of voice; it is a radical shift in perspective and habit.
The difference between normal language and seductive language is like the difference between noise and music.
Learn to sniff out the parts of a person’s ego that need validation. Make it a surprise, something no one else has thought to flatter before—something you can describe as a talent or positive quality that others have not noticed. Speak with a little tremor, as if your target’s charms had overwhelmed you and made you emotional.
The emotions you are trying to arouse should be strong ones. Do not speak of friendship and disagreement; speak of love and hate. And it is crucial to try to feel something of the emotions you are trying to elicit.
Seductive language should have a kind of boldness, which will cover up a multitude of sins.
Never say “I don’t think the other side made a wise decision”; say “We deserve better,” or “They have made a mess of things.” Affirmative language is active language, full of verbs, imperatives, and short sentences. Cut out “I believe,” “Perhaps,” “In my opinion.” Head straight for the heart.
Your words do not stand for anything real; their sound, and the feelings they evoke, are more important than what they are supposed to stand for.
Do not confuse flowery language with seduction: in using flowery language you run the risk of wearing on people’s nerves, of seeming pretentious.
Curb your tongue—use silence to cultivate an enigmatic presence.
Finally, seduction has a pace and rhythm. In phase one, you are cautious and indirect. It is often best to disguise your intentions, to put your target at ease with deliberately neutral words. Your conversation should be harmless, even a bit bland.
In this second phase, you turn more to the attack; this is the time for seductive language. Now when you envelop them in your seductive words and letters, it comes as a pleasant surprise.
Chapter 11 - Pay Attention to Detail
Lofty words and grand gestures can be suspicious: why are you trying so hard to please? The details of a seduction—the subtle gestures, the offhand things you do— are often more charming and revealing.
You must learn to distract your victims with a myriad of pleasant little rituals—thoughtful gifts tailored just for them, clothes and adornments designed to please them, gestures that show the time and attention you are paying them. All of their senses are engaged in the details you orchestrate.
Create spectacles to dazzle their eyes; mesmerized by what they see, they will not notice what you are really up to. Learn to suggest the proper feelings and moods through details.
Keys to Seduction
Remember: the more you get people to focus on the little things, the less they will notice your larger direction. The seduction will assume the slow, hypnotic pace of a ritual, in which the details have a heightened importance and the moments are full of ceremony.
But what is most seductive in the long run is what you do not say, what you communicate indirectly.
The gesture, the thoughtful gift, the little details seem much more real and substantial.
Chapter 12 - Poeticize Your Presence
Important things happen when your targets are alone: the slightest feeling of relief that you are not there, and it is all over. Familiarity and overexposure will cause this reaction.
Remain elusive, then, so that when you are away, they will yearn to see you again, and will associate you only with pleasant thoughts.
Occupy their minds by alternating an exciting presence with a cool distance, exuberant moments followed by calculated absences. Associate yourself with poetic images and objects, so that when they think of you, they begin to see you through an idealized halo.
At all costs, you must embody something, even if it is roguery and evil. Anything to avoid the taint of familiarity and commonness.
Keys to Seduction
This makes the seducer’s task easy: people are dying to be given the chance to fantasize about you
Soon after we fall under a person’s spell, we form an image in our minds of who they are and what pleasures they might offer.
The first happens when we first meet the person. The second and more important one happens later, when a bit of doubt creeps in—you desire the other person, but they elude you, you are not sure they are yours
Remember: if you are easily had, you cannot be worth that much. It is hard to wax poetic about a person who comes so cheaply. If, after the initial interest, you make it clear that you cannot be taken for granted, if you stir a bit of doubt, the target will imagine there is something special, lofty, and unattainable about you. Your image will crystallize in the other person’s mind
Although it is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, an absence too early will prove deadly to the crystallization process
Do everything you can to keep the target thinking about you. Letters, mementos, gifts, unexpected meetings—all these give you an omnipresence. Everything must remind them of you
The only thing that cannot be idealized is mediocrity, but there is nothing seductive about mediocrity
Chapter 13 - Disarm Through Strategic Weakness & Vulnerability
Too much maneuvering on your part may raise suspicion. The best way to cover your tracks is to make the other person feel superior and stronger.
If you seem to be weak, vulnerable, enthralled by the other person, and unable to control yourself, you will make your actions look more natural, less calculated.
To further win trust, exchange honesty for virtue: establish your “sincerity” by confessing some sin on your part—it doesn’t have to be real. Sincerity is more important than goodness. Play the victim, then transform your target’s sympathy into love.
Keys to Seduction
Remember: what is natural to your character is inherently seductive. A person’s vulnerability, what they seem to be unable to control, is often what is most seductive about them. People who display no weaknesses, on the other hand, often elicit envy, fear, and anger—we want to sabotage them just to bring them down.
Do not struggle against your vulnerabilities, or try to repress them, but put them into play. Learn to transform them into power. The game is subtle: if you wallow in your weakness, overplay your hand, you will be seen as angling for sympathy, or, worse, as pathetic.
No, what works best is to allow people an occasional glimpse into the soft, frail side of your character, and usually only after they have known you for a while. That glimpse will humanize you, lowering their suspicions, and preparing the ground for a deeper attachment. Normally strong and in control, at moments you let go, give in to your weakness, let them see it.
Male seducers long ago learned to become more feminine—to show their emotions, and to seem interested in their targets’ lives.
The key is to indulge your softer side while still remaining as masculine as possible.
Remember, though, to keep everything in moderation. A glimpse of shyness is sufficient; too much of it and the target will despair, afraid that she will end up having to do all the work.
In social and political situations, seeming too ambitious, or too controlled, will make people fear you; it is crucial to show your soft side. The display of a single weakness will hide a multitude of manipulations.
Timing is everything in seduction; you should always look for signs that the target is falling under your spell. A person falling in love tends to ignore the other person’s weaknesses, or to see them as endearing.
The only weaknesses worth playing up are the ones that will make you seem lovable. All others should be repressed and eradicated at all costs.
