Anti-Seducers come in many shapes and kinds, but almost all of them share a single attribute, the source of their repellence: insecurity. We are all insecure, and we suffer for it. Yet we are able to surmount these feelings at times; a seductive engagement can bring us out of our usual selfabsorption, and to the degree that we seduce or are seduced, we feel charged and confident. Anti-Seducers, however, are insecure to such a degree that they cannot be drawn into the seductive process. Their needs, their anxieties, their self-consciousness close them off. They interpret the slightest ambiguity on your part as a slight to their ego; they see the merest hint of withdrawal as a betrayal, and are likely to complain bitterly about it.
If seduction is a kind of ceremony or ritual, part of the pleasure is its duration—the time it takes, the waiting that increases anticipation. Brutes have no patience for such things; they are concerned only with their own pleasure, never with yours. To be patient is to show that you are thinking of the other person, which never fails to impress. Impatience has the opposite effect: assuming you are so interested in them you have no reason to wait, Brutes offend you with their egotism. Underneath that egotism, too, there is often a gnawing sense of inferiority, and if you spurn them or make them wait, they overreact. If you suspect you are dealing with a Brute, do a test—make that person wait. His or her response will tell you everything you need to know.
Suffocators fall in love with you before you are even halfaware of their existence. The trait is deceptive—you might think they have found you overwhelming—but the fact is they suffer from an inner void, a deep well of need that cannot be filled. Never get involved with Suffocators; they are almost impossible to free yourself from without trauma. They cling to you until you are forced to pull back, whereupon they smother you with guilt. We tend to idealize a loved one, but love takes time to develop. Recognize Suffocators by how quickly they adore you. To be so admired may give a momentary boost to your ego, but deep inside you sense that their intense emotions are not related to anything you have done. Trust these instincts.
A subvariant of the Suffocator is the Doormat, a person who slavishly imitates you. Spot these types early on by seeing whether they are capable of having an idea of their own. An inability to disagree with you is a bad sign.
Seduction is a game, and should be undertaken with a light heart. All is fair in love and seduction; morality never enters the picture. The character of the Moralizer, however, is rigid. These are people who follow fixed ideas and try to make you bend to their standards. They want to change you, to make you a better person, so they endlessly criticize and judge—that is their pleasure in life. In truth, their moral ideas stem from their own unhappiness, and mask their desire to dominate those around them. Their inability to adapt and to enjoy makes them easy to recognize; their mental rigidity may also be accompanied by a physical stiffness. It is hard not to take their criticisms personally so it is better to avoid their presence and their poisoned comments.
Cheapness signals more than a problem with money. It is a sign of something constricted in a person’s character—something that keeps them from letting go or taking a risk. It is the most anti-seductive trait of all, and you cannot allow yourself to give in to it. Most tightwads do not realize they have a problem; they actually imagine that when they give someone some paltry crumb, they are being generous. Take a hard look at yourself—you are probably cheaper than you think. Try giving more freely of both your money and yourself and you will see the seductive potential in selective generosity. Of course you must keep your generosity under control. Giving too much can be a sign of desperation, as if you were trying to buy someone.
Bumblers are self-conscious, and their self-consciousness heightens your own. At first you may think they are thinking about you, and so much so that it makes them awkward. In fact they are only thinking of themselves—worrying about how they look, or about the consequences for them of their attempt to seduce you. Their worry is usually contagious: soon you are worrying too, about yourself. Bumblers rarely reach the final stages of a seduction, but if they get that far, they bungle that too. In seduction, the key weapon is boldness, refusing the target the time to stop and think. Bumblers have no sense of timing. You might find it amusing to try to train or educate them, but if they are still Bumblers past a certain age, the case is probably hopeless—they are incapable of getting outside themselves.
The most effective seductions are driven by looks, indirect actions, physical lures. Words have a place, but too much talk will generally break the spell, heightening surface differences and weighing things down. People who talk a lot most often talk about themselves. They have never acquired that inner voice that wonders, Am I boring you? To be a Windbag is to have a deep-rooted selfishness. Never interrupt or argue with these types—that only fuels their windbaggery. At all costs learn to control your own tongue.
Reactors are far too sensitive, not to you but to their own egos. They comb your every word and action for signs of a slight to their vanity. If you strategically back off, as you sometimes must in seduction, they will brood and lash out at you. They are prone to whining and complaining, two very anti-seductive traits. Test them by telling a gentle joke or story at their expense: we should all be able to laugh at ourselves a little, but the Reactor cannot. You can read the resentment in their eyes. Erase any reactive qualities in your own character—they unconsciously repel people