T H E A R T O F S E D U C T I O N
Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, has a
degree in classical literature. He lives in Los Angeles.
Visit his Web site: www.seductionbook.com
Joost Elffers is the producer of Viking Studio's best-
selling The Secret Language of Birthdays, The Secret
Language of Relationships, as well as Play with Your Food.
He lives in New York City.
the art of
A Joost Elffers Book
Published by the Penguin Group
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First published in the United States of America by Viking Penguin,
a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. 2001
Published in Penguin Books 2003
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Copyright © Robert Greene and Joost Elffers, 2001
All rights reserved
Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders. The publisher apologizes
for any errors or omissions in the list that follows and would be grateful to be
notified of any corrections that should appear in any reprint.
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGUED THE HARDCOVER EDITION AS FOLLOWS:
The art of seduction / Robert Greene.
"A Joost Elffers book."
ISBN 0-670-89192-4 (hc.)
ISBN 0 14 20.0119 8 (pbk.)
1. Sexual excitement. 2. Sex instruction. 3. Seduction. I.Title.
HQ31 .G82 2001
Printed in the United States of America
Set in Bembo
Designed by Jaye Zimet with Joost Elffers
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Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint excerpts from the following copyrighted works:
Falling in Love by Francesco Alberoni, translated by Lawrence Venuti. Reprinted by permission of
Random House, Inc.
Seduction by Jean Baudrillard, translated by Brian Singer. St. Martin's Press, 1990. Copyright © New
World Perspectives. 1990. Reprinted by permission of Palgrave.
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, translated by G. H. McWilliam (Penguin Classics 1972, second
edition 1995). Copyright © G. H. McWilliam, 1972, 1995. Reprinted by permission of Penguin
Warhol by David Bourdon, published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Behind the Mask: On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters and Other Japanese Cultural
Heroes by Ian Buruma, Random blouse UK, 1984. Reprinted with permission.
Andreas Capcllanus on Love by Andreas Capellanus. translated by P. G. Walsh. Reprinted by permission
of Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd.
The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione, translated by George Bull (Penguin Classics 1967,
revised edition 1976). Copyright © George Bull, 1967, 1976. Reprinted by permission of Penguin
Portrait of a Seductress: The World of Natalie Barney by Jean Chalon, translated by Carol Barko, Crown
Publishers, Inc., 1979. Reprinted with permission.
Lenin: The Man Behind the Mask by Ronald W. Clark, Faber & Faber Ltd., 1988. Reprinted with
Pursuit of the Millennium by Norman Cohn. Copyright © 1970 by Oxford University Press. Used by
permission of Oxford University Press, Inc.
Tales from The Thousand and One Nights, translated by N. J. Dawood (Penguin Classics, 1955, revised
edition 1973). Translation copyright © N. J. Dawood. 1954, 1973. Reprinted by permission of
Penguin Books Ltd.
Emma, Lady Hamilton by Flora Fraser, Alfred A. Knopf, 1987. Copyright © 1986 by Flora Fraser.
Reprinted by permission.
Evita: The Real Life of Eva Peron by Nicolas Fraser and Marysa Navarro, W. W Norton & Company,
Inc., 1996. Reprinted by permission.
The World's Lure: Fair Women, Their Loves, Their Power, Their Fates by Alexander von
Gleichen-Russwurm. translated by Hannah Waller, Alfred A. Knopf, 1927. Copyright 1927 by
Alfred A. Knopf. Inc. Reprinted with permission.
The Greek Myths by Robert Graves. Reprinted by permission of Carcanet Press Limited.
The Kennedy Obsession: The American Myth of JFK by John Hellman, Columbia University Press 1997.
Reprinted by permission of Columbia University Press.
The Odyssey by Homer, translated by E. V Rieu (Penguin Classics, 1946). Copyright © The Estate of
E. V. Rieu, 1946. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
The Life of an Amorous Woman and Other Writings by Ihara Saikaku, translated by Ivan Morris.
Copyright © 1963 by New Directions Publishing Corp. Reprinted by permission of New Directions
"The Seducer's Diary" from Either/Or, Part 1 by Søren Kierkegaard, translated by Howard V. Hong and
Edna H. Hong. Copyright © 1987 by Princeton University Press. Reprinted by permission of
Princeton University Press.
Sirens: Symbols of Seduction by Meri Lao, translated by John Oliphant of Rossie, Park Street Press,
Rochester. Vermont, 1998. Reprinted with permission.
Lives of the Courtesans by Lynne Lawner, Rizzoli, 1987. Reprinted with permission of the author.
The Theatre of Don Juan: A Collection of Plays and Views, 1630-1963 edited with a commentary by
Oscar Mandel. Copyright © 1963 by the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright © renewed 1991 by
the University of Nebraska Press. Reprinted by permission of the University of Nebraska Press.
Don Juan and the Point of Horror by James Mandrell. Reprinted with permission of
Penn State University Press.
Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant, translated by Douglas Parmee (Penguin Classics, 1975). Copyright ©
Douglas Parmee. 1975. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
The Arts and Secrets of Beauty by Lola Montez, Chelsea House, 1969. Used with permission.
The Age of the Crowd by Serge Moscovici. Reprinted with permission ot Cambridge University Press.
The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, translated by Edward G. Seidensncker, Alfred A. Knopf, 1976.
Copyright © 1976 by Edward G. Seidensticker. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
The Erotic Poems by Ovid, translated by Peter Green (Penguin Classics, 1982). Copyright © Peter
Green, 1982. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
The Metamorphoses by Ovid, translated by Mary M. Innes (Penguin Classics, 1955). Copyright ©
Mary M. Innes, 1955. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
My Sister, My Spouse: A Biography of Lou Andreas-Salomé by H. F. Peters, W. W. Norton & Company,
Inc., 1962. Reprinted with permission.
The. Symposium by Plato, translated by Walter Hamilton (Penguin Classics, 1951). Copyright © Walter
Hamilton. 1951. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives by Plutarch, translated by Ian Scott-Kilvert (Penguin
Classics, 1960). Copyright © Ian Scott-Kilvert, 1960. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Hooks Ltd.
Love Declared by Denis de Rougemont, translated by Richard Howard. Reprinted by permission of
Random House, Inc.
The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims by Arthur Schopenhauer, translated by T. Bailey Saunders
(Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1995). Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon by Sei Shonagon, translated and edited by Ivan Morris, Columbia
University Press. 1991. Reprinted by permission of Columbia University Press.
Liaison by Joyce Wadler, published by Bantam Books, 1993. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Max Weber: Essays in Sociology by Max Weber, edited and translated by H. H. Certh and C. Wright
Mills. Copyright 1946, 1958 by H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills. Used by permission of Oxford
University Press, Inc.
The Game of Hearts: Harriette Wilson & Her Memoirs edited by Lesley Blanch. Copyright © 1955 by
Lesley Blanch. Reprinted with permission of Simon & Schuster.
To the memory of my father
First, I would like to thank Anna Biller for her countless contributions to
this book: the research, the many discussions, her invaluable help with the
text itself, and, last but not least, her knowledge of the art of seduction, of
which I have been the happy victim on numerous occasions.
I must thank my mother, Laurette, for supporting me so steadfastly
throughout this project and for being my most devoted fan.
I would like to thank Catherine Léouzon, who some years ago intro-
duced me to Les Liaisons Dangereuses and the world of Valmont.
I would like to thank David Frankel, for his deft editing and for his
much-appreciated advice; Molly Stern at Viking Penguin, for overseeing
the project and helping to shape it; Radha Pancham, for keeping it all orga-
nized and being so patient; and Brett Kelly, for moving things along.
With heavy heart I would like to pay tribute to my cat Boris, who for
thirteen years watched over me as I wrote and whose presence is sorely
missed. His successor, Brutus, has proven to be a worthy muse.
Finally, I would like to honor my father. Words cannot express how
much I miss him and how much he has inspired my work.
- Part One: The Seductive Character
- The Siren
- The Rake
- The Ideal Lover
- The Dandy
- The Natural
- The Coquette
- The Charmer
- The Charismatic
- The Star
- The Anti-Seducer
- The Seducer's Victims - The 18 Types
- Part Two: The Seductive Process
- Phase One: Separation - Stirring Interest and Desire
- 1 Choose the Right Victim
- 2 Create a False Sense of Security-Approach Indirectly
- 3 Send Mixed Signals
- 4 Appear to Be an Object of Desire - Create Triangles
- 5 Create a Need - Stir Anxiety and Discontent
- 6 Master the Art of Insinuation
- 7 Enter Their Spirit
- 8 Create Temptation
- Phase Two: Lead Astray - Creating Pleasure and Confusion
- 9 Keep Them in Suspense - What Comes Next?
- 10 Use the Demonic Power of Words to Sow Confusion
- 11 Pay Attention to Details
- 12 Poeticize Your Presence
- 13 Disarm Through Strategic Weakness and Vulnerability
- 14 Confuse Desire and Reality - The Perfect Illusion
- 15 Isolate the Victim
- Phase Three: The Precipice - Deepening the Effect Through Extreme Measures
- 16 Prove Yourself
- 17 Effect a Regression
- 18 Stir Up the Transgressive and Taboo
- 19 Use Spiritual Lures
- 20 Mix Pleasure with Pain
- Phase Four: Moving In for the Kill
- 21 Give Them Space to Fall - The Pursuer Is Pursued
- 22 Use Physical Lures
- 23 Master the Art of the Bold Move
- 24 Beware the Aftereffects
- Appendix A: Seductive Environment/Seductive Time
- Appendix B: Soft Seduction: How to Sell Anything to the Masses
- Selected Bibliography