Chapter 14 - Confuse Desire and Reality - The Perfect Illusion
To compensate for the difficulties in their lives, people spend a lot of their time daydreaming, imagining a future full of adventure, success, and romance. If you can create the illusion that through you they can live out their dreams, you will have them at your mercy.
It is important to start slowly, gaining their trust, and gradually constructing the fantasy that matches their desires. Aim at secret wishes that have been thwarted or repressed, stirring up uncontrollable emotions, clouding their powers of reason. The perfect illusion is one that does not depart too much from reality, but has a touch of the unreal to it, like a waking dream. Lead the seduced to a point of confusion in which they can no longer tell the difference between illusion and reality.
Remember: people want to believe in the extraordinary; with a little groundwork, a little mental foreplay, they will fall for your illusion. If anything, err on the side of reality: use real props (like the child Pei Pu showed Bouriscout) and add the fantastical touches in your words, or an occasional gesture that gives you a slight unreality.
When our emotions are engaged, we often have trouble seeing things as they are.
Keys to Seduction
The real world can be unforgiving: events occur over which we have little control, other people ignore our feelings in their quests to get what they need, time runs out before we accomplish what we had wanted.
Your task as a seducer is to bring some flesh and blood into someone’s fantasy life by embodying a fantasy figure, or creating a scenario resembling that person’s dreams.
You must first choose targets who have some repression or dream unrealized—always the most likely victims of a seduction.
Instead create the appearance of normality. Once your targets feel secure—nothing is out of the ordinary—you have room to deceive them.
In animating a fantasy, the great mistake is imagining it must be larger than life.
Indulge your targets in this wish by first making it clear that you are playing a role, then inviting them to join you in a shared fantasy.
The idea that we can get something back, that a mistake can be righted, is immensely seductive.
There is no reversal to this chapter. No seduction can proceed without creating illusion, the sense of a world that is real but separate from reality.
Chapter 15 - Isolate the Victim
An isolated person is weak. By slowly isolating your victims, you make them more vulnerable to your influence.
Their isolation may be psychological: by filling their field of vision through the pleasurable attention you pay them, you crowd out everything else in their mind. They see and think only of you.
The isolation may also be physical: you take them away from their normal milieu, friends, family, home.
Lure the seduced into your lair, where nothing is familiar.
Do not give your targets the time or space to worry about, suspect, or resist you. Flood them with the kind of attention that crowds out all other thoughts, concerns, and problems. Remember—people secretly yearn to be led astray by someone who knows where they are going. It can be a pleasure to let go, and even to feel isolated and weak, if the seduction is done slowly and gracefully.
Keys to Seduction
A target who is strong and settled is hard to seduce. But even the strongest people can be made vulnerable if you can isolate them from their nests and safety nets. Block out their friends and family with your constant presence, alienate them from the world they are used to, and take them to places they do not know.
Get them to spend time in your environment. Deliberately disturb their habits, get them to do things they have never done. They will grow emotional, making it easier to lead them astray. Disguise all this in the form of a pleasurable experience, and your targets will wake up one day distanced from everything that normally comforts them. Then they will turn to you for help, like a child crying out for its mother when the lights are turned out.
Your worst enemies in a seduction are often your targets’ family and friends. They are outside your circle and immune to your charms; they may provide a voice of reason to the seduced. You must work silently and subtly to alienate the target from them. Insinuate that they are jealous of your target’s good fortune in finding you, or that they are parental figures who have lost a taste for adventure. The latter argument is extremely effective with young people, whose identities are in flux and who are more than ready to rebel against any authority figure, particularly their parents. You represent excitement and life; the friends and parents represent habit and boredom.
The principle of isolation can be taken literally by whisking the target off to an exotic locale.
Finally, at some point in the seduction there must be a hint of danger in the mix. Your targets should feel that they are gaining a great adventure in following you, but are also losing something—a part of their past, their cherished comfort.
Actively encourage these ambivalent feelings. An element of fear is the proper spice; although too much fear is debilitating, in small doses it makes us feel alive.
The risks of this strategy are simple: isolate someone too quickly and you will induce a sense of panic that may end up in the target’s taking flight.
Phase 3 - The Precipice - Deepening the Effect Through Extreme Measures
The goal in this phase is to make everything deeper—the effect you have on their mind, feelings of love and attachment, tension within your victims. With your hooks deep into them, you can then push them back and forth, between hope and despair, until they weaken and snap.
Showing how far you are willing to go for your victims, doing some noble or chivalrous deed (16: Prove yourself) will create a powerful jolt, spark an intensely positive reaction.
Everyone has scars, repressed desires, and unfinished business from childhood. Bring these desires and wounds to the surface, make your victims feel they are getting what they never got as a child and you will penetrate deep into their psyche, stir uncontrollable emotions (17: Effect a regression).
Now you can take your victims past their limits, getting them to act out their dark sides, adding a sense of danger to your seduction (18: Stir up the transgressive and taboo).
You need to deepen the spell, and nothing will more confuse and enchant your victims than giving your seduction a spiritual veneer.
It is not lust that motivates you, but destiny, divine thoughts and everything elevated (19: Use spiritual lures).
The erotic lurks beneath the spiritual. Now your victims have been properly set up. By deliberately hurting them, instilling fears and anxieties, you will lead them to the edge of the precipice from which it will be easy to push and make them fall (20: Mix pleasure with pain). They feel great tension and are yearning for relief.
Chapter 16 - Prove Yourself
Most people want to be seduced. If they resist your efforts, it is probably because you have not gone far enough to allay their doubts—about your motives, the depth of your feelings, and so on. One well-timed action that shows how far you are willing to go to win them over will dispel their doubts.
Do not worry about looking foolish or making a mistake—any kind of deed that is self-sacrificing and for your targets’ sake will so overwhelm their emotions, they won’t notice anything else. Never appear discouraged by people’s resistance, or complain. Instead, meet the challenge by doing something extreme or chivalrous.
Conversely, spur others to prove themselves by making yourself hard to reach, unattainable, worth fighting over.
More often than not, you give up too easily.
First, understand a primary law of seduction: resistance is a sign that the other person’s emotions are engaged in the process. The only person you cannot seduce is somebody distant and cold.
