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June 26 2015

Elizabeth Gilbert's "I'm a Seduction Addict"--Well, That's a Fancy Way of Saying, "He Never Called"

Charlotte Allen

Call me catty, but when I first read Elizabeth Gilbert's "Confessions of a Seduction Addict" , my first thought was: Why did she have to put in so much work into it?

To my mind the sentences that stuck out most prominently in the Eat, Pray, Love author's latest Oprahfessional in the New York Times were these:

Seduction was never a casual sport for me; it was more like a heist, adrenalizing and urgent. I would plan the heist for months, scouting out the target, looking for unguarded entries.

Soon enough, and sure enough, I might begin to see that man’s gaze toward me change from indifference, to friendship, to open desire.


I might indeed win the man eventually. But over time (and it wouldn’t take long), his unquenchable infatuation for me would fade, as his attention returned to everyday matters.

Um, Elizabeth, there's an easier way to accomplish this trajectory. Here it is: Go to a bar an hour before closing time. Another way of phrasing "his unquenchable infatuation for me would fade" is: "I'll call you."

And if there's someone specific you've got your heart set on to "win," here's another tip for making it easier in 99 percent of the cases: Invite him over (or drive over to his house) and be wearing something scanty and lacy when the door opens. See! You don't need to "plan for months" after all!

It's a basic principle of evolutionary psychology that men are notoriously unselective about the women they have sex with, especially after a few beers. It has to do with their primordial desire to create as many offspring as possible to survive them. That's why it's hard for them to resist temptation, especially when the temptation looks like Scarlett Johansson. Women, by contrast, are the choosy sex, because they need strong and reliable mates to protect their offspring.

And that's why, if you're putting a lot of energy into "scouting out the target" of your affections, you're essentially admitting that you're no Scarlett Johannson. The most desirable women don't need to scout; they have men orbiting around them like GPS satellites. Even a famous homewrecker like Angelina Jolie is, well, Angelina Jolie. And she wrecked the home of an A-lister, Brad Pitt.

Now, I'm no Scarlett Johansen or Angelina Jolie myself, I'll readily admit. But I wouldn't call myself a "seduction addict" just because I could actually get some men to go to bed with me. I'd call myself a gal who made the mistake of thinking it was a big deal to get some men to go to bed with me. That's a problem, but it's not seduction addiction. It's confusing hauling in the big one with shooting fish in a barrel.

In her NYT essay Gilbert writes: "I was Rodolphe Boulanger in these stories, and never pathetic little Emma Bovary." No, actually it was Emma, not Rodolphe, who experienced the man's gaze going from "indifference" to "open desire" and then back to indifference--and it didn't "take long."

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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