The Art of Seduction- The Victims

The Eighteen Types (from The Art of Seduction By Robert Greene)

The people around you are all potential victims of a seduction, but first you must know what type of victim you are dealing with. Victims are categorized by what they feel they are missing in life—adventure, attention, romance, a naughty experience, mental or physical stimulation, etc. Once you identify their type, you have the necessary ingredients for a seduction: you will be the one to give them what they lack and cannot get on their own. In studying potential victims, learn to see the reality behind the appearance. A timid person may yearn to play the star; a prude may long for a transgressive thrill. Never try to seduce your own type.

The Reformed Rake or Siren.
People of this type were once happy-go lucky seducers who had their way with the opposite sex. But the day came when they were forced to give this up—someone corralled them into a relationship, they were encountering too much social hostility, they were getting older and decided to settle down. Whatever the reason, you can be sure they feel some resentment and a sense of loss, as if a limb were missing. We are always trying to recapture pleasures we experienced in the past, but the temptation is particularly great for the Reformed Rake or Siren because the pleasures they found in seduction were intense. These types are ripe for the picking: all that is required is that you cross their path and offer them the opportunity to resume their rakish or siren ways. Their blood will stir and the call of their youth will overwhelm them. It is critical, though, to give these types the illusion that they are the ones doing the seducing. With the Reformed Rake, you must spark his interest indirectly, then let him burn and glow with desire. With the Reformed Siren, you want to give her the impression that she still has the irresistible power to draw a man in and make him give up everything for her. Remember that what you are offering these types is not another relationship, another constriction, but rather the chance to escape the corral and have some ran. Do not be put off if they are in a relationship; a preexisting commitment is often the perfect foil. If hooking them into a relationship is what you want, hide it as best you can and realize it may not be possible. The Rake or Siren is unfaithful by nature; your ability to spark the old feeling gives you power, but then you will have to live with the consequences of their feckless ways.

The Disappointed Dreamer.
As children, these types probably spent a lot of time alone. To entertain themselves they developed a powerful fantasy life, fed by books and films and other kinds of popular culture. And as they get older, it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile their fantasy life with reality, and so they are often disappointed by what they get. This is particularly true in relationships. They have been dreaming of romantic heroes, of danger and excitement, but what they have is lovers with human frailties, the petty weaknesses of everyday life. As the years pass, they may force themselves to compromise, because otherwise they would have to spend their lives alone; but beneath the surface they are bitter and still hungering for something grand and romantic. You can recognize this type by the books they read and films they go to, the way their ears prick up when told of the real-life adventures some people manage to live out. In their clothes and home furnishings, a taste for exuberant romance or drama will peek through. They are often trapped in drab relationships, and little comments here and there will reveal their disappointment and inner tension. These types make for excellent and satisfying victims. First, they usually have a great deal of pent-up passion and energy, which you can release and focus on yourself. They also have great imaginations and will respond to anything vaguely mysterious or romantic that you offer them. All you need do is disguise some of your less than exalted qualities and give them a part of their dream. This could be the chance to live out their adventures or be courted by a chivalrous soul. If you give them a part of what they want they will imagine the rest. At all cost, do not let reality break the illusion you are creating. One moment of pettiness and they will be gone, more bitterly disappointed than ever.