There are two ways to prove yourself.
First, the spontaneous action: a situation arises in which the target needs help, a problem needs solving, or, simply, he or she needs a favor. You cannot foresee these situations, but you must be ready for them, for they can spring up at any time. Impress the target by going further than really necessary—sacrificing more money, more time, more effort than they had expected.
The second way to prove yourself is the brave deed that you plan and execute in advance, on your own and at the right moment—preferably some way into the seduction, when any doubts the victim still has about you are more dangerous than earlier on.
Choose a dramatic, difficult action that reveals the painful time and effort involved. Danger can be extremely seductive. Cleverly lead your victim into a crisis, a moment of danger, or indirectly put them in an uncomfortable position, and you can play the rescuer, the gallant knight. The powerful feelings and emotions this elicits can easily be redirected into love.
When dealing with difficult or resistant targets, it is usually best to improvise.
If your action seems sudden and a surprise, it will make them more emotional, loosen them up. A little roundabout accumulation of information—a little spying—is always a good idea.
Most important is the spirit in which you enact your proof. If you are lighthearted and playful, if you make the target laugh, proving yourself and amusing them at the same time, it won’t matter if you mess up, or if they see you have employed a little trickery.
Making your deed as dashing and chivalrous as possible will elevate the seduction to a new level, stir up deep emotions, and conceal any ulterior motives you may have. The sacrifices you are making must be visible; talking about them, or explaining what they have cost you, will seem like bragging.
Lose sleep, fall ill, lose valuable time, put your career on the line, spend more money than you can afford. You can exaggerate all this for effect, but don’t get caught boasting about it or feeling sorry for yourself: cause yourself pain and let them see it. Since almost everyone else in the world seems to have an angle, your noble and selfless deed will be irresistible.
The appeal of seduction is that of being separated from our normal routines, experiencing the thrill of the unknown.
Show that you have a reckless streak and a daring nature, that you lack the usual fear of death, and you are instantly fascinating to the bulk of humanity.
Remember: not only what you do matters, but how you do it. If you are naturally self-absorbed, learn to disguise it. React as spontaneously as possible, exaggerating the effect by seeming flustered, overexcited, even foolish—love has driven you to that point.
Make people compete for your attention, make them prove themselves in some way, and you will find them rising to the challenge. The heat of seduction is raised by such challenges—show me that you really love me.
When one person (of either sex) rises to the occasion, often the other person is now expected to do the same, and the seduction heightens.
When trying to prove that you are worthy of your target, remember that every target sees things differently; A show of physical prowess will not impress someone who does not value physical prowess; it will just show that you are after attention, flaunting yourself.
Seducers must adapt their way of proving themselves to the doubts and weaknesses of the seduced.
Chapter 17 - Effect a Regression
People who have experienced a certain kind of pleasure in the past will try to repeat or relive it.
The deepest-rooted and most pleasurable memories are usually those from earliest childhood, and are often unconsciously associated with a parental figure.
Bring your targets back to that point by placing yourself in the oedipal triangle and positioning them as the needy child. Unaware of the cause of their emotional response, they will fall in love with you.
Alternatively, you too can regress, letting them play the role of the protecting, nursing parent.
In either case you are offering the ultimate fantasy: the chance to have an intimate relationship with mommy or daddy, son or daughter.
To practice it in real life, you need to play the therapist, encouraging people to talk about their childhood. Most of us are only too happy to oblige; and our memories are so vivid and emotional that a part of us regresses just in talking about our early years.
But pay attention to their tone of voice, to any nervous tics as they talk, and particularly to anything they do not want to talk about, anything they deny or that makes them emotional
Many statements actually mean their opposite: should they say they hated their father, for instance, you can be sure that they are hiding a lot of disappointment—that they actually loved their father only too much, and perhaps never quite got what they wanted from him.
Listen closely for recurring themes and stories. Most important, learn to analyze emotional responses and see what lies behind them.
While they talk, maintain the therapist’s pose—attentive but quiet, making occasional, nonjudgmental comments. Be caring yet distant—somewhat blank, in fact—and they will begin to transfer emotions and project fantasies onto you.
The key is not just to talk about memories—that is weak. What you want is to get people to act out in their present old issues from their past, without their being aware of what is happening. The regressions you can effect fall into four main types
The Infantile Regression. The first bond—the bond between a mother and her infant—is the most powerful one.
Never judge your targets—let them do whatever they want, including behaving badly; at the same time surround them with loving attention, smother them with comfort.
Meanwhile, create atmospheres that reinforce the feeling you are generating—warm environments, playful activities, bright, happy colors.
The Oedipal Regression. After the bond between mother and child comes the oedipal triangle of mother, father, and child.
Play a parental role, be loving, but also sometimes scold and instill some discipline. Children actually love a little discipline—it makes them feel that the adult cares about them.
Do not go ahead with the regression until you have learned everything you can about their childhood—what they had too much of, what they lacked, and so on.
The Ego Ideal Regression. As children, we often form an ideal figure out of our dreams and ambitions. First, that ideal figure is the person we want to be. We imagine ourselves as brave adventurers, romantic figures. Then, in our adolescence, we turn our attention to others, often projecting our ideals onto them.
To create this effect, strive to reproduce the intense, innocent mood of a youthful infatuation.
The Reverse Parental Regression. Here you are the one to regress: you deliberately play the role of the cute, adorable, yet also sexually charged child. Older people always find younger people incredibly seductive.
Keep in mind that certain types are more vulnerable to an oedipal regression. Look for those who, like Professor Mut, seem outwardly the most adult—straitlaced, serious, a little full of themselves.
It is nearly impossible to embody someone’s ideal completely. But if you come close enough, if you evoke some of that ideal spirit, you can lead that person into a deep seduction.
To effect this regression you must play the role of the therapist. Get your targets to open up about their past, particularly their former loves and most particularly their first love. Pay attention to any expressions of disappointment, how this or that person did not give them what they wanted. Take them to places that evoke their youth. In this regression you are creating not so much a relationship of dependency and immaturity but rather the adolescent spirit of a first love.
