On 31 Oct 2003, human thermodynamics researcher Libb Thims showed the following list of the top-24 greatest seduction techniques of all-time, used throughout history, culled from the memoirs of those as: CleopatraBathshebaHelen of TroyOvidCasanovaDon JuanFreudErrol FlynnJosephine BonaparteJohn F. KennedyDuke EllingtonKierkegaardMarilyn MonroeCary Grant, and others, as found in Robert Greene's best-selling 2001 book The Art of Seduction, to 60 people, a mix of college students and working class people (30 men, 30 women) from the around the Chicagoland area, aged predominantly 18-35:
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Inception: 04/26/06
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[ From pgs: xiii - xvii of Greene's The Art of Seduction ]

1. Choose the Right Victim

Everything depends on the target of your seduction.  Study your prey thoroughly, and choose only those who will prove susceptible to your charms.  The right victims are those for whom you can fill a void, who see in you something exotic.  They are often isolated or unhappy, or can easily be made so—for the completely contented person is almost impossible to seduce.  The perfect victim has some quality that inspires strong emotions in you, making your seductive maneuvers seem more natural and dynamic.  The perfect victim allows for the perfect chase.

2. Create a False Sense of Security – Approach Indirectly

If you are too direct early on, you risk stirring up a resistance that will never be lowered.  At first there mist be nothing of the seducer in you manner.  The seduction should begin at an angle, indirectly, so that the target only gradually becomes aware of you.  Haunt the periphery of your target’s life—approach through a third party, or seem to cultivate a relatively neutral relationship, moving gradually from friend to lover.  Lull the target into feeling secure, then strike.

3. Send Mixed Signals

Once people are aware of your presence, and perhaps vaguely intrigued, you need to stir their interest before it settles on someone else.  Most of us are much too obvious—instead, be hard to figure out.  Send mixed signals: both tough and tender, both spiritual and earthly, both innocent and cunning.  A mix of qualities suggests depth, which fascinates even as it confuses.  And elusive, enigmatic aura will make people want to known more, drawing them into you circle.  Create such a power by hinting at something contradictory within you.

4. Appear to Be an Object of Desire – Create Triangles 

Few are drawn to the person whom others avoid or neglect; people gather around those who have already attracted interest.  To draw your victims closer and make them hungry to possess you, you must create and aura of desirability—of being wanted and court by many.  It will become a point of vanity for them to be the preferred object of your attention, to win you away from a crowd of admirers.  Build a reputation that precedes you: If many have succumbed to your charms, there must be a reason. 

5. Create a Need – Stir Anxiety and Discontent

A perfectly satisfied person cannot be seduced.  Tension and disharmony must be instilled in your targets’ minds.  Stir within them feelings of discontent, and unhappiness with their circumstances and with themselves.  The feelings of inadequacy that you create will give you space to insinuate yourself, to make them see you as the answer to their problems.  Pain and anxiety are the proper precursors to pleasure.  Learn to manufacture the need that you can fill.

6. Master the Art of Insinuation

Making your targets feel dissatisfied and in need of your attention is essential, but if you are too obvious, they will see through you and grow defensive.  There is no known defense, however, against insinuation—the art of planting ideas in people’s minds by dropping elusive hints that take root days later, even appearing to them as their own idea.  Create a sublanguage—bold statements followed by retraction and apology, ambiguous comments, banal talk combined with alluring glances—that enters the target’s unconscious to convey your real meaning.  Make everything suggestive.

7. Enter Their Spirit

Most people are locked in their own worlds, making them stubborn and hard to persuade.  The way to lure them out of their shell and set up your seduction is to enter their spirit.  Play by their rules, enjoy what they enjoy, adapt yourself to their moods.  In doing so you will stroke their deep-rooted narcissism and lower their defenses.  Indulge your targets’ every mood and whim, giving them nothing to react against or resist.

8. Create Temptation

Leave the target deep into your seduction by creating the proper temptation: a glimpse of the pleasures to come.  As the serpent tempted Eve with the promise of forbidden knowledge, you must awaken a desire in your targets that they cannot control. Find that weakness of theirs, that fantasy that has yet to be realized, and hint that your can lead them toward it.  The key is to keep it vague.  Stimulate a curiosity stronger than the doubts and anxieties that go with it, and they will follow you.

