The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, April 07, 2005

By the Way...

We had a heartfelt protest from a reader regarding the ethics of seduction using the methodology I laid out.  I agree that it was a non-optimal aproach. However, I'm telling stories on myself to describe the path I took to get to a particular place in my life. To sort of boil it down:

1) I had to know who I was and where I was going.
2) I had to communicate to a woman that I was interested, but that I didn't NEED her.
3)I had to hold my voice and body language in a congruent, coherant fashion--these things had to be TRUE.
The ordinary approaches to sex generally take advantage of the Beauty/Power game: men buy dinner, demonstrate their earning power, dangling the possibility that a woman might have access to those resources one day.  Women generally find seduction easy--it's long-term relationships that are more of a challenge.  So they dangle sex out there, then pull it back once the hook is set, demanding more intimacy and commitment.  Is this over-simplification?  OF COURSE IT IS.  Any generallizations about gender are over-simplifications. In fact, any over-simplifications about hman beings are.  But To avoid life devoid of heuristics is as flawed an approach as to approach life completely controlled by them. Anyone who disbelieves that women are, on average, attracted to power simply has no real-world experience.  Anyone who disbelieves that men are, on average, attracted to beauty, is in the same boat.  Is there variation in these models?  Vast.  But when, in Junior High and High school, I started noticing that the most attractive women were gravitating to the most powerful guys, I had only a couple of options:
1) resent women and consider them 'unfair."
2) settle for women less appealing than those I really desired.
3) Decide to cultivate and express my own personal power, so that I could be the equal of one of the gorgeous women who touched my heart.  By the way--beauty to me has less to do with genetics than with discipline, self-love, aesthetic sense, and energy.  I've met VERY few women who could not be beautiful if they chose, or had emotional permission to express themselves in that way.
Women think men are unfair for being attracted to beauty.  What a crock.  They make no bones about being attracted to intelligence and power.  Tell me, ladies: what is easier?  For a woman to lose weight, or for a man to increase his intelligence.  Be honest.  Both sides trade what they've got for the best  deal they can get.  It's nature's way, it's our way.  Lie about it if you want. 
I've taken my stand on the issue.  What's yours?

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