Remember: most of us remember our early years fondly, but often, paradoxically, the people with the strongest attachment to those times are the ones who had the most difficult childhoods.
To reverse the strategies of regression, the parties to a seduction would have to remain adults during the process. This is not only rare, it is not very pleasurable.
Chapter 18 - Stir Up the Transgressive & Taboo
There are always social limits on what one can do. Some of these, the most elemental taboos, go back centuries; others are more superficial, simply defining polite and acceptable behavior.
Making your targets feel that you are leading them past either kind of limit is immensely seductive.
People yearn to explore their dark side.
Not everything in romantic love is supposed to be tender and soft; hint that you have a cruel, even sadistic streak. You do not respect age differences, marriage vows, family ties.
Once the desire to transgress draws your targets to you, it will be hard for them to stop.
Take them further than they imagined—the shared feeling of guilt and complicity will create a powerful bond.
Unleash the lost self within them; the more they act it out, the deeper your hold over them. Going halfway will break the spell and create self-consciousness. Take it as far as you can.
Keys to Seduction
The moment people feel that something is prohibited, a part of them will want it. That is what makes a married man or woman such a delicious target—the more someone is prohibited, the greater the desire.
Since what is forbidden is desired, somehow you must make yourself seem forbidden. The most blatant way to do this is to engage in behavior that gives you a dark and forbidden aura. Theoretically you are someone to avoid; in fact you are too seductive to resist.
Play up your dark side and you will have a similar effect. For your targets to be involved with you means going beyond their limits, doing something naughty and unacceptable—to society, to their peers. For many that is reason to bite the bait.
A mix of the masculine and the feminine, the violent and the tender, will always seem transgressive and appealing.
Do what you can to reintroduce a feeling of transgression and crime, even if it is only psychological or illusory. There must be obstacles to overcome, social norms to flout, laws to break, before the seduction can be consummated.
The reversal of stirring up taboos would be to stay within the limits of acceptable behavior. That would make for a very tepid seduction. Which is not to say that only evil or wild behavior is seductive; goodness, kindness, and an aura of spirituality can be tremendously attractive, since they are rare qualities.
In seduction, there is absolutely no power in respecting boundaries and limits.
Chapter 19 - Use Spiritual Lures
Everyone has doubts and insecurities —about their body, their self-worth, their sexuality. If your seduction appeals exclusively to the physical, you will stir up these doubts and make your targets self-conscious.
Instead, lure them out of their insecurities by making them focus on something sublime and spiritual: a religious experience, a lofty work of art, the occult.
Play up your divine qualities; affect an air of discontent with worldly things; speak of the stars, destiny, the hidden threads that unite you and the object of the seduction. Lost in a spiritual mist, the target will feel light and uninhibited. Deepen the effect of your seduction by making its sexual culmination seem like the spiritual union of two souls.
Keys to Seduction
Pleasure is the bait that you use to lure a person into your web.
You may think your target is unrepressed and hungry for pleasure, but almost all of us are plagued by an underlying unease with our animal nature. Unless you deal with this unease, your seduction, even when successful in the short term, will be superficial and temporary.
Instead, like Natalie Barney, try to capture your target’s soul, to build the foundation of a deep and lasting seduction.
It is not money or sex or success that moves you; your drives are never so base. No, something much deeper motivates you. Whatever this is, keep it vague, letting the target imagine your hidden depths.
Letting your targets feel that your affection is neither temporary nor superficial will often make them fall deeper under your spell. In some, though, it can arouse an anxiety: the fear of commitment, of a claustrophobic relationship with no exits.
What you want is to make them lose themselves in the moment, experiencing the timeless depth of your feelings in the present tense. Religious ecstasy is about intensity, not temporal extensity.
Chapter 20 - Mix Pleasure with Pain
The greatest mistake in seduction is being too nice. At first, perhaps, your kindness is charming, but it soon grows monotonous; you are trying too hard to please, and seem insecure.
Instead of overwhelming your targets with niceness, try inflicting some pain. Lure them in with focused attention, then change direction, appearing suddenly uninterested. Make them feel guilty and insecure. Even instigate a breakup, subjecting them to an emptiness and pain that will give you room to maneuver—now a rapprochement, an apology, a return to your earlier kindness, will turn them weak at the knees.
The lower the lows you create, the greater the highs. To heighten the erotic charge, create the excitement of fear.
Your seduction should never follow a simple course upward toward pleasure and harmony.
Your task is to create moments of sadness, despair, and anguish, to create the tension that allows for a great release.
Nor should you be afraid that if you make yourself difficult people will flee—we only abandon those who bore us.
Your kindness and harshness should be subtle; indirect digs and compliments are best. Play the psychoanalyst: make cutting comments concerning their unconscious motives (you are only being truthful), then sit back and listen.
Keys to Seduction
Niceness in seduction, however, though it may at first draw someone to you (it is soothing and comforting), soon loses all effect. Being too nice can literally push the target away from you. Erotic feeling depends on the creation of tension.
You are most often nice not out of your own inner goodness but out of fear of displeasing, out of insecurity. Go beyond that fear and you suddenly have options—the freedom to create pain, then magically dissolve it. Your seductive powers will increase tenfold.
People will be less upset by your hurtful actions than you might imagine.
Stir up their jealousy, make them feel insecure, and the validation you later give their ego by preferring them over their rivals is doubly delightful.
Remember: you have more to fear by boring your targets than by shaking them up.
If you need inspiration, find the part of the target that most irritates you and use it as a springboard for some therapeutic conflict. The more real your cruelty, the more effective it is.
Apply this wisdom in reverse: never let your targets get too comfortable with you. They need to feel fear and anxiety. Show them some coldness, a flash of anger they did not expect. Be irrational if necessary.
There is always the trump card: a breakup.
People who have recently experienced a lot of pain or a loss will flee if you try to inflict more on them.
Also, remember to not use the pleasure-through-pain tactic too early on.
In the beginning, then, wear the mask of a lamb, making pleasure and attentiveness your bait. First get under their skin, then lead them on a wild ride.