The Pampered Royal. These people were the classic spoiled children. All of their wants and desires were met by an adoring parent—endless entertainments, a parade of toys, whatever kept them happy for a day or two. Where many children learn to entertain themselves, inventing games and finding friends, Pampered Royals are taught that others will do the entertaining for them. Being spoiled, they get lazy, and as they get older and the parent is no longer there to pamper them, they tend to feel quite bored and restless. Their solution is to find pleasure in variety, to move quickly from person to person, job to job, or place to place before boredom sets in. They do not settle into relationships well because habit and routine of some kind are inevitable in such affairs. But their ceaseless search for variety is tiring for them and comes with a price: work problems, strings of unsatisfying romances, friends scattered across the globe. Do not mistake their restlessness and infidelity for reality—what the Pampered Prince or Princess is really looking for is one person, that parental figure, who will give them the spoiling they crave. To seduce this type, be ready to provide a lot of distraction- new places to visit, novel experiences, color, spectacle. You will have to maintain an air of mystery, continually surprising your target with a new side to your character. Variety is the key. Once Pampered Royals are hooked, things get easier for they will quickly grow dependent on you and you can put out less effort. Unless their childhood pampering has made them too difficult and lazy, these types make excellent victims——they will be as loyal to you as they once were to mommy or daddy. But you will have to do much of the work. If you are after a long relationship, disguise it. Offer long-term security to a Pampered Royal and you will induce a panicked flight. Recognize these types by the turmoil in their past—job changes, travel, short-term relationships—and by the air of aristocracy, no matter their social class, that comes from once being treated like royalty.

The New Prude.
Sexual prudery still exists, but it is less common than it was. Prudery, however, is never just about sex; a prude is someone who is excessively concerned with appearances, with what society considers appropriate and acceptable behavior. Prudes rigorously stay within the boundaries of correctness because more than anything they fear society's judgment. Seen in this light, prudery is just as prevalent as it always was. The New Prude is excessively concerned with standards of goodness, fairness, political sensitivity, tastefulness, etc. What marks the New Prude, though, as well as the old one, is that deep down they are actually excited and intrigued by guilty, transgressive pleasures. Frightened by this attraction, they run in the opposite direction and become the most correct of all. They tend to wear drab colors; they certainly never take fashion risks. They can be very judgmental and critical of people who do take risks and are less correct. They are also addicted to routine, which gives them a way to tamp down their inner turmoil. New Prudes are secretly oppressed by their correctness and long to transgress. Just as sexual prudes make prime targets for a Rake or Siren, the New Prude will often be most tempted by someone with a dangerous or naughty side. If you desire a New Prude, do not be taken in by their judgments of you or their criticisms. That is only a sign of how deeply you fascinate them; you are on their mind. You can often draw a New Prude into a seduction, in fact, by giving them the chance to criticize you or even try to reform you. Take nothing of what they say to heart, of course, but now you have the perfect excuse to spend time with them—and New Prudes can be seduced simply through being in contact with you. These types actually make excellent and rewarding victims. Once you open them up and get them to let go of their correctness, they are flooded with feelings and energies. They may even overwhelm you. Perhaps they are in a relationship with someone as drab as they themselves seem to be—do not be put off. They are simply asleep, waiting to be awakened.

The Crushed Star. We all want attention, we all want to shine, but with most of us these desires are fleeting and easily quieted. The problem with Crushed Stars is that at one point in their lives they did find themselves the center of attention—perhaps they were beautiful, charming and effervescent, perhaps they were athletes, or had some other talent—but those days are gone. They may seem to have accepted this, but the memory of having once shone is hard to get over. In general, the appearance of wanting attention, of trying to stand out, is not seen too kindly in polite society or in the workplace. So to get along, Crushed Stars learn to tamp down their desires; but failing to get the attention they feel they deserve, they also become resentful. You can recognize Crushed Stars by certain unguarded moments: they suddenly receive some attention in a social setting, and it makes them glow; they mention their glory days, and there is a little glint in the eye; a little wine in the system, and they become effervescent. Seducing this type is simple: just make them the center of attention. When you are with them, act as if they were stars and you were basking in their glow. Get them to talk, particularly about themselves. In social situations, mute your own colors and let them look funny and radiant by comparison. In general, play the Charmer. The reward of seducing Crushed Stars is that you stir up powerful emotions. They will feel intensely grateful to you for letting them shine. To whatever extent they had felt crushed and bottled up, the easing of that pain releases intensity and passion, all directed at you. They will fall madly in love. If you yourself have any star or dandy tendencies it is wise to avoid such victims. Sooner or later those tendencies will come out, and the competition between you will be ugly.

