A few weeks ago all the alarms went off when it appeared in internet some videos made by a man who considers himself an expert in seduction and which requires the man to be the dominant player on the relationship with a woman even if she does not want it that way. The exact meaning of the act of seduction according to the dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy is:

1. Deceiving with art and skill, gently persuading someone to do something wrong. 2. Attract someone physically in order to get sex from him/her. 3 . Overwhelm and captivate somebody’s mind.

The author was well aware of these meanings and his videos are a true reflection thereof. What he is doing is to persuade men who come to him as students to do something that, as a minimum, is not honest. In his appearances he shows how to gain what he and his associates call self-confidence. As part of an ego trip, he manages to convince his students, many with notoriously low self-esteem, that they must use force if necessary to maintain a sexual relationship with a woman, to end a relationship, or just to steal a kiss in the street.

Let’s remember that self-confidence is not to do what you want ignoring the rights of the others. On the contrary, it includes a good level of tolerance to frustration. A more confident and assertive person is one who, despite his differences with others or an inability to obtain from them the expected result, does not generate harmful emotions or attitudes that lead him to act with revenge, neglect or violence.

Film poster of PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM shown in Spain as ‘Sueños de un seductor’ (‘ A seducer’s dreams’) by Woody Allen.

Men and women are instructors of positive and enriching relationships because they are different and neither is in a position of dominance or submission. Assuming that it is the man who must exert a drag in which the woman cannot have the opportunity to refuse a sexual relationship is , with all due respect, a deep misunderstanding of what it means to be a man. The truly basic or elementary man who is uncapable of evolving and who believes he doesn’t have to – the target audience adressed by this seduction expert – has long disappeared and is a far cry from the modern human male.

We agree that there is nothing bad or evil or triable in the self-styled courses of seduction. Like many things in life, the nuance that really ends up defining them comes from the intention with which they were created. This, in turn, comes from the necessary and appropriate knowledge of the human being and, of course, from ethical considerations indispensable when we are trying to teach something to someone.

This expert in seduction appears filled with satisfaction and proud of himself when he presents himself as an example for students. His narrative included how when a young female refused to have sex with him and one of his colleagues they, without exchanging a word between themselves, caught her arm and, without giving her the option to say a word, took her to the bedroom. His followers, captivated by this type of accomplishment, do not realize that should he have that kind of self-confidence, admirable attitudes, enriching values and all the other virtues he is boasting about, neither force nor deception would be required to maintain a consensual, positive and healthy relationship with a woman. More generally, anybody who can only get by force what he or she craves and needs shows a lack of the natural skills and attitudes needed to accomplish his/her goal.

This man and his colleague remain exposed by themselves: no need for anyone to attack them for what they do and for the terrible image of manhood they project. If someone, a man in this example, feels shy or insecure he may try to fix the problem by seeking advice from someone he might admire, even if it is for the wrong reasons. But this ” expert” should be absolutely honest and avoid manipulating the students who come to him, knowing, as he does full well, that they are very insecure or are in a bad state of confusion and therefore are unable to discern. Unfortunately, these seduction experts actually seem to be using their students to make up for their own past failures which they themselves have not been able to forgive.

With phrases like ” you must invent emotional stories to attract women, because they are emotional ” added to others like ” you should play up from less to more, and never take a no as an answer ” make men attending these courses believe that they do not need to develop beyond the most basic and rudimentary skills in life, because this type of dominance is more than enough to achieve what appears to be their only goal in life, which is actually not to get women, but to be admired. It should be cristal clear that they get exposed themselves, without help from anyone else, in that they do not seek to start a relationship but to recoup from some internal frustration and/or to feed some kind of narcissism. And this is probably, at some point in their lives, the main obstacle to achieve balanced and equal relationships with women.

Finally, it is worth mentioning his self-declared ingenuity – an additional reason for boasting. When reported to the police for kissing without consent an unknown woman in the street he just argues that he ” mistook her for his girlfriend “. By not finding it necessary to use a coherent analysis of the situation and by precluding others from doing so, he fails to identify the most basic and elementary in normal situations. He is exposed in how easily he can mistake people even when part of his inner life, such as a girlfriend. Moreover, his filming of him kissing unknown women in the street give him an of immeasurable level of pride. To repeat, this type of actions make it clear his inability to realize that the image he has of himself and the one perceived by the world are poles apart. When he approaches with deceptions someone in the street and the stranger believes him, he does not understand that for the ethically healthy people it is very hard to imagine that somebody may have decided to spend time and energy to deceive an unsuspecting woman for no other reason than to feed his ego, whose nourishment doesn’t go beyond such uncouth acts. So the question of which is the true reason for his courses and masters to teach to seduce keeps coming up: is it to become admired by men, or to obtain sexual favours from women, or to feel that one finally is able to have sex … at no matter the cost?

Sexual relationships today are part of a socialization which is increasingly settled around a free individual choice. Moreover, any particular relationship can be rewarding just for being based on consent and free choice. Men and women we both look forward to finding a partner with some values that allow us to settle even more firmly in ours. In this sense, being shy is neither an obstacle nor does it prevent us from attaining a level of virtuosity that allow us to enjoy what is best in us. What is really dangerous is to fall into the hands of those who don’t know how to deal with human beings when they are most vulnerable while presenting themselves as an expert on these techniques.

Translated by Arturo Guillén