Phase Four - Moving in for the Kill
First you worked on their mind—the mental seduction. Then you confused and stirred them up—the emotional seduction. Now the time has come for hand-to-hand combat—the physical seduction.
At this point, your victims are weak and ripe with desire: by showing a little coldness or uninterest, you will spark panic—they will come after you with impatience and erotic energy (21: Give them space to fall—the pursuer is pursued).
To bring them to a boil, you need to put their minds to sleep and heat up their senses. It is best to lure them into lust by sending certain loaded signals that will get under their skin and spread sexual desire like a poison (22: Use physical lures).
The moment to strike and move in for the kill is when your victim is brimming with desire, but not consciously expecting the climax to come (23: Master the art of the bold move).
Once the seduction is over, there is the danger that disenchantment will set in and ruin all your hard work (24: Beware the aftereffects).
If you are after a relationship, then you must constantly re-seduce the victim, creating tension and releasing it. if your victim is to be sacrificed, then it must be done swiftly and cleanly, leaving you free (physically and psychologically) to move on to the next victim. Then the game begins all over.
Chapter 21 - Give Them Space to Fall-Pursuer is Pursued
If your targets become too used to you as the aggressor, they will give less of their own energy, and the tension will slacken. You need to wake them up, turn the tables.
Once they are under your spell, take a step back and they will start to come after you. Begin with a touch of aloofness, an unexpected nonappearance, a hint that you are growing bored.
Stir the pot by seeming interested in someone else.
Make none of this explicit; let them only sense it and their imagination will do the rest, creating the doubt you desire. Soon they will want to possess you physically, and restraint will go out the window.
The goal is to have them fall into your arms of their own will. Create the illusion that the seducer is being seduced.
First, it is always best to keep at some distance from your targets. You do not have to go as far as remaining anonymous, but you do not want to be seen too often, or to be seen as intrusive.
If you are always in their face, always the aggressor, they will become used to being passive, and the tension in your seduction will flag.
Then, at the point when they are ripe with desire and interest, when perhaps they are expecting you to make a move—as Madame Sabatier expected that day in her apartment—take a step back. You are unexpectedly distant, friendly but no more than that—certainly not sexual. Let this sink in for a day or two. Your withdrawal will trigger anxiety; the only way to relieve this anxiety is to pursue and possess you.
Keys to Seduction
No one likes things to be complicated and difficult, and your target will expect the conclusion to come quickly. That is the point, however, where you must train yourself to hold back.
You want them to pursue you, hopelessly ensnaring themselves in your web in the process.
The only way to accomplish this is to take a step back and make them anxious.
Understand: a person’s willpower is directly linked to their libido, their erotic desire.
When you withdraw, make it subtle; you are instilling unease. Your coldness or distance should dawn on your targets when they are alone, in the form of a poisonous doubt creeping into their mind.
When you seem interested in someone but do not respond sexually, it is disturbing, and presents a challenge: they will find a way to seduce you. To produce this effect, first reveal an interest in your targets, through letters or subtle insinuation. But when you are in their presence, assume a kind of sexless neutrality. Be friendly, even warm, but no more.
In the latter stages of the seduction, let your targets feel that you are becoming interested in another person—this is another form of taking a step back.
First, shower your targets with affection. They will not be sure where this is coming from, but it is a delightful feeling, and they will never want to lose it. When it does go away, in your strategic step back, they will have moments of anxiety and anger.
The only way to win you back, to have you for sure, will be to reverse the pattern, to imitate you, to be the affectionate, giving one.
There are moments when creating space and absence will blow up in your face. An absence at a critical moment in the seduction can make the target lose interest in you.
Use absence only when you are sure of the target’s affection, and never let it go on too long. It is most effective later in the seduction.
Also, never create too much space—don’t write too rarely, don’t act too cold, don’t show too much interest in someone else.
Some people, too, are inveterately passive: they are waiting for you to make the bold move, and if you don’t, they will think you are weak.
Chapter 22 - Use Physical Lures
Targets with active minds are dangerous: if they see through your manipulations, they may suddenly develop doubts.
Put their minds gently to rest, and waken their dormant senses, by combining a nondefensive attitude with a charged sexual presence.
While your cool, nonchalant air is calming their minds and lowering their inhibitions, your glances, voice, and bearing—oozing sex and desire—are getting under their skin, agitating their senses and raising their temperature.
Never force the physical; instead infect your targets with heat, lure them into lust. Lead them into the moment—an intensified present in which morality, judgment, and concern for the future all melt away and the body succumbs to pleasure.
The key to luring the target into the final act of your seduction is not to make it obvious, not to announce that you are ready (to pounce or be pounced upon).
You must make your body glow with desire—for the target. Your desire should be read in your eyes, in a trembling in your voice, in your reaction when your bodies draw near.
You cannot train your body to act this way, but by choosing a victim (see chapter 1) who has this effect on you, it will all flow naturally.
Understand: it all starts from you. When the time comes to make the seduction physical, train yourself to let go of your own inhibitions, your doubts, your lingering feelings of guilt and anxiety. Your confidence and ease will have more power to intoxicate the victim than all the alcohol you could apply.
Exhibit a lightness of spirit—nothing bothers you, nothing daunts you, you take nothing personally. You are inviting your targets to shed the burdens of civilization, to follow your lead and drift.
Do not talk of work, duty, marriage, the past or future. Plenty of other people will do that.
Keys to Seduction
Now more than ever, our minds are in a state of constant distraction, barraged with endless information, pulled in every direction.
Understand: the only way to relax a distracted mind is to make it focus on one thing.
Throughout the seductive process you have been filling the target’s mind. Letters, mementos, shared experiences keep you constantly present, even when you are not there.
Now, as you shift to the physical part of the seduction, you must see your targets more often. Your attention must become more intense.
Remember: it all starts with you. Be undistracted, present in the moment, and the target will follow suit.
Once the target’s overactive mind starts to slow down, their senses will come to life, and your physical lures will have double their power.
Physical appearances are critical, but you are after a general agitation of the senses.