The Novice. What separates Novices from ordinary innocent young people is that they are fatally curious. They have little or no experience of the world, but have been exposed to it secondhand—in newspapers, films, books. Finding their innocence a burden, they long to be initiated into the ways of the world. Everyone sees them as so sweet and innocent, but they know this isn't so—they cannot be as angelic as people think them. Seducing a Novice is easy. To do it well, however, requires a bit of art. Novices are interested in people with experience, particularly people with a touch of corruption and evil. Make that touch too strong, though, and it will intimidate and frighten them. What works best with a Novice is a mix of qualities. You are somewhat childlike yourself, with a playful spirit. At the same time, it is clear that you have hidden depths, even sinister ones. (This was the secret of Lord Byron's success with so many innocent women.) You are initiating your Novices not just sexually but experientially, exposing them to new ideas, taking them to new places, new worlds both literal and metaphoric. Do not make your seduction ugly or seedy-everything must be romantic, even including the evil and dark side of life. Young people have their ideals; it is best to initiate them with an aesthetic touch. Seductive language works wonders on Novices, as does attention to detail. Spectacles and colorful events appeal to their sensitive senses. They are easily misled by these tactics, because they lack the experience to see through them. Sometimes Novices are a little older and have been at least somewhat educated in the ways of the world. Yet they put on a show of innocence, for they see the power it has over older people. These are coy Novices, aware of the game they are playing—but Novices they remain. They may be less easily misled than purer Novices, but the way to seduce them is pretty much the same—mix innocence and corruption and you will fascinate them.

The Conqueror. These types have an unusual amount of energy, which they find difficult to control. They are always on the prowl for people to conquer, obstacles to surmount. You will not always recognize Conquerors by their exterior—they can seem a little shy in social situations and can have a degree of reserve. Look not at their words or appearance but at their actions, in work and in relationships. They love power, and by hook or by crook they get it. Conquerors tend to be emotional, but their emotion only comes out in outbursts, when pushed. In matters of romance, the worst thing you can do with them is lie down and make yourself easy prey; they may take advantage of your weakness, but they will quickly discard you and leave you the worse for wear. You want to give Conquerors a chance to be aggressive, to overcome some resistance or obstacle, before letting them think they have overwhelmed you. You want to give them a good chase. Being a little difficult or moody, using coquetry, will often do the trick. Do not be intimidated by their aggressiveness and energy—that is precisely what you can turn to your advantage. To break them in, keep them charging back and forth like a bull. Eventually they will grow weak and dependent, as Napoleon became the slave of Josephine. The Conqueror is generally male but there are plenty of female Conquerors out there—Lou Andreas-Salomé and Natalie Barney are famous ones. Female Conquerors will succumb to coquetry, though, just as the male ones will.

The Exotic Fetishist.
Most of us are excited and intrigued by the exotic. What separates Exotic Fetishists from the rest of us is the degree of this interest, which seems to govern all their choices in life. In truth they feel empty inside and have a strong dose of self-loathing. They do not like wherever it is they come from, their social class (usually middle or upper), and their culture because they do not like themselves. These types are easy to recognize. They like to travel; their houses are filled with objects from faraway places; they fetishize the music or art of this or that foreign culture. They often have a strong rebellious streak. Clearly the way to seduce them is to position yourself as exotic—if you do not at least appear to come from a different background or race, or to have some alien aura, you should not even bother. But it is always possible to play up what makes you exotic, to make it a kind of theater for their amusement. Your clothes, the things you talk about, the places you take them, make a show of your difference. Exaggerate a little and they will imagine the rest, because such types tend to be self-deluders. Exotic Fetishists, however, do not make particularly good victims. Whatever exoticism you have will soon seem banal to them, and they will want something else. It will be a struggle to hold their interest. Their underlying insecurity will also keep you on edge.One variation on this type is the man or woman who is trapped in a stultifying relationship, a banal occupation, a dead-end town. It is circumstance, as opposed to personal neurosis, that makes such people fetishize the exotic; and these Exotic Fetishists are better victims than the self-loathing kind, because you can offer them a temporary escape from whatever oppresses them. Nothing, however, will offer true Exotic Fetishists escape from themselves.

