The Emotional Roller Coaster
One hot summer afternoon in 1894, Don Mateo Díaz, a thirty-eight-year-old resident of Seville, decided to visit a local tobacco factory Because of his connections Don Mateo was allowed to tour the place, but his interest was not in the business side. Don Mateo liked young girls, and hundreds of them worked in the factory. Just as he had expected, that day many of them were in a state of near undress because of the heat—it was quite a spectacle. He enjoyed the sights for a while, but the noise and the temperature soon got to him. As he was heading for the door, though, a worker of no more than sixteen called out to him: "CabaEem, if you will give me a penny I will sing you a little song."
The girl's name was Conchita Pérez, and she looked young and innocent, in fact beautiful, with a sparkle in her eye that suggested a taste for adventure. The perfect prey. He listened to her song (which seemed vaguely suggestive), tossed her a coin that was equal to a month's salary, tipped his hat, then left. It was never good to come on too strong too early. As he walked along the street, he plotted how he would lure her into an affair. Suddenly he felt a hand on his arm and he turned to see her walking alongside him. It was too hot to work—would he be a gentleman and escort her home? Of course. Do you have a lover? he asked her. No, she said, "I am mozita"—pure, a virgin.
Conchita lived with her mother in a rundown part of town. Don Mateo exchanged pleasantries, slipped the mother some money (he knew from experience how important it was to keep the mother happy), then left. He considered waiting a few days, but he was impatient, and returned the following morning. The mother was out. He and Conchita resumed their playful banter from the day before, and to his surprise she suddenly sat in his lap, put her arms around him, and kissed him. His strategy flying out the window, he took hold of her and returned the kiss. She immediately jumped up, her eyes flashing with anger: you are trifling with me, she said, using me for a quick thrill. Don Mateo denied having any such intentions, and apologized for going too far. When he left, he felt confused: she had started it all; why should he feel guilty? And yet he did. Young girls can be so unpredictable; it is best to break them in slowly
Over the next few days Don Mateo was the perfect gentleman. He visited every day, showered mother and daughter with gifts, made no advances—at least not at first. The damned girl had become so familiar
The more one pleases generally, the less one pleases profoundly.
—STENDHAL, LOVE, TRANSLATED BY GILBERT AND SUZANNE SALE
You should mix in the odd rebuff \ With your cheerful fun. Shut him out of the house, let him wait there \ Cursing that locked front door, let him plead \ And threaten all he's a mind to. Sweetness cloys the palate, \ Bitter juice is a freshener. Often a small skiff \ Is sunk by favoring winds: it's their husbands' access to them, \ At will, that deprives so many wives of love. \ Let her put in a door, with a hard-faced porter to tell him \ "Keep out," and he'll soon be touched with desire \ Through frustration. Put down your blunt foils, fight with sharpened weapons \ (I don't doubt that my own shafts \ Will be turned against me). When a new-captured lover \ Is stumbling into the toils, then let him believe \ He alone has rights to your bed—but later, make him conscious \ Of rivals, of with him that she would dress in front of him, or greet him in her night-shared delights. Neglect \ gown. These glimpses of her body drove him crazy, and he would some-
These devices—his ardor villi wane. A racehorse runs times try to steal a kiss or caress, only to have her push him away and scold most strongly \ When the him. Weeks went by; clearly he had shown that his was not a passing fancy. field's ahead, to bepaced \ Tired of the endless courtship, he took Conchita's mother aside one day
And passed. So the dying and proposed that he set the girl up in a house of her own. He would treat embers of passion can be 1 1 or
fanned to \ Fresh lame by her like a queen; she would have everything she wanted. (So, of course, some outrage—i can only would her mother.) Surely his proposal would satisfy the two women—but love, \ Myself, I confess it, , i , r r1 u*^ • + j-*^ j u ^
J , _ , the next day, a note came from Conchita, expressing not gratitude but re-
when wronged. But don t J i cj cj m the cause of \ Pmn be crimination: he was trying to buy her love. "You shall never see me again,"
too obvious: let a lover she concluded. He hurried to the house only to discover that the women
suspect \ More than he had moved out that very morning, without leaving word where they were knows. Invent a slave who watches your every \
Movement, make clear Don Mateo felt terrible. Yes, he had acted like a boor. Next time he what a jealous martinet \ would wait months, or years if need be, before being so bold. Soon, how-
ever, another thought assailed him: he would never see Conchita again.
