Let’s hear it for men who can be subtle yet direct — like Andy Garcia grinning at Meg Ryan across a crowded room. It’s the look that says ‘There are lots of gorgeous women here, but you seem like someone whose got something on her mind. And I’d like to hear it. Also, I wouldn’t be averse to licking Tabasco sauce off your belly.’
We all know that cheesy pick-up lines about ‘whether it hurt when we fell from heaven’ or ‘if they can borrow a quarter because their mother told them to call when they met the woman they would marry’ never made any man’s case more compelling, but it takes special skill to master the art of what I affectionately refer to as the ‘eye-lock.’ Not to be confused with the ‘interlock,’ which prevents us from driving drunk, or the ‘lip-lock,’ which, if you’re lucky, comes later. It’s a look that creates instant intimacy, and which tells me you’re worth getting to know. An unflinching gaze that makes it clear I’ve caught your attention. A warm grin that says you get a kick out of me.
A classy come-on, even from a not-so-aesthetically-appealing suitor, is almost a shame to resist. The lack of men out there who’ve actually endeavored to master skills like subtlety leads me to wonder while I watch the masses fumbling clumsily over one-another at bars and restaurants and laundromats across the country: What ever happened to the art of seduction?
It occurs to me that perhaps the reason why we don’t see more of it is because (A) Most of us don’t exude the vibe of someone who can match it, and (B) We make it clear that we will settle for far less. In our efforts to make sure we don’t end up alone, we’ve forgotten how to make people work for our attention. We’ve become impatient, and stopped doing our part. It’s all the fault of the damned biological clock, but more about that in a future installment.
What’s understated is not necessarily applauded in our silicone-enhanced, steroid-pumped, sex-as-an-appetizer society. And I think the best way to encourage a specific behavior is by setting the example. When done correctly it’s not unlike a Tango. He requests your attention and you command his respect; you lead one another around the floor, pushing and pulling, playful and serious, intimating so much more than the isolated moves from the perspective of any onlooker. It’s just the two of you. And each has a part to play.
Seduction is about climbing in through someone’s eye long before the hint of a touch. It’s planting a seed in someone’s mind, an idea which will grow in their imagination and leave them wanting more of you, long after you’ve left the room. Timing your signals, reading your audience (Yes, I said audience), and if you’re really good, making them think they seduced you.
The thrill of the chase takes on a whole other level of significance when we bring our intellect to the dance, allowing it to lead the mischievous child which is normally expected to keep quiet. Captivating someone is a far better challenge than simply capturing them. It’s far more gratifying to have the lion as a willing house-pet than it is to simply throw a cage over him while he’s not looking. That’s not very sporting, is it?
I’m no expert, but I do know that some people have hurt themselves in attempts to seduce a potential new playmate. So short of giving actual maneuvering advice, here are a few things I’ll respectfully suggest that we all keep in mind…
If the idea of Seduction makes you giggle, don’t read this piece. You’re not ready. Check in again when you understand why a mind-f*** is the most unforgettable kind.
Make an effort. Be sharp and witty and always look them in the eye. Make them try. Ask questions that make them think; don’t be afraid to lead. This is how you distinguish yourself from everybody else. How you leave people replaying your words in their minds. How you recall the inner cool you’ve always suspected you had.
Don’t laugh unless someone makes a joke. You’ll look like a moron.
Don’t tell them everything about yourself. Their imagination is a great ally.
Don’t constantly readjust your hair, your posture, and your opinion. If you can’t calm down for long enough to fool yourself into thinking you’re smoothe, what makes you think you’re gonna fool anybody else?
If they think you’re stuck-up, they’re an emotional infant, and are therefore irrelevant. Move on. Fast.
If they struggle for witty banter to match yours, then decide whether they’re cute enough to justify a momentary dip in your intellectual standards.
If you can successfully develop your inner 007, and are lucky enough to find someone who can keep you on your toes, then get ready for what might be the dance of your life.