The art of seduction is less about art,
and more about politics...

“It’s all about pussy, don’t you get it?” a former business associate told me, rather crudely, a few years ago. I was sharing with him my unsuccessful attempts in getting financing for my documentary projects, among other things. According to him, had I walked into a producer’s office with a realistic understanding of the art of seduction, I would have gotten what I wanted.

A man of power

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“Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” Henry Kissinger

For many years now, I have argued with my significant other about the very nature of power. He would generally repeat that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I, on the other hand, would argue that power is energy, an essence or a substance, that can become good or bad depending on the intent and subsequent actions of the person holding power. In this article, I distinguish power from charisma and self-confidence: the power I am talking about here is the kind that comes from money, connections, wealth, etc.

Power has long been seen as an aphrodisiac for women; for men, it is often not so, since most of them are more threatened than turned on by a woman with power. Sexy women are what men generally yearn for and desire, so much so that a woman’s physical beauty in some cultures is an actual property asset. I remember how my Tunisian grandmother would take my face into her hands, symbolically weighing it, while saying that I would marry well.

One does not need to go as far as North Africa to observe the power of beautiful women on men. In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, McGill University researchers found that “men tend to look at their partners in a more negative light after meeting a single, attractive woman. On the other hand, women are likelier to work to strengthen their current relationships after meeting an available, attractive man.” “Likelier” does not mean “always”, and my own example below will show how I looked at my own partner in an unfavourable or weakened light after an intense meeting with a powerful man.

I once let myself be seduced in the course of my work by a man of power who lacked heart and ethics or nobility in life.

He did not miss an opportunity to flash his power in front of me whenever he could, from the people he met and knew, the fame and influence he held, the money he had, the real estate he owned etc. I was quite taken by the success he had had with his creativity, especially given my own setbacks, and I also felt important in his eyes. He seemed to know how to turn me on, without having any sex appeal per se, but using what I was hungry for, power and recognition of my power. It seemed he had read my mind, and knew my weaknesses.

He had a way, not exclusive to him, of making me feel special and chosen. So much so in fact, that my sixth sense, or bullshit detector as I like to call it sometimes, was off the few times we met. Later on, I remembered how my intuition had tried to warn me about this spider several times, but as soon as an initial discomfort would be felt inside of me as I was talking to him, I pushed it aside not wanting to feel it. That discomfort was an intro to what my intuition had picked up.

We had a spiritual intimacy, without any sex except for some sensuality in the air since I had to be naked for a ceremony. (I can already see some smiles on your faces, and all I am going to say is that there is a time and space when to be naked is to be sacred, simply due to the intentions and feelings of the people involved, but this was not one of those times.) The problem was not the sexuality in itself, but the manipulations and lies surrounding that very topic.

A Martin Van Maele illustration in La Grande Danse macabre des vifs, 1905.

It is not enough to conquer; one must also know how to seduce.Voltaire

After the ceremony in question, I flew back home and my spouse came to get me at the airport. I remember going down the escalator, feeling both guilty, bad, and also simultaneously I had some kind of an artificial high. I was to notice shortly thereafter that the self-confidence I had received from my meeting with this man with power was heartless. I was on a power trip in my head, not filled with a healthy self esteem but, rather, I was feeling detached, cut off from my true love.

My companion felt it immediately, and we talked about what had happened. He felt closed off to hearing about anything positive I could have received from the ceremony with this man, although in other instances, I had always been able to bask with him in the consciousness and self-empowerment I had received through spiritual initiations. Moreover, he would have preferred that I had had sex with the man in question, instead of having this attraction hang in the air, gaining power and momentum. He reflected that if this man had worked at the gas station next door, I would never have paid attention to him, and he was right. However, if my romantic partner had worked at that same gas station, I would have paid attention to him due to his physical appearance, and especially what he exudes.

The Art of Seduction

To seduce is an art, and one that really shines when it is inclusive, rather than exclusive of the people involved. This powerful man’s seduction was not from the heart; he was disdainful of my having a real romantic relationship. He was about separating me from my boyfriend, and others, through the “You and I are not like the others” or “Your boyfriend will never understand what we have together”. His approach was about division. It was about a head-trip of superiority, nothing orgasmic or even positive. What is positive does not result in negative unless it was negative from the get-go.

