Book Summaries Psychology

Part 1: The Victims of Seduction (The Art of Seduction)

The Victims of Seduction

Everyone is a potential victim of seduction, but you must first identify the type of victim you are dealing with to know how to approach them.

A timid person may yearn to play the star; a prude may long for a transgressive  thrill.  Never try to seduce your own type.

Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

Nobody feels whole, we all have a gap in our character – something that we want or need but can’t get by ourselves. When we fall in love, it is often with someone who fills the gap. This is an unconscious process and it depends on luck, we right for the right person to cross our path and we hope that this person reciprocates our feelings. But the seducer does not leave these things to chance.

Look at the people around you. Forget their social, exterior, their obvious character traits: look behind all of that, focusing on the gaps, the missing pieces in their psyche. That is the raw material of any seduction. Pay close attention to their clothes; their gestures, their offhand comments, the things in their house certain looks in their eyes get them to talk about their past, particularly past romances. And slowly the outline of those missing pieces will come into view.

Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

People are always giving out signals as to what they lack. They want completeness, and whether it is an illusion or reality, the person that offers them this hope has immense power over them. They may be victims but are often willing victims.

Greene identifies 18 types of victims, each with a major aspect that they lack. But there are a few things to understand. Some people are mixtures of several types – they may be a New Prude and Crushed Star, but what is common to them is their repression, and secret desire to be naughty, along with a fear of not being daring enough. But when you try to identify your victim’s type, don’t be fooled by their appearances, it may be concealing who they really are. A tough shell may cover for a soft core. And do not assume that other people lack the same things that you do.

The Eighteen Types

The Reformed Rake or Siren: These may have been successful seducers in the past, but social hostility and time forced them to reform. These types are easily seduced by people who remind them of their youthful past.

The Disappointed Dreamer: These were children who spent a lot of time alone, they had fun by creating a fantasy life. Books and films formed their perceptions of reality. As they got older, they encountered the mismatch between the real world and their fantasy. This disappointed them deeply, especially when it comes to relationships. Under the surface, they are longing for something romantic and grand.

The Pampered Royal: These were spoiled children who get everything that they wanted. But since they never learned to entertain themselves, they are addicted to variety. As adults, they switch jobs and relationships rapidly. To lure them in, show them spectacles, variety, and novel experiences.

The New Prude: These may be sexually prudent, but not only that. They dress in familiar ways, never taking any risks, always adhering to proper behavior, maintaining the most politically correct opinions, and refusing to offend anyone. These people are desperate to express themselves. To seduce them, give them the illusion that you want to be reformed by them. But once they fall for the trap, you can get them to gradually let go of their correctness. This will release a flood of energies that may even overwhelm you. They may be in a relationship with someone as boring as they seem to be, but don’t be put off by this. They are simply asleep, waiting to be awakened.  

The Crushed Star: They were once the center of attention – they were beautiful or charming, or perhaps they were athletes. But those days are gone. They try to accept this but it is very difficult. Crushed Stars try to move on by repressing their desires. To seduce them, simply make them the center of attention again. Pay the Charmer, get them to talk about themselves, and they will madly fall in love with you.

The Novice: Novices have little no experience of the world but have a lot of second hand experience of it through books or films. They find their innocence a burden and wish to be initiated into the ways of the world. People think they are innocent and sweet, but they know this is not true. To seduce them, you must be artful in your approach. Novices are attracted to people with experience – and a hint of corruption and evil. Seductive language, attention to detail, and spectacles will overwhelm their sensitive senses. They will be misled because they lack the experience to see through them.

The Conqueror: These types have a lot of energy that they find hard to control. They always want to conquer people and surmount obstacles. It is hard to spot them by their external characteristics, they can be shy in social situations. Don’t pay attention to their words or appearance, but look at their actions in work and relationships. They are addicted to power, and by hook or crook, they get it. Conquerors are emotional but it only shows in outbursts when pushed. Don’t make yourself easy prey, or they will lose interest. You want to give them a chance to be aggressive, you must give them a challenge.

The Exotic Fetishist: This type is insecure about themselves. They hate their own culture and glorify everything that is different and exotic. To seduce this type, position yourself as exotic. Talk about travel and show them that you are different, and they will be trapped. But be careful, because they are not easy victims. This type tends to engage in self-delusion, but whatever you do will only sustain their interest for so long, they constantly want something new.

