How to Pick a Lover

Posts tagged ‘sexual scripts’

The Seamless Seduction

Here is a perfect poem: to awaken a longing to develop it, to increase it, to stimulate it, and to gratify it.
—Honorè de Balzac

When one thinks of the verb “to seduce,” one thinks of it as something a man does to a woman. More stereotypically, you think of an unscrupulous man, perhaps a villain with a pencil-thin mustache, pressing his attentions upon a young and presumably innocent girl. He suggests, “Have some Madeira, my deara”; and muddled by Madeira and soft talk, she eventually fails to resist and he has his way with her.

In a different kind of world, women, however inexperienced, are not as innocent. Women today don’t and need not simply wait for a man to approach and seduce them. Rather, they can themselves select a man they think looks promising and initiate the next stage.

Some men are very indiscriminate and unselective. You can seduce them by the simple strategy of saying, “Wanna fuck?” And they will say, “Of course!” And do so immediately. And when you’re done, you’ll have been, well, fucked. For a man who is the kind of man who is likely to take love seriously, this approach would be, in most instances, a total turnoff.

The kind of man who will be a serious and attentive lover must be approached just as men should approach women: by creating a mood and an atmosphere conducive to the right kind of experience. That means that the communication must be subtle and indirect, with no connotation of obligation, and no suggestion of a need to perform.

Seduction is an invitation, not a command.

The offering of a seductive invitation should be done in such a way that it is possible for the man or the woman to decline gracefully, with neither party losing face. The person who is skilled in sexual matters will never make a pass at someone when the response to the pass is in any doubt. When the time comes to make a definite, unambiguous move, the other person isn’t going to be surprised and his or her reaction is certain to be positive rather than negative.

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Photo credit: mattbeighton

Young people make a lot of mistakes in figuring out how to make a pass, how to see one coming, and how to accept or to deflect one. Older people who aren’t too experienced or those who come from a different tradition can also inflict considerable pain and embarrassment on each other because of their inability to “read” signals and passes.

The strategy for avoiding such confrontation isn’t all that difficult. In our culture, there are a number of sexual scripts as discussed earlier in previous posts. Think of the act of sexual intercourse as a kind of theatrical play with the man and woman being both actors and directors. A sexual interlude is a play with an overture at first curtain. It consists of three acts complete with intermissions and ends with a grand finale, followed by a period of denouement.

The sexual script starts with mutual looking. It proceeds, with or without words, to kissing and mutual touching. At each stage, the other person responds with an encouraging gesture (or sound) or a negative one. The skilled lover, male or female, listens to this conversation of gestures, murmurs, and moans and modifies his or her actions accordingly. There should be mutual, if unspoken, consent as to what happens next, if anything.

Because of sexual scripting, the sequence of erotic involvement is generally quite consistent. The man who is seen as a “wolf ” or the woman who is seen as “too fast” is merely someone who has skipped some of the expected steps. The sense of affront this creates may not be for the acts themselves but for the failure to prepare the other person by leading up to those acts in the right way. The actual time frame involved has less to do with the script than with the specific male and female involved. If the two are virgin teenagers who have been kept as innocent and uninformed as possible, it may take months; if they’re sophisticated New York swingers, it may take only a few hours. Since men aren’t as prepared as are women to have someone make a pass at them, it’s even more important that the sexual script be followed and that there be no surprises which might create a sense of threat and discomfort. The gestures involved proceed with very small increments and with great attention to the response they receive, if any. No one gesture should be so obvious that it must be acknowledged in a way which could prove awkward for either party.

If the gesture is declined, everyone should be able to walk away without embarrassment. If the gesture isn’t declined, the sexual interaction should flow smoothly and easily from one stage to the other—right through to the proverbial cigarette afterward.

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The Role of Pillow Talk in Making Love

By the time you swear you’re shivering and sighing,
and he vows his passion is infinite, undying—lady,
make a note of this: one of you is lying.
—Dorothy Parker

Making love is like a play. It has a script of sorts, partly dictated by the culture, partly created through the continual revisions made by the couple themselves. It is a play with an overture: an apt analogy because, in this case, even the word is the same.

Making love begins with someone making overtures. It has a first act made up of various kinds of foreplay. It reaches a climax in the second act. It has a third act, an afterword. There are intermissions. And as in the theater, there must be a willing suspension of disbelief.

When watching a play, you know at some level that it is not real life. Actors are killed, but not really. It takes place in the eighteenth century, but not really. The scene takes place deep in the forest, which is, really, only painted trees on cardboard. To enjoy the play, you must willingly suspend disbelief: knowing it is not real, you nevertheless agree to go along with whatever the author and the players tell you, as if you did believe.

Pillow Talk (film)

Wikipedia

Pillow talk, like a play, needs some suspension of disbelief. When he says, “You are the most beautiful woman in the entire world,” you don’t stop to wonder about his criteria for beauty or what kind of survey he has taken with what kind of international sample. When he says, “I’ve never been this happy before,” you don’t ask, “What about when you were sixteen and your father surprised you with a red Mustang convertible?”

You believe that, at the moment, it is true . . . even if it isn’t true. Pillow talk exists in the realm of feeling, not fact. It is not a time to be too literal.

An exasperated friend of mine told me that he breathed into his girlfriend’s ear, “I love you,” only to have her bolt upright and demand, “What do you mean by ‘love’?” There may well be forty-seven meanings of the verb “to love,”
but this is not the time or place for semantics. The circumstances of pillow talk are not conducive to accuracy. The whispered words and promises, the hyperbole and dreams have to be considered in context.

If you want reality, listen to what your man tells you the next morning while you are sharing coffees and hangovers.

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