Despite the more salacious connotations of the word, seduction can be an art form, believes author Perry Brass. Just as an artist lays out the colors on a palette before he can begin painting, “…a good seducer knows that only by arranging the right setting and being in the right frame of mind, can the seduction take place without stalemating into a cold, awkward, and unnerving situation,” he writes.
Although some artists are born with innate talent, others must develop their raw skills and confidence with careful practice and guidance. Similarly, fledgling seducers will find Brass’ mentorship invaluable, as he details the sometimes-rocky paths to intimacy and the difficulties that crop up in flirtatious encounters.
The guidebook is aimed primarily at gay men, but Brass (author of How To Survive Your Own Gay Life) keeps his advice broad enough to be applicable to straight women as well. Because he delves so deeply into the male psyche, it might be challenging for a straight male or lesbian reader to use all of his insight, but there’s still plenty of wisdom for those readers as well.
Brass argues, quite effectively, that seduction isn’t about ending between the sheets with someone, even though that might be the outcome. Instead, a truly creative and successful seducer understands how to make a genuine connection to others, and how to develop a sense of intimacy quickly. Although he touches on common advice like tapping into shared interests, Brass also explores deeper concepts like valor and territorialism, and his stunning chapter on rejection should be a must-read for everyone in the dating scene.
“Most of the time, men are not rejecting you,” he writes. “They’re rejecting a situation they feel they can’t control, and the fact that you are bringing more stress (and lack of control) into either a socially or sexually-charged situation.”
To make the material even more usable, Brass includes a “worksheet” type of section at the end of every chapter. For example, for the rejection chapter, he asks the reader to list a past rejection, and how he or she might view that person now. Only by thinking about the full circumstances of the rejection can someone move on, Brass believes.
Filled with useful, practical advice, this guide is likely to make gay men feel more in control of their chance encounters, and boost some self-esteem as well. Everyone can learn the art of seduction, as Brass notes, and he provides plenty of the necessary tools and art supplies.
Review Date: January 2010.