such things will excite him. ° °
Pleasure \ Too safely Only then did he realize how much he loved her. enjoyed lacks zest. You The winter passed, the worst of Mateo's life. One spring day he was want to be free \ As Thais? 11 • j j-i, ± ± i, i, i, j li* u* tt walking down the street when he heard someone calling his name. He
Act scared. Though the
door's quite safe, iet him in looked up: Conchita was standing in an open window, beaming with ex-
by \ The window. Look citement. She bent down toward him and he kissed her hand, beside him-
^MMd ml 1 T^Ll self with joy. Why had she disappeared so suddenly? It was all going too
'We're caught!" whne you quickly, she said. She had been afraid—of his intentions, and of her own bundle the quaking \ Youth feelings. But seeing him again, she was certain that she loved him. Yes, she
out of sight. But be sure \ was ready to be his mistress. She would prove it, she would come to him. To offset his fright with
Being apart had changed them both, he thought.
some moments of carefree pleasure— \ Or he'll think A few nights later, as promised, she appeared at his house. They kissed a night with you isn't and began to undress. He wanted to savor every minute, to take it slowly, worth the risk. but he felt like a caged bull finally set free. He followed her into bed, his —OVID. THE ART OF hands all over her. He started to take off her underwear but it was laced up
TRANSLATED BY PETER GREEN 1
in some complicated way. Eventually he had to sit up and take a look: she was wearing some elaborate canvas contraption, of a kind he had never seen. No matter how hard he tugged and pulled, it would not come off.
have often told you that He felt like hitting Conchita, he was so distraught, but instead he started to pain holds a peculiar cry. She explained: she wanted to do everything with him, yet to remain a
attraction for me, and that mozita. This was her protection. Exasperated, he sent her home. nothing kindles my passion
. Over the next few weeks, Don Mateo began to reassess his opinion of quite so much as tyranny cruelty and above all Conchita. He saw her flirting with other men, and dancing a suggestive fla-
unfaithfulness in a menco in a bar: she was not a mozita, he decided, she was playing him for
beautiful woman. money. And yet he could not leave her. Another man would take his
—LEOPOLD VON SACHER- place—an unbearable thought. She would invite him to spend the night in
MASOCH, VENUS IN FURS, 1 " 1 "
TRANSLATEDBY jeanmcneiher bed, as long as he promised not to force himself on her; and then, as if to torture him beyond reason, she would get into bed naked (supposedly because of the heat). All this he put up with on the grounds that no other man had such privileges. But one night, pushed to the limits of frustration, he exploded with anger, and issued an ultimatum: either give me what I
want or you will never see me again. Suddenly Conchita started to cry. He had never seen her cry, and it moved him. She too was tired of all this, she said, her voice trembling; if it was not too late, she was ready to accept the proposal she had once turned down. Set her up in a house, and he would see what a devoted mistress she would be.
Don Mateo wasted no time. He bought her a villa, gave her plenty of money to decorate it. After eight days the house was ready. She would receive him there at midnight. What joys awaited him.
Don Mateo showed up at the appointed hour. The barred door to the courtyard was closed. He rang the bell. She came to the other side of the door. "Kiss my hands," she said through the bars. "Now kiss the hem of my skirt, and the tip of my foot in its slipper." He did as she requested. "That is good," she said. "Now you may go." His shocked expression just made her laugh. She ridiculed him, then made a confession: she was repulsed by him. Now that she had a villa in her name, she was free of him at last. She called out, and a young man appeared from the shadows of the courtyard. As Don Mateo watched, too stunned to move, they began to make love on the floor, right before his eyes.
