So, on pondering the film “The Tao of Steve” from maybe 12 years ago….
…and in contemplating it’s three rules of seduction….
- Eliminate desire, because women can smell an agenda.
- Be excellent in her presence, even if it’s just at throwing a Frisbee.
- Withdraw, because women want sex 15 minutes later than men, so if you wait 20 minutes, they’ll be chasing you for 5.
…and in reading the book “The 48 Laws of Power,” which is very, very popular, in Hollywood and prisons as my friend Nikkiana Henninger informed me….
…I’ve had some interesting thoughts about attraction and love.
Plus, I’ve had guilt about not making a blog post in so long.
Why do men need “the chase” so much? The thrill of hunting down a woman who resists? Who plays games? And why is it such a manifestly bad idea for a woman to “give it up” too easily? Shouldn’t it be generosity? Trust? Love? Shouldn’t the man be thankful? Honored? Grateful?
The long, long, long history of seduction, as learned over and over again in myriad diverse cultures, independently, disagrees. Law #2 in “The 48 Laws of Power,” titled “Conceal Your Intentions,” has as its historical “transgression of the law” example a 60 year old legendary courtesan trying to “straighten up” a naive 20 year old princeling. He’s certain that love, honestly, openness, directness and poetical devotion will do, for the courtly woman he’s pursuing, and is… baffled that it isn’t working.
The courtesan, skilled in the arts of love, finds him at first amusing, and then maddening. He must play the game! Fail to be where she expects him. Appear where she often goes, unexpectedly. Seem interested, and then uninterested. Enthrall other women, so that she can see him being grand and worthwhile.
He does all this, with effort, because it is fake.
And then… at last alone in her chambers with her… he fails, regressing into the “always be yourself” trap. She sees it is a game, finds him boring again, an obvious friend who cannot stimulate mystery or imagination, and all, for him, is lost.
What’s the lesson in this?
Because, frankly, it defies everything I’ve been taught, and everything I’ve felt.
But it also suggests a way out of the “friend zone,” a way out of… being an objectively smart, fit, attractive man who… somehow is not seen widely as attractive.
So I came up with this metaphor, which works mostly for men, but also for women, and for relationships generally, because the hardwiring of the Human mind, evolved over millions of years, never forbade women from hunting.
Imagine this image.
A man with his “spear” walks into a bar. Maybe with his fellow hunters. They have this… deep seeded need to exercise or exorcise the hunt craving, probably one of the deepest evolved cravings men know. What’s more central, in our evolved past? Food. Family support. And the teamwork of tracking the mystery of the prey’s whereabouts.
We all love mystery stories. And they’re like the mystery of following the signs and tracks of game. I’m just certain there’s a connection….
So why do men love the chase? And why are they bored with women who give it up too fast? And why do smart women know not to give it up too fast?
Back to the man with his fellow hunters in a bar. They have an evolved need to exercise or exorcise the hunting craving. On a cellular level, they NEED hunting. Even if they don’t want it. Like the studied chimps who mime peeling their bananas given to them pre peeled. It’s an itch, not a skill that comes up only when needed.
So on some level, these men are yearning for a hunt. Not just the game. Not just the meat.
And if a woman immediately sidles up to the hunter and begs him to spear her? Is the craving satisfied?
Sure he gets his kill. But the need for the chase gets the middle finger.
Now, imagine another time.
We all know how tired long term relationships can get. Marriages. How devoid of spark. How lost the early thrill of love can get drowned.
Imagine a man gets a true hunt for a woman. He gets to hunt and spear his deer. The itch is scratched. He is content.
And, for months, during that early phase we all know so well, he eats well.
And then the itch, the need, the muscle twitch for the hunt resurfaces. And all of a sudden the honeymoon is off and he looks at his dear in a new light. He wants a hunt. A part of him wonders if he needs new prey.
But his dear… just comes up to him and says “Oh you hunter. It felt so good when you speared me before. Please do it again.”
Does that satisfy the man’s hardwired need for hunting?
And what are the consequences of that?
More importantly, how does one SOLVE that problem? How does a partnership sustain the need, not just of the man but even of the woman….
For mystery and imagination?
Can a constant, low level of unavailability be cultivated, on both sides?
Can there forever be an element of the hunt?
Does it involve… each person… having very important things in life that extend beyond the partner? Dreams, and career, and goals? If a parter begins to seem like he (or she) has no purpose beyond living for their partner, is it… killing?
More thought is required.
But I’d welcome thoughts.
As is so often the case, for those who fully understand the power of Evolution, it is the skeleton key for explaining so much that seems… yes, mysterious… about Human behavior. And we’ll just have to hope that hunting down and killing that mystery will be a net positive.