The Art of Seduction is a masterful synthesis of the work of thinkers such as Freud, Ovid, Kierkegaard, and Einstein, as well as the achievements of the greatest seducers throughout history.
THE IDEAL LOVER
Symbol: The portrait painter. Under his eye, all of your physical imperfections disappear. He brings out noble qualities in you, frames you in a myth, makes you godlike, immortalizes you. For his ability to create such fantasies, he is rewarded with great power.
Most people have dreams in their youth that get shattered or worn down with age. They find themselves disappointed by people, events, reality, which cannot match their youthful ideals. Ideal Lovers thrive on people’s broken dreams, which become lifelong fantasies.
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. In a world of disenchantment and baseness, there is limitless seductive power in following the path of the Ideal Lover.
THE DANGERS OF THE IDEAL LOVER
The main dangers in the role of the Ideal Lover are the consequences that arise if you let reality creep in. You are creating a fantasy that involves an idealization of your own character. And this is a precarious task, for you are human, and imperfect. If your faults are ugly enough, or intrusive enough, they will burst the bubble you have blown, and your target will revile you.
Casanova faced this danger, but was usually able to surmount it by finding a clever way to break off the relationship before the woman realized that he was not what she had imagined: he would find some excuse to leave town, or better still, he would choose a victim who was herself leaving town soon, and whose awareness that the affair would be short-lived would make her idealizing of him all the more intense. Reality and long intimate exposure have a way of dulling a person’s perfection.
Symbol: The Lamb. So soft and endearing. At two days old the lamb can gambol gracefully; within a week it is playing “Follow the leader”. Its weakness is part of its charm. The Lamb is pure innocence, so innocent we want to posses it, even devour it.
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. They play with masculinity and femininity; they fashion their own physical image; which is always startling; they are mysterious and elusive. They also appeal to the narcissism of each sex: to a woman they are psychologically female, to a man they are male.
Dandies fascinate and seduce in large numbers. Use the power of the Dandy to create an ambiguous, alluring presence that stirs repressed desires.
THE DANGERS OF THE DANDY
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. In Milan Kundera’s novel The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, the hero dreams that he is trapped on an island with a group of children. Soon their wonderful qualities become intensely annoying to him; after a few days of exposure to them he cannot relate to them at all. The dream turns into a nightmare, and he longs to be back among adults, with real things to do and talk about.
The Duke of Buckingham, who seduced everyone in the English court in the 1620s (including the homosexual King James I himself), was wondrously childish in looks and manner; but this become obnoxious and off-putting as he grew older, and he eventually made enough enemies that he ended up being murdered.
As you age, then, your natural qualities should suggest more the child’s open spirit, less an innocence that will no longer convince anyone.