The next morning Conchita appeared at Don Mateo's house, supposedly to see if he had committed suicide. To her surprise, he hadn't—in fact he slapped her so hard she fell to the ground. "Conchita," he said, "you have made me suffer beyond all human strength. You have invented moral tortures to try them on the only man who loved you passionately. I now declare that I am going to possess you by force." Conchita screamed she would never be his, but he hit her again and again. Finally, moved by her tears, he stopped. Now she looked up at him lovingly. Forget the past, she said, forget all that I have done. Now that he hit her, now that she could see his pain, she felt certain he truly loved her. She was still a mozita—the affair with the young man the night before had been only for show, ending as soon as he had left—and she still belonged to him. "You are not going to take me by force. I await you in my arms." Finally she was sincere. To his supreme delight, he discovered that she was indeed still a virgin.
interpretation. Don Mateo and Conchita Perez are characters in the 1896 novella Woman and Puppet, by Pierre Louys. Based on a true story—the "Miss Charpillon" episode in Casanova's Memoirs—the novella has served as the basis for two films: Josef von Sternberg's Devil is a Woman, with Marlene Dietrich, and Luis Bunuel's That Obscure Object of Desire. In Louys's story, Conchita takes a proud and aggressive older man and in the space of a few months turns him into an abject slave. Her method is simple: she stimulates as many emotions as possible, including heavy doses of pain. She excites his lust, then makes him feel base for taking advantage of her. She gets him to play the protector, then makes him feel guilty for trying to buy her. Her sudden disappearance anguishes him—he has lost her—so that when she reappears (never by accident) he feels intense joy; which, however, she
Oderint, dum metuant [Let them hate me so long as they fear me] , as if only fear and hate belong together, whereas fear and love have nothing to do with each other, as if it were not fear that makes love interesting. With what kind of love do we embrace nature? is there not a secretive anxiety and horror in it, because its beautiful harmony works its way out of lawlessness and wild confusion, its security out of perfidy? But precisely this anxiety captivates the most. So also with love, if it is to he interesting. Behind it ought to brood the deep, anxious night from which springs the flower of love.
— S0REN KIERKEGAARD, THE SEDUCER'S DIARY, TRANSLATED BY HOWARD V. HONG AND EDNA H. HONG
The lovely marble creature coughed and rearranged the sable around her shoulders. • "Thank you for the lesson in classics," i replied, "but i cannot deny that in your peaceful and sunny worldjust as in our misty climate man and woman are natural enemies. Love may unite them briefly to form one mind, one heart, one will, but all too soon they are torn asunder. And this you know better than I: either one of them must bend the other to his will, or else he must let himself be trampled underfoot. " • "Under the woman's foot, of course," said Lady Venus impertinently. "And that you know better than I." • "Of course, that is why I have no illusions." • "in other words you are now my slave without illusions, and i shall trample you mercilessly. " • quickly turns back into tears. Jealousy and humiliation then precede the fi-"Madam!" • "You do not nal moment when she gives him her virginity. (Even after this, according to now me yet. a rnit t mt the story, she finds ways to continue to torment him.) Each low she
I am cruel—since the word j j /
gives you so much inspires—guilt, despair, jealousy, emptiness—creates the space for a more delight—but am Inot intense high. He becomes an addict, hooked on the alternation of charge entitled to be so? It is man 1 ..t 1 i and withdrawal.
who desires, woman who is
desired; tus is woman's Your seduction should never follow a simple course upward toward only advantage, but it is a pleasure and harmony. The climax will come too soon, and the pleasure decisive one. By making will be weak. What makes us intensely appreciate something is previous passio^nl^Zpicld suffering. A brush with death makes us fell in love with lfe; a long journey him at woman's mercy, and makes a return home that much more pleasurable. Your task is to create
she who has not the sense moments of sadness, despair, and anguish, to create the tension that allows to treat him like a humble r . t-. , , , . .
subject, • slave a for a great release. Do not worry about making people angry; anger is a plaything, and finally to sure sign that you have your hooks in them. Nor should you be afraid that betray him with a laugh— if you make yourself difficult people will flee—we only abandon those well, she is a woman of who bore us. The ride on which you take your victims can be tortuous but little wisdom. • My J J
dear, yourprinCipies , . ." never dull. At all costs, keep your targets emotional and on edge. Create I protested. • "Are enough highs and lows and you will wear away the last vestiges of their founded on the experience willpower of a thousand years," she replied mischievously, running her white fingers
through the darkfur. "The Harshness and Kindness more submissive woman is, the more readily man recovers his self-possession n 1972, Henry Kissinger, then President Richard Nixon's assistant for and becomes domineering; J_ national security affairs, received a request for an interview from the fa-
but the more cruel and
, ,, , , mous Italian lournalist Oriana Fallaci. Kissinger rarely gave interviews; he faithless she is, the more
she ill-treats him, the had no control over the final product, and he was a man who needed to be more wantonly she toys in control. But he had read Fallaci's interview with a North Vietnamese with him and the harsher general, and it had been instructive. She was extremely well informed on she is, the more she
quickens his desire and the Vietnam War; perhaps he could gather some information of his own, secures his love and pick her brain. He decided to ask for a preinterview, a preliminary meeting.
