Book Summaries Psychology

Part 2: Stir Up The Transgressive and Taboo (The Art of Seduction)

It is often not possible for [women] later on to undo the connection thus formed in their minds between sensual activities and something forbidden, and they turn out to be psychically impotent, i.e. frigid, when at last such activities do become permissible. This is the source of the desire in so many women to keep even legitimate relations secret for a time; and of the appearance of the capacity for normal sensation in others as soon as the condition of prohibition is restored by a secret intrigue—untrue to the husband, they can keep a second order of faith with the lover. In my opinion the necessary condition of forbiddenness in the erotic life of women holds the same place as the man’s need to lower his sexual object…. Women belonging to the higher levels of civilization do not usually transgress the prohibition against sexual activities during the period of waiting, and thus they acquire this close association between the forbidden and the sexual. . . . • The injurious results of the deprivation of sexual enjoyment at the beginning manifest themselves in lack of full satisfaction when sexual desire is later given free rein in marriage. But, on the other hand, unrestrained sexual liberty from the beginning leads to no better result. It is easy to show that the value the mind sets on erotic needs instantly sinks as soon as satisfaction becomes readily obtainable. Some obstacle is necessary to swell the tide of the libido to its height; and at all periods of history, wherever natural barriers in the way of satisfaction have not sufficed, mankind has erected conventional ones in order to be able to enjoy love. This is true both of individuals and of nations. In times during which no obstacles to sexual satisfaction existed, such as, maybe, during the decline of the civilizations of antiquity, love became worthless, life became empty, and strong reaction-formations were necessary before the indispensable emotional value of love could be recovered.


Society always imposes limits on individuals. These limits are always changing, but there are always limits – to what kind of behavior is acceptable. The alternative is chaos, which we fear. But we are strange creatures. Whenever a limit is imposed on us, physically or psychologically, we become curious. We want to go beyond this limit and explore what is forbidden.

One of Monsieur Leopold Stern’s friends rented a bachelor’s pied-à-terre where he received his wife as a mistress, served her with port and petits-fours and “experienced all the tingling excitement of adultery, ” He told Stern that it was a delightful sensation to cuckold himself.


Thus, make yourself seem forbidden. Do things that give you a dark aura – be someone who theoretically should be avoided.

People might be trying to remove restrictions on behavior, to make everything more free, but this only makes seduction more difficult and less exciting.

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

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