We women in the twenty first century are the most accomplished, talented, educated women in history. But are we as charming or mysterious as women we read about from the past? Do we flirt and fascinate? I don’t mean just flirting with men. Do we flirt with old ladies, the butcher behind the counter, little kids, and dogs? Have we forgotten the rules of the Art of Seduction?

I began to wonder about this last weekend. It all started when I went searching in the back of my closet for a flapper dress to wear to a Great Gatsby themed summer garden party. I thought to myself, I should start by looking in that old steamer trunk. It’s a rusty trunk from my late grandmother’s house that had somehow ended up in my possession. When I pried open the top, I saw only one item in the trunk, a sheaf of yellowed papers. What could this be? Written in an elegant script, I read, “Great-great grandmother Victorine’s letters.”

I knew that Victorine Laurent had been a member of the French branch of my family who had lived in Paris during the 1860’s. My grandmother had told me when I was little that Victorine had been a great beauty and whispered with a wink, she had been a courtesan! I didn’t know what a courtesan was at the time but I got the message that it was very alluring and a bit naughty.

I carefully smoothed out the crinkled pages of the letter, and realized that Victorine had indeed been the mistress to many famous rich men in Paris and here was the advice she had written for her own daughter, my great-great grandmother.

I’d like to share these tips with you because they don’t simply relate to seducing a man. By using these laws of seduction, we can charm or seduce anyone in any situation life presents us.

Victorine's Art of Seduction

To my darling daughter -- Don’t cry over this young man who has been so unkind to you. Wipe your tears, follow these laws of seduction and you’ll have scores of men pining for you. --

To help you recall these rules, just remember: V-I-C-T-O-R-I-N-E

Never become predictable or boring. Create suspense. Keep the gentleman guessing. Send mixed signals. Be warm then suddenly cool. Throw a tantrum, then initiate rapprochement. Argue with him, but share his interests, desires and dreams. Have your own opinions and be different enough to be fascinating.

Your intellect is the most seductive quality you possess.

Be self-confident. If you don’t feel so, feign it until you discover your true self-worth. If you must embark on a journey of self-discovery to acquire confidence, do so.

The object of your seduction must be transported to your realm of pleasure so that he may forget his problems and the concerns of his daily life. Use all your talents to take your target farther into your loving world. In the words of Baudelaire, transport him into the realm of “luxe, calme and volupté.”

Object of Fascination--
Be an object of fascination -- wear make-up, beautiful clothes, read the latest novels, know about far-flung subjects that will amuse and delight. Astonish him. Remind with subtle hints how you are an object of fascination to others. Males feel most alive when they compete: in sport, in business, in the halls of power.

Remove Yourself--
You must be willing at any point to leave. This is perhaps the most important rule of seduction. Never be taken for granted. If you feel you are, then leave and find your next object of seduction.

Be genuinely interested in your gentleman. Focus on the best qualities that endear him to you. Minimize his faults in your mind. Truly listen as he speaks of his fondest dreams and his darkest fears. Listen to the tales of his childhood, his first love, his worst frustrations and his proudest triumphs. The world is constantly battering his ego, or flattering him falsely. Be his safe harbor and he will become yours forever.

Be naughty as little children sometimes are. Be harmless, fun, and naughty.

Enjoy life. We are here on this earth to create love and to share it.

© 2007 Debra Finerman

Author's Bio: 

Debra Finerman attended Christie's Graduate Program in Connoisseurship and the Art Market. Mademoiselle Victorine: A Novel (Published by Three Rivers Press. July 2007;$13.95US/$17.95CAN; 978-0-307-35283-5) is her first work of fiction after a career as a journalist in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. She worked for The Hollywood Reporter Magazine, Beverly Hills Today, Beverly Hills Magazine and Capital Style. She currently lives in New York and Connecticut.

For more information, please visit http://www.debrafinerman.com or http://www.mademoisellevictorine.com