Seduction isn’t just about sex, though we often use the two interchangeably. It’s about male-female dynamics, the power of connection, emotions, and psychology. Seduction is a skill like any other that can be studied, practiced, and learned, but how? Where do we go for this kind of information when the women of today want nothing to do with male attention, yet lament they can’t find a good man?
The first step in learning seduction as both an art and a skill to use in your own life is to reject everything you know or have been previously told. Seduction isn’t about suppression or subjugation, but about fine-tuning and asserting your own characteristics, both inner and outer. It’s about being attractive, yes, but as yourself, not as someone else. It’s about forging connections that go beyond the superficial and creating a lasting relationship. It’s about relearning everything we think we know about love and men. If you want to make a man fall for you, here’s everything you need to know.
The Basics of Seduction
At its core, seduction is about two elements, which may seem basic in explanation but are far more complex than most of us realize. First, there’s you. Who are you? What’s desirable or appealing about you? Do you know yourself and your own mind, your strengths and weaknesses, who you are as a person, and in a romantic sense, what you want? What do you crave? This element could take years for some of us to unpack, and we can spend the rest of our lives ruminating on each of these questions. But we don’t have time for that! The second half of this equation is the man – who he is, and what about you will successfully lead him to you.
Seduction is, at its heart, competitive, but if you’re not naturally a competitive person, don’t be disheartened. Dating in many situations is a numbers game, not by design but by practicality. In any bar, nightclub, or social setting anywhere in the world, there’s bound to be an unequal male-to-female or female-to-male ratio. But bear in mind that we’re not discussing how to land the most objectively attractive guy in the room, or the one with the most charisma or sexual magnetism. Any woman can walk into a bar, find the hottest man in the room, and sleep with him for one night or even two. But what keeps a man coming back again and again?
Seduction isn’t about beauty or sex appeal, but about psychology.
Seduction requires dedication, patience, and a certain amount of know-how, but Robert Greene, the author of the world’s most seminal work on the subject, The Art of Seduction, argues that seduction isn’t about beauty or sex appeal, but about psychology. It’s about understanding the other person, the object of your affection, and even more about understanding yourself. It’s a challenge of wits, tempers, and personalities, and it’s a game that will enable you to wield your most empowered, attractive self and leave him wanting more.
Choose Your Persona
Robert Greene identifies nine distinct types of accomplished seducers in his book: the Star, the Charismatic, the Charmer, the Coquette, the Natural, the Dandy, the Ideal Lover, the Rake, and the Siren. The Siren archetype harnesses her femininity and glamor to attract her target – she exudes an adventurous personality and even a hint of danger. The Rake employs devotion and flattery to pursue her target, which she does doggedly and determinedly. The Ideal Lover makes herself irresistible and overwhelmingly desirable to her object of affection, almost in a grandiose, fantastical way. The Dandy is the epitome of style, grace, and sophistication, and uses these qualities to attract others. The Natural uses innocence, vulnerability, and nostalgia to lure her target in. The Coquette is skilled in flattery, flirting, and delayed gratification, and always leaves her man wanting more. The Charmer makes her man the entire focus of her attention and energy, and the Charismatic is an independent, self-sufficient, free-thinker who attracts others with her free spirit.
You shouldn’t need to become another person to draw the right person to you, and besides, imagine their shock when they wake up one day and you’re not the person they fell for. This is not to say that you and your man shouldn’t evolve and change together over time, but you shouldn’t need to be anyone else for them to fall in love with you in the first place. Instead, think about the fundamental characteristics and inherent qualities within each of these archetypes, and work to make your inner and outer self a heightened version of that archetype. You might be one of them, or a combination of several.
For example, if you’re more on the low-maintenance side and take a more easygoing, casual approach to your style and your daily routine, you might opt for the Charismatic seducer. If you lean more on the bold, unapologetic side, you might choose the Siren archetype. Using Greene’s research and his hypotheses as a manual and not just an abstract work of philosophy can help you determine what persona you most fall in line with and how to employ their strengths in your seduction methods.
Embrace the Superficial
If looking attractive or, at the bare minimum, caring about your appearance before going out in public is superficial, then maybe it’s time to embrace it. In a culture that has the tendency to over-correct on so many issues, beauty and makeup being one of them, it’s helpful to assert a rationally obvious conclusion every so often: Looking good both for yourself and even for a man is a good thing.
Makeup trends may regenerate every few years to get you to buy more makeup or more designer, influencer-approved products, but the truth is what works will look different from one woman to the next. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank these days to find products that work well for you and – most importantly – highlight and accentuate your features, not cover them up.
Adjusting a skincare and makeup routine to your skin type and features doesn’t have to be high-stakes. Neither does dressing according to your body type, which should also be on your to-do list. Wide-leg pants and cropped tops may be the style at present, but they don’t look good on all of us. Enhance your physical features, both according to your body type and your face, and you’ll communicate to strangers that, one, you take yourself seriously, and two, you’re mature enough to dress according to what you know looks good on you, not what every other woman is wearing or what’s on brand at the moment.