9. Keep Them In Suspense – What Comes Next?

The moment people feel they know what to expect from you, your spell on them is broken.  More: Your have ceded them power.  The only way to lead the seduced along and keep the upper hand is to create suspense, a calculated surprise.  Doing something they do not expect from you will give them a delightful sense of spontaneity—they will not be able to foresee what comes next.  You are always one step ahead and in control.  Give the victim a thrill with a sudden change of direction.

10. Use the Demonic Power of Words to Sow Confusion

It is hard to make people listen; they are consumed with their own thoughts and desires, and have little time for yours.  The trick to making them listen is to say what they want to hear, to fill their ears with whatever is pleasant to them.  This is the essence of seductive language.  Inflame people’s emotions with loaded phrases, flatter them, comfort their insecurities, envelop them in sweet words and promises, and not only will they listen to you, they will lose their will to resist you.

11. Pay Attention to Detail

Lofty words of love and grand gestures can be suspicious: Why are you trying so hard to please?   The details of a seduction—the subtle gestures, the offhand things you do—are often more charming and revealing.  You must learn to distract your victims with a myriad of pleasant little rituals—thoughtful gifts tailored just for them, clothes and adornments designed to please them, gestures that show the time and attention you are paying them.  Mesmerized by what they see, they will not notice what your are really up to.

12. Poeticize Your Presence

Important things happen when your targets are alone: The slightest feeling of relief that you are not their, and it is all over.  Familiarity and overexposure will cause the reaction.  Remain elusive, then.  Intrigue your targets by alternating an exciting presence with a cool distance, exuberate moments followed by calculated absences.  Associate yourself with poetic images and objects, so that when they think of you, they begin to see you through an idealized halo.  The more you figure in their minds, the more they will envelope you in seductive fantasies.

13. Disarm Through Strategic Weakness and Vulnerability

Too much maneuvering on your part may raise suspicion.  The best way to cover your tracks is to make the other person feel superior and stronger.  If you seem to be weak, vulnerable, enthralled by the other person, and unable to control yourself, you will make your actions look more natural, less calculated.  Physical weakness—tears, bashfulness, paleness—will help create the effect.  Play the victim, then transform your target’s sympathy into love.

14. Confuse Desire and Reality – The Perfect Illusion

To compensate for the difficulties in their lives, people spend a lot of their time daydreaming, imagining a future full of adventure, success, and romance.  If your can create the illusion that through you they can live out their dreams, you will have tem at your mercy.  Aim at secret wishes that have been thwarted or repressed, stirring up uncontrollable emotions, clouding their powers of reason.  Lead the seduced to a point of confusion in which they can no longer tell the difference between illusion and reality.

15. Isolate the Victim

An isolated person is weak.  By slowly isolating your victims, you make them more vulnerable to your influence.  Take them away from their normal milieu, friends, family, home.  Give them the sense of being marginalized, in limbo—they are leaving one world behind and entering another.  Once isolated like this, they have no outside support, and in their confusion they are easily led astray.  Lure the seduced into your lair, where nothing is familiar.

16. Prove Yourself

Most people want to be seduced.  If they resist your efforts, it is probably because you have not gone far enough to allay their doubts—about your motives, the depth of your feelings, and so on.  One well-timed action that shows how far you are willing to go to win them over will dispel their doubts.  Do not worry about looking foolish or making a mistake—any kind of deed that is self-sacrificing and for your target’s sake will so overwhelm tie emotions, they won’t notice anything else.

17. Effect a Regression

People who have experienced a certain kind of pleasure in the past will try to repeat or relive it.  The deepest-rooted and most pleasurable memories are usually those from earliest childhood, and are often unconsciously associated with a parental figure.  Bring your targets back to that point by placing yourself in the oedipal triangle and positioning them as the needy child.  Unaware of he cause of their emotional response, they will fall in love with you.

