The other night I met a very good looking young woman. After a few minutes of talking she went through a sudden but subtle change – she switched personalities and turned into a flirter.
I did not appreciate this change because the emphasis of the conversation went from real to unreal, if you know what I mean. The woman I was establishing a connection with disappeared and suddenly I was talking to an eyelid-batting, pouting mannequin.
I took this as a minor complement. Unfortunately, it did not feel like a development in the conversation, but rather that the conversation had finished and something else had started. It is was like a subconscious tactical change – like now I was being played like a fish on a line.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do I, so my attention left Flirter and I saw two female friends who were in the room at the time. I noticed that they seemed a little put out that Flirter had arrived – like they wanted to roll their eyes and sigh at this vacuous display.
I actually felt a bit sorry for Flirter. In an instant I saw a whole bunch of issues that came from trying to trade on her looks: vanity, craftiness, self-consciousness, valuing appearance over substance, even competition with other women. Identifying with looks is just another way of identifying with the body and it has the same unhappy outcome.
I know that flirting is only natural – it is a primal instinct hilariously described in the book Sperm are from Men, Eggs are from Women. This book puts forward a very strong case for evolutionary biology and how reproductive hormones and other biological attributes strongly influence our behaviour.
And I know it from my own behaviour. Just last week I was called out for checking out a woman walking down the street – I was only dimly aware of what I was doing. This kind of biologically-induced activity can be very dangerous – especially for men driving cars – because men can only do one thing at a time.
Honestly, I think a large part of the brain shuts down. This neuro-shutdown can be induced deliberately – it is called seduction – and it affects men who are willing or weak or both.
Some women have this art developed to an extremely high degree – and it doesn’t necessarily need to be sexual – as in the case of some businesswomen and politicians.
I’ve met other women with the power to enchant, as if by some kind of magic. It is as if they can cast a spell to subvert my judgement. It is quite amazing – and it can be very difficult to see it happening.
I guess it is like advertising – we think advertising doesn’t influence our behaviour very much but business pours countless billions into it because it absolutely does.
Other methods that I’ve seen used by women include energetic demands, energy leeching, playing a victim looking for a rescuer and a whole array of other games.
Of course this is not limited to women. Men are equally tricky but men’s methods are different – they are more likely to be dominating, tell lies and break women down psychologically. If you want to know more about these masculine techniques then read The Game by Neil Strauss – the story of a perennially single guy who turned into a professional pick-up artist.