I spend a ton of time reading, thinking, discussing, and implementing topics that have to do with power dynamics, evolutionary psychology, seduction, mental health, and emotional authenticity. They all flow for me into a sex positive approach to therapy.
I have been a student of Ericksonian hypnosis and NLP for over 10 years. From those trance-induction building blocks, I learned about Speed Seduction (the older term). Ross Jefferies was really the only person at that juncture combining the ideas of natural rapport with sexuality. I was intrigued and actually am proud to say that I had numerous conversations with him. At the time, it was ground breaking concept formation to marry these two obviously similar seeming schools of thought.
Yet, there was a problem area with all this new exciting information. The thorn in my psychological side with Speed Seduction was often the same concern I later had with the emerging PUA communities. It all seemed so harshly negatively based. I would read these people (mostly men at that point) talking about picking up women and it was a very pump-em-and-dump-em kind of system. There was little to no discussion about seducing from an emotionally authentic way. The focus was to build a man up by diminishing the self-esteem of a woman (remember this was all single hetero male focused).
Side Rant for clarification — I have no problem with people engaging in sex casually or otherwise. I’m all for being primal- spiritual- kinky -romantic (or a zillion other variations) sexually. I’m even an avid supporter of using your personal skill set, trance-rapport techniques, science, and any positive physical features one has to attract another person. In fact, I often work with many clients on these very things. However, the difference is I specifically do so from a positive-consent-based foundation.
Everything I saw was focused on feeling good about yourself by making another person feel less than. I’m all about the truth of determining value based on your own personal values and social mores. Yet, when you are acting in a way to belittle another person to get them to have sex with you it just seems shady. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, but I am saying there is some lack of personal integrity. If one is working to establish high-value (as most seduction techniques express as a goal) I never saw the high value in lying or being cruel. It feels a bit like a crude hack as opposed to a well thought out positive sculpting process.
It seemed obvious to me that you would want to be seduced or seduce another by lifting up their self respect…even if your intent is for a one night stand. I just kept thinking that if you can’t seduce someone into wanting to date or have sex with you and have them feel better about you and themselves afterward, it doesn’t seem like you did a very good job. However, I appeared to be the only one thinking this. And basically the hetero female population that was paying attention to seduction culture was just outraged and dismissed it all. Both sides seemed to say it was an all or nothing system. I felt stuck within my own world of knowing the value of these ideas but still not having a delivery system that was uplifting.
So time went on and The Game was published. Pick up artistry began to gather a bit more attention. By this point Mystery and a few others were riding on the coattails and creating a more up-to-date community for seduction. The trend was to make things look a more palatable for the general public and even open up the marketplace to women. It was a step in the right direction as far as I was concerned. I felt personally intrigued and continued to use many of the techniques in situations…but nothing felt healthy and positive enough to share with clients.
Then a friend, who also studies seduction personally and for business use, recommended The Authentic Man Program. I was thrilled to see people using the rapport skills in a non-shaming way. They were taking all the NLP, psychology, and sexuality concepts and rolling them together. It made my heart sing. Finally, there was something I could recommend to clients. I took the courses online and learned a lot. I really enjoyed Bryan and Decker. They felt like honest people using these ideas in a healthy way. I recommended the classes in person or online to clients. One small problem is that it is expensive. Not every client that could benefit from their ideas was able to be exposed to them. The search continued.
More time passed and another friend was looking into David Deida’s work, so I happily joined in the fun. Deida’s ideas had a wonderful sensual and spiritual feeling to them. They were direct in the evolutionary psych components and incorporated the piece of creating a higher sense of purpose as a way to seduce. He also came from a perspective of being in a long-term relationship. I loved stitching as many elements as possible into the fold. And now I had at least one author that I could recommend and felt comfortable sharing with clients. However, there were a few small concerns. If the client was not naturally leaning towards being introspective, open to some spiritual elements, or already had a base for seduction skills …it was a bit too much to take on for the first round. Clients reported that there was some good stuff but didn’t exactly resonate.
I had yet more conversations (well really me complaining) about this weird gap in teaching these ideas to others. A friend came to the rescue and started a blog about seduction within long-term relationships. I felt like I was finally able to reliably send clients to a site that I trusted would be smart, relationship safe, and that was teaching these combined principles. Then due to the very hectic schedule of the author, the blog was simply not going to continue due to lack of time to commit to it properly. My heart sank… would I ever find the right mix for this approach to suggest to my clients?
It was becoming some sort of personal mission without consciously realizing it. However, now I was fully aware and had no idea where I was going to find the time to write this book, but I figured it would need to be done. It would go on the list with the other projects I’m working on.
Then one day it happened…. there was this blog…. Married Man Sex Life by Athol Kay. A man saying the things that my clients had said: all the things that they were afraid to admit to themselves, all the things they felt shame about expressing to others, and all the things they resented and loved about dating and sex and marriage. It was a real person who happened to be so smart and honest that it was almost impossible not to side with him. He wasn’t a jerk, he wasn’t single, and he didn’t naturally come to all this understanding with a dominant personality. Kay was providing this knowledge base and it felt worthy of suggesting to a few clients. The feedback was awesome and I just kept thinking about how great it would be if this guy would just write a book. These core ideas are actually really important and of course it would make my life easier if someone would put all of it together nicely packaged so I could just tell clients to go get the book.
And then just like that… there was word that his blog was going to be turned into a book. I began to get more and more eager for the release of The Married Man Sex Life Primer. It was going to happen, I was finally really and truly going to have material worthy enough for clients. My standards are exceedingly high and so were my expectations of his work. Athol Kay had managed to seduce this therapist who loves teaching seduction into wanting to read his book, review it, and hopefully recommend it to clients.
In Part 2 of Seducing the Seducer … I’ll share how I read the book in record time, got to talk with Athol Kay about his work, and my review of the book The Married Man Sex Life Primer. And for the record, no one paid, asked me to, or even encouraged me to ever seek out this information, interview, or blog posts. This is all about my interest in the field, being a therapist, and knowing that many of these ideas help others.