The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene [Book Summary – Review]


The word “seduce” comes from seducere in Latin. It means ”to misguide someone in a wrongly-motivated direction.” All of us are essentially longing to be seduced, to be pulled out of our boring habits, and to be drawn into a sensual drama of imagination and likelihood. Love and seduction don’t have to be the same thing, however, it is possible that seduction paves way for a more conventional and enduring relationship.

Then, what is the way of seducing another person? Seduction means creating expectations, enigma, and charm, all of which this summary will teach you. However, at the very beginning, keep that in mind: Never make people think that you’re slanting or trying to get to them for something as this will cause them to regard you with suspicion and to resist your efforts.

Keep in mind, the boundary between love and hate isn’t as thick as you may presume.


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Chapter 1 – Enter into the circle of the person whom you want to seduce, however, avoid looking too enthusiastic.


The genuine seducer is aware of how life is sometimes rather dull. Knowing this, the seducer is, with great skill and founding creative ways, able to kindle that person’s sensual dreams and passions. This is a challenging job, though. Your moves cannot be explicit, you have to proceed inexplicitly like rousing that person’s imagination in a fashion beneficial to you.

The first thing you must keep in mind while seducing someone is to avoid too much eagerness. You have to keep your cards to yourself at the initial steps and don’t lay bare your goal to that person. Stay oblique and equivocal.

Should you find yourself in a sincere and honest connection, you will feel uneasy and hopeless. The chances of attaining success are higher unless you disclose your cards too early. When seducing someone, never go to approach your target. The misapprehension will be that she acted first by approaching you.

You should make her feel that you give her a look of neutrality: Ensure she can notice you, however, it isn’t necessary for you to approach her.

Actually, that’s precisely the way the Duke de Lauzun seduced the Duchesse de Montpensier while they were at Louis XIV’s palace.

After having made the first move, the duchess realized she was very much besotted with the ill-famed womanizer Lothario.



However, during fortuitous meetings in court, the duke seemed rather indifferent. Nevertheless, following several private conversations, the duchess started to relish his company. Soon later, they became very intimate and she was sharing details of her personal life with him. The only thing he was doing was to act the role of the friend and to stay near her.

He kindled the curiosity of the duchess. Maybe, their relationship could turn into something beyond friendship? Why was the duke not riveted by one of the most gorgeous and aristocratic women in France?

The duke did not act quickly and he was regular in his moves. He was prudent not to look too eager too early. The tempted duchess acted first to admit her passion to him – and not only did she crave the duke, but she also wanted marriage!

Someone who successfully seduces another person is similar to a spider, in that they construct a resilient and tenacious – and hardly detectable – web.


Chapter 2 – After drawing the attention of your target, begin to give mixed signals.


Seduction is fundamentally a psychological game. Then how can you draw your target’s attention in the best fashion and get yourself into her head, rendering it improbable for her to conceive of anything else?

Initially, you must rouse your target through your look or your actions. Once you’ve done that, you can give conflicting signals.

People difficult to discover, those enigmatic and charming types, enthrall all of us. Your target must feel that there is a mystery surrounding you. As a result, your target conceives of you as someone profound and thoughtful. Indirectly show the complexity and generate ambiguities.

For example, you could look all innocent-eyed first and another time you could seem flirtatious. Maybe, you could offset jokes with showing shyness at regular intervals.

You can also include gender roles while seducing someone. A male person, for instance, could assume a female person look with what he wears or his body language, however, blend that with some machismo or converse on more male-related topics.

What could also be good is to occasionally remain oblique and keep aloof.



This was precisely the way Joséphine de Beauharnais seduced Napoleon Bonaparte and married him. As being one of the most prominent French military masterminds of the age, he could surely get any women he wanted. She enticed Napoleon by courteous demeanors, asking him to come to her routine parties, in which she concentrated solely on him, notwithstanding the throngs of men around her.

What was her next step after inflaming his passion? She started neglecting him and rejected his offers to accompany him on campaign in Italy. It caused Napoleon to feel indignant – however, she alleviated the whole play by writing to him the most romantic letters.

What do we learn from this case? Be hard nut to crack. While teasing and being flirtatious, also get ready yourself to put some distance and be self-standing.


Chapter 3 – Exploit your target’s insecurities to make them crave you even more.


What is the moment when you most want to see attention and love from people? Very likely, you want them when you feel you’re lacking something in your life. This is a reality: if your target is content with their life, your attempts to seduce them will fail.

Thus, you must show that you are cognizant of how to relieve your target’s distress or feeling of void.

All of us have gone through such times when we weren’t confident of ourselves. Indeed, we are aware of the ways to conceal our insecurities when we’re outside, however, though they’re inconspicuous to us, such feelings stay around, continually trying to become noticeable to us.

If we are smitten with another person, it’s mainly due to our belief that the person we love can fill those existential voids, which can appear in the form of worrisome about the future, of insecurity regarding our appearance or intelligence or simply of experiencing a permeating sense of ennui.