He also claimed to have an open relationship like I do with my companion, and yet his wife was not privy to his sex life outside their marriage, supposedly by her own request. In my relationship, we have been approached more than once by men and women, who expressed a sexual attraction for one of us, but were never threatening to our relationship. Their energy in our lives did not create fights between us. In effect, their straight-forwardness and natural ability in using their charm rather than some material power, along with their true intent to seduce and not overpower was what made their seduction an art form.

A couple of friends looked at me as if I were quite naïve and almost stupid for having expected another behaviour from this man.

But is there only one way of seducing? Why not follow a more balanced approach with our seductive agenda out in the open in a non-manipulative and divisive way? Wouldn’t the prize be more enjoyable when it is won with fair play rather than conniving ways?

Seduction first and foremost is about how you feel around the person seducing you, and how this person feels about oneself. In that, I fully agree with author Robert Green who writes that seduction is a non-verbal language in action, in real-time.

Pop Psychology and Labelling Life

“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.” George Carlin

Ross Jeffries’s practical dating tips about seduction are quite popular with men. The self-proclaimed pick up artist focuses on his form of psychological programming to get to his goal, what he calls Speed seduction”. He claims to have adapted Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, often used in psychotherapy to solve issues such as depression, for instance, to his bag of tricks meant to seduce women.

A Paul Avril illustration:  Mr Croft's attempt to seduce Fanny

Tom Leykis, AKA the poor man’s Howard Stern, seems particularly attached to the idea that being an asshole is the winning ticket to seduce and get a woman to like and respect a man. Leykis will argue in more ways than one to show how time and time again women love to be treated badly or “like shit” to use his words.

Likewise, there are some women out there who will make a case about independent gorgeous vixens being the ones whose seduction scheme never fails. Others have studied how attractive women really want and only sleep with the strong silent type man of power, with good looks, financial wealth, AND who is not the nicest guy in the world.

Does the Nice Guy (or Gal) Finish Last?

Sadly, it has been my experience that genuinely nice people, who have compassion, integrity and honesty do not usually fare well in this system. Being nice is often viewed as a turn-off and misinterpreted as weakness if you’re a man or as dependence and stupidity if you’re a woman. This appears even truer while dating where the whole point is not to reveal how we feel about the one another, especially if you feel strongly, for we might give them ammunition against us!

I too have used the “you’re a nice guy, but…” with a few men, and not just the stereotypical nice guys. Why? The guilt I felt turning down some men’s advances would limit my creative so-called white lies to “It is I who has the problem…” or “You’re a nice guy…” However, recently I have been shedding myself of this empty pre- and post-date ritual to move towards a more truthful response, both for my own sake and because I do not want to give any more power to the so-called traditional ways women are known to select mates. In her book “What the Hell Do Women Really Want: A Guide for Men in the 90s, Dr. Jama Clark calls those “traditional ways” I just mentioned “bargaining chips” such as assets, income, race or physique.

Interestingly, the more I strive to be truthful, and not be and act guilt-ridden because I am not available for every nice guy who may like me, the less I meet nice guys who guilt-trip in that way. Cause and effect or vice versa, no?

As much as I have to respect the focused-seduction strategies based on reality I’ve come across in my research, at the end of the day, I find them soulless, quite manipulative, and not life sustaining. It is true that most of the mainstream literature about the art of seduction does include a good dose of common sense, in that whether we call them beautiful bitches or cocky jerks, when one is self-confident, one scores in the art of seduction. Notwithstanding, why would people want to restrict their experience of the world or sex and relationship to someone else’s perspective? Why would my choice of men limited to a cocky man or a pushover or between a macho man and a bootlicker?

What is “reality” is not only subjective, but it can evolve, and change for the better, depending on what one wants and chooses to do.

In short, I wouldn’t ever trade the feeling I get from being loved or admired for being who I am, even though it may not be as often as I would like. The idea of adopting some persona in order to get positive attention used to make sense when I was high school, and even then I found it a heavy load to carry. Most of us already have to put on a fake front of ourselves at work, school and in other social spaces, where we hold ourselves back in order to get paid, not to outshine our boss, not to attract the attention of authority…etc; I personally have decided to put a stop to that kind of behaviour when it comes at sex and relationships, to start with.

