There are several misconceptions about seduction, which are the direct result of social expectations combined with spiritual predispositions. Love, it seems, is a sort of magical occurrence that is beyond our control. The belief is that one can’t help who one loves, nor can anyone be made to love anyone else. Such beliefs are reinforced by certain religious notions about our own divinity, and further credence is granted to them by the enduring lexicon; after all, we “fall” in love, and become slaves to its power. Or so do most people think. It seems that all these concepts are a reflection of our inherent laziness towards emotional issues. Seduction, as is all persuasion, is a balanced combination of art and science, it takes work to understand and learn to use the principles and tools available to us to become more influential in the game of love. Another reason why the vast majority of us hold on to these misconceptions is that success in this work demands changes in attitude and behaviour, which directly challenge the expectations and predispositions mentioned above.
Let’s not forget that shortly ago our societies held dear the dogmas of sex presented by our different religions – extramarital sex was sinful – sex before marriage was almost unforgivable. We now know that there is nothing intrinsically wrong (or sinful) about sex, and though faithfulness should always be strived for and commended, a person who has multiple sexual encounters, given that these are had within a context of honesty and openness, has not violated any sensible moral code.
A similar reflection of indolence and at times lack of personal accountability is the infamous adage “nice guys finish last” usually uttered in reference to a failed romantic attempt. This appears to have become the motto of lazy, insecure men, who are not willing to work on their own persona in order to gain a woman’s attention and favour. Furthermore, how offensive might this be to those who have attained their objectives of passion? Implicit in this message is the verification of successful males as bad, or perhaps underserving of the love they have acquired while seducing the woman of their choosing. The “friend zone” and the generally perceived unfairness of life are, according to many social psychologists, defense mechanisms some men employ to cope with their own shortcomings. As easy and enjoyable as it is to condemn the apathetic tendencies of men, (and so we should, nothing better than a swift kick in the ass to get a guy to work) this circumstance begs several questions: why are some men unwilling to make changes to their attitudes and behaviours? Are they perhaps unable to do so? And if so, what are the factors influencing their condition? It is impossible, at least according to Theory of Mind to formulate collective answers to these questions, but more importantly, we should realize that past any physical and psychological limitations in the man, he should always be able to improve on his communication (a vast area of behaviour), and therein his presentation.
The idea of seduction betrays a number of spiritual expectations insofar as semantics are concerned, and this is the first change we must make before entering into the game of seduction – our attitude towards the word itself. The meaning of words gives them power but that meaning varies depending on context (cultural, religious or circumstantial). It can help to take a word like seduction and change it with a milder one like persuasion. It is a privilege to write the sentence: “the woman seduces the man with her extravagant clothes, and her alluring ways to…” And it is so because it elicits a subtle yet powerful sexual emotion. Embedded in the deep structure of this sentence is the assumption that the man has been lured into a forbidden act, and one for which he may drop a good dollar and lose half of what he owns. And if we wrote it like this: “the woman persuades the man with her extravagant clothes, and her alluring ways to…” our message has lost some of its suggestive power and has been opened to different possibilities. The woman could persuade the man to be a better person, or to give more to charity. But why could she not seduce the man to do the same? If both seduction and persuasion are defined as the prevailing of one person’s will over the other, then they are both about affecting minds and synonyms of influence, manipulation, urging, and compelling. Questioning one’s experience of being persuaded can bring memories of being lead to doing things that ended in trouble, as easily as the occasions in which we were happy to have listened to the vehement insistences of a friend to do something risky. It can be argued that the surface structure of the example sentence assists in the elicitation of sexual emotions, but when we study it properly we find that there is nothing implicitly sexual about the sentence. It can be said that the Papal robes are extravagant with their lace and gold, but how many people can claim to be aroused by Vatican fashion?
Words are labels that identify the objects, people, and feelings related to our experience, and it is often experience itself that gives them power. Proper timing, intonation, and volume of a particular word will affect the way it is perceived by those you speak to. This first step into the field of seduction offers two paradoxical yet invaluable possibilities: first, it allows us to let go of popular misconceptions by looking deeper into the meaning of words. Second, it puts us in a position to respect semantics and the importance of the meaning of words that people may hold. In turn, this allows us to begin to understand the complex modes of communication people use and thus able to use it to influence their decision making. Seduction is a form of persuasion with mutually beneficial outcomes, and it isn’t only about sex. It is about achieving compliance from another person or group with the intention of deriving pleasure. And pleasure is another word towards which our attitude must change before we can become proficient in seduction.