Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Great Seducers (part 3) - The Ideal Lover

The first two parts of this series looked at the siren (who masters by manipulation) and the rake (adores but unable to commit). Today's post and our third type of seducer, is 'the ideal lover', who in theory should be less threatening to our composure, but in reality is every bit as dangerous.
The ideal lover feeds off people's dissatisfaction and in a world of disillusionment he or she is gifted in the illusion of devotion.

David Tennant in the title role of the BBC drama "Casanova."
The model for our ideal lover is Giacomo Casanova. Perhaps the most prolific seducer in history, few women were able to resist him. And his secret? The answer was to study the object of his desire, find out what was lacking from her life and then offer it.  So from bored wife to lonely spinster, Casanova took on the part of ideal lover by providing excitement for the wife, and company for the spinster. This takes time, patience, attention to detail and perhaps a denial of self-importance that not all people are capable of.

The qualities of an ideal lover (in terms of seductive powers) are:
- Being humble - adoring the object of his attention and yet seeming surprised when that attention is returned
-Anticipation - being in the right place at the right time, with the right comment on the tip of his tongue.
- Absorbed - to be interested in anything and everything to do with his lover
- A longing to be with his lover, as reflected by his reluctant leave taking.

A portrait of the real Casanova.
In the excerpts below, we learn of the importance of making the right sort of exit.

"The lady urges him on, 'Come my friend it's getting light. You don’t want anyone to find you here.' He gives a deep sigh, as if to say that the night has not been nearly long enough and that it is agony to leave." RIGHT WAY to leave

"When he jumps out of bed, scurries about the room, tightly fastens his trouser sash, rolls up the sleeves of his court cloak…and stuffs his belongings into the breast of his robe and then briskly secures the outer sash - one really begins to hate him."  WRONG WAY to leave.

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon.

Who knows how Casanova's many conquests felt about his attentions, for just like the rake, he was besotted but never committed to one woman in the long term. He learnt how to use his personal attractiveness to get what he wanted by playing the part of 'the ideal lover'. But don’t be deceived - not only was Casanova skilled at getting what he wanted, he was almost the consummate master of making excuses and then leaving….

"The cultivation of the pleasures of the sense was ever my principal aim in life. Knowing that I was personally calculated to please the fair sex, I always strove to make myself agreeable."

With thanks to

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