Weapons of mass seduction and ego boosts

Kama Sutra painting

I am, like many women, quite satisfied with a self-confidence boost or the favourable attention of a man I desire; I don’t need the sex to feel like a million-bucks. For men, the sexual release is fundamental, and the more torrid, steamy, powerful the sex is, the greater they will feel about their ability to seduce women. If having sex with the object of desire does not manifest itself at the end of the night, chances are the man will feel like a loser. What may compound that feeling is when the woman was being a cock teaser, and that is not cool to do to anyone.

This is an important dating tip: the cock-teaser is really despised, and for good reason. In other words, there is a difference between flirting, and rubbing his groin, as it were. It is cruel to do that intentionally while knowing you will leave him hanging dry. There are also men who will interpret a smile as being a sexual tease, but I am not referring to them---we know who they are. I am pointing the finger at women who use female sexuality as a weapon.

Essentially, to seduce does not have to be about aggressiveness and power tripping. There are so many images of women using their body and sexuality in very aggressive, all revealing and domineering ways, that one may wonder if there is any mystery and subtleness left in women’s art of seduction. I will address the topic of images and their hidden messages in another article, but suffice it to say for now, that a woman’s seduction does NOT have to resemble that of a man, and nor does she have to put her pussy in his face in order to get his attention.

Having written all this, if a woman is going to go that far, than she should bring it and him home. The little number that most of us fall into, this kinda of dance where he has to insist and insist, still we’re not sure, we’re giggling…this is getting old, not to mention uncomfortable!

I recall, and recoil at the memory, a work meeting with an older man with some stature (déjà vu, no?), who was sexually attracted to me and made it clear. Once I finished my work, my body which was much more mature sexually than the rest of me, knew it wanted this man to go down on me. Yet, I put on a show where I played some little denial game in front of him, and to make a long story short, I found myself getting eaten out, standing up, very uncomfortable, wedged in an office doorway, all because I felt I had to pretend to resist the sex.

The bottom line

It is crucial to grasp what is going inside of us and our lovers since everything starts inside, and then becomes concrete on the outside. That is why all the common sense and psychobabble about the art of seduction on the Net, in print, on the radio or TV, comes down to self confidence. If you feel confident, the one you are trying to seduce will reflect that to you. The rest of it comes down to emotional intelligence or what is know as the seduction techniques and tips in this context. Picking up on social cues, understanding body language, what turns the other on and what does not and more, all start by knowing who you are first. The rest will fall into place without having to learn the latest seduction programming by the trendy guru of the moment.

Mistakes are a necessary part of the course of life and of the learning path, and I no longer regret having been impressed by the professional power held by the man of power I wrote about in the intro. This experience taught me about my vulnerability, at first, and then about the strength of my integrity and intention to do the right thing for me and my love.

Communicating about the incident with my life companion, and reflecting about it, helped me discern the depth of this man’s seductive strategy and character. Furthermore, being conscious of my weaknesses prior to my meeting him, helped me keep a distance from this man with power, because I knew that his successful creative power and his showing interest in channelling/focusing my own power was quite magnetic for me and thus potentially dangerous. Know yourself, and you’ll be able to dissect most hidden agendas and intentions towards you out there.

The couple of times I played head-games in my seductive attempts, I attracted a shallow type of guy, more into his appearance than I even was. When my man spends more time in front of the mirror than I do, I have a problem with that! When I was too honest, unclear, resisting my own sensuality and guilt-ridden, I drew convoluted situations to me, becoming just as complicated as my actions which were complicating a rather simple dating situation. When I was just me, and comfortable to be me, letting myself shine a bit more because I was drawn to the man in front me, I attracted what I wanted: passion for myself, as I am.

Suggested Readings:

Body Image

Healing Power of Intention

How to Have Sex

Open Relationship

Relationship Problems

Romantic Relationship

KA Healing Retreats, between Caponga Beach and Cascavel in Ceara, Brazil