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July 21, 2013

Did you know…? SWOON Fun Fact #2

Men in America today get either zero or the wrong education in love and desire.

Although we live in a hypersexualized culture of online porn, show-and-tell-nudity, and graphic boudoir guides, men receive no systematic education in love and desire:  how to enamor women, pleasure and satisfy them, and keep them romantically excited.  What they do learn of the subject they pick up from inadequate sex ed classes at school (which focus on STDs, masturbation, body image, and abstinence), from locker rooms, the media, porn, pick-up artist flak, and later, couples’ therapy bromides—none of which address lovecraft.  Sex researcher Timothy Perper found in a series of tests that nearly all of his male subjects were “oblivious” about the “art of seduction”—not to mention the art of ongoing seduction, necessary for durable unions.  Honore de Balzac famously said the average man with women is like an “orang-outang trying to play the violin.”

What’s interesting is that this used to be part of a man’s education, beginning with ancient Greece and perhaps before. The early twentieth-century sexologist Havelock Ellis called this the Art of Love tradition and devoted 70 pages to it in his two-volume Psychology of Sex.  This isn’t for tyros; it requires dedication, courage, and creativity and an entire gamut of erotic spells, from charisma and character to physical and psychological allures.

Learn more in Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them.

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