Book Summaries Psychology

The Art of Seduction Summary (8/10)

In The Art of Seduction, Greene demystifies seduction down to its component parts. By understanding the principles of seduction, and of anti-seduction, you will have a framework with which you can adjust your behavior, so that you are not only more seductive to the opposite sex, but to your customers and business partners.

Seduction, we learn, is not a cheap trick to get people to do what they don’t want to do, it’s a staple of human nature. To resonate with others, to interact with them and have relationships with them, you have no choice, but to be seductive.

Some of us want to be manipulated and seduced, there is something deeply satisfying when it comes to surrendering. But there is also joy in the pursuit, in understanding how to get your target to fall for your traps, and it is often the case that the more difficult the challenge, the more worthwhile it is.

In the first part of the book, Greene gives you a taxonomy of seducer types. Once you become aware of the different seducer types, you will be able to identify them in your own life, and you will figure out where your own seduction style fits in – that is, which combination of types you naturally embody, and to become a better, more refined seducer.

The second part of the book outlines a series of strategies to implement. In outlines the phases of seduction and gives you tactics to use for each phase.

Here is a summary of each chapter.

Part 1

The Siren

The siren is the first type of seducer. In history, we can see her personified in figures such as Marilyn Monroe and Cleopatra. The siren is sexual, she is not afraid of presenting an exaggerated feminine appearance through the way she dresses and the makeup she wears.

The Rake

In the same way that the Siren fulfills the male desire to forget about his social responsibilities, the Rake does the same for women.

The Ideal Lover

Most people have broken dreams, ideas about people or reality that they had in their youth that could not be satisfied.

The Dandy

The world traps us into roles that we must play. Those who are more fluid and ambiguous, who create their own persona, excite us.

The Natural

We think of childhood as a golden paradise, and we consciously or unconsciously try to re-recreate it

The Coquette

The ultimate art in seduction is delaying pleasure. Coquettes are masters at waiting, orchestrating constant movement between hope and frustration.

The Charmer

The Charmer is a type that plays on people’s vanity and insecurity to gain their affection.

The Charismatic

The Charismatic seducer is the type that enters a room and steals the attention.

The Star

The Star is a fetishized object. Most people are too complex, reactive, and moody to let us see them as object.

The Anti-Seducer

Greene explains to us what the anti-seducer is, the qualities that repel people away from us. The first has to do with attention.

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. There are eighteen types.

Part 2

Choose the Right Target

Don’t waste your time chasing after someone who is too difficult to be seduced, but don’t go for easy targets either.

Create a False Sense of Security

Never be obvious with your intensions. If you are a friends with someone you want to seduce, do not panic, friendship can lead to deep knowledge of the person.

Send Mixed Signals

We find contradictions fascinating. Send mixed signals to others, make it hard for them to figure you out.

Appear to be an Object of Desire

Create love triangles to seduce.

Create a Need – Stir Anxiety and Discontent

We put on a brave face and we act self-assured and confident, but in truth, we are all somewhat discontent with our lives.

Enter Their Spirit

The most devilish seductive tactic is to enter someone’s spirit. It gives your victim the feeling that they are seducing you since you are indulging and imitating them.

Create Temptation

Barriers are a key to seducing through temptation. It used to be the case that social obstacles such as class, race, marriage, or religion would keep people apart. Today, these barriers must be psychological.

Keep Them in Suspense – What Comes Next?

You should not approach seduction like it is a job, you should have fun with it. You are creating drama, so be creative!

Use the Demonic Power of Words to Sow Confusion

To learn how to seduce with words, either in written or in oral form, you must learn to get outside yourself.

Pay Attention to Detail

As children, we were more highly influenced by our senses. Spectacles like a circus or the colors of a new toy could fascinate us.

Poeticize Your Presence

Familiarity destroys seduction. This happens after your target has gotten to know you, and has discovered that you were not who they thought you were.

Disarm Through Strategic Weakness

If you are constantly maneuvering, and over aggressive, you will drive your targets away. By appearing bashful, fragile, you can get them to fall for you.

Confuse Desire and Reality

The uncanny is what is familiar but what is ultimately not real.

Isolate the Victim

People around you may seem strong and in control, but that is a façade. 

Prove Yourself

Most people want to be seduced. If they resist you, it is because you have not gone far enough to prove the depth of your feelings, and the honesty of your motives. 

Effect a Regression

The oedipal regression strategy must be tailored to your target. If you know that were attached to their parent of the opposite sex but only partially negative, then the strategy may be effective.

Stir up the Transgressive and the Taboo

Society always imposes limits on individuals. These limits are always changing, but there are always limits – to what kind of behavior is acceptable

Use Spiritual Lures

People are insecure about their bodies and their real lives. To seduce them, transport them somewhere else

Mix Pleasure with Pain

Your seduction should never follow a simple path towards pleasure. The climax that comes too soon is weak.

Give Them Space to Fall

The strategic retreat works in two phases. The first is when you are pursuing your target, and the second is after they have fallen for you. In the second case, they will panic. and fear you are losing interest.

Use Physical Lures

If the person you are trying to seduce has an active mind, then be careful, they may become doubtful about your manipulations.

Master the Art of the Bold Move

Vanity plays a large role in seduction. If you seem impatient, eager for sex, then you signal that your interest is purely libidinal and has nothing to do with the target’s charms.

Beware the Aftereffects

There is danger after successful seduction. After emotions peak, they swing the other way – towards disappointment. 

Other Robert Greene Book Summaries

"A gilded No is more satisfactory than a dry yes" - Gracian

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