July 27, 2013

5 Tips on Becoming a Seductress.

When most people hear the word “seductress,” certain images pop into their head.

First of all, the seductress must be impossibly beautiful. She must also be a sex bomb. She is the sort of woman that mere mortal women won’t be friends with because she will “steal” their men. (These women aren’t out for friendship. They just want your man.)

Turns out all of the above are myths.

According to academic Betsy Prioleau who has written extensively on the subject, seductresses come in many guises, and most look more like the girl-next-door than Angelina Jolie. While it’s true that stunning looks may initially attract a man and cause them to lust, keeping and maintaining that interest is a whole other story.

History is full of examples of “ordinary” women who won the hearts of rich, powerful and famous men. Many were left scratching their heads and wondering, “What exactly does he see in her?” It turns out, these women won the men over with their brains and personalities rather than their looks. Below is a list of traits these brainy women shared, as well as examples of seductresses who didn’t quite fit the myth:

1. Cultivate a sense of curiosity and knowledge and share it with others.

As recently as the 1950s, books on “how to land a man” warned smart girls that showing their intelligence to men would intimidate the poor dears.

Legendary Queen of the Nile, Cleopatra, would have laughed at that. Despite popular myth, Cleopatra was no beauty. Reports vary as to what she looked like, but one thing that is certain: she did not look like Elizabeth Taylor. The overall consensus is that she was short, large-breasted and had a prominent, beak-like nose. In all the reports by people who actually met her, none mention that she was pretty, but all mention that she was highly intelligent and had a knack for languages. The latter was especially important when it came to managing her kingdom. Although she was the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra came from a line of Greek rulers, and was the only one of them to learn Egyptian. She understood the importance of communication which served her both politically and personally.

Despite her reputation as a sex goddess, there is only proof that she ever had sex with two men: Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony. Like her, both of these men loved power, and Cleopatra was a shrewd politician. Most historians believe that this common interest—rather than sex—is what drew these two powerful men to her and kept them interested.

2. Treat a man like your equal—not your superior.

This is an important one. It’s so easy to feel like you’re back in high school when a man you thought was “unattainable” shows interest in you. However, when you are tempted to ask what he sees in you, instead ask yourself, why shouldn’t he be interested in you?

One of my favorite examples of this is Yoko Ono and John Lennon.

Now, a lot of people don’t like Ono.

They claim she broke up the Beatles, that she controlled Lennon, etc. Maybe that’s true or maybe it isn’t. However, one thing they cannot deny is that Ono refused to see Lennon as a god and instead, saw him as a man. Patti Boyd, the ex-wife of Lennon’s bandmate George Harrison and guitar legend Eric Clapton, wrote in her recent memoir that “Yoko. . . was everything that [his then-wife] and probably every other woman he had ever met was not. She was . . . afraid of nothing and she didn’t fall into the stereotype of the subservient woman that John had been used to.”

While some may ask, “Why wouldn’t she have been like that?” remember that this was the height of Beatlemania. They were “bigger than Jesus.” Women constantly threw themselves at all of them but especially Lennon. Everyone except Ono that is.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that she was a Japanese aristocrat and was not fazed by his success or that she was an outspoken feminist way before feminism was popular. I think it was probably a mixture of both. In any case, there was no denying that despite the rocky times in the relationship Lennon was smitten by her and remained so up to his untimely death.

3. Be sexy and know true sexiness has nothing to do with your physical appearance.

Seductresses are often said to have a sexiness that cannot be captured in pictures. Part of that is having a sense of humor and confidence. It’s not always easy.

I tend to think of that infamous Princess Diana-Prince Charles-Camilla-triangle that rocked the British monarchy and the rest of the world. I’ve known a few people who met Camilla, the current Duchess of Cornwall, including a hall-mate of mine in graduate school who lived in the same village when she was still married to her first husband. They all said Camilla was funny and surprisingly sexy. Now “sexy” probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. (Diana was said to say she couldn’t understand why her husband craved the older, less-attractive “other woman” who in her words “was hardly an oil painting.” ) However, Camilla is said to be one of those women who radiates confidence and is comfortable in her own skin.

Camilla was so confident that she reportedly ended her relationship with Charles and went on to marry another man. When Camilla’s role in breaking up the royal marriage came to light, and she became one of the most hated women in the world, that confidence was apparent by what she did not do. She did not attempt to explain away her role or issue statements like, That marriage was in trouble way before we resumed a relationship. It would have ended with or without me.

She didn’t even get a new haircut when jokes about her looks became the norm. When it was revealed that Diana’s nickname for her was “The Rottweiler,” Camilla was reportedly more amused than bothered by that and even answered the phone by saying, “Rottweiler here.”

To this day, there are still many who dislike Camilla, but few can deny that the woman seems to have both confidence and a sense of humor about herself.

4. Have a life of your own—not one wrapped around his.

This can be tough. I’ve lost myself in past relationships. However, all the seductresses in history seemed to have their own interests and their own lives.

Think of the legendary designer Coco Chanel. Now, there were many things not to like about Chanel, including her coziness with the Nazis during WWII. But, she was a pioneer in many ways, including being one of the first women to launch a multimillion dollar clothing empire that is still very popular today. She also had many men fall in love with her during her life and ended an engagement with the Duke of Westminster saying, “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster but there is only one Chanel!”

I hesitantly mention Priscilla Chan, aka Mrs. Mark Zuckerberg, because she and her husband try to live low-key, and keep their personal lives as private as possible. However, Chan is known to many as Dr. Chan. She married Zuckerberg right after she completed medical school. While many women in her situation would be tempted to quit their jobs and fill their days shopping and getting beauty treatments, she is currently a medical resident. Now, a lot of women with millionaire and billionaire husbands start businesses, but many of them are little more than hobbies. It’s pretty impossible to be a hobby doctor.

I remember a lot of snide comments when they married, mostly about Chan’s looks and how Zuckerberg could have married a Victoria’s Secret model-type. I am sure he could have. However, he got something far more valuable: a woman who seems to love him for him and not for his Facebook fame. Frankly, I think the argument can be made that he’s the lucky one. (Plus, I confess that I happen to think they look cute together.)

This brings me to the last and most important one.

5. Live for yourself.

Despite this title, this list isn’t about attracting a man. It’s about enhancing your life and allowing you to be entranced by your own great self. This is different from being a narcissist, because a true seductress cares about others. She charms both women and men, and truly engages with those around her. She may be single, but if she’s with someone, it’s because she has a true connection with the person.

As the above examples illustrate, you don’t need to be beautiful to find a true connection. You don’t even have to have everyone like you. In fact, many of these women I mention are controversial and continue to have their share of haters.

However, one thing that is undeniable is they marched to the beat of their own drum, and they had that “it” factor, which made some of the world’s most famous and powerful men fall for them over all others.

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{photo: Wikimedia Commons}

Editor: Travis May




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