The Drama Queen.
There are people who cannot do without some constant drama in their lives—it is their way of deflecting boredom. The greatest mistake you can make in seducing these Drama Queens is to come offering stability and security. That will only make them run for the hills. Most often, Drama Queens (and there are plenty of men in this category) enjoy playing the victim. They want something to complain about, they want pain. Pain is a source of pleasure for them. With this type, you have to be willing and able to give them the mental rough treatment they desire. That is the only way to seduce them in a deep manner. The moment you turn too nice, they will find some reason to quarrel or get rid of you. You will recognize Drama Queens by the number of people who have hurt them, the tragedies and traumas that have befallen them. At the extreme, they can be hopelessly selfish and anti-seductive, but most of them are relatively harmless and will make fine victims if you can live with the sturmunddrang. If for some reason you want something long term with this type, you will constantly have to inject drama into your relationship. For some this can be an exciting challenge and a source for constantly renewing the relationship. Generally, however, you should see an involvement with a Drama Queen as something fleeting and a way to bring a little drama into your own life.

The Professor.
These types cannot get out of the trap of analyzing and criticizing everything that crosses their path. Their minds are overdeveloped and overstimulated. Even when they talk about love or sex, it is with great thought and analysis. Having developed their minds at the expense of their bodies, many of them feel physically inferior and compensate by lording their mental superiority over others. Their conversation is often wry or ironic—you never quite know what they are saying, but you sense them looking down on you. They would like to escape their mental prisons, they would like pure physicality, without any analysis, but they cannot get there on their own. Professor types sometimes engage in relationships with other professor types, or with people they can treat as inferiors. But deep down
they long to be overwhelmed by someone with physical presence—a Rake or a Siren, for instance. Professors can make excellent victims, for underneath their intellectual strength lie gnawing insecurities. Make them feel like Don Juans or Sirens, to even the slightest degree, and they are your slaves. Many of them have a masochistic streak that will come out once you stir their dormant senses. You are offering an escape from the mind, so make it as complete as possible: if you have intellectual tendencies yourself, hide them. They will only stir your target's competitive juices and get their minds turning. Let your Professors keep their sense of mental superiority; let them judge you. You will know what they will try to hide: that you are the one in control, for you are giving them what no one else can give them—physical stimulation.

The Beauty.
From early on in life, the Beauty is gazed at by others. Their desire to look at her is the source of her power, but also the source of much unhappiness: she constantly worries that her powers are waning, that she is no longer attracting attention. If she is honest with herself, she also senses that being worshiped only for one's appearance is monotonous and unsatisfying—and lonely. Many men are intimidated by beauty and prefer to worship it from afar; others are drawn in, but not for the purpose of conversation. The Beauty suffers from isolation. Because she has so many lacks, the Beauty is relatively easy to seduce, and if done right, you will have won not only a much prized catch but someone who will grow dependent on what you provide. Most important in this seduction is to validate those parts of the Beauty that no one else appreciates—her intelligence (generally higher than people imagine), her skills, her character. Of course you must worship her body—you cannot stir up any insecurities in the one area in which she knows her strength, and the strength on which she most depends—but you also must worship her mind and soul. Intellectual stimulation will work well on the Beauty, distracting her from her doubts and insecurities, and making it seem that you value that side of her personality. Because the Beauty is always being looked at, she tends to be passive. Beneath her passivity, though, there often lies frustration: the Beauty would love to be more active and to actually do some chasing of her own. A little coquettishness can work well here: at some point in all your worshiping, you might go a little cold, inviting her to come after you. Train her to be more active and you will have an excellent victim. The only downside is that her many insecurities require constant attention and care.