18. Stir Up the Transgressive and Taboo

There are always social limits on what one can do.  Some of these, the most elemental taboos, go back centuries; others are more superficial, simply defining polite and acceptable behavior.  Making your targets feel that you are leading them past either kind of limit is immensely seductive.  People yearn to explore their dark side. Once the desire to transgress draws your target to you, it will be hard for them to stop.  Take them farther than they imagined—the shared feeling of guild and complicity will create a powerful bond.

19. Use Spiritual Lures

Everyone has doubts and insecurities—about their body, their self-worth, their sexuality.  If your seduction appeals exclusively to the physical, you will stir up these doubts and make your targets self-conscious.  Instead, lure them out of their insecurities by making them focus on something sublime and spiritual: a religious experience, a lofty work of art, the occult.  Lost in a spiritual mist, the target will feel light and uninhibited.  Deepen the effect of your seduction by making its sexual culmination seem like the spiritual union of two souls.

20. Mix Pleasure and Pain

The greatest mistake in seduction is being too nice.  At first, perhaps, your kindness is charming, but it soon grows monotonous; you are trying too hard to please, and seem insecure.  Instead of overwhelming your targets with niceness, try inflicting some pain.  Make them feel guilty and insecure.  Instigate a breakup—now a rapprochement, a return to your earlier kindness, will turn them weak at the knees.  The lower the lows you create, the greater the highs.  To heighten the erotic charge, create the excitement of fear.

21. Give Them Space to Fall – The Pursuer Is Pursued

If your targets become too used to you as the aggressor, they will give less of their own energy, and the tension will slacken.  You need to wake them up, turn the tables.  Once they are under your spell, take a step back and they will start to come after your.  Hint that your are growing bored.  Seem interested in someone else.  Soon they will want to possess you physically, and restraint will go out the window.  Create the illusion tat the seducer is being seduced.

22. Use Physical Lures

Targets with active minds are dangerous: If they see through your manipulations, they may suddenly develop doubts.  Put their minds gently to rest, and waken their dormant senses, by combining a nondefensive attitude with a charged sexual presence.  While your cool, nonchalant air is lowering their inhibitions, your glances, voice, and bearing—oozing sex and desire—are getting under their skin and raising their temperature.  Never force the physical; instead infect your targets with heat, lure them into lust.  Morality, judgment, and concern for the future will melt away.

23. Master the Art of the Bold Move

A moment has arrived:  Your victim clearly desires you, but is not ready to admit it openly, let alone act on it.  This is the time to throw aside chivalry, kindness, and coquetry and to overwhelm with a bold move.  Don’t give the victim time to consider the consequences.  Showing hesitation or awkwardness means you are thinking of yourself, as opposed to being overwhelmed by the victim’s charms.  One person must on the offensive, and it is you.

24. Beware of the Aftereffects

Danger follows in the aftermath of a successful seduction.  After emotions have reached a pitch, they often swing in the opposite direction—towards lassitude, distrust, disappointment.  If you are to part, make the sacrifice swift and sudden.  If you are to stay in a relationship, beware a flagging of energy, a creeping familiarity that will spoil the fantasy.  A second seduction is required.  Never let the other person take you for granted—use absence, create pain and conflict, to keep the seduced on tenterhooks.


Survey Details
Definition of Terms
Discussion of Results
Guest Book
[see also]
RP1 [2003] - Top 33 Places to Meet a Spouse
RP2 [2004] - What is Love?
RP4 [2005] - Is Love a Chemical Reaction?
RP5 [2003] - Best To Marry
RP6 [2005] - Do People Need "Chemistry" for a Relationship to "Work"?