This can go for cases outside of the love realm, such as corporate or political seduction. The excellent seducers in these domains manage to build a feeling that purchasing a particular product or casting your vote for a specific politician will enhance your life.

The next step is that you should figure out how to demonstrate your superiority, which will make your target willing to show his or her worth to you.

Actually, Cleopatra used this trick, and thanks to that she could seduce Julius Caesar. While talking with him, she added very delicate references to her ancestor Alexander the Great, antiquity’s best military mastermind.

This enraged Caesar. Cleopatra’s small mocking remarks roused all kinds of worries and insecurities in Caesar, who’s a military leader. He had to show her that he was worth her!



But, avoid being too harsh when playing with your target’s self-confidence. If you go too harsh on him, he may think of himself as undeserving of your love!

A good technique would be to get your target to lower his defensive walls by first rendering him the focus of attention. When he feels content, you can steadily begin to get the upper hand.

In the next chapter, we’ll examine the best ways of inserting yourself into your target’s world.


Chapter 4 – Flatter your target so that they show their most favorable traits.


Have you got knowledge about the way through which hunters catch small birds like the lark? They use a mirror. After seeing its own reflection, the lark becomes amazed by its mating dance. The lark no longer knows where it is, which makes it an easy target for predators and hunters.

It is possible for you to bewilder your target using this method: raise a mirror to reflect their best traits to themselves

This technique is effective because if someone flatters us, we almost fully drop our guard. If someone makes us feel beautiful, smart, or unprecedented, our self-confidence substantially increases, and it is very easy for us to instantly become addicted to this boost in self-confidence.

This was the very strategy Jeanne Poisson, who would later be known as Marquise de Pompadour, utilized when she enticed Louis XV, the ruler of France, and made herself his mistress in the eighteenth century.

Louis XV couldn’t leave pass his antecedent’s shadow, the exuberant “Sun King” Louis XIV, and had spent his life gambling and going to hunt.



However, Poisson injected him with self-esteem: people should respect him and he should be a smart man and surmount his notorious fame as a lethargic and lightweight ruler.

She began planning building designs on which he could give advice. She went as far as to have a theatre constructed where she would play theatrical pieces and this way, she turned him into an art enthusiast.

She uncovered those inner attributes in him and, soon later, he was very much smitten with her.

In order to obtain a similar outcome, it is also possible for you to reflect your target’s temperament, character, and inclinations.

People who share similar dispositions with us attract us. Within everyone, there is a narcissist, and the people who’ve got the same or similar ideas, predilections, and experiences are more attractive for us.


Chapter 5 – Change things occasionally, and stay mindful of the little things!


Once you’ve captured your target’s regard, the time to pull the strings has come. Stir their feelings and make them continue to make guesses about you.

This is possible to achieve by assuming an inconstant behavior. The key thing is to give something new, keep them agog, and acting through impulse. Should you be too ordinary and easy, the target will no longer be taken by you.

The excitement following from being kept in suspense attract us all. Consider seeing an absorbing film or reading a book. We all like being passively lead by the story through its various surprising changes.

This sort of changeability is seduction in its tangible form. There are various techniques to keep your target in suspense. What is necessary is a little creativity. Consider it as an entertaining challenge.

Maybe you could escort your target to novel and thrilling places. Perhaps you could alter your fashion a little, or offer surprise gifts.



The surprises that reflect your rich character are best. People are inclined to reach quick decisions about other people immediately after meeting them, and, since the first impression people make isn’t constantly the most natural, it’s essential to offset these decisions.

A little bit of change is good to refresh things. It is okay to be bashful and reticent at the beginning; it is always possible to uncover a more audacious or more adventuresome side later.

One other thing you can do to draw your target to yourself is to put little skills into practice to charm them and stir their interest.

Put on airs a bit by making captivating changes in your personal look. Changing your styles a bit will always be noticed. Maybe you could capture their eye turned at your clothes, jewelry, scent, or the ambiance created by the way your house is decorated.

When it comes to seduction, this was the technique Poisson liked using. She’d take Louis XV to her intimately illuminated room and put on arousing fragrances. Every time, she would put on a different dress and there’d be small ornaments to seduce Louis XV.


Chapter 6 – There will be a time when you will demonstrate that you want to move beyond closeness.


 As stated in this proverb, actions speak louder than words. This also applies to seduction, as well.

If the moment arrives, it’s essential to de demonstrate you’ve got a moral and selfless character. This will eradicate any uncertainties your target may have in mind when it comes to you and they’ll start to show genuine confidence in you.

Pauline Bonaparte, Napoleon’s sister, was drawn to Jules de Canouville for this reason. Ill-famed for her multiple sexual relationships, she would never be with someone for more than several weeks.



However, by using his selflessness, the dentist Canouville was able to inflame her commitment. Soon after meeting him, Pauline got an awful toothache. Canouville told her he could take this tooth out, however, she simply wouldn’t be able to bear the pain.

