On Seduction and Courtship

The idea of seduction gives me the creeps. I realize that seduction is said to be an art form, and many people claim to be accomplished in this art. But the underlying idea of manipulation doesn’t strike the right chord with me when it comes to love.

If one is simply after sex, then perhaps there is nothing wrong with seducing or being seduced.

The sense is that one can follow certain moves from a playbook, saying just the right thing at just the right time. These moves will lead to a sort of deal made between two people. Something is achieved. Someone is won over. But what happens afterward?

If one is simply after sex, then perhaps there is nothing wrong with seducing or being seduced. Games can be rather enjoyable, and feeling desired is always nice. However, if one is after something deeper and longer lasting, no collection of moves in the book can possibly help one find that.

To truly love is to be genuine. To truly love is not to manipulate. To truly love is to be open and available to what is arising within you and between you and others.

So how is seduction different from other ways of engaging with intimacy, like courtship for example? Traditionally courtship was meant to be a serious inquiry into the marriage potential of two partners. It was an exclusive and serious consideration which often involved entire families. Courtship is also the name for certain behaviors performed in order to attract a mate. I think there can still be manipulation in some of these approaches. Courtship implies a particular outcome. Agendas exist, at the very least.

We could drop our expectations. We could let go of seeking an outcome.

What if we approach courtship from a new perspective? That of fully showing up with another person in any given moment to see what arises. We could drop our expectations. We could let go of seeking an outcome. We could, for a moment, forget about marriage potential, or getting laid, and just see what happens when we open to another heart.

Sometimes the most magic happens when we stop trying so hard to make something happen.

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