In early drafts of The War of the First Day the heroine, Lilta, got a mini-tutorial on seducing a man from her mistress. I distilled the mistress’s advice from real-world experience (ah, one’s twenties) and I thought I’d elaborate on it here. While most women seem to just instinctively know this (how do y’all do that, anyway? Are you hooked into some cosmic Female Wikipedia or something?), some nerdlinger chicks could use a little help. What follows is the deleted scene, and then an elaboration for real-world practice.
I started to speak, then hesitated.
“Is there something else, Lilta?”
Abstinence was becoming unendurable. “Mistress, I need physical…um…”
“I understand; take a lover then. You may go to Taxis for twenty days. A month would be better for you, of course, but even with the lull in fighting I can’t spare you that long. Remember what I taught you about preventing a child from being conceived.”
“Do women get lost to Taxis when they do this?”
“That occasionally happens. Almost all of them come back eventually. I am not worried that it will happen to you.”
“The last time it was the man who did the pursuing, and I don’t know if I understand men well enough to…How does one…?”
Again she understood. “The art of seduction can be learned; one needn’t be born with the instinct. Most importantly, dismiss those who say that seduction involves a straightforward approach. You should not frankly state your intentions to a man; that removes all the tension. Tension is necessary because without it there is nothing to be released by fucking. That means there will be no desire, and so no fucking.”
My face was hot at this exceedingly direct speech. She noticed. Amused, she said, “You would prefer a more delicate formulation? When you decide to…couple with a man speak with him about any topic other than that. Place a hand on his arm or shoulder. This will make him wonder if you are beginning to seduce him. Let him wonder for a while.
“After that there are few steps to coupling. When enough time has gone by–use your judgment–contrive to have the two of you withdraw to a place where you won’t be interrupted. If he doesn’t suggest this, you should. The thinnest of pretexts will do, if he desires you. When you are alone, wait. You are waiting for him to make the first overt advance.”
“You mean attempting the first kiss?”
“It is usually that, although it needn’t be. In any case, you should not make the first move. You want a man, not a coward. If he is too timid to risk being rebuffed, he is not good enough for you, or for any woman. If he is bold…well, then.”
“Your instruction is relentlessly pragmatic, as always, mistress.”
“You are welcome, Lilta. Now off you go, and don’t return until you are so well serviced that you can hardly walk.”
“Arlu! Good-bye, mistress!”
The scene had to be removed for pacing and other reasons, but I’ve always had a certain affection for it. Writing it didn’t require intense mental effort, basically just recalling episodes from my twenties and turning the viewpoint around. Thinking about it more carefully after the scene was written, I realized that women’s seduction of men (when they want to be more subtle than getting wasted and grinding their ass against your crotch on the dance floor – not that I have any objections to that) generally falls into a particular pattern.
The pattern in a moment, but a final note first, ladies: This is the Real Deal. It is not casual flirting. This is the sequence of steps to follow if you really do want to be on your back with your heels in the air later that evening.
Here’s the pattern:
Talk, touch, isolate, wait.
Talk: Start a conversation with the man about any subject. It doesn’t matter what, nor need you seem witty.
Touch: Put a hand on his arm or shoulder as you talk to him. Keep eye contact here (I’m erring on the side of belaboring the obvious). This will make him wonder if you are trying to seduce him. Let him wonder for a while. (It’s good to get him thinking about it early on; that way it won’t seem weirdly abrupt when you get more overt later. If he’s a typical dude he’ll be willing to overlook the weirdness, but ideally, whether you’re a chick seducing a dude or vice-versa, the process is graceful, fluid.)
Isolate: After enough time has gone by – it could be anything from minutes to hours, depending on various factors; use your judgment – suggest that the two of you withdraw to a private situation. Note to geek chicks: You don’t say “Let us now withdraw to a private situation.” Don’t be a dork. Just come up with some pretext. It doesn’t matter what, because if he wants you, he’ll say Cool no matter how tissue-thin the pretext is, and if he doesn’t want you he’ll say No thanks in any case. So just say, e.g., “It’s so noisy here; let’s go back to my place where we can hear each other talk.” Or you could say, “Oh, you like that band? I love that band! I’m in the mood to hear their song Fuck the daylights out of me, stud. Let’s go back to my place and listen to it.” Or: “I have some better wine than this at my place; would you like to come back with me and open a bottle?” It helps to actually have the wine if you’re going to use this, but it’s not mandatory. (Inexperienced women might wonder about the wine not actually being necessary. Won’t you be exposed if you have no wine back at your place? Ha! Silly girl, this is seduction, not wine sales. The guy doesn’t give a damn about the wine any more than you do. So when you get back to your place, just do a fake search for the wine, then slap your forehead and say, “Oh, right, I forgot that bottle was finished last week.” Or whatever. Believe me, you can improvise any old BS, because of course neither of you is actually thinking about the wine.) Or: (Looking out the window.) “It’s a really clear night. I’ll bet the stars are beautiful.” If he doesn’t suggest that the two of you get out of there and go look at the stars, then you should.
The basic point is that your pretext doesn’t have to be particularly convincing. Indeed, it might be better if it’s transparently just an excuse to get the two of you alone together, because then he can guess what you’re thinking. Nor need you deliver your line with verisimilitude that would pass muster in an acting class. Just go ahead and say it in a flat, blatantly pre-scripted monotone. It doesn’t matter! …because you’re not trying to convince him that you actually care about the wine or the band or the stars or whatever; you’re just trying to provide an excuse for the two of you to get out of there together.
Why can’t you just say, “Let’s go back to my place and fool around”? It has been done, actually, but it’s not optimal, for three reasons. First, what if it’s a twenty minute walk back to your place? If you’ve explicitly put fooling around out there, that’s gonna be a hell of an awkward walk. Second (I originally wrote “Sexcond,” which must be the Best! Freudian! Typo! Ever!), if you leave a little bit of doubt it builds up the tension, which makes everything more exciting and fun for everyone. Third, you want a man, not a wussy. Make him display his balls by making a move when he’s not 100% sure whether you want him to or not. By the way, I can assure you of two things: (1) While making a pass in this situation is nerve-wracking for the guy when he’s like thirteen and inexperienced, it’s good for his self-confidence to force himself to just do it. (2) When a man is experienced, the only thing that gets his pulse rate above 70 beats per minute when making a pass is not being 100% sure how the girl will react. This takes me to…
Wait: Wait for him to make the first overt move, which is typically going for the first kiss. You want him to prove that he has the balls to risk rejection. This is one of the burdens that we men have to bear, just as there are certain burdens that you women have to bear. Would you want to fool around with a guy who didn’t have the cojones to do it? I didn’t think so.
Note: A really experienced man might even make you wait for his move, knowing that you want him to go for it and deliberately driving you a little crazy waiting for it. This is one of the fun things about being a man who’s experienced and self-confident. Heh. Suffer, babe!
Step five: You know what step five is, you dirty girl!
Part 2 is here: