The Art of Attraction

Tracy Moore dropped some fire bars in Lifehack: Let Women Make The First Move. It’s expertly written, deeply felt and backed by science. In it, she posits that if we flipped the tables and let women do the initiation at every point in the process leading up to sex, that the world would be a kinder, more equitable place.

She’s right, of course. We can trace a great deal of violence, societal ill and inequality to men’s role as sexual aggressors, and their frustration that results when their efforts “fail.” You’ll read the piece in its entirety; and I’ll call out a couple key thoughts here.

Getting men to walk away from gamifying sexual encounters by getting the most they can is important. If we can direct women to seek out the encounters they want, and men to also look for encounters where it’s mutually felt, it’s win-win for everyone.

Could not agree more. Men too often (meaning, more than never) validate themselves by trying to run up high scores in a “game” (fuck off, Neil Strauss) that’s stacked against women and shouldn’t even exist in the goddamned first place. So, if male sexual aggression isn’t acceptable or ethical or moral — and let me state, again, that it definitively, unequivocally isn’t — then just how will straight men ever get laid or find everlasting love? Again, from Tracy Moore:

If men have to wait to be asked out, they’ll have to do what women have forever so people will ask them out: cultivate an approachable, fun, attractive, sexy, welcoming vibe that makes people want to take a chance on sauntering over.

Exactly.

And, as she immediately qualifies: “Do that for more than a few hours, even once, and you will feel immediately sorry for women, because that shit is exhausting.

It can be. It often is. Some men already know this, because the way in which men have been conditioned to go about cultivating this “approachable, fun, attractive, sexy, welcoming vibe” is mind-blowing in its idiocy, counter-intuition, complexity and — most paramount — in its lack of respect for women’s sexual agency.

Problematic, over-complicated advice is dished out in guides the length of textbooks, or in exhaustive listicles, always in pathologically misogynistic terms and methods, with dog-whistle words like “seduction” standing in for what they’re really trying to teach you, which is, flatly: “How to trick women into wanting to fuck you.” Stop tricking women. It’s, you know … inauthentic, ineffective and irrefutably immoral. Women are not trophies or puzzles to solve. Attraction is not calculus. If you really, truly, want to get laid more often, I’ll tell you how, but you need to first promise me that you’re going to stop trying to fuck everything.

Now … two heartfelt confessions.