admiration. It has always He would grill her on different subjects; if she passed the test, he would been so, from the time of
Helen and Deiuah aU he grant her an interview proper. T hey met, and he was impressed; she was way to Catherine the extremely intelligent—and tough. It would be an enjoyable challenge to
Great and Lola Montez. " outwit her and prove that he was tougher. He agreed to a short interview a
—leopold von sacher- few days later.
MASOCH, VENUS IN FURS, t, t,. . , r ,, . , ,, . , . . , .
To Kissingers annoyance, Fallaci began the interview by asking him
TRANSLATED BY JEAN MCNEIL 0 J ° JO
whether he was disappointed by the slow pace of the peace negotiations with North Vietnam. He would not discuss the negotiations—he had made that clear in the preinterview. Yet she continued the same line of question-In essence the domain ing. He grew a little angry "That's enough," he said. "I don't want to of eroticism is the domain of vioience ofviointicm talk any more about Vietnam. Although she didnt immediately aban-The whole business of don the subject, her questions became gentler: what were his personal feel-eroticism is to strike to the ings toward the leaders of South and North Vietnam? Still, he ducked:
inmost core of the living
, . ,,,,,,, I m not the kind of person to be swayed by emotion. Emotions serve being, so that the heart stands still. ... The no purpose." She moved to grander philosophical issues—war, peace. She praised him for his role in the rapprochement with China. Without realizing it, Kissinger began to open up. He talked of the pain he felt in dealing with Vietnam, the pleasures of wielding power. Then suddenly the harsher questions returned—was he simply Nixon's lackey, as many suspected? Up and down she went, alternately baiting and flattering him. His goal had been to pump her for information while revealing nothing about himself; by the end, though, she had given him nothing, while he had revealed a range of embarrassing opinions—his view of women as playthings, for instance, and his belief that he was popular with the public because people saw him as a kind of lonesome cowboy, the hero who cleans things up by himself. When the interview was published, Nixon, Kissinger's boss, was livid about it.
In 1973, the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Riza Pahlavi, granted Fallaci an interview. He knew how to handle the press—be noncommittal, speak in generalities, seem firm, yet polite. This approach had worked a thousand times before. Fallaci began the interview on a personal level, asking how it felt to be a king, to be the target of assassination attempts, and why the shah always seemed so sad. He talked of the burdens of his position, the pain and loneliness he felt. It seemed a release of sorts to talk about his professional problems. As he talked, Fallaci said little, her silence goading him on. Then she suddenly changed the subject: he was having difficulties with his second wife. Surely that must hurt him? This was a sore spot, and Pahlavi got angry. He tried to change the subject, but she kept returning to it. Why waste time talking about wives and women, he said. He then went so far as to criticize women in general—their lack of creativity, their cruelty. Fallaci kept at him: he had dictatorial tendencies and his country lacked basic freedoms. Fallaci's own books were on his government's blacklist. Hearing this, the shah seemed somewhat taken aback—perhaps he was dealing with a subversive writer. But then she softened her tone again, asked him about his many achievements. The pattern repeated: the moment he relaxed, she blindsided him with a sharp question; when he grew bitter, she lightened the mood. Like Kissinger, he found himself opening up despite himself and mentioning things he would later regret, such as his intention to raise the price of oil. Slowly he fell under her spell, even began to flirt with her. "Even if you're on the blacklist of my authorities," he said at the end of the interview, "I'll put you on the white list of my heart."
