Sunday, August 16, 2009

A of S: Calculated Surprise

Just finished up a joint lair talk with Gamer in Austin on Thursday, and a lair talk in Dallas on Friday followed by a Saturday night in-field bootcamp. Multiple students asked about The Art of Seduction. Often, I wish guys would just read this book - come up with their own ideas to experiment with - and not get sucked into the seduction of the community. It would be a challenge, no doubt, but well worth the effort. The way I would suggest reading the book is to skip the historic anecdotes and all the supplemental material in the margins. Just read the Interpretation, the Keys to the Seduction, and the Reversal. Plus, I've decided to post up some of the most radical and relevant passages:

Page 248

"People are bored, not only with their own lives but with people who are meant to keep them from being bored. The minute they feel they can predict your next step, they will eat you alive.... Always keep a surprise up your sleeve. To keep the public's attention, keep them guessing. Let the moralists accuse you of insincerity, of having no core or center. They are actually jealous of the freedom and playfulness you reveal in your public persona.

Finally, you might think it wiser to present yourself as someone reliable, not given to caprice. If so, you are in fact merely timid. It takes courage and effort to mount a seduction. Reliability is fine for drawing people in, but stay reliable and you stay a bore. Dogs are reliable, a seducer is not. 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 means you are lazy, thinking only about yourself. What often seduces a person is the feeling that you have expanded effort on their behalf. You do not need to trumpet this too loudly, but make it clear in the gifts you make, the little journeys you plan, the little teases you lure people with. Little efforts like these will be more than amply rewarded by the conquest of the heart and willpower of the seduced."

First, I'm of the Zanism that "Women are to be celebrated, not conquered."

But I love this idea:

Reliability = timidity
Constant improvisation = laziness + selfishness

Calculation + surprise = leading with suspense

"...the irresistible lure of being led by another person..."

"...suddenly surprise them with some bold or poetic or naughty action."

"It is the pleasure a woman has in being led by a confident dancer, letting go of any defensiveness she may feel and letting another person do the work."

"...surprise creates a moment when people's defenses come down and new emotions can rush in."

Robert Greene


Blogger Erika said...

I have a little different take on this. I think Robert Greene does a pretty good job of describing what a good seducer looks like on the OUTSIDE.

But if guys "try" to be unpredictable, etc., it doesn't come off naturally.

I keep coming back to this: get people in touch with their intuition and all tactics fall away. People who are in touch with their intuition, without all the static of egoic judgments and beliefs, will naturally be unpredictable, interesting, spontaneous. But it will come from an INSIDE place that feels natural, so it won't feel like an artifice.

August 16, 2009  
Blogger Poetry of Flesh said...

I find that it really is the confidence that is projected by the calculated surprise that is what sways the intended target.

It seemed like you were starting to do a cliffnotes version of the A of S. I've read it, but it was nice having the types summarized like you did. Very useful for a refresh.

August 17, 2009  

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