By simply elucidating how easy the procedure was, Canouville tried to calm her. Pauline would never let him carry out the procedure: she wanted to see proof that the procedure wouldn’t be painful. Not giving any second thoughts, Canouville went to his dentist and wanted him to pull out one of his very wholesome teeth. Through his selflessness, Pauline fell in love with him.

However, there is no necessity to go as far as Canouville to show your worth to your target. Be wary of opportunities and, unless your target presents themselves, feel free to fabricate a plan.

At one point you’ll see your target will go through difficult times, maybe they’ll need your help in resolving an issue or ask for a small favor. Don’t ignore these opportunities. Upon grasping such an opportunity, don’t leave it as a task only. Your high moral standards will be cherished. Ensure that your help is noticed, however, should you feel it is necessary to draw attention to it, talk about in a delicate and elusive way.

If you want it to be effective, you’ll need to adjust yourself to your target’s needs. It would be meaningless to demonstrate your worth through physical accomplishments of audacity, for instance, unless the target likes such things!


Chapter 7 – Think about ways to make use of emotional attachments from your target’s youth.


What we experience as children can stir all kinds of potent emotions, varying from affection to sentiments of being abandoned. After revealing them to you, your target is going to be more open to you.

Actually, it is possible to take advantage of your target’s recollections to reinforce your emotional bond.

You might be cognizant that most female patients were smitten with Freud. This was the result of patients uncovering their memories from the times when they were children to Freud. This generated a profound feeling of emotional bond.

When Freud went deeper into his patients’ recollections, particularly those memories about their fathers, he approached with a distance however, continue to be present. The patients unearthed powerful emotions for this quiet and affectionate person near them, viewing him as a father. This impact, called transference, is a potent medium in Freudian treatment, as it’s utilized to resurface feelings pent-up for very long.

All of us yearn for those days when we were juvenile and merry, free, and safe. Should you arouse those emotions in your target, they will soon begin to connect those feelings to you. So, they’ll start adjusting all sorts of fantasies to you, involving those which are of a loving and sexual sort.



In order for it to be real, the first thing you need to do is to become a good listener, in the same fashion as a therapist. Allow your target to talk about the times when they were children, encourage them to remember their recollections, and, while they give you the details of their memories, detect their vulnerabilities and what stirs them emotionally.

But, try to leave some space for your target’s emotions. Rather, pay attention to what she said and not said, and keep repetitive things in your mind.

Then, after learning what your target’s attachments were when they were children or what she pines for when it comes to her parents, utilize that knowledge. You can act like a caregiver or find ways to satisfy your target’s most profound need. She may need security or discipline or a feeling of direction.

Listening is the key thing.


Chapter 8 – Should you notice any traits in yourself that undermines your seduction attempts, do away with them.


Has there been a moment when you found someone revolting at the first meeting? Most likely, it is due to an attribute or personality trait that undermines your seduction attempts. As an ambitious seducer, remember this.

Seducing someone, you should be prudent not to disclose such features that’ll impede in your seduction attempts

There are three big features.

First, to look stingy greatly damages your attractiveness.

A person incapable of giving materially is also incapable of giving emotionally. If you’re parsimonious, it shows that you are going to fail to talk emotionally as regards seduction, too.

What is even more terrible, unless you are cognizant of your lack of magnanimity, it’s a lot more possible that you consider yourself generous in a circumstance whereas it’s just several pennies you’re giving out. Other people will consider you as self-important.

Next, you’ve got to have humor, otherwise, it’ll be impossible

If you’ve got no sense of humor, this means you’ve got more profound problems. Being mentally or physically stiff indicates that adjusting to novel situations is impossible for you. You’ll adhere to several essential “facts” and anticipate people to abide by them, too. And, unless you’ve got a sense of humor, you’ll be unable to be satisfied by the thrills of life. Maybe, you’ll be extremely touchy and incapable of taking jokes made at you.



If you carry such traits, then it’s rather repulsive and is a token of your feeling of self-doubt. You can seduce nobody in this way.

Finally, unless you pay enough attention to what your target says, you’ll get nothing.

Unless you are heedful of the situation or can read between the lines, you’ll simply make your target feel resented in the long term, particularly in relationships. This is both embittering and contradictory with all the knowledge we’ve acquired regarding seduction, which hinges on the utilization of details and specifications, according to what we’ve covered in the previous chapters.

Bear in mind, should you notice such attributes in yourself, make sure you eradicate them.


The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene Book Review


If you want to seduce your target, you need to keep your cards and comprehend what renders a person seductive. Exploit the potential of psychological methods to draw your target’s interest. Be self-confident, insert the appropriate feelings in them, and enthrall your target by adjusting yourself to their feelings. Keep subtlety in mind and stay enigmatic, and be attentive to details. Restrain your attitude and behavior and, maybe most essentially, stay inconstant.


Create a circle of friends and admirers around yourself.

To look more alluring to your target, ensure that he or she notices that friends or flirts are around you. How you look in your target’s eye will be affected by how other people perceive you, and if you’ve got more people who like you, then you’ll seem more charming to your target.



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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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