Interpretation. Most of Fallaci's interviews were with powerful leaders, men and women with an overwhelming need to control the situation, to avoid revealing anything embarrassing. This put her and her subjects in conflict, since getting them to open up—grow emotional, give up control— was exactly what she wanted. The classic seductive approach of charm and flattery would get her nowhere with these people; they would see right through it. Instead, Fallaci preyed on their emotions, alternating harshness and kindness. She would ask a cruel question that touched on the deepest whole business of eroticism is to destroy the self-contained character of the participators as they are in their normal lives. . . . We ought never to forget that in spite of the bliss love promises its first effect is one of turmoil and distress. Passion fulfilled itself provokes such violent agitation that the happiness involved, before being a happiness to be enjoyed, is so great as to be more like its opposite, suffering. . . . The likelihood of suffering is all the greater since suffering alone reveals the total significance of the beloved object.
— GEORGES BATAILLE, erotism: death and SENSUALITY, TRANSLATED BY MARY DALWOOD
Always a little doubt to set at rest—that's what keeps one craving in passionate love. Because the keenest misgivings are always there, its pleasures never become tedious. • Saint-Simon, the only historian France has ever possessed, says: "After many passing fancies the Duchesse de Berry had fallen deeply in love with Riom, a junior member of the d'Aydie family, the son of one of Madame de Biron's sisters. He had neither looks nor brains; he was fat, short, chubby-cheeked, pale, and had such a crop of pimples that he seemed one large abscess; he had beautiful teeth, but not the least idea that he was going to inspire a passion which quickly got out of control, a passion which lasted a lifetime, notwithstanding a number of subsidiary flirtations and affairs. . . . •He would excite but not requite the insecurities of the subject, who would get emotional and defensive; deep desire of the princess; he down, though, something else would stir inside them—the desire to prove
delighted in making her to Fallaci that they did not deserve her implicit criticisms. Unconsciously jealous, or pretending to be jealous himself. He would they wanted to please her, to make her like them. When she then shifted
often drive her to tears. tone, indirectly praising them, they felt they were winning her over and Gradually he forced her were encouraged to open up. Without realizing it, they would give freer into the position of doing nothing without his leave, rein to their emotions.
even trifles of no In social situations we all wear masks, and keep our defenses up. It is
importance. Sometimes, embarrassing, after all, to reveal one's true feelings. As a seducer you must to the Opeaa he insisted find a way to lower these resistances. The Charmer's approach of flattery that she stay at home; and and attention can be effective here, particularly with the insecure, but it can
sometimes he made hergo take months of work, and can also backfire. To get a quicker result, and to there against her will. He break down more inaccessible people, it is often better to alternate harsh-
obliged her to grant favours to ladies she did not like or ness and kindness. By being harsh you create inner tensions—your targets
of whom she was jealous. may be upset with you, but they are also asking themselves questions. What
She was not even free to have they done to earn your dislike? When you then are kind, they feel dress as she chose; he
would amuse himself by relieved, but also concerned that at any moment they might somehow dis-making her change her please you again. Make use of this pattern to keep them in suspense—
coiffure or her dress at the dreading your harshness and keen to keep you kind. Your kindness and last minute; he did this so
often and so publicly that harshness should be subtle; indirect digs and compliments are best. Play the she became accustomed to psychoanalyst: make cutting comments concerning their unconscious mo-
take his orders in the tives (you are only being truthful), then sit back and listen. Your silence will evening for what she would goad them into embarrassing admissions. Leaven your judgments with oc-
do and wear the following day; then the next day he casional praise and they will strive to please you, like dogs.
would alter everything, and the princess would cry all
Love is a costly flower, but one must have the desire to the more. In the end she took to sending him pluck it from the edge of a precipice.
messages by trusted _STENDHAL
footmen, for from the first he had taken up residence in Luxembourg; messages which continued throughout her toilette, to know what ribbons she
would wear, what gown lmost everyone is more or less polite. We learn early on not to tell and other ornaments; people what we really think of them; we smile at their jokes, act inter-
almost invariably he made ested in their stories and problems. It is the only way to live with them.
her wear something she did
Eventually this becomes a habit; we are nice, even when it isn't really nec-
occasionally dared to do essary. We try to please other people, to not step on their toes, to avoid dis-anything, however smal agreements and conflict.