The Aging Baby.
Some people refuse to grow up. Perhaps they are afraid of death or of growing old; perhaps they are passionately attached to the life they led as children. Disliking responsibility, they struggle to turn everything into play and recreation. In their twenties they can be charming, in their thirties interesting, but by the time they reach their forties they are beginning to wear thin. Contrary to what you might imagine, one Aging Baby does not want to be involved with another Aging Baby, even though the combination might seem to increase the chances for play and frivolity. The Aging Baby does not want competition, but an adult figure. If you desire to seduce this type, you must be prepared to be the responsible, staid one. That may be a strange way of seducing, but in this case it works. You should appear to like the Aging Baby's youthful spirit (it helps if you actually do), can engage with it, but you remain the indulgent adult. By being responsible you free the Baby to play. Act the loving adult to the hilt, never judging or criticizing their behavior, and a strong attachment will form. Aging Babies can be amusing for a while, but, like all children, they are often potently narcissistic. This limits the pleasure you can have with them. You should see them as short-term amusements or temporary outlets for your frustrated parental instincts.

The Rescuer.
We are often drawn to people who seem vulnerable or weak—their sadness or depression can actually be quite seductive. There are people, however, who take this much further, who seem to be attracted only to people with problems. This may seem noble, but Rescuers usually have complicated motives: they often have sensitive natures and truly want to help. At the same time, solving people's problems gives them a kind of power they relish—it makes them feel superior and in control. It is also the perfect way to distract them from their own problems. You will recognize these types by their empathy—they listen well and try to get you to open up and talk. You will also notice they have histories of relationships with dependent and troubled people. Rescuers can make excellent victims, particularly if you enjoy chivalrous or maternal attention. If you are a woman, play the damsel in distress, giving a man the chance so many men long for—to act the knight. If you are a man, play the boy who cannot deal with this harsh world; a female Rescuer will envelop you in maternal attention, gaining for herself the added satisfaction of feeling more powerful and in control than a man. An air of sadness will draw either gender in. Exaggerate your weaknesses, but not through overt words or gestures—let them sense that you have had too little love, that you have had a string of bad relationships, that you have gotten a raw deal in life. Having lured your Rescuer in with the chance to help you, you can then stoke the relationship's fires with a steady supply of needs and vulnerabilities. You can also invite moral rescue: you are bad. You have done bad things. You need a stern yet loving hand. In this case the Rescuer gets to feel morally superior, but also the vicarious thrill of involvement with someone naughty.

The Roué.
These types have lived the good life and experienced many pleasures. They probably have, or once had, a good deal of money to finance their hedonistic lives. On the outside they tend to seem cynical and jaded, but their worldliness often hides a sentimentality that they have struggled to repress. Roués are consummate seducers, but there is one type that can easily seduce them—the young and the innocent. As they get older, they hanker after their lost youth; missing their long-lost innocence, they begin to covet it in others. If you should want to seduce them, you will probably have to be somewhat young and to have retained at least the appearance of innocence. It is easy to play this up—make a show of how little experience you have in the world, how you still see things as a child. It is also good to seem to resist their advances: Roués will think it lively and exciting to chase you. You can even seem to dislike or distrust them—that will really spur them on. By being the one who resists, you control the dynamic. And since you have the youth that they are missing, you can maintain the upper hand and make them fall deeply in love. They will often be susceptible to such a fall, because they have tamped down their own romantic tendencies for so long that when it bursts forth, they lose control. Never give in too early, and never let your guard down—such types can be dangerous.

The Idol Worshiper.
Everyone feels an inner lack, but Idol Worshipers have a bigger emptiness than most people. They cannot be satisfied with themselves, so they search the world for something to worship, something to fill their inner void. This often assumes the form of a great interest in spiritual matters or in some worthwhile cause; by focusing on something supposedly elevated, they distract themselves from their own void, from what they dislike about themselves. Idol Worshipers are easy to spot—they are the ones pouring their energies into some cause or religion. They often move around over the years, leaving one cult for another. The way to seduce these types is to simply become their object of worship, to take the place of the cause or religion to which they are so dedicated. At first you may have to seem to share their spiritual interest, joining them in their worship, or perhaps exposing them to a new cause; eventually you will displace it. With this type you have to hide your flaws, or at least to give them a saintly sheen. Be banal and Idol Worshipers will pass you by. But mirror the qualities they aspire to have for themselves and they will slowly transfer their adoration to you. Keep everything on an elevated plane—let romance and religion flow into one. Keep two things in mind when seducing this type. First, they tend to have overactive minds, which can make them quite suspicious. Because they often lack physical stimulation, and because physical stimulation will distract them, give them some: a mountain trek, a boat trip, or sex will do the trick. But this takes a lot of work, for their minds are always ticking. Second, they often suffer from low self-esteem. Do not try to raise it; they will see through you, and your efforts at praising them will clash with their own self-image. They are to worship you; you are not to worship them. Idol Worshipers make perfectly adequate victims in the short term, but their endless need to search will eventually lead them to look for something new to adore.