The Drama Queen: This type loves pain and constant drama in their lives. That is how they fight boredom. Don’t try to seduce them with comfort or stability. You can recognize them by how many tragedies and traumas they have been through, how many people have hurt them etc… At the extreme, they are selfish and anti-seductive, but if you would like to inject some drama into your life – if only for a brief period, it would be tempting to seduce this kind. To so do, don’t be nice, give them the mental rough treatment that they crave.

The Professor: This type can’t get out of the trap of analysing and criticizing everything to death. They have overdeveloped and overstimulated minds. Even in matters of love or sex, they are hyper-intellectual. But their minds have developed at the expense of their bodies, and this makes them feel physically inferior. To compensate for this, they try to lord their mental superiority over others. Their speech is wry or ironic – you never know exactly what they are saying, but you know that they are looking down on you. What they want is pure physicality, they want to escape their mental prisons. They deeply desire a Rake or a Siren. Professors make excellent victims, but they are deeply insecure. Don’t compete with them intellectually, let them keep their sense of mental superiority. Let them judge you. Ultimately, you are in control because you are giving them what no one else can, physical stimulation.

The Beauty: The beauty, from early on in life, was gazed at by others. But her power is also the source of her unhappiness. She worries that her beauty is waning, and that she is no longer getting attention. If she’s honest, she will know that being worshipped only for looks is monotonous and unsatisfying. Many men are intimidated by beauty and prefer to worship it from a distance. The key to seducing her is to value the parts of her that no one else seems to notice – her intelligence (usually higher than people think). You must praise her body, but you must also show her that you pay attention to her other attributes, distracting her from her insecurities.  

The Aging Baby: Some people don’t want to grow up. They hate responsibility and want to make everything playful and recreational. They can be charming in their twenties and interesting in thirties, but then something seems lacking in their forties. The Aging baby does not want someone like themselves, they are attracted to the responsible type, an adult figure. Be prepared to be responsible if you want to seduce this type.

The Rescuer:Often, we are drawn to people who seem vulnerable, their sadness can be seductive. But some people are only attracted to those with problems. This may seem noble, but Rescuers have complicated motives. They are usually sensitive and truly want to help, but they also get a kick out of helping people – it makes them feel powerful. You can recognize this type by their empathy, they listen well and try to get you to open up. They usually have a history of relationships with troubled people. They can make excellent victims, especially if you enjoy chivalrous/maternal attention. To seduce them, play the damsel in distress if you are a woman. If you’re a man, play the boy who can’t deal with the harsh world.

The Roué: These types have had a good and pleasurable life. They seem cynical and jaded on the outside, but they have a deep sentimentality. They are often great seducers, but one type can easily seduce them – the young and innocent. The Roué gets older, and as they age they miss their lost youth, and their long lost innocence. They covet it in others.

The Idol Worshiper: This type lack something more than most people. They aren’t satisfied with themselves, so they search the world for something to worship, to fill the void. This might be spiritual, or it may be a cause. This distracts them from what they dislike about themselves. Seduce them by projecting their fantasy of a higher ideal.

The Sensualist: This type is not marked by their love of pleasure, but by their overactive senses. They may show this quality in how they look, but sometimes it is subtle. You can recognize them by seeing how they react to their environment. They are the type that hate rooms without sunlight, they are easily depressed by some colors, or are excited by certain smells. To seduce them, you must aim for their senses, take them to beautiful places and pay attention to detail. Show them great spectacles and use many physical lures. Like animals, Sensualists can be baited with colors and smells. These are great victims because they are relatively docile if you give them what they want.

The Lonely Leader: Powerful people are not necessarily different from other people, but they are treated differently. People around them try to cajole them constantly, and they see through this. To seduce them, talk to them like an equal, or even a superior. They will appreciate your honesty. If you are blunt, you will seem genuine to them. Lonely Leaders can be emotional if you inflict pain, followed by tenderness. This is a hard type to seduce, because they often don’t have any mental space for seduction – they are too busy.

The Floating Gender: Everyone is somewhat androgynous, but most of us learn to exhibit the socially acceptable side and repress the other. The Floating Gender type hate this separation. They are thought to be repressed or latent homosexuals, but this doesn’t have to be true. Their masculine and feminine sides are in flux, and this may make others uncomfortable. Many fall into this type, without it being obvious. A woman with masculine energy or a man with a developed aesthetic side. Don’t look for obvious signs, these types go underground, which makes them vulnerable to seduction.

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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