without his leave, he
Niceness in seduction, however, though it may at first draw someone to treated her like a servant,
and she was m tearsfor you (it is soothing and comforting), soon loses all effect. Being too nice can several days. • ... Before literally push the target away from you. Erotic feeling depends on the cre-
Keys to Seduction
assembled company he ation of tension. Without tension, without anxiety and suspense, there can would give her such
brusque replies that be no feeling of release, of true pleasure and joy It is your task to create everyone lowered their eyes, that tension in the target, to stimulate feelings of anxiety, to lead them to
and the Duchess would and fro, so that the culmination of the seduction has real weight and inten-blush, though her passion sity. So rid yourself of your nasty habit of avoiding conflict, which is in any case unnatural. You are most often nice not out of your own inner goodness but out of fear of displeasing, out of insecurity. Go beyond that fear and you suddenly have options—the freedom to create pain, then magically dissolve it. Your seductive powers will increase tenfold.
People will be less upset by your hurtful actions than you might imagine. In the world today, we often feel starved for experience. We crave emotion, even if it is negative. The pain you cause your targets, then, is bracing—it makes them feel more alive. They have something to complain about, they get to play the victim. As a result, once you have turned the pain into pleasure they will readily forgive you. Stir up their jealousy, make them feel insecure, and the validation you later give their ego by preferring them over their rivals is doubly delightful. Remember: you have more to fear by boring your targets than by shaking them up. Wounding people binds them to you more deeply than kindness. Create tension so you can release it. If you need inspiration, find the part of the target that most irritates you and use it as a springboard for some therapeutic conflict. The more real your cruelty, the more effective it is.
In 1818, the French writer Stendhal, then living in Milan, met the Countess Metilda Viscontini. For him, it was love at first sight. She was a proud, somewhat difficult woman, and she intimidated Stendhal, who was terribly afraid of displeasing her with a stupid comment or undignified act. Finally, unable to take it any longer, he one day took her hand and confessed his love. Horrified, the countess told him to leave and never come back.
Stendhal flooded Viscontini with letters, begging her to forgive him. At last, she relented: she would see him again, but under one condition—he could visit only once every two weeks, for no more than an hour, and only in the presence of company. Stendhal agreed; he had no choice. He now lived for those short fortnightly visits, which became occasions of intense anxiety and fear, since he was never quite sure whether she would change her mind and banish him forever. This went on for over two years, during which the countess never showed him the slightest sign of favor. Stendhal never found out why she had insisted on this arrangement—perhaps she wanted to toy with him or keep him at a distance. All he knew was that his love for her only grew stronger, became unbearably intense, until finally he had to leave Milan.
To get over this sad affair, Stendhal wrote his famous book On Love, in which he described the effect of fear on desire. First, if you fear the loved one, you can never get too close or familiar with him or her. The beloved then retains an element of mystery, which only intensifies your love. Second, there is something bracing about fear. It makes you vibrate with sensation, heightens your awareness, is intensely erotic. According to Stendhal, the closer the loved one brings you to the edge of the precipice, to the feeling that they could abandon you, the dizzier and more lost you will become. Falling in love means literally falling—losing control, a mix of fear and excitement.
Apply this wisdom in reverse: never let your targets get too comfortable for him was in no way curtailed." • For the princess, Riom was a sovereign remedy against boredom.
—STENDHAL, LOVE, TRANSLATED BY GILBERT AND SUZANNE SALE
with you. They need to feel fear and anxiety. Show them some coldness, a flash of anger they did not expect. Be irrational if necessary. There is always the trump card: a breakup. Let them feel they have lost you forever, make them fear that they have lost the power to charm you. Let these feelings sit with them for a while, then pull them back from the precipice. The reconciliation will be intense.
In 33 B.C., Mark Antony heard a rumor that Cleopatra, his lover of several years, had decided to seduce his rival, Octavius, and that she was planning to poison Antony. Cleopatra had poisoned people before; in fact she was an expert in the art. Antony grew paranoid, and finally one day confronted her. Cleopatra did not protest her innocence. Yes, that was true, it was quite within her power to poison Antony at any moment; there were no precautions he could take. Only the love she felt for him could protect him. To demonstrate, she took some flowers and dropped them into his wine. Antony hesitated, then raised the cup to his lips; Cleopatra grabbed his arm and stopped him. She had a prisoner brought in to drink the wine, and the prisoner promptly dropped dead. Falling at Cleopatra's feet, Antony professed that he loved her now more than ever. He did not speak out of cowardice; there was no man braver than he, and if Cleopatra could have poisoned him, he for his part could have left her and gone back to Rome. No, what pushed him over the edge was the feeling that she had control over his emotions, over life and death. He was her slave. Her demonstration of her power over him was not only effective but erotic.
