This will not be a normal book review. It’s more of an invitation for discussion, I suppose, considering I’m picking out specific parts. Once upon a time, before I was overtly interested in psychology, I was very curious about manipulation in general. There’s manipulation that can be deemed beneficial (convincing someone to step away from a bad position in their life) and malicious manipulation (the objective is primarily to satisfy your own needs and everyone else be damned). I bought the book Art of Seduction for a few reasons, a bookworm teenager with some awareness of the power of language, it’s designed like a textbook, and compared to the other books on the same subject this one wasn’t loaded down with masculinity and establishing such a grand illusion of dominance. Having read the book a couple times, I hold a slightly positive view of it. I do think there’s a lot that can be misinterpreted and begin to tread into concerning territory, but we’ll go through that together won’t we?
A person in love is emotional, pliable, and easily misled… A person in lust is harder to control and, once satisfied, may easily leave you…A person in love will surrender. (xxi)
I think it’s dangerous to go into talking about love without establishing the idea of love we’re working with/from. The person described is usually overwhelmed with being in love (all the love songs make sense now kind of thinking). Simply “a person in love” is a person who craves the feeling so much, they are more likely to give into things that provide a similar feeling of elation. I do like there is a line drawn between love and lust, and it remains gender neutral. But I don’t recall this book focusing on either too much. Yay rediscovering.
The reason is simple:most of us have known the power of having someone fall in love with us. (xxi)
The description that follows describes actions having a positive effect on the person we’re interacting with. Flattery and kind gestures lead people to view us in a more favorable light, but I would call this being attracted to, taken with, and charmed before I call it “falling in love”. This quote is weird to me because while I’ve been told people are taken with me (I wouldn’t know love at all really), the author assumes I’ve had this experience and want it again. Don’t get me wrong, it is a positive thing, to make someone smile and they return the favor with a kind word or gesture, it’s great. But what if I had never known that feeling? I mean that’s why some people would read this book right? To pursue and obtain that feeling?
A seducer does not turn the power on and off- every social and personal interaction is seen as a potential seduction…The power seducers have over a man or woman works in social environments because they have learned how to tone down the sexual element without getting rid of it. (xxii)
I get it. I’ve seen it. I just don’t care for it that much. Much being finding it desirable and immensely alluring. Perhaps it’s a preference, lack of experience, or lack of positive experiences with a seducer, rather, or seeing it executed with such overkill, I’m numb to the subtle version. I can appreciate it, I just don’t enjoy being expected to succumb to it. I’m sorry that got personal. Relating back to the seduction never ends. This book emphasizes the idea of creating a fantasy, a reprieve from the normal, mundane and boring. Kind of suggests that you’re on all the time. Good. Seduction is effort, in several ways. I think some people get confused between being good at seduction and thinking they’re good at it while it’s really just a statement to stroke their own ego as opposed to actually being attentive and/or charming.
Seducers do not improvise; they do not leave things to chance.
There’s a difference between forcing someone to adhere to your idea of who they are and accepting a person for who they are. Two different things.
What will seduce a person is the effort we expend on their behalf, showing how much we care, how much they are worth.
If you’re not dealing with a self entitled ass monkey then this is true. Also no one is expected to repay a person for kindness. It’s polite, those stories of someone paying for someone else’s thing and asking them to do something nice for someone else just, you know, to be nice. As a seducer it does mean you get sex because you complimented someone. (Again as we’re going through this, unless directly stated, you is gender inclusive or gender free.)
A seducer sees all of life as theater, everyone an actor. Most people feel they have constricted roles in life, which makes them unhappy.
Pretty sure that first part is a metaphor and I say that because I’ve heard people interpret it as “everyone can be played with” with a negative connotation. I’m choosing to read this as, “You, the reader, are not confined to whatever role you think you’ve been dealt in life. The one-night stand, the shoulder to cry on, the stoic tough person, you can be all the things and more.”
Every seduction has two elements that you must analyze and understand: first, yourself and what is seductive about you; and second, you target and the actions that will penetrate their defenses and create surrender.
Okay. So we’re in the preface and we know the author likes metaphors…I approve of the understanding yourself. I know that I’m small and don’t inspire much confidence or trustworthiness from people but I do have other qualities I can emphasize. (That was a weak example.) But the idea of target and penetrating people’s defenses….seems a bit violent, predatory. I do believe seduction is an art but it’s art of flattery and attention (to me). It’s been a while since I read the book, and this is my first time reading the preface, so I want to give it the benefit of the doubt. Do I not get carried away with metaphors from time to time? Please don’t let this book be…that.
And that’s the end of the Preface. This is more of a personal blog, so it might get weird. If you were wondering where I was, I was on vacation with my family I haven’t seen in years. It was lots of fun and well worth the journey. For more half hearted examinations and light musings, follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube. Oh and don’t forget to Join the Exploration Party.
Until next time,