HT - Poll / Research Project #7 - 2003
Top 24 Seduction Techniques 
Used by Men and Women
Using this list, each person was instructed to pick his or her own top-three seduction techniques that they would tend to use to lure a potential mate.  Voters were asked to respond with their choices in ranked order according to the notation: 1=1st most potent, 2=2nd most potent, and 3=3rd most potent.  The results of this study are shown below:
# Top 24 Seduction Techniques of All Time
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
9 Keep Them In Suspense – What Comes Next?
10 Use the Demonic Power of Words to Sow Confusion
11 Pay Attention to Detail
12 Poeticize Your Presence
13 Disarm Through Strategic Weakness and Vulnerability
14 Confuse Desire and Reality – The Perfect Illusion
15 Isolate the Victim
16 Prove Yourself
17 Effect a Regression
18 Stir Up the Transgressive and Taboo
19 Use Spiritual Lures
20 Mix Pleasure and Pain
21 Give Them Space to Fall – The Pursuer Is Pursued
22 Use Physical Lures
23 Master the Art of the Bold Move
24 Beware of the Aftereffects
The Art of Seduction, 2001

In 2003, sixty men and women were polled to determine what seduction techniques the typical man or women uses in practice.  The results of this study are presented and discussed below.
# Top 24 Seduction Techniques Used by
1 Choose the Right Victim 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,2,2,3
2 Create Temptation 1,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,2,3,3
3 Pay Attention to Detail 1,1,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,2
4 Create a False Sense of Security – Approach Indirectly 1,1,2,3,3,3,3
5 Appear to Be an Object of Desire – Create Triangles 1,1,2,2,2,3
6 Master the Art of the Bold Move 1,2,3,3,3,3
7 Confuse Desire and Reality – The Perfect Illusion 2,2,2,3,3
8 Prove Yourself 2,2,3,3,3
9 Disarm Through Strategic Weakness and Vulnerability 1,1,3,3
10 Use the Demonic Power of Words to Sow Confusion 1,2,2,3
11 Give Them Space to Fall – The Pursuer Is Pursued 2,2,2
12 Master the Art of Insinuation 1,3,3
13 Send Mixed Signals 2,3,3
14 Use Physical Lures 2,3,3
15 Enter Their Spirit 1,1
16 Keep Them In Suspense – What Comes Next? 1,3
17 Mix Pleasure and Pain 2,3
18 Beware of the Aftereffects 3,3
19 Poeticize Your Presence 3,3
20 Isolate the Victim 1
21 Create a Need – Stir Anxiety and Discontent 0
22 Stir Up the Transgressive and Taboo 0
23 Use Spiritual Lures 0
24 Effect a Regression 0
See: definition of terms (below)
# Top 24 Seduction Techniques Used by
1 Create Temptation 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,3,3,3
2 Send Mixed Signals 1,1,1,1,1,2,2,2,3,3,3
3 Keep Them In Suspense – What Comes Next? 1,1,1,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3
4 Pay Attention to Detail 1,2,2,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3
5 Appear to Be an Object of Desire – Create Triangles 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,3
6 Use Physical Lures 1,2,2,2,3,3,3
7 Prove Yourself 2,3,3,3,3
8 Create a Need – Stir Anxiety and Discontent 2,2,3,3
9 Create a False Sense of Security – Approach Indirectly 1,1,2
10 Confuse Desire and Reality – The Perfect Illusion 2,2
11 Poeticize Your Presence 1
12 Master the Art of the Bold Move 1
13 Choose the Right Victim 1
14 Use the Demonic Power of Words to Sow Confusion 2
15 Isolate the Victim 2
16 Stir Up the Transgressive and Taboo 3
17 Mix Pleasure and Pain 3
18 Disarm Through Strategic Weakness and Vulnerability 0
19 Give Them Space to Fall – The Pursuer Is Pursued 0
20 Master the Art of Insinuation 0
21 Enter Their Spirit 0
22 Beware of the Aftereffects 0
23 Use Spiritual Lures 0
24 Effect a Regression 0
A couple of quick notes on the results.  First, women will tend to use physical lures as an attractant, more so than men.  As one female respondent put it: “Use physical lures … Ya! … That’s the Easiest Way.”  Regarding male tactics, a curious result noted from the study was that female respondents seemed to be completely unaware of the males’ primary seduction technique, i.e. to “Choose the right victim”.  When shown the list of 24 techniques, female respondents would repeatedly say: “Eww …. What is that Choose the Right Victim one?  … I don’t like that.”  Conversely, when male respondents were shown the list, they would repeatedly say: “Ohh… I love that one!”