Like Antony, many of us have masochistic yearnings without realizing it. It takes someone to inflict some pain on us for these deeply repressed desires to come to the surface. You must learn to recognize the types of hidden masochists out there, for each one enjoys a particular kind of pain. For instance, there are people who feel that they deserve nothing good in life, and who, unable to deal with success, sabotage themselves constantly. Be nice to them, admit that you admire them, and they are uncomfortable, since they feel that they cannot possibly match up to the ideal figure you have clearly imagined them to be. Such self-saboteurs do better with a little punishment; scold them, make them aware of their inadequacies. They feel they deserve such criticism and when it comes it is with a sense of relief. It is also easy to make them feel guilty, a feeling that deep down they enjoy.
Other people experience the responsibilities and duties of modern life as such a heavy burden, they long to give it all up. These people are often looking for someone or something to worship—a cause, a religion, a guru. Make them worship you. And then there are those who want to play the martyr. Recognize them by the joy they take in complaining, in feeling righteous and wronged; then give them a reason to complain. Remember: appearances deceive. Often the strongest-looking people—the Kissingers and Don Mateos—may secretly want to be punished. In any event, follow up pain with pleasure and you will create a state of dependency that will last for a long time.
Symbol: The Precipice. At the edge of a cliff, people often feel lightheaded, both fearful and dizzy. For a moment they can imagine themselves falling headlong. At the same time, a part of them is tempted. Lead your targets as close to the edge as possible, then pull them back. No thrill without fear.
People who have recently experienced a lot of pain or a loss will flee if you try to inflict more on them. They have enough in their lives already. Far better to surround these types with pleasure—that will put them under your spell. The technique of inflicting pain works best on those who have it easy, who have power and few problems. People with comfortable lives may also feel a gnawing sense of guilt, as if they had gotten away with something. They may not consciously know it, but secretly they long for some punishment, a good mental thrashing, something that will bring them back down to earth.
Also, remember to not use the pleasure-through-pain tactic too early on. Some of the greatest seducers in history—Byron, Jiang Qing (Madame Mao), Picasso—had a sadistic streak, an ability to inflict mental torture. If their victims had known in advance what they were getting themselves into, they would have run for the hills. In truth, most of these seducers lured their targets into their webs by appearing to be paragons of sweetness and affection. Even Byron seemed like an angel when he first met a woman, so that she tended to doubt his devilish reputation—a seductive doubt, for it allowed her to think of herself as the only one who really understood him. His cruelty would come out later on, but by then it would be too late. The victim's emotions were engaged, and his harshness would only intensify her feelings.
In the beginning, then, wear the mask of a lamb, making pleasure and attentiveness your bait. First get under their skin, then lead them on a wild ride.
Moving In for the Kill
First you worked on their mind—the mental seduction. Then you confused and stirred them up—the emotional seduction. Now the time has come for hand-to-hand combat—the physical seduction. At this point, your victims are weak and ripe with desire: by show-. ing a little coldness or uninterest, you will spark panic—they will come after you with impatience and erotic energy (21: Give them space to fall—the pursuer is pursued). To bring them to a boil, you need to put their minds to sleep and heat up their senses. It is best to lure them into lust by sending certain loaded signals that will get under their skin and spread sexual desire like a poison (22: Use physical lures). The moment to strike and move in for the kill is when your victim is brimming with desire, but not consciously expecting the climax to come (23: Master the art of the bold move).
Once the seduction is over, there is the danger that disenchantment will set in and ruin all your hard work (24: Beware the aftereffects). If you are after a relationship, then you must constantly re-seduce the victim, creating tension and releasing it. If your victim is to be sacrificed, then it must be done swiftly and cleanly, leaving you free (physically and psychologically) to move on to the next victim. Then the game begins all over.
Continue reading here: Give Them Space to Fall The Pursuer Is Pursued
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