Personal hygiene may be under-discussed, but it’s a must. You don’t have to be getting mani/pedis every week, nor overly styling your hair every day, but keeping yourself clean, groomed, and presentable not only makes you more attractive, but gives you an extra boost of confidence. Choosing a signature scent or cycling your perfumes according to the appropriate season adds a touch of personal flair and style to your appearance, as does wearing age-appropriate clothing that’s well-maintained and cared for.
Carrying yourself in a certain way is equally important. Most of us still laugh at the montage of Mia Thermopolis learning etiquette in The Princess Diaries, but they turn her clumsiness into poise and grace. If you tend to slouch or drop your shoulders, you can practice learning good posture over time. The way in which you move your body and how you carry yourself communicates a message before you ever open your mouth to speak. Confidence means control and strength, as well as sexiness. Greene writes, “Self-esteem is critical in seduction. (Your attitude toward yourself is read by the other person in subtle and unconscious ways.) Low self-esteem repels, confidence and self-sufficiency attract.” There you have it.
Make a Significant Effort
“What will seduce a person is the effort we expend on their behalf,” writes Greene. Though it’s a personality trait nowadays to never remember people’s names or forget to text them back, these qualities of dismissiveness and even self-absorption discourage people – not just prospective mates, but nearly everyone – from wanting to be around us.
Your love language may not be gift-giving or being intensely invested in your boyfriend’s dysfunctional family’s drama, but making an effort is what sets you aside. It makes you attentive and special, and it distinguishes you as someone worth knowing and worth loving from all other women.
Be on time to dates. Communicate with him regularly and ask about small details he most likely expected you to forget. Dress nicely when you see him, and be positive and optimistic. Be someone whose presence is infectious, someone he wants to be around more than anyone else. While many single women view themselves as goddesses on pedestals that need to be worshiped, that haughtiness and arrogance doesn’t attract a strong man, but a simp. Whatever you can do for him, do it, and your reward will be gratifying.
Play the Long Game
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the saying goes, and in seduction, time and patience are what you’ll have to venture. We often underestimate the power of these qualities because we prefer gratification more, especially in dating. In any game, the thrills are what keep us pursuing the object of our affection, but the benefits of waiting (for pretty much anything) are well-documented. You might meet a guy at a bar and decide he’s the one, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be yours the next day, even if you hook up.
Women often overestimate the power of sex because our perspectives on it differ vastly from that of a man’s. Sex is often used as currency in casual relationships, with women thinking it might lead to something more, and men knowing that if the situation is deemed casual, there’s nothing else needed from them.
Mystery is pure seduction.
Thinking a fling or casual hookup will result in a committed, long-term relationship or even marriage might be possible in the movies, but most of us probably aren't able to name stable relationships we’re acquainted with that began similarly. This is not to say it doesn’t happen, but your return on investment when playing the long game statistically yields a much better reward. If he’s the one and you know it, make him wait.
Become Irresistible to Him
Conjure a (PG rated) image of seduction, and what comes to mind? One image might be two strangers making eye contact from across the room. What’s he thinking about her? What’s she thinking about him? There’s an intensity to their gaze because of one important and underrated element: mystery. Mystery is pure seduction. Maintaining a distance in the early days of courtship cultivates mystery between the two of you. Greene has this to offer: “Your targets cannot idealize you if they know too much about you, if they start to see you as all too human. Not only must you maintain a degree of distance, but there must be something fantastical and bewitching about you, sparking all kinds of delightful possibilities in their mind.” Waiting (an appropriate amount of time) to respond to his texts or cultivating your own social circle, hobbies, and pastimes outside a man not only makes you a well-rounded human being, but lets him know there’s much more to you that he has to discover.
Greene writes that “too many people say exactly what they feel or want.” Make him work for it. A successful, single man who contributed to this feature (and chose to stay anonymous) says that men love a challenge and the feeling that they’ve conquered or vanquished something. Some might call that misogynistic – but at heart there’s a deeply romantic, almost primal element to it. Breeding mystery around yourself reels him in and gives him a challenge. That’s where the fun and excitement of pursuing someone begins.
Making yourself irresistible to him is probably the hardest part of seduction, but it’s helpful to know that love and seduction are a motivation system. The most effective way to do it isn’t through the words you say, or don’t say, but through your body. In Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell outlines a brain function called “thin slicing,” or what most of us know as a first impression. Thin slicing works by using past, subconscious experiences to make judgments about others. Essentially our past influences the first impressions we have of others, even perfect strangers.
But there are a few, scientifically-backed ways to hack this system, mainly through body language. First, use good posture. Smile frequently during conversation, and put emotion into your voice (like energy and enthusiasm) and avoid blandness or, worse, disinterestedness. One study on the subject found that smiling authentically inspired strangers to see the smiler as more intelligent and approachable. Mirror your man’s speech patterns and mannerisms. This isn’t meant to be creepy or off-putting, but sends him a subtle signal that you are completely invested in everything he has to say, even in the way he says it.
