I realised the other day that there’s a difference between seduction and courtship—the latter is where you make yourself inferior to another person (on bended knee), the former is where you make yourself superior to the person (mysterious, fascinating, aloof). The West today is almost entirely enamoured with courtship—particularly perverted courtship. That’s no surprise, because courtship (m’lady) is a Northern European idea. This idea that you woo someone through persuasion, through self-abasement, suits a Nordic population selected to find partners to last the winter—a population attuned for long-term planning and to have few high-quality children. The courtship itself delays gratification—it requires self-control (and it used to be common to say “they’re courting” until about the early 1960s). Courtship has turned into a written request to have sex.
Seduction is Latin—it’s Mediterranean. It’s for societies where you don’t need to plan ahead for the winter because the crops are always abundant and the weather isn’t too harsh anyway; and, while you’re at it, have lots of children—be impulsive, it’s a sound strategy (you can’t help yourself). So this is where you get Latin lotharios with slicked back hair and a red rose between their teeth who strut towards a woman and say, “Caramia!” (And, perhaps, the Latin woman is equally aloof—later, plates will be thrown, switchblades taken out, slaps delivered, black-eyes acquired, and sweat-drenched sex engaged in). It’s about mystery, it’s about aloofness, it’s about cattiness—it’s impulsive, it’s fierce, it’s untamed.
Mirrors help. I was sitting in the corner of a bar today, in my blue-tinted glasses, and a hen party was two tables over. I licked my lips in the mirror behind them and one woman started to lick her lips (unconsciously); I put my tongue to the corner of my mouth (the symbol for a blowjob), she did the same; I mouthed a word, she spoke to her friends—when she left she turned and did her make-up in the mirror ostentatiously (all unconscious).