Someone asked me recently to break down the book, The Art of Seduction, by Robert Greene.
Many children are flirtatious, even before becoming sexual. Flirting is as natural as breathing, as people feel elated by connecting with others. Society demands we keep those impulses to ourselves, and maintain boundaries and dignity. To seduce someone, we must give them a place to set their instincts free.
The book specifies that its topic is seduction, not empathy or successful relationships. In practice, one does not come at the expense of the other, but to explore the principle of seduction at its essence, one must isolate it from goodness, empathy, marriage, and money. After all, many people do not seduce with hopes of a relationship. Some don’t even want sex but rather, attention. We cannot assume that because someone seduces, they desire wealth, a white picket fence, and a promise of forever. We cannot even assume they want sex, although seduction is suggestive of sex.
In French, an orgasm is called la petite mort. ‘The little death.’ To lose yourself in Eros is to die and be reborn. Eros is a destructive, fiery energy. It unmakes you and remakes you.
And that’s the aim of seduction. Unmaking someone, to remake them again. They will crave more of this, as it lifts them away from the mundane. Seduction is about harnessing eros energy.
The book gives many examples of this. It focuses on embodying the archetypal. Primal archetypes infiltrate the unconscious, where conscious barriers and resistance cannot go.
Everyone puts up barriers and resistance to being seduced, or losing themselves. It is a total loss of power and control. When we are obsessed with someone romantically, we are consumed by a force outside us, someone we cannot control. We can’t force them to be loyal, to want us, to cherish us. Being seduced is dangerous.
Thus, seduction focuses on lowering someone else’s resistance to this. Some seducers might do this by chasing relentlessly. (The archetype of the Rake.) Others might do it by embodying a primal carnal energy that seeps into the target’s awareness on a level they are not quite conscious of.
One might protest: Ok, so you embody an archetype? That’s fake!
The irony is, it isn’t. The truth is that you do tap into certain archetypal energies. Everyone does. But to harness your seductiveness, you would simply be more willing to display them.
That’s right… it’s more honest. At least for me. Instead of keeping those more primal associations to myself and wearing a normie suit, I wear them on my sleeve. And then I pull someone into a world where they, too, feel like they embody an archetype. Is this manipulative? Well perhaps, but it’s equally manipulative to expect someone to wear a normie suit and do normal things, as dictated by society. The way I see it, I’m tapping into my own – and the other person’s – most primal and honest energy. That is what the book invites people to consider.
Being seductive will make people hate you (out of envy) and fear you (because losing themself is dangerous). Are you willing to make that sacrifice in order to embody more of your own power? Only you can decide.