The Sensualist.
What marks these types is not their love of pleasure but their overactive senses. Sometimes they show this quality in their appearance—their interest in fashion, color, style. But sometimes it is more subtle: because they are so sensitive, they are often quite shy, and they will shrink from standing out or being flamboyant. You will recognize them by how responsive they are to their environment, how they cannot stand a room without sunlight, are depressed by certain colors, or excited by certain smells. They happen to live in a culture that de-emphasizes sensual experience (except perhaps for the sense of sight). And so what the Sensualist lacks is precisely enough sensual experiences to appreciate and relish. The key to seducing them is to aim for their senses, to take them to beautiful places, pay attention to detail, envelop them in spectacle, and of course use plenty of physical lures. Sensualists, like animals, can be baited with colors and smells. Appeal to as many senses as possible, keeping your targets distracted and weak. Seductions of Sensualists are often easy and quick, and you can use the same tactics again and again to keep them interested, although it is wise to vary your sensual appeals somewhat, in kind if not in quality. That is how Cleopatra worked on Mark Antony, an inveterate Sensualist. These types make superb victims because they are relatively docile if you give them what they want.

The Lonely Leader.
Powerful people are not necessarily different from everyone else, but they are treated differently, and this has a big effect on their personalities. Everyone around them tends to be fawning and courtier like, to have an angle, to want something from them. This makes them suspicious and distrustful, and a little hard around the edges, but do not mistake the appearance for the reality: Lonely Leaders long to be seduced, to have someone break through their isolation and overwhelm them. The problem is that most people are too intimidated to try, or use the kind of tactics—flattery, charm—that they see through and despise. To seduce such types, it is better to act like their equal or even their superior—the kind of treatment they never get. If you are blunt with them you will seem genuine, and they will be touched—you care enough to be honest, even perhaps at some risk. (Being blunt with the powerful can be dangerous.)Lonely Leaders can be made emotional by inflicting some pain, followed by tenderness. This is one of the hardest types to seduce, not only because they are suspicious but because their minds are burdened with cares and responsibilities. They have less mental space for a seduction. You will have to be patient and clever, slowly filling their minds with thoughts of you. Succeed, though, and you can gain great power in turn, for in their loneliness they will come to depend on you.

The Floating Gender.
All of us have a mix of the masculine and the feminine in our characters, but most of us learn to develop and exhibit the socially acceptable side while repressing the other. People of the Floating Gender type feel that the separation of the sexes into such distinct genders is a burden. They are sometimes thought to be repressed or latent homosexuals, but this is a misunderstanding: they may well be heterosexual but their masculine and feminine sides are in flux, and because this may discomfit others if they show it, they learn to repress it, perhaps by going to one extreme. They would actually love to be able to play with their gender, to give full expression to both sides. Many people fall into this type without its being obvious: a woman may have a masculine energy, a man a developed aesthetic side. Do not look for obvious signs, because these types often go underground, keeping it under wraps. This makes them vulnerable to a powerful seduction. What Floating Gender types are really looking for is another person of uncertain gender, their counterpart from the opposite sex. Show them that in your presence and they can relax, express the repressed side of their character. If you have such proclivities, this is the one instance where it would be best to seduce the same type of the opposite sex. Each person will stir up repressed desires in the other and will suddenly have license to explore all kinds of gender combinations, without fear of judgment. If you are not of the Floating Gender, leave this type alone. You will only inhibit them and create more discomfort.

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