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The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene.
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1-Page Summary1-Page Book Summary of The Art of Seduction

In The Art of Seduction, published in 2001, Robert Greene provides insight into the nature of seduction, offering a template for how to successfully seduce people. Seduction is often sexual, but can also be used to gain adoring friends, followers, and political supporters. According to Greene, we all want the power to seduce, whether we admit to it or not—it gives us the feeling of being adored, the intoxicating pleasure of wielding power over another person, and the ability to get people to do anything you want them to do.

Robert Greene is the author of several other bestselling books including The 48 Laws of Power (1998), The 33 Strategies of War (2007), and Mastery (2012). He has no formal training in human psychology or behavior, and claims to derive his ideas about seduction and power directly from his observation of people over the course of his life. He admits [he...

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The Art of Seduction Summary Setting Up the Game: The Ground Rules of Seduction

Before discussing the specifics of seduction, Greene first gives some general advice on becoming a successful seducer. It’s important that you’re prepared with these in mind prior to embarking on your seduction.

Greene believes the seductive process requires the following six qualities:

Quality #1: Effort. Once you’ve chosen the person you want to seduce (which Greene refers to as your “victim” but we’ll call your “target”), you must put effort into pursuing them. Contact them frequently and incorporate seductive tactics into every interaction you have with them. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if love is meant to be, it’ll simply fall into place naturally.

Quality #2: A focus on generating love, not lust. Greene says that seduction is specifically about getting people to fall in love with you—not just to lust after you. While lust enthralls a person in the short term, it usually fades after they’ve gained sexual satisfaction, meaning the seducer’s power recedes swiftly. To be a great seducer, and retain your power, you must gain your target’s love.

(Shortform note: What Greene describes throughout the book as “love” may be more accurately described...

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The Art of Seduction Summary Part 1: The Players in the Game: Seducers and Targets

Greene says that seduction isn’t as much about strategies and techniques as it is about cultivating certain qualities in yourself. When you develop these qualities, and learn to embody them, you can use them to lure people in and then easily manipulate them.

(Shortform note: Despite this claim, this book focuses fairly heavily on techniques, as do other “pickup artist” manuals, like The Game. The seductive quality most literature in this genre points to as being essential, though, is confidence, and research supports this. But don’t get too cocky—overconfidence.) might actually diminish your perceived attractiveness.)

To begin, identify which seducer type you have a natural tendency toward. This will be the primary character you’ll play. Greene’s steps toward fully embodying your seductive personality are:

  • Identify your natural seducer type
  • Work on fully developing it
  • Add...

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The Art of Seduction Summary Part 2: Playing the Game—The Seduction Process

To seduce someone means to make them fall in love with you, romantically or platonically. Through the seduction process, you can win sexual partners or adoring and devoted friends, fans, or followers. According to Greene, the aim is always to bring the other person under your control. Once you have a person under your control, you can easily manipulate them into doing what you want. “What you want” may be sex: this is the traditional perception of seduction’s end goal. However, Greene emphasizes that seduction doesn’t have to be sexual. Instead, it may be about convincing someone to support you politically, or to buy your product or service.

(Shortform note: In The 48 Laws of Power, Green discusses a variety of other ways these techniques could be employed. For one example, he explains how you can generate a cult following of people who will adore you and do your bidding. This means you can use them to generate wealth and status. One of the methods he suggests for doing this is by imitating the structure of organized religion...

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Shortform Exercise: Reflect on Your Seductive and Repellent Qualities

Greene says that identifying your natural tendencies is a foundational element for successful seduction. Reflect on your traits, both seductive and repellent, to set up your game.

Which of the seducer types do you most identify with? How do you think you could hone some of the qualities to polish your seductive image?

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Table of Contents

  • 1-Page Summary
  • Setting Up the Game: The Ground Rules of Seduction
  • Part 1: The Players in the Game: Seducers and Targets
  • Part 2: Playing the Game—The Seduction Process
  • Exercise: Reflect on Your Seductive and Repellent Qualities