Subtly modulate the voice, make it slower and deeper. Living senses will crowd out rational thought.
The seducer leads the victim to a point where he or she reveals involuntary signs of physical excitation that can be read in various symptoms. Once those signs are detected, the seducer must work quickly, applying pressure on the target to get lost in the moment—the past, the future, all moral scruples vanishing in air.
In leading your victims into the moment, remember a few things.
First, a disordered look (Madame de Lursay’s tousled hair, her ruffled dress) has more effect on the senses than a neat appearance.
Second, be alert to the signs of physical excitation. Blushing, trembling of the voice, tears, unusually forceful laughter, relaxing movements of the body (any kind of involuntary mirroring, their gestures imitating yours), a revealing slip of the tongue—these are signs that the victim is slipping into the moment and pressure is to be applied.
Seduction, like warfare, is often a game of distance and closeness. At first you track your enemy from a distance.
Your main weapons are your eyes, and a mysterious manner.
The key is to make the look short and to the point, then look away, like a rapier glancing the flesh. Make your eyes reveal desire, and keep the rest of the face still. (A smile will spoil the effect).
Once the victim is heated up, you quickly bridge the distance, turning to hand-to-hand combat in which you give the enemy no room to withdraw, no time to think or to consider the position in which you have placed him or her. To take the element of fear out of this, use flattery, make the target feel more masculine or feminine, praise their charms. It is their fault that you have become so physical and aggressive.
Shared physical activity is always an excellent lure.
For Flynn it was swimming or sailing. In such physical activity, the mind turns off and the body operates according to its own laws.
In the moment, all moral considerations fade away, and the body returns to a state of innocence. You can partly create that feeling through a devil-may-care attitude. You do not worry about the world, or what people think of you; you do not judge your target in any way.
So empty yourself of your tendency to moralize and judge.
Some people panic when they sense they are falling into the moment. Often, using spiritual lures will help disguise the increasingly physical nature of the seduction.
Instead, make it seem a spiritual, mystical union, and they will take less notice of your physical manipulations.
Chapter 23 - Master the Art of the Bold Move
A moment has arrived: your victim clearly desires you, but is not ready to admit it openly, let alone act on it.
This is the time to throw aside chivalry, kindness, and coquetry and to overwhelm with a bold move.
Don’t give the victim time to consider the consequences; create conflict, stir up tension, so that the bold move comes as a great release.
Showing hesitation or awkwardness means you are thinking of yourself, as opposed to being overwhelmed by the victim’s charms.
Never hold back or meet the target halfway, under the belief that you are being correct and considerate; you must be seductive now, not political. One person must go on the offensive, and it is you.
Never underestimate the role of vanity in love and seduction. If you seem impatient, champing at the bit for sex, you signal that it is all about libido, and that it has little to do with the target’s own charms. That is why you must defer the climax.
Once you read in your targets’ gestures that they are ready and open—a look in the eye, mirroring behavior, a strange nervousness in your presence—you must go on the offensive, make them feel that their charms have unhinged you and pushed you into the bold move.
Keys to Seduction
Think of seduction as a world you enter, a world that is separate and distinct from the real world. The rules are different here; what works in daily life can have the opposite effect in seduction.
The problem is that after years of living in the real world, we lose the ability to be ourselves. We become timid, humble, overpolite. Your task is to regain some of your childhood qualities, to root out all this false humility. And the most important quality to recapture is boldness.
The bold move should come as a pleasant surprise, but not too much of a surprise.
Learn to read the signs that the target is falling for you. His or her manner toward you will have changed—it will be more pliant, with more words and gestures mirroring yours—yet there will still be a touch of nervousness and uncertainty Inwardly they have given in to you, but they do not expect a bold move. This is the time to strike.
You want a degree of tension and ambivalence, so that the move represents a great release.
Don’t plan your bold move in advance; it cannot seem calculated. Wait for the opportune moment. Be attentive to favorable circumstances. This will give you room to improvise and go with the moment, which will heighten the impression you want to create of being suddenly over-whelmed by desire. If you ever sense that the victim is expecting the bold move, take a step back, lull them into a false sense of security, then strike.
Follow the widow’s example: your bold move should have a theatrical quality to it. That will make it memorable, and make your aggressiveness seem pleasant, part of the drama.
The theatricality can come from the setting—an exotic or sensual location. It can also come from your actions.
An element of fear—someone might find you, say—will heighten the tension. Remember: you are creating a moment that must stand out from the sameness of daily life.
If two people come together by mutual consent, that is not a seduction. There is no reversal.
Chapter 24 - Beware the Aftereffects
Danger follows in the aftermath of a successful seduction. After emotions have reached a pitch, they often swing in the opposite direction—toward lassitude, distrust, disappointment.
Beware of the long, drawn-out goodbye; insecure, the victim will cling and claw, and both sides will suffer. If you are to part, make the sacrifice swift and sudden. If necessary, deliberately break the spell you have created.
If you are to stay in a relationship, beware a flagging of energy, a creeping familiarity that will spoil the fantasy. If the game is to go on, a second seduction is required. Never let the other person take you for granted—use absence, create pain and conflict, to keep the seduced on tenterhooks.
Fight against inertia. The sense that you are trying less hard is often enough to disenchant your victims.
After the first seduction is over, then, show that it isn’t really over—that you want to keep proving yourself, focusing your attention on them, luring them. That is often enough to keep them enchanted.
Never rely on your physical charms; even beauty loses its appeal with repeated exposure. Only strategy and effort will fight off inertia.
Maintain mystery. Familiarity is the death of seduction.
Remember: reality is not seductive. Keep some dark corners in your character, flout expectations, use absences to fragment the clinging, possessive pull that allows familiarity to creep in. Maintain some mystery or be taken for granted.
Maintain lightness. Seduction is a game, not a matter of life and death. There will be a tendency in the “post” phase to take things more seriously and personally, and to whine about behavior that does not please you. Fight this as much as possible, for it will create exactly the effect you do not want.
Your playfulness, the little ruses you employ to please and delight them, your indulgence of their faults, will make your victims compliant and easy to handle.
