1-Sentence-Summary: The Art Of Seduction is a template for persuading anyone, whether it’s a business contact, a political adversary, or a love interest, to act in your best interest.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
“Because I wrote The 48 Laws of Power, people assume that I’m this manipulative, Machiavellian a**hole, who goes around trying to get the better of people. That I know every trick in the book, that if I’m late for a meeting, I’m doing that on purpose. Actually, I’m a really nice person. I’m kind of a puppy.”
Until I watched an interview with Robert Greene for the release of his latest book, The Laws of Human Nature, I honestly thought the same. After seeing him generously share his ideas and do everything he can for his fans despite severe health problems, however, I changed my uninformed opinion.
In The Art Of Seduction, Greene profiles nine types of seducers, the nine shades of anti-seducers, all of which are insecure, and 18 types of seduction victims. He also outlines a 24-step process of seduction in four phases.
Let’s see how much of that we can extract in 3 lessons:
- The most important trait all seducers share is that they constantly surprise us.
- Seductive characters fall into nine categories, depending on which seduction technique they primarily use.
- There are nine anti-seductive behaviors you should become aware of and try to avoid.
Who you want to seduce and for what reason is not something anyone can determine for you. The only thing this book can help you with is determining how to do it. Let’s go!
Lesson 1: The number one way to be seductive is to be unpredictable.
Humans are pattern-seeking machines. Analyzing everything is one of our biggest strengths, which is also why it’s the skill we most love to exercise. However, that also means as soon as we figure something out, it’s boring. In movies as in life, flat, one-dimensional characters don’t interest us. They can’t hold our attention for long.
As a corollary, the single most seductive thing you can do is to stay interesting by being unpredictable. There’s an aura of mystery, paradox, and intrigue around someone who’s hard to understand. That doesn’t mean you should create artificial complexity, but break patterns.
If you’re usually shy, play around with flirty looks or seek the occasional environment where you’re in your element and full of confidence. Girls can crack guy jokes and men can stay on top of fashion trends. Just when things are about to get boring, be ambiguous and take a step in the opposite direction.
Above all, don’t be an easy target. Play hard-to-get not because it works, but because you should be. You’re worth it.
Lesson 2: There are nine types of seducers and they all have different dominant strategies.
While always being good for a surprise is a necessary condition for all successful seductions, people tend to still choose certain strategies over others. We don’t just like finding patterns, we embody them. Greene says there are nine types of seducers:
- The Siren. As a woman, you can portray the ultimate fantasy for a man: an uninhibited, promiscuous, pure symbol of pleasure.
- The Rake. As a man, you can speak to the universal female need for desire, attention, and appreciation by showing her you’d do anything for her.
- The Ideal Lover. We all have broken dreams. The ideal lover represents the fantasy of those dreams without the disappointment we’re used to from reality, life, and other people.
- The Dandy. Most of us are trapped in societal roles. The dandy refuses to play them. By defying all expectations and curating his or her own self-image, the dandy shows us what it means to be free.
- The Natural. Our ideals are our childhood selves. Naturals remind us of who we once were – an honest, spontaneous, playful human being – and that’s why they’re attractive.
- The Coquette. Coquettes are masters of the bait-and-switch. They raise our hopes, then shoot us down, again and again. Sadly, that only makes them more desirable.
- The Charmer. We all like to feel comfortable. In a charmer’s presence, we always are. They lift us up by highlighting our best traits, rather than focusing on presenting themselves.
- The Charismatic. Some traits radiate from the inside out. Confidence, purpose, contentment, sexuality, when someone has an intense aura on the outside but stays rather detached, we can’t help but be smitten.
- The Star. Most of us want to escape our lives, most of the time. A star allows us to do just that by following them in their crazy, glamorous life that indulges our fantasies.
Which one of these are you? Which one could you be? And who have you fallen for in the past? More analysis, more patterns, more fun!
Lesson 3: Try to spot anti-seductive behaviors in others and yourself and get rid of them.
First impressions aren’t always accurate, but that doesn’t mean people will give you a second chance to rectify them. And some behaviors are just wholly unattractive. Here are nine of them:
- Brutes forget that romance is play. They skip the best part and thus come off as blunt.
- Suffocators drown you in affection before they even know you. Ugh.
- Moralizers can’t take a joke because all they want is for you to be like them.
- Tightwads are cheap. But seduction is about abundance, about giving.
- Bumblers are so insecure, they have to drag everyone around them down to their level.
- Windbags don’t pay attention to a single word you say because they’re busy thinking about their own next sentence.
- Reactors are whiny. They kill the mood by complaining all the time.
- Vulgarians write off attraction as humbug. That’s a buzzkill.
- Greedy pigs tend to want too much from anyone, which is exhausting.
While it’s easy to spot these tendencies in others, it’s harder to see them in ourselves. If you ever do, squash them!
The Art Of Seduction Review
When I look at books like The Art Of Seduction now, I don’t see a manual for manipulating people, written by an evil schemer. I see an interesting study of human behavior, a wealth of information that’s only as good or bad as the person who wields it. In this case, it’s a plethora of archetypes, patterns you can recognize in yourself, other people, and everyday life.
If you use them, use them well and for good causes, there is nothing wrong with The Art Of Seduction.
What else can you learn from the blinks?
- Why your first impression should always be neutral
- The reason you can’t seduce anyone who’s fully satisfied
- Why details are everything
- When to go the extra mile
- How to form deep, emotional connections
Who would I recommend The Art Of Seduction summary to?
The 16 year old, infatuated teenager, who’s sick of being bossed around at school, the 54 year old door-to-door salesman, and anyone who usually doesn’t get what they want.