Say his name in conversation, and consider the questions you ask him. (A person hearing their own name releases serotonin, in case you didn’t know.) If the questions can quickly be answered with yes or no, then your conversation is over. Don’t ask what he does for a living, but ask him what he cares about and how he spends his time. Express genuine interest. Perhaps most importantly, use eye contact, or learn how to if you haven’t already. This only emphasizes all your words, mannerisms, and actions, and forces him to engage with one of the most vulnerable, expressive parts of you.
One man I spoke with emphasized eye contact above all else. Eye contact isn’t just eye contact, “it’s an invitation.” A passing glance might ambivalently communicate that you’re open to someone coming to talk to you in a crowded venue, but making direct eye contact makes your intentions known and practically wills them to come over. If you’ve ever gone out in public, either solo or with a group of friends, and noticed that men aren’t coming up to you, they might not see you as approachable. Open up your arms and shoulders, take up space whether you’re standing or seated, and catch the eye of someone you want to talk to. Looking at your phone, down at the floor, or wishing for a meteor to hit doesn’t accomplish a lot. Some might see this as old fashioned, but it’s male-approved and wonderfully effective.
What Men Notice First
It’s one thing to guess what men are thinking, but so much more helpful for us to actually know what they’re thinking. I asked two men what they notice first about a woman in a social scenario, and they both said makeup. One even cited heavy makeup as a complete turn-off for him. They also said her figure – so whether you’re dressing for him or not, he’s definitely paying attention.
Next, I wanted to know their thoughts on what the key is to lasting connection. Here’s the deal. Any man can have sex with a woman for a night, or even a few nights. “Some people only ‘click’ physically,” one source explained. But what keeps a man coming back or staying with one woman for the rest of his life? Emotional connection, or as one man put it, “when you’re connected to someone’s soul.” That takes a skill and a quality that can’t be faked. “Any man grows bored of a beautiful woman,” writes Greene. “He yearns for adventure.” More specifically, he yearns for understanding, respect, humor, warmth, and for connection on a cosmic level that’s unique from any other relationship he’s had before.
You might be a killer in the boardroom, but if you’re not comfortable being yourself, finding a real connection might be difficult. For most of our lives, nearly every cultural medium has taught women that men only want them for sex or only want them to be beautiful fixtures that are seen but not heard. But when you examine these thoughts with actual single men, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Men want beautiful women, but they also want confident women, who are assured in themselves and who practice rational, intelligent thought. They want a woman who’s secure in her sexuality, but who’s also self-actualized and individualistic. They want women who are supportive of masculinity and of men being leaders. They want women who are comfortable enough to reciprocate interest in them in public, social scenarios, or who are willing to play the game, who wish strangers would catch their eye and approach them. But what are we supposed to think when we’re not getting approached in public? One source has this to offer: “Don’t beat yourself up if he’s not coming over to you at the bar. He’s not worthy.”
Advice from Professionals
We’ve heard from the men, but what about professionals? We may consider matchmaking to be a leftover antiquity from the old country, but it’s a thriving industry in many metropolitan areas where young singles want a more personal, individualistic touch to their dating approaches.
First of all, always be prepared, says Janis Spindel from Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking in New York. Always be ready to date. You never know where, when, or how you might meet the one! It also helps to approach dating from a “sense of destiny” standpoint, and as Greene writes, “nothing is more seductive than a sense of destiny.” “Change your routine,” says Spindel. “Don’t get your newspaper delivered. You might meet someone at the newsstand.”
Your prince might actually be closer than you think. Third-generation matchmaker Maria Avgitidis says if you haven’t found your man yet, he’s probably only one degree away. You might have friends that are married, but they have friends who aren’t. They don’t need to “set you up” per se, but encouraging them to invite you out when they’re with single friends could be more helpful than you think. “Birds of a feather flock together,” Avgitidis says. If you like your friends, they’re probably friends with someone you’d like to be with.
Avgitidis also has advice to offer for those who choose the more modern, less traditional online dating route: “Talk about yourself.” A prospective match doesn’t need to know immediately that you won’t date someone who votes a certain way, or that you only date people who go to therapy or are an Aquarius. Talk about the shows you watch, your siblings, or the values you have. Those kinds of prompts encourage people to “self-select themselves” to respond to you.
The seduction game is an involved one, but keep these points in mind: Know the basics of what you’re doing. Choose your persona and stick to it! Craft it over time and evolve it, if necessary. Embrace the superficial, or rather, make an investment in yourself. Make a significant effort with the man you desire (he’ll notice). Play the long game, or at least be willing to play the dating game. Not a whole lot of women are these days, and that sets you apart from them for the better. Become open and available to love and romance. Make yourself irresistible to him, and learn what men notice first – you’ll ensure that the first impression you make is a strong one, and better yet, you’ll make him yours.
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