Avoid the slow burnout. Often, one person becomes disenchanted but lacks the courage to make the break.
Once you feel disenchanted and know it is over, end it quickly, without apology.
If a break with the victim is too messy or difficult (or you lack the nerve), then do the next best thing: deliberately break the spell that ties him or her to you.
It is almost impossible to resist a person who provides pleasure with no strings attached. When they are with you, keep the spirit light and playful. Play up the parts of your character they find delightful, but never let them feel they know you too well.
The lesson is simple: keep the moments after the seduction and the separation in the same key as before, heightened, aesthetic, and pleasant. If you do not act guilty for your feckless behavior, it is hard for the other person to feel angry or resentful.
Seduction is a lighthearted game, in which you invest all of your energy in the moment. The separation should be lighthearted and stylish as well: it is work, travel, some dreaded responsibility that calls you away.
Create a memorable experience and then move on, and your victim will most likely remember the delightful seduction, not the separation.
If it is integration you are after, seduction must never stop. Otherwise boredom will creep in. And the best way to keep the process going is often to inject intermittent drama. This can be painful—opening old wounds, stirring up jealousy, withdrawing a little. (Do not confuse this behavior with nagging or carping criticism—this pain is strategic, designed to break up rigid patterns).
On the other hand it can also be pleasant: think about proving yourself all over again, paying attention to nice little details, creating new temptations. In fact you should mix the two aspects, for too much pain or pleasure will not prove seductive.
Remember: comfort and security are the death of seduction. A shared journey with a little bit of hardship will do more to create a deep bond than will expensive gifts and luxuries.
The young are right to not care about comfort in matters of love, and when you return to that sentiment, a youthful spark will reignite.
Not only does the long, lingering death of a relationship cause your partner needless pain, it will have long-term consequences for you as well, making you more skittish in the future, and weighing you down with guilt.
If you make a clean quick break, in the long run they will appreciate it. The more you apologize, the more you insult their pride, stirring up negative feelings that will reverberate for years.
The victim should be sacrificed, not tortured.
Once you have seduced a person (or a nation) there is almost always a lull, a slight letdown, which sometimes leads to a separation; it is surprisingly easy, though, to re-seduce the same target. The old feelings never go away, they lie dormant, and in a flash you can take your target by surprise.
To keep a person enchanted, you will have to re-seduce them constantly. But you can allow a little familiarity to creep in. The target wants to feel that he or she is getting to know you. Too much mystery will create doubt. It will also be tiring for you, who will have to sustain it.
The point is not to remain completely unfamiliar but rather, on occasion, to jolt victims out of their complacency, surprising them as you surprised them in the past. Do this right and they will have the delightful feeling that they are constantly getting to know more about you—but never too much.
Appendix A: Seductive Environment/Seductive Time
In seduction, your victims must slowly come to feel an inner change. Under your influence, they lower their defenses, feeling free to act differently, to be a different person.
Certain places, environments, and experiences will greatly aid you in your quest to change and transform the seduced. Spaces with a theatrical, heightened quality—opulence, glittering surfaces, a playful spirit—create a buoyant, childlike feeling that make it hard for the victim to think straight.
The creation of an altered sense of time has a similar effect—memorable, dizzying moments that stand out, a mood of festival and play. You must make your victims feel that being with you gives them a different experience from being in the real world.
The time you spend with them is devoted to them and nothing else. Instead of the usual rotation of work and rest, you are giving them grand, dramatic moments that stand out. You bring them to places unlike the places they see in daily life—heightened, theatrical places.
The following are key components to reproducing festival time and place:
Create theatrical effects. Theater creates a sense of a separate, magical world.
To produce this effect in real life, you must fashion your clothes, makeup, and attitude to have a playful, artificial, edge—a feeling that you have dressed for the pleasure of your audience.
Your encounters with your targets should also have a sense of drama, achieved through the settings you choose and through your actions. The target should not know what will happen next. Create suspense through twists and turns that lead to the happy ending; you are performing.
Use the visual language of pleasure
You want to avoid images that have depth, which might provoke thought, or guilt; instead, you should work in environments that are all surface, full of glittering objects, mirrors, pools of water, a constant play of light.
The sensory overload of these spaces creates an intoxicating, buoyant feeling. The more artificial, the better. Show your targets a playful world, full of the sights and sounds that excite the baby or child within them. Luxury—the sense that money has been spent or even wasted—adds to the feeling that the real world of duty and morality has been banished. Call it the brothel effect.
Keep it crowded or close. People crowding together raise the psychological temperature to hothouse levels. Festivals and carnivals depend on the contagious feeling a crowd creates. Bring your target to such environments sometimes, to lower their normal defensiveness.
Similarly, any kind of situation that brings people together in a small space for a long period of time is extremely conducive to seduction.
Either lead the seduced into a crowded, festival-like environment or go trolling for targets in a closed world.
Manufacture mystical effects. Spiritual or mystical effects distract people’s minds from reality, making them feel elevated and euphoric. From here it is but a small step to physical pleasure
Anything vaguely mystical helps block out the real world, and it is easy to move from the spiritual to the sexual.
Distort their sense of time—speed and youth. Festival time has a kind of speed and frenzy that make people feel more alive.
Take them to places of constant activity and movement. Embark with them on some kind of journey together, distracting their minds with new sights.
And youth is mostly energy. The pace of the seduction must pick up at a certain moment, creating a whirling effect in the mind.
Create moments. Everyday life is a drudgery in which the same actions endlessly repeat. The festival, on the other hand, we remember as a moment when everything was transformed—when a little bit of eternity and myth entered our lives.
Your seduction must have such peaks, moments when something dramatic happens and time is experienced differently.
You must give your targets such moments, whether by staging the seduction in a place—a carnival, a theater—where they naturally occur or by creating them yourself, with dramatic actions that stir up strong emotions.
Keep everything light and playful, full of distractions, noise, color, and a bit of chaos. No weight, responsibilities, or judgments. A place to lose yourself in.
While in your presence your targets must sense a change. Time has a different rhythm—they barely notice its passing. They have the feeling that everything is stopping for them, just as all normal activity comes to a halt at a festival. The idle pleasures you provide them are contagious—one leads to another and to another, until it is too late to turn back.
Appendix B: Soft Seduction: How to Sell Anything to the Masses
The less you seem to be selling something—including yourself—the better; By being too obvious in your pitch, you will raise suspicion; you will also bore your audience, an unforgivable sin.
Instead, make your approach soft, seductive, and insidious.
Soft: be indirect. Create news and events for the media to pick up, spreading your name in a way that seems spontaneous, not hard or calculated.
Seductive: keep it entertaining. Your name and image are bathed in positive associations; you are selling pleasure and promise.
Insidious: aim at the unconscious, using images that linger in the mind, placing your message in the visuals. Frame what you are selling as part of a new trend, and it will become one. It is almost impossible to resist the soft seduction.
The Soft Sell
A crowd, an electorate, a nation can be brought under your sway simply by applying on a mass level the tactics that work so well on an individual.
The only difference is the goal—not sex but influence, a vote, people’s attention—and the degree of tension.
Seduction on the mass level is more diffuse and soft. Creating a constant titillation, you fascinate the masses with what you are offering. They pay attention to you because it is pleasant to do so.
First bring pleasure by creating a positive atmosphere around your name or message. Induce a warm, relaxed feeling.
Never seem to be selling something—that will look manipulative and suspicious.
Instead, let entertainment value and good feelings take center stage, sneaking the sale through the side door. And in that sale, you do not seem to be selling yourself or a particular idea or candidate; you are selling a life-style, a good mood, a sense of adventure, a feeling of hipness, or a neatly packaged rebellion.
Here are some of the key components of the soft sell:
Appear as news, never as publicity.
First impressions are critical.
Everyone knows that advertisements are artful manipulations, a kind of deception. So, for your first appearance in the public eye, manufacture an event, some kind of attention-getting situation that the media will “inadvertently” pick up as if it were news.
You suddenly stand out from everything else, if only for a moment—but that moment has more credibility than hours of advertising time. The key is to orchestrate the details thoroughly, creating a story with dramatic impact and movement, tension and resolution. The media will cover it for days. Conceal your real purpose—to sell yourself—at any cost.
Stir basic emotions.
Never promote your message through a rational, direct argument.
Design your words and images to stir basic emotions—lust, patriotism, family values. It is easier to gain and hold people’s attention once you have made them think of their family, their children, their future.
Similarly, find ways to surround yourself with emotional magnets—war heroes, children, saints, small animals, whatever it takes. Make your appearance bring these emotionally positive associations to mind, giving you extra presence. Never let these associations be defined or created for you, and never leave them to chance.
Make the medium the message.
Pay more attention to the form of your message than to the content. Images are more seductive than words, and visuals—soothing colors, appropriate backdrop, the suggestion of speed or movement—should actually be your real message.
Your visuals should have a hypnotic effect. They should make people feel happy or sad depending on what you want to accomplish.
Speak the target’s language—be chummy.
At all costs, avoid appearing superior to your audience. Any hint of smugness, the use of complicated words or ideas, quoting too many statistics—all that is fatal. Instead, make yourself seem equal to your targets and on intimate terms with them.
Show that you share your audience’s skepticism by revealing the tricks of the trade. Make your publicity as down-home and minimal as possible, so that your competitors look sophisticated and snobby in comparison.
Your selective honesty and strategic weakness will get people to trust you.
Start a chain reaction—everyone is doing it.
People who seem to be desired by others are immediately more seductive to their targets.
You need to act as if you have already excited crowds of people; your behavior will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Seem to be in the vanguard of a trend or life-style and the public will lap you up for fear of being left behind.
Spread your image, with a logo, slogans, posters, so that it appears everywhere. Announce your message as a trend and it will become one. The goal is to create a kind of viral effect in which more and more people become infected with the desire to have whatever you are offering. This is the easiest and most seductive way to sell.
Tell people who they are.
It is always unwise to engage an individual or the public in any kind of argument.
Tell them who they are, create an image, an identity that they will want to assume. Make them dissatisfied with their current status. Making them unhappy with themselves gives you room to suggest a new life-style, a new identity.
Myths create identification. Build a myth about yourself and the common people will identify with your character, your plight, your aspirations, just as you identify with theirs. This image should include your flaws, highlight the fact that you are not the best orator, the most educated man, the smoothest politician. Seeming human and down to earth disguises the manufactured quality of your image. To sell this image you need to have the proper vagueness.
You must not only be inspiring but also entertaining—that is a popular, friendly touch.
The moment the targets know you are after something—a vote, a sale—they become resistant. But disguise your sales pitch as a news event and not only will you bypass their resistance, you can also create a social trend that does the selling for you.
Associations that are patriotic, say, or subtly sexual, or spiritual—anything pleasant and seductive—take on a life of their own.
Free yourself from the need to communicate in the normal direct manner and you will present yourself with greater opportunities for the soft sell. Make the words you say unobtrusive, vague, alluring. And pay much greater attention to your style, the visuals, the story they tell. Convey a sense of movement and progress by showing yourself in motion.
Express confidence not through facts and figures but through colors and positive imagery.
Let the media cover you unguided and you are at their mercy. So turn the dynamic around—the press needs drama and visuals? Provide them.
Remember: images linger in the mind long after words are forgotten. Do not preach to the public—that never works. Learn to express your message through visuals that insinuate positive emotions and happy feelings.
The media is desperate for events with entertainment value, inherent drama. Feed that need. The public has a weakness for what seems both realistic and slightly fantastical—for real events with a cinematic edge.
Make your events and publicity stunts plausible and somewhat realistic, but make their colors a little brighter than usual, the characters larger than life, the drama higher. Provide an edge of sex and danger. You are creating a confluence of real life and fiction—the essence of any seduction.
It is not enough, however, to win people’s attention: you need to hold it long enough to hook them. This can always be done by sparking controversy.
While the media argues about the effect you are having on people’s values, it is broadcasting your name everywhere and inadvertently bestowing